Sunday, 15 February 2004.
Two Americans reported dead, one injured in Resistance attack on US occupation convoy in Baghdad.
Two Americans were killed and one other wounded in al-‘Adl neighborhood of western Baghdad on Sunday, according to the Qatari news agencey Qana. Eyewitnesses told the agency that an Iraqi car apparently driven by Resistance fighters opened fire on a car being driven by the Americans. US occupation forces sealed off the area of the attack where the car continued to burn after the US casualties were removed from it. Initially, US occupation forces refused to comment on the attack.
Other reports said that Iraqi Resistance fighters attacked a US occupation convoy on Sunday morning wounding three and setting a vehicle ablaze. Eyewitnesses said they saw US invader troops pulling three wounded foreigners from the stricken SUV. The witnesses reportedly could not tell if the casualties were dead or alive.
The Associated Press reported that the convoy was made up of a military Humvee and two sport utility vehicles, the sort used by American “civilians” and Iraqi puppet officials. The SUV was seen still burning later, its hood pockmarked with bullet holes.
According to al-Jazeera TV a US “civilian” vehicle was attacked by the Resistance as it traveled along a highway in the al-‘Adl neighborhood, west of Baghdad. The Resistance fighters were riding in a Korean-made car and attacked the US vehicle, setting it ablaze and destroying it completely. Eyewitnesses heard gunshots and saw US troops pulling three dead or wounded persons from the burning vehicle.
Later in the day the US occupation offered an account of the attack that differed sharply from the earlier reports by Arab and foreign media. According to the US military spokesman, a US occupation convoy was attacked by machinegun fire from another car on a road in al-‘Adl neighborhood at about 9:00am on Sunday. According to the official US account American forces destroyed the car used by the attackers, but suffered no losses or damage to their own vehicles.
Agence France Presse (AFP) reported eyewitnesses as saying that a large number of automatic rifle magazines were scattered around the site of the attack. Iraqi puppet police backed up by US occupation forces concentrated throughout the scene of the attack. An early Associated Press report referred to the burning vehicle as an SUV of the type used by American “civilians” working for the occupation and by Iraqi puppet officials. Witnesses also believed that the vehicle that had caught fire in the attack was of the type used by American “civilians” working for the occupation. This was denied by the US occupation spokesman.
US occupation soldier dies in Baghdad.
On Sunday, the US military occupation claimed that an 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper died when his vehicle overturned near Baghdad a day earlier. The soldier's name was not released.
US admits to one American wounded in Saturday prison camp raid by Iraqi Resistance.
On Sunday Colonel William Darley, a military occupation spokesman, admitted that one US military police officer was among more than 30 people wounded, in the bold Iraqi Resistance raid on Saturday that freed 87 prisoners from an al-Fallujah prison camp.
Medical sources also said that the death toll in the Resistance attack had risen to 27 dead.
Two Iraqis dead after clash between Resistance and occupiers. Accounts of the incident clash.
An explosion went off as a US occupation convoy drove through a western neighborhood of Baghdad at about 8:30am on Sunday. The American Associated Press said that witnesses reported no casualties from the blast.
The witnesses reported, however, that the aggressor soldiers responded to the attack by opening fire in all directions. They struck three cars in the area and killed one Iraqi bystander and wounded six others. One slain Iraqi and six wounded were brought to nearby an-Nur hospital, officials there said.
“I was driving near the US convoy when I heard an explosion. Then the US soldiers randomly opened fire,” said Kazim Salih, a teacher who was wounded in the left hand.
Later, however, the hospital came out with an account that sharply differed from the earlier stories based on eye-witness testimony. The chief doctor in residence at the an-Nur Hospital who asked that his name not be revealed, told the AFP that “unknown persons this morning fired an RPG at an American military patrol in ash-Shu‘lah district but the grenade missed its target and hit a minibus instead, wounding five Iraqis. The five wounded were brought to our hospital but two died from their wounds. One other wounded person had suffered a serious head wound and was transferred to the al-Jumlah neurological hospital. The other two are still receiving treatment at our hospital.”
