An American air strike on a Baghdad neighborhood overnight killed 14 people and demolished several houses, the police said on Thursday.
According to Reuters, two police sources said the air strike took place at about 3 a.m. in the Washash neighborhood in western Baghdad's Mansour district. Police said nine people were injured in the attack, which one official said destroyed five houses.
Meanwhile, according to a new independent assessment, Iraq's security forces will be unable to take control of the country within the next 18 months. In addition, Baghdad's national police force is so rife with corruption it should be scrapped entirely.
The 20-member panel of mostly retired senior military and police officers concludes that Iraq's military, in particular its army, shows the most promise of becoming a viable, independent security force over time. According to the AP, the group predicts an adequate logistics system to support these ground forces is at least another two years away.
The report also offers a scathing assessment of Iraq's Interior Ministry and recommends scrapping Iraq's national police force, which it describes as dysfunctional and infiltrated by sectarian militias. Overall, Iraqi security forces ''have the potential to help reduce sectarian violence, but ultimately the ISF will reflect the society from which they are drawn,'' according to the report. ''Political reconciliation is the key to ending sectarian violence in Iraq.''