Thursday, June 17, 2004

The Ballad Of Balad

Via the Whiskey Bar, this story; which states that the US plans to turn complete control of the Baghdad International Airport over to Iraqi authorities by mid-August.

Billmon posts this update:

A reader, who I'm guessing probably wants to remain anonymous, sheds a little light on the airport situation in Iraq.

"I was in Iraq back in Nov-Dec, and plans were already long underway to transfer all military air support flights, and all of the rest of the support facilities now located at Baghdad Int'l Airport (they call it BIAP), up to the airport at Balad, about 50 miles north of Baghdad. They've alread built a huge support base there called Anaconda - the site of several recent mortar attacks - and back in November, I landed here on a Blackhawk, and the place was as busy and well-established as BIAP. They're turning over an airport they're finished with, that is way too close to the bad guys in Baghdad, and isn't as defensible as the one in Balad."

You mean this one in Balad?

A rocket slammed into a U.S. logistics base near the city of Balad on Wednesday afternoon, killing three U.S. soldiers and wounding 25 people including a pair of civilians, the military said.


On June 6, a U.S. soldier on the same base was killed and another wounded in a mortar attack. Camp Anaconda was also the scene of a mortar attack last July 4 that wounded 18 U.S. soldiers.