Iraqi Resistance battles US invaders in al-Qa'im.
Iraqi Resistance fighters in al-Qa'im near the Syrian border carried out a mortar and rocket attack on the US occupation forces' base in the area on Sunday. After the barrage, Resistance fighters clashed directly with the American occupation troops. US troops, backed by tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles, battled the Iraqi Resistance. There were no reports of casualties.
The raid was reported to be in retaliation for a US operation on Sunday in which the invaders blew up and bulldozed three houses of local people. American spokesmen referred to Saturday's destruction as “a US operation against suspected smugglers.” The US occupation forces around al-Qa'im are regularly attacked by the Resistance.
Resistance attacks chauvinist Kurdish collaborator offices.
Iraqi Resistance fighters attacked a Mosul office of the collaborationist Kurdish chauvinist so-called Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Puppet police captain Azhar Kamil Za‘nun said that Resistance fighters “driving a white Opal car fired an RPG at the PUK office in al-Baqir neighborhood east of Mosul. Three of the building's guards were wounded.”
Katyusha attack on so-called “civil defense” forces.
Iraqi Resistance fighers attacked puppet so-called civil defense forces with Katyusha rockets on Sunday in the area of Bayji, west of Kirkuk. A spokesman for the Iraqi puppet police said that the US invaders killed two persons who had been involved in the attack.
Russian intelligence: US losses in Iraq at least two times more than Pentagon claims.
A Russian military expert on Iraq has told an Arab newspaper that Russian Military Intelligence agencies have information confirming that the extent of US losses in Iraq are at least two times higher than the official figures being announced by the Pentagon.
The source, who asked that his name not be used told ar-Ra'y al-‘Amm newspaper: “The Pentagon imposes strict censorship on the hospitals whose management knows the real numbers of military casualties and it prevents any numbers that differ from official statistics from leaking out. They are officially announcing numbers that are less than the real casualty figures as the American presidential election campaign gains momentum.”
The Russian specialist, who is currently preparing an analytical study of military operations in Iraq, indicated that Pentagon strategists have been badly disappointed that their hope of a decline in Resistance attacks after the capture of Saddam Hussein has not been fulfilled.
US aggressors shoot Iraqi children.
The British newspaper the Sunday Times has reported the US occupation forces killed a two-year old Iraqi girl, Dina in front of her 7-year old sister Manal who was also severely injured in the atrocity that took place in al-Fallujah. The staunchly pro-imperialist British newspaper said that such crimes committed by occupation authorities who have to answer to no one for their behavior are inflaming the outrage of Iraqis against the invaders. The Syrian news agency SANA noted that US forces are trying to hide their guilt in this atrocity, despite the evidence of bullet holes in the metal door of the girls' house that were caused by the American gunfire. The British paper quoted the girls' father, Turki ‘Abbas, as wondering what sort of threat his daughters posed to the Americans.
Saudi newspaper report: Bremer needs armed guards to go to bathroom.
The Saudi newspaper ar-Riyad has reported, quoting sources close to US Proconsul in Iraq L. Paul Bremer, that the escalation in Resistance attacks on the US occupation forces and officials have so greatly unnerved Bremer that he only goes to the bathroom if he is accompanied by armed guards. The source quoted by the newspaper said: “four soldiers accompany Bremer when he wants to go to the bathroom 20 meters from his office.”
Bremer also has a fleet of cars from which he chooses a new one every day when he goes out on missions of review and assessment. He changes cars every day, never using the same car for two consecutive days, according to the source.
Bremer has survived four assassination attempts since coming to Iraq.
New reports of atrocities by British aggressors.
The British newspaper The Independent reported on Sunday that British occupation troops had kicked and beaten Iraqi prisoners to force them to memorize the nicknames which their captors wished to give them – names of well-known football players. In one case an Iraqi prisoner died as British troops tried to beat him into remembering the name of a football player.
