Death toll of Baghdad bombings stands at 42, Pentagon fears of further resistance attacks
All five bombings that took place on Monday in Baghdad were suicide attacks seemingly carried out by foreigners, US Brigadier General Mark Hertling said Monday during a press conference. "All five of those bombings today were suicide bombings," he said
Figures obtained by AFP from nine hospitals in the Iraqi capital city showed a total of 42 people were killed and 216 wounded.
In Washington, Pentagon officials discussed ways how to prevent further attacks.
According to the Washington Post, the U.S. strategy is to turn over security missions to Iraqi soldiers and police forces as quickly as possible.
The deliberations are taking on increased urgency because American intelligence and military officials are saying U.S. forces in Iraq have a limited time to break the resistance before the general population joins it.
A senior intelligence official told The Washington Post that the United States has a three-to-six-month window to put down the Iraqi resistance. According to the official, the anti-U.S. groups are trying to form a coordinated campaign across Iraq. If successful, "they would be more effective and harder to prevent," the official told the US daily. "They would send a signal to the populace" that they are an alternative to the occupation.
Another senior intelligence official said the United States has not devoted enough attention to understanding the anti-US groups in Iraq because intelligence resources have been devoted to locating weapons of mass destruction. As a result, the intelligence community and the military have little precise information about the resistance.
Adding to the need for quick action, a top U.S. military official involved in Iraq strategy has said that the Pentagon expects to pare its presence in Iraq significantly when major troop rotations come in February. (Albawaba.com)