Senior Iraqi government officials said Saturday that a U.S. Special Forces counterterrorism unit conducted the raid that reportedly killed a relative of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, touching off a high-stakes diplomatic crisis between the United States and Iraq. . . .Certainly, the death of Maliki's relative is a diplomatic disaster. Be assured that somewhere, some U.S. colonel or brigadier general is watching his career come to a screeching halt as a result of this blunder.
Ali Abdulhussein Razak al Maliki, who was killed in the raid, was related to the prime minister and had close ties to his personal security detail, according to authorities in Karbala. . . .
Iraqi officials in Karbala said the operation began at dawn Friday with U.S. aircraft delivering dozens of American troops to the rural Shiite Muslim town of Janaja, which is populated mostly by members of the Maliki tribe.
Authorities said the raid apparently was aimed at capturing what the military calls a "high-value target," often a reference to the leader of a militant cell.
Raed Shakir Jowdet, the Iraqi military commander of Karbala operations, told journalists Friday that the Americans had acted on faulty intelligence.
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