“They called us by the names of footballers," he said, "and kept telling us to repeat them, so we would remember who we were,” former prisoner Kifah TaHa, a hotel worker, told the British daily. TaHa suffered acute renal failure as a result of the beating and kicking.
One of TaHa's workmates, 26-year-old receptionist Baha' Musa died in custody after seven of the hotel workers were arrested in September 2003 in al-Basrah by the Queen's Lancashire Regiment.
The British Ministry of Defense has dismissed the reports as “speculation” but Adam Price, a member of the British Parliament for Plaid Cymru said that the Ministry of Defense had warned him off visiting Iraq to investigate the reports. “I will be given no protection and my safety cannot be guaranteed,” he said. “The Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, has told me that if I do go I ‘will be killed'. There seems to be a deliberate attempt to prevent the information reaching the public domain - because these are embarrassing headlines.”
Spaniards march by the thousands against US occupation of Iraq.
Tens of thousands of protesters demanding an end to the US occupation of Iraq took to the streets in downtown Madrid and other Spanish cities Sunday, holding banners reading, "We are with the Iraqi people, Invaders, out of Iraq." At Madrid's Plaza Espana square, police said about 10,000 people rallied, while organizers put the number at 100,000. Some young marchers chanted, "Where are the weapons? They are in the US!" and "The Popular Party, a criminal party!" in reference to the party of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, one of President Bush's staunchest allies on Iraq and other issues.
People of all ages, from gray-haired couples to toddlers in strollers, joined the orderly stream of protesters in the streets. Smaller rallies were held in Barcelona and Valencia, where demonstrators added the Palestinian cause to their campaign.
The protests were timed to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the first major international anti-war marches before the conflict started last March. Several large demonstrations were held in Madrid before and during the war, attracting between 750,000 and 2 million people.
Nevertheless, in a demonstration of how undemocratic European liberal regimes can be, Aznar's conservative government ignored the Spanish populations' overwhelming opposition to the US aggression and offered strong support for the US-led invasion. Spain sent 1,300 occupation troops to Iraq to serve the United States.
Protesters on Sunday rejected the chief justification used by Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other aggressors, including Aznar, for going to war: the “threat” posed by Iraqi biological and chemical weapons. No such weapons have been found. "We were right a year ago," said United Left leader Gaspar Llamazares, who urged Aznar to bring home Spanish troops. "There were no weapons, but there are lots of lies." Llamazares said the demonstration would send a strong message to the government ahead of Spain's March 14 general elections.
The Iraq issue is expected to be debated by the top contenders, Popular Party's Mariano Rajoy and Socialist Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Aznar is not running for re-election.
Zapatero recently said in a television interview that if he wins, he will bring home the Spanish troops.
Ba‘th Party official captured.
Iraqi puppet police on Sunday announced the capture of Muhammad Zimam ‘Abd ar-Razzaq as-Sa‘dun, an official in the Arab Ba‘th Socialist Party in the provinces of Ninwa and at-Ta'mim. He was listed as the 41 st most person most wanted by the US aggressors after their invasion of Iraq.
US arrests puppet governor of al-Fallujah after he resigns without permission.
Sources close to the local puppet government in al-Fallujah report that on the night of Saturday-Sunday US occupation troops arrested the city governor Ra‘d Husayn Barishah. According to the source, US invaders first went to the governor's home late on Saturday night. There his family informed them that Barishah was still in his office at the governorate. The US troops then went to his office where Barishah appointed an aide, Darrar al-‘Ulwani, to run things until his return. But the Americans took Barishah to Baghdad and his return was not imminent. The source commented that “still unknown is what the real reasons are for this arrest.”
The arrest came, however, after three days of successive Resistance attacks on US occupation troops in al-Fallujah.
On Monday, Barisha's deputy, ‘Isa al-‘Aday told the press that Barisha had been arrested on Sunday after he resigned from his post as puppet governor. Al-‘Aday said that Barisha had received numerous death threats and after repeated Resistance attacks in the city, resolved to resign. But, al-‘Aday said, Barisha failed to obtain permission from the US authorities before resigning and was therefore arrested.
