In Baghdad's Adhamiya district
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Snipers held rooftop positions as masked Sunni Arab insurgents said they were gearing up for another open street battle with pro-government Shi'ite militiamen in Baghdad's Adhamiya district on Tuesday. [...]
Fighting was so fierce that U.S. reinforcements were brought in to the northern district, home to some of Iraq's most hardcore Sunni guerrillas and the Abu Hanifa mosque, near where Saddam Hussein was last seen in public before going into hiding. [...]
It appeared to be the first example of a large-scale, open sectarian street battle in the capital, if not all of Iraq.
In Baghdad's Dora district:
Full-scale civil war may not have broken out in Iraq, but startling signs of sectarian hatred are evident along several streets in the religiously mixed Dora neighborhood. [...]
In Dora these days, rows of homes sit empty and abandoned. The streets show signs of desperate attempts to craft barriers from palm tree trunks and rusty washing machines. And there are countless crude threats scrawled in black spray paint.
The situation is so dire, the U.S. military reportedly has a plan for a "second liberation of Baghdad" after the new government is installed:
Helicopters suitable for urban warfare, such as the manoeuvrable AH-6 "Little Birds" used by the marines and special forces and armed with rocket launchers and machineguns, are likely to complement the ground attack.
The sources said American and Iraqi troops would move from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, leaving behind Sweat teams -- an acronym for "sewage, water, electricity and trash" -- to improve living conditions by upgrading clinics, schools, rubbish collection, water and electricity supplies.
There will be no statue of Saddam to topple this time and no back-slapping in the Bush administration over shock & awe. Baghdad's first liberation was about regime change. This second liberation is about liberating that city from our follies of war, from our incompetent hands and from the chaos our presence has caused. It is liberating the Iraqis from the consequences of a mismanaged war that never should have been fought in the first place.