Iraq Attacks Escalate; U.S. Presses Self-Government – Attacks by Saddam Hussein loyalists and other unidentified insurgents in Iraq grew more deadly in November. Sixteen U.S.soldiers died and 20 were injured NOV.2 after Guerrillas shot down a Chinook helicopter near Falluja, 30 miles west of Baghdad, with a surface-to-air missile. A 2nd missile narrowly missed hitting a 2nd Chinook. A Black Hawk helicopter exploded and crashed Nov.7 in Tikrit, killing the 6 American soldiers aboard. In response, U.S. tanks, howitzers, and planes Nov.7-8 struck an area in trikrit from which guerrilla attacks had been launched, and U.S. aircraft struck at 2 targets in Baghdad Nov. 12. Pres. George W. Bush declared Nov. 3 that “ America will never run ” from Iraq, and in a Nov. 6 speech, he called on Middle East states to embrace a democratic tradition and recognize that the outster of Saddam Hussein was “a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.” U.S. hopes for a broader military force in Iraq were set back Nov. 7 when Turkey withdrew its offer of troops, which Iraq’s Governing Council had opposed. In Nasiriya, Nov.12 a truck and car crashed into a building housing Italian military police; 19 Italians and 13 Iraqis were killed and more than 100 people were wounded. The senior U.S. commander in the Middle East, Gen. John Abizaid, said Nov. 13 that the coalition faced 5,000 guerrilla fighters in Iraq who were getting better organized and financed. At least 17 U.S. soldiers were killed 2 days later when two Black Hawk helicopters collided over the northen city of Mosul and crashed. One soldier was missing and 5 others were injured. U.S. forces were reacted by strikes against sites believed to have been staging areas for attacks. Bombs at 2 police stations near Baghdad killed 14 people. U.S. officials Nov. 14 confirmed that the administration now supported an acceleration of the move toward Iraqi self-government even before a new constitution, with transitional assembly selecting interim leaders. Independence was to be restored in 2004; foreign troops, however, would remain. On Nov.26, a leading Shiite, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, denounced the U.S. plan, calling for a direct election, which would likely benefit the Shiite majority. On Nov. 27 Pres. Bush flew to Iraq under tight security to have Thanksgiving dinner in the mess hall ay Baghdad International Airport with 600 soldiers of the First Armored Division and 82nd Airborne. The trip was known in advance only to a few and not announced to the public until the president had left Baghdad air space; he was accompanied by only a few select reporters and a small official entourage. The month ended with a spate of violence, much of it aimed at non-American foreigners. Seven Spanish intelligence officers died south of Baghdad Nov. 29 when their SUVs were attacked by rocket-propelled grenades and a rifle fire. Separate attacks the same day also killed 2 Japanese diplomats and a Colombian oil worker, and 2 South Korean contracters were killed in ambush Nov. 30. For all of November, guerrillas killed 104 coalition troops, including 79 Americans. When they came under attack in Samarra, Nov. 30, U.S. forces struck back, killing 54 Iraqi fighters according to U.S. military sources, although bodies were not recovered and Iraqi sources claimed many fewer were killed. Bombing Rock Turkey- Twice during November, terrorists struck at Turkey, a largely Muslim nation that supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq. On Nov. 15, 2 Truck bombs exploded outside 2 synagogues in Istanbul, killing 25 people and wounding more than 250; most had been attending Sabbath prayers. On Nov. 20, Truck bombs exploded in Istanbul, at the British consulate and Turkish headquarters of HSBC bank, killing 30 and injuring 450; the British consul general, Roger Short, was among those killed. An anonymous caller attributed the bank attack to al-Qaeda and the Islamic Front...
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