Sources: al-‘Arab al-Yawm daily newspaper, Amman, Jordan, Monday, 16 February 2004. al-‘Arab al-Yawm daily newspaper, Amman, Jordan, Tuesday, 17 February 2004.
Monday, 16 February 2004.
US dead in Iraqi Resistance bomb attack in Ba‘qubah. Witnesses dispute US body count.
The Iraqi Resistance detonated a roadside bomb in the center of Ba‘qubah, 65km north of Baghdad, killing one US occupation soldier belonging to the so-called Task Force Iron Horse and wounding four others at about 9:40am Monday, the US 4th Infantry Division said. The American invaders arrested two Iraqis, one of whom had a cell phone that the US claims may have been used to detonate the bomb, according to Master Sergeant Robert Cargie, a 4 th Division spokesman in occupied Tikrit.
Local residents, eyewitnesses near the scene of the bomb attack, said that the explosion claimed the lives of four Americans and wounded one other, contrary to the official US account of the incident. Along the same lines, al-Jazeera satellite TV reported another eyewitness as saying that after the attack, US forces hastened to evacuate the dead bodies and did not permit Iraqis to take part in the operation to evacuate the dead and wounded. The witness told al-Jazeera that he saw a number of ambulances taking away the bodies of the dead.
One US soldier killed, one wounded in Baghdad bombing.
The US invaders suffered another fatal bombing in the center of Baghdad about 9:20am, when a hand-made Iraqi Resistance explosive device killed one soldier from the 1st Armored Division and wounded another, the military said. The Americans were in a military patrol consisting of three vehicles when the blast occurred. The 1st Armored is due to leave Iraq in the coming weeks and be replaced by the 1st Cavalry Division.
Resistance bomb Monday evening kills one, wounds another US soldier.
A US occupation soldier from Task Force Olympia was killed and another wounded by an Iraqi Resistance roadside bomb late on Monday night in Tal‘afar, west of Mosul in Ninwa Province in northern Iraq, according to a statement by the US occupation. According to Agence France Presse (AFP) the US military statement said that the incident occurred as their convoy was on a road in northern Iraq. The statement said that after the bomb exploded Iraqi Resistance fighters opened fire on the convoy but the US military claimed the gunfire caused no further casualties.
US statement distorts events, belatedly admits 4 US troops wounded in engagement with Resistance, camouflages US killing of 70-year-old farmer.
On Tuesday, US spokesmen admitted, some 36 hours after the fact, that at least four American occupation soldiers were wounded on Monday in a Resistance battle with US forces in Iraq. In a statement that put a pretty face on a dirty and murderous operation, US sources also claimed to have captured a man they say was a leader of Resistance fighters who had carried out several operations against the invader troops near al-Fallujah. The prettified US statement said that the events occurred in a battle in which one person was killed and the four Americans were wounded.
According to the Agence France Presse (AFP) a statement issued by the US occupation authorities said that a unit of invader troops carried out a pre-dawn operation in ‘Amiriyat al-Fallujah killing one person and capturing nine, including Sa‘dun Mish‘an who, the occupation forces believe, was responsible for some Resistance fighters in the area. The US statement added that another Resistance leader, YaSin Hamdi ‘Asif was able to elude the aggressors.
Correspondents on the ground on Monday, however, had already reported the circumstances of the one death mentioned in the US military report as if it had been in the midst of a pitched battle. The dead man, according to Monday reports from the AFP, was an Iraqi farmer who, according to an eyewitness, refused to surrender when his house was surrounded. The farmer's home is located in ‘Amiriyyat al-Fallujah, south of the city of al-Fallujah where the US aggressors were carrying out their raids.
Isma‘il Khalas, 40, said that a force of about 50 US military vehicles accompanied by four helicopters at dawn on Monday surrounded the home of his cousin Muhammad Suwayd al-‘Isawi, 70, who works as a farmer in ‘Amiriyat al-Fallujah and demanded that he come out.
