Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nice Day to Instigate (Another) War

Freaky. Jonathan Schwarz has a post up about US troops storming an Iranian consulate in northern Iraq. From the original article:

US forces have stormed a building in the northern Iraqi town of Irbil and seized six people said to be Iranians, prompting a diplomatic incident. Iranian and Iraqi officials said the building was an Iranian consulate and the detainees its employees. The US military said it was still investigating, but that the building did not have diplomatic status. The troops raided the building at about 0300 (0001GMT), taking away computers and papers, according to local media. ...

A local TV station said Kurdish security forces had taken over the building after the Americans had left. Irbil lies in Iraq's Kurdish-controlled north, about 350km (220 miles) from the capital Baghdad. Reports say the Iranian consulate there was set up last year under an agreement with the Kurdish regional government to facilitate cross-border visits.

One Iranian news agency with a correspondent in Irbil says five US helicopters were used to land troops on the roof of the Iranian consulate. It reports that a number of vehicles cordoned off the streets around the building, while US soldiers warned the occupants in three different languages that they should surrender or be killed.

A commenter a Jonathan's site says the original German version of the article contains these paragraphs:
"Meanwhile, a source close to the Kurdistani government said the administration was unaware of the US plans to raid the Iranian consulate and didn't know the purpose of the operation. After raiding the consulate, the US forces headed for Eikawa district, which hosts foreign companies and countries' representatives. Security forces of the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDP) reportedly surrounded three US military vehicles to prevent them from further action."
Elsewhere in Iraq it was business as usual:
Meanwhile in the Iraqi capital, the five off-duty policemen were killed in an ambush in the western al-Khadra neighbourhood, hospital officials said[.] Security sources said another man was killed wounded in an attack on a money changer in downtown Baghdad. In the restive Anbar province, the US military said that one of its troops was killed on Tuesday by a roadside bombing. Other violence was reported in Mosul, where gunmen killed a professor driving home from work, and Samarra where a suicide truck bomber attacked the mayor's house, killing three people and wounding 33, including the mayor.