The rift between American and Iraqi forces got a lot wider after a shooting incident in Baghdad this week, the Washington Post reports. When insurgents attacked their convoy Tuesday, US forces pursued them through alleys, and raided several houses, killing two men and a boy. An Iraqi commander ordered the men to be arrested for shooting at civilians. US commanders avoided that for now by insisting their men were acting in self-defense, but arrests may still be made.
The incident came as American forces complain that the Iraqis are adopting a harsh interpretation of the security agreement and restricting their movements, even drawing weapons on US troops on one occasion. Senior commanders downplay the tensions, saying such "hiccups" are inevitable during the transition phase. Junior commanders and many in the ranks, however, fear it may only be a matter of time before American forces end up exchanging fire with their Iraqi counterparts.