U. S. Steps Up Airstrikes in Iraq

January 17, 2006

The U.S. military is dramatically stepping up air strikes against Iraq.

The number of airstrikes in 2005, which were an average of 25 per month until August, surged to 120 in November and 150 in December, according to official military figures.

The intensification of the air war is expected to continue as part of the so-called "Iraqification" of the war, a strategy through which the U.S. desperately tries to put a "democratic, Iraqi" face on the war, in part by replacing U.S. ground troops with more puppet soldiers backed by the bombing power of the U.S. airforce.

On December 24, the Washington Post reported that the bombings are resulting in large numbers of civilian casualties. "Townspeople, tribal leaders, medical workers and accounts from witnesses at the sites of clashes, at hospitals and at graveyards indicated that scores of noncombatants were killed last month in fighting."

Again, on January 3, U.S. warplanes bombed a building north of Baghdad, killing and wounding 11 Iraqi civilians. The bombing took place in Beiji, site of Iraq's largest oil refinery, said Iraqi police Capt. Arkan Jassim, who reported the casualty figures. News video showed dozens of people gathered near the rubble of the building carrying dead bodies, including several children, wrapped in carpets from the rubble. The Beiji airstrike was one of 58 air missions the U.S. military carried out that day over Iraq, according to officials.

In another raid on January 5, U.S. officials admitted that F-14 Navy warplanes "had bombed the wrong home" resulting in "collateral damage."

This barbarous bombing of population centers again shows that U.S. imperialism's strategy is to target and terrorize the entire Iraqi people in the attempt to stamp out any resistance to U.S. domination and to subjugate the country. The tactic of "Iraqification," far from ending U.S. occupation, is a tactic for escalating the war.