AFP quoted Khalas as saying “but he refused to come out and opened fire on them instead, so the American forces responded by having the helicopters shell his house, killing him and wounding his wife, Khawlat Salih, 50, who was taken to al-Fallujah hospital.” Khalas said that the farmer's house, which now has no one in it, “has totally burned down.”
Another local farmer and witness Sa‘dun Khudayr Jasim, 50, said that a similar military force headed to another farm located 3km away belonging to Mish‘an ‘Abd. From his home they took 25 million Iraqi dinars (about US$18,700) in addition to arresting Mish‘an's four children.
Iraqi Resistance barrage on US base in al-Habbaniyah.
On Monday evening Iraqi Resistance forces used heavy weapons in an attack on an American military base in the city of al-Habbaniyah west of Baghdad. Eyewitnesses told the German Press Agency WAS that the attackers used rockets and mortars in their assault on the base. US occupation helicopter gunships circled the skies overhead.
The extent of any damage or casualties has not been reported, nor was there initially any statement from the American occupation forces.
One dead, three US crusader missionaries wounded.
The US occupation command said on Monday that Iraqi Resistance fighters in a white sedan opened fire Saturday on a taxi that was taking American members of a Christian religious missionary group from the site of the ancient city of Babylon back to Baghdad, killing one of the Americans and wounding three others.
The three wounded were taken to a hospital in al-Mahmudiyah, about 15 miles south of Baghdad, the US military occupation said. US paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division learned of the attack while patrolling in al-Mahmudiyah.
The statement did not identify the religious group with which the Americans were affiliated, but a number of Christian missionary gangs are working in Iraq carrying out doubtful activities on the pretext of being involved in “humanitarian aid.”
Shooting in Kirkuk.
In Kirkuk, armed men reportedly opened fire at passers-by in a mainly Kurdish neighborhood Sunday night, killing one Kurdish man and wounding two other people, police said. The attackers escaped, puppet police Colonel Sarhat Qadir said.
Giant US truck slices Iraqi civilian car in half, killing two.
A five-tonne US military truck called Cowboy Up crushed a civilian car on a crowded highway and killed two passengers on Monday. “Those Americans meant to kill those poor people. They do these kinds of things,” said engineer Ahmed Hussein, standing in a large crowd of Iraqis. The commanding US officer on the scene, who asked not to be identified, said the mangled white car that was sliced in half swerved into the truck's lane as a convoy passed. Iraqi witnesses who were driving on the other side of the highway said the American vehicle crashed into the car at high speed and made no attempt to stop or slow down. Reuters reported that fury against the American invaders was palpable in the eyes of Iraqis who moved closer to the car only stopping when an American aggressor soldier clutching his automatic weapon told them to "get the f*** back".
“Iraqi life is cheap to the Americans in this occupation. Why didn't they try to stop? They kill Iraqis and then when people shoot at them they are branded terrorists,” said Jalal Shafi‘, an engineer. He paused between sentences as an American soldier holding a pistol who called the crowd "stupid" threatened to arrest people who stepped off a sidewalk to get closer to the scene.
"I stand here looking at the corpses of fellow Iraqis and Muslims and I wonder why these occupiers could not just let the car pass? Why? They are the occupiers so why should we stop for US convoys," said Jalal Shafi‘.
“We told the Americans they were still alive right after the accident. But they didn't call for an ambulance,” said Thamir, a teenager. The Americans say the victims were already dead when they were pulled out of the wreckage.
Iraqi schoolgirl killed by stray grenade.
An Iraqi schoolgirl, Wafa' Khalid, was killed and two of her classmates injured when an explosion occurred near a primary school in al-Jawadin neighborhood of al-Kazimiyah district of Baghdad. Eye witnesses reported that the incident occurred when the children set fire to an apparently empty parcel in which was a hand grenade. The grenade exploded, killing one girl and wounding her friends.
US invaders release 74-year-old Speaker of Iraqi Parliament.
In what is reportedly only the start of releases of various officials of the pre-invasion Iraqi government, on Monday US occupation forces set free the Speaker of the Iraqi National Assembly Sa‘dun Hammadi after nine months imprisonment. Hammadi, 74, reportedly returned to his home apparently healthy. According to a report in the 17 February edition of the Jordanian paper al-‘Arab al-Yawm, other leaders of the Iraqi state are reported to have been released or are likely to be released soon, most of them having occupied ministries with little connection to defense and security such as health, propaganda, and oil production.
Sources: al-‘Arab al-Yawm daily newspaper, Amman, Jordan, Tuesday, 17 February 2004.
Tuesday, 17 February 2004.
2 Americans wounded as Iraqi Resistance attacks US patrol in ar-Ramadi.
Two American soldiers were wounded when a US occupation patrol was attacked by rocket-propelled grenades near the General Hospital in ar-Ramadi on Tuesday, al-Jazeera satellite TV reported. One Iraqi, said to be a civilian, was also injured in the engagement.
US-puppet police joint patrol attacked in Baghdad.
Iraqi Resistance forces attacked a joint US army-Iraqi puppet police patrol in al-Jihad neighborhood of Baghdad on Tuesday. There were no immediate reports regarding casualties or damage. The patrol rushed to seal off the area and begin an investigation into the attack, al-Jazeera TV reported.
Iraqi Resistance attacks puppet police patrol in Kirkuk.
Iraqi Resistance fighters attacked a puppet police patrol in the city of Kirkuk on Monday-Tuesday night. The local commander of puppet police declared that his forces killed one armed man and wounded another after the Resistance assault.
Puppet police Colonel Khattab ‘Abdallah ‘Arif indicated that Yusuf Muhammad Amin, 32, was martyred and his brother wounded in the firefight that lasted about 20 minutes in a neighborhood of northern Kirkuk. ‘Arif said that Amin and his brother “took part in numerous attacks on the police and we have been looking for them for a long time.”
Puppet trade official assassinated.
‘Ali ‘Alawi, the puppet so-called minister of commerce in the American appointed government of occupied Iraq reported in Baghdad on Tuesday that the Assistant General Director of management affairs of the so-called trade ministry Husayn ‘Abd al-Fattah, was assassinated by the Iraqi Resistance in front of his house on 11 February. “His two killers opened fire on his car as he left his house. Probably it was two killers who opened fire in front of and behind his car.” ‘Alawi emphasized that the reason for the killing of the trade official was political. “They were not looking to rob. They had political aims instead,” he said.
Puppet interior ministry demands resignation of al-Fallujah police chief after successful Resistance operations in the city.
The deputy in charge of the puppet so-called Iraqi ministry of the interior under US control, Lieutenant General Ahmad Kazim Ibrahim demanded the resignation of the chief of police of al-Fallujah, holding him responsible for the heavy losses that the puppet forces sustained in the series of Resistance attacks, in particular the attack last Saturday. “The responsibility rests entirely upon the police chiefBrigadier General ‘Abbud al-‘Isawi,” Kazim said.
Ethnic cleansing drives Arabs out of northern Iraq.
The US Associated Press reported Tuesday that a quiet mass eviction of Arabs is under way in northern Iraq where Kurds are taking over villages where Arabs formerly lived. The move is part of an attempt to expand the Kurdish geographical zone that Kurdish chauvinist leaders are intent upon annexing to their state under a so-called “federated Iraq” arrangement now on the US occupation's agenda.
The AP quoted Arabs who had been expelled as saying that Kurds have occupied their homes in the villages adjacent to the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, which chauvinist Kurdish leaders collaborating with the occupation claim is a majority Kurdish city which Saddam Hussein's government simply “Arabized.”
Muhammed Abu Khumra, an Arab, fled his home in the village of Daquq fearing Kurdish violence after the US invasion. “Federalism amounts to ethnic cleansing,” said Abu Khumra, 29, who now lives in Tuz Khurmatu, 20 miles south of Daquq. “Kurds are now staying in our house and say they will not leave.”
Like Abu Khumra, thousands of Arabs are moving out of villages in areas Kurdish groups are seeking to dominate.
Although the talk is currently of one federated Iraqi state, some Kurds see this as merely a transitional arrangement and do not hide their intention to split up Iraq and set up a separate state for themsleves. The AP quoted Ferhad Pirbal, a Kurdish writer and professor of political science in Irbil University as saying, “Now is not the right time to call for independence, but federalism is the means to reaching that goal.”
25 American soldiers injured in reported bus accident in Kuwait.
A spokesman for the US military said on Tuesday that 25 American soldiers were wounded two of them critically, when a bus in which they were riding flipped over on a road in Kuwait. The bus was traveling on a highway near the ‘Ali Salim Airbase, 60km north west of the Kuwaiti capital at the time of the reported accident.
Three Iraqi civilians killed by US mortar fire.
Three Iraqi civilians including a 10-year-old girl on Tuesday when a US mortar shell crashed into the courtyard of a house near the US military base in Tikrit. The Agence France Presse (AFP) said that a US military spokesman said that the Americans “don't have the details about what caused the mortar shell to change course.”
The US invaders who have taken over Saddam Hussein's Presidential Palace in the city, fire mortar rounds several times every day over the Tigris River. The reason that the US gives for the shelling is that it is intended to harass the Resistance and prevent them from targeting the US occupation forces from the marshes along the bank of the river.
On Wednesday, US occupation army investigators in Tikrit said they will examine why the mortar round from their base smashed into a neighborhood home, killing the three Iraqis, including the 10-year-old child. Lieutenant Colonel Steven Russell said it was possible that the mortar crew was given the wrong coordinates when it fired the 120mm round Tuesday from the base that sits on the banks of the River Tigris. "There is no wrongdoing at all suspected on the part of the firing crew," he said late Tuesday.
Video store bombed in as-Samawah.
In Samawah, 230 miles south of the capital, Iraqi puppet police said an explosion Tuesday damaged a small video store that purportedly sold pornographic movies. The pre-dawn explosion caused minor damage and no one was injured, Iraqi puppet police Sergeant Hasan Tuhayr said. The owner, 17-year-old Mustafa Halim, said he only sold religious compact discs, adding "I have no enemies." Puppet police said it was the second such blast against a video store in the town. On Jan. 22 another video store was targeted by bombers because it allegedly sold pornography, Tuhayr said.
Special Report: Persian is displacing Arabic as 2 million Iranians jam southern Iraq under cover of religious activity.
The Baghdad correspondent for the Jordanian daily al-‘Arab al-Yawm , Ahmad Sabri, reports that Arab public opinion is following with great concern the rapidly growing Iranian presence in Iraq. Iranians are present in Iraq on the grounds that they are making pilgrimage to Shi‘i holy sites such as an-Najaf and Karbala' but religion is frequently a pretext for the smuggling of drugs into Iraqi territory and the smuggling of Iraqi resources, antiquities, manuscripts, and even foodstuffs into Iran.
Sabri writes that observers of the situation in Karbala', an-Najaf, al-Kazimiyah, and Samarra', as well as Iraqi cities near the Iranian frontier are reporting that Iranian government agencies are working systematically and now have a widely established presence in the centers of these cities where they exploit the absence of local security and order.
According to Iraqi newspaper reports, tens of thousands of Iranians cross the border into Iraq every day, ostensibly to visit Shi‘i holy sites. But those who closely follow this development regard this highly significant scale of Iranian influx – said to total 2 million Iranians in all – as being of potentially serious danger to the security and welfare of Iraq as a result of the chaotic and unsupervised situation that prevails at the border crossings between the two countries.
The Shi‘i holy cities of Karbala', an-Najaf, and al-Kazimiyah have taken on the appearance of Iranian cities, Sabri writes, making it difficult even to find Arabic speakers there. The Iraqi press published a feature story on the Iranian presence in Iraq that reported that the Iranian flag now flies in the courtyard that lies between the tomb of the Shi‘i Imam al-Husayn and that of his brother al-‘Abbas in Karbala'. Nor is the matter limited to such symbolic manifestations. The Iranian secret police have become highly active in Iraqi cities, recruiting Iraqis by enticement or threat, and distributing pamphlets and books that promote Iran's political experience, according to the police chief in al-Basrah, who reported that his policemen had monitored this Iranian activity and arrested a number of agents.
Eye witnesses from Karbala' and an-Najaf report that the cities are being swept by a wave of unprecedented inflation in the price of land and rental rates for apartments and shops. Prices for food are also on the rise because of the huge influx of Iranians into the two cities where they buy and smuggle locally available goods.
The Iraqi press reports that the Iranian secret services are pouring millions of dollars into Iraq and stockpiling large quantities of weapons in specifically designated secret locations in the southern part of the country. The Baghdad papers warn of the danger that hundreds of explosive devices can be imported long-distance from Iran and that they are in fact already in the possession of arms merchants, criminal gangs, and thieves.
Sources: al-‘Arab al-Yawm daily newspaper, Amman, Jordan, Wednesday, 18 February 2004.
Wednesday, 18 February 2004.
Martyrdom attackers target occupation base in al-Hilla. 58 occupation soldiers killed or wounded. Seven Iraqis die, as invaders shoot and detonate the bomb cars outside the base.
At least 58 occupation troops of various nationalities were killed or wounded in a double martyrdom operation carried out by two Iraqi Resistance fighters Wednesday morning in front of the Polish occupation forces' base in the southern Iraqi city of al-Hillah.
Two trucks packed with explosives blew up Wednesday after occupation forces opened fire on the martyrdom bombers racing toward them. At least 58 invader soldiers were killed or wounded. The troops came from US satellite countries: Poland, the Philippines, and Hungary, as well as one American soldier. Seven Iraqis were killed and al-Jazeera reported that more than 100 Iraqis were injured in the blast and it was not clear how many of those were workers at the base and how many happened to be in the area when the blast occurred. Other sources quoted the figure of 86 injured including 58 occupation troops, most of whose wounds were described as light.
The Polish aggressor commander of the region, General Mieczyslaw Bieniek, called the bombings near the base in al-Hillah, 110km south of Baghdad, a "well-coordinated attack." They came a week after two martyrdom car bombings killed more than 100 people.
The bombing happened after 7:15am when two trucks loaded with explosives approached the front of the occupation forces base known as Camp Charlie. Guards fired at the vehicles, causing one to explode, said Lieutenant Colonel Robert Strzelecki. The other struck a concrete barrier and exploded. Four homes near the base collapsed in the blast, and dozens of the small white houses to the left of the camp's front gate, which belong to officers in the puppet police force in the Babil neighborhood, were heavily damaged. Damage to the base itself was described as light. In Warsaw, military spokesman Colonel Zdzislaw Gnatowski said Mongolian soldiers opened fire on the trucks as they hurtled toward the base.
Al-Jazeera reported that the Polish invader forces sealed off all approaches to the area of the stricken camp, preventing anyone from approaching. The station reported however that the area of devastation was large and that the two martyrdom cars were blown up 200 meters from the camp in an area where there were civilian residences.
Muhyi Mukhif, a 50-year-old café owner, who lives near the camp, said he was having breakfast with his family when he heard a faint first explosion and a second, louder one that shattered the windows in his home. "I went out and walked toward the base, and I saw about eight damaged houses," he told The Associated Press. "I saw dead and injured Iraqis lying on the ground."
Men, women and children were among the dead. The wounded included invader troops from the Philippines, Poland, and Hungary. One American soldier was reportedly hurt. The US military indicated that the two drivers were martyred, but no information about their identities was available.
Rasul ‘Ali, busy putting broken plates and window glass in a white bag said, “nothing breakable survived in this