U.S. bombs Iraqi orchards
On Thursday morning, US warplanes dropped 40,000 pounds of bombs on more than 40 targets in Baghdad's southern outskirts. The targets of the renewed and intensive bombing were orchards of citrus trees and date palms alleged to be hideouts for local "al-Qaeda" fighters.
As quoted today by Agence France Presse (AFP) , Colonel Terry Ferrell told a Baghdad press conference via a video link that "we were able to destroy several major improvised explosive devices (roadside bombs)... We were also able to identify and destroy several weapons caches." According to an AP story in today's Boston Herald, we will be stepping up our efforts to "clean al-Qaeda out" with bombing as the 30,000 ground troops in the McCain-Petraeus "surge" are pulled out between now and June.
Orchards like these must take tens if not hundreds of years to establish in a semiarid environment such as central Iraq. The above photo provided with the AFP story also implies that cluster bombs were used for the action, ensuring that there will be future casualties and economic consequences of the action.