US and Iraqi forces have killed 250 gunmen in a fierce battle involving US tanks and helicopters on the outskirts of the Shiite holy city of Najaf.Oh, right. Sorry. That's not the good news. That's the sh*tty news. Here's the good news:
The day-long battle was continuing after nightfall on Sunday, said Colonel Ali Nomas, as tens of thousands of pilgrims converged on the nearby city of Kerbala for the climax of the Ashura commemorations.
A US helicopter was shot down in the fighting. The US military declined comment. A reporter for news agency Reuters saw a helicopter come down trailing smoke.
Shiite political sources said the gunmen appeared to be both Sunni Arabs and Shiites loyal to a cleric called Ahmed Hassani.Great. Now we've got them so they're not knocking off each other but teaming up to take out American forces.
I don't think that's what we were really hoping for.
Wouldn't it be easier to be dealing with a single dictator and a strong central Iraqi government. Oh, right, we were, until we took him down. The cynic in me says this is one of the cases of be careful what you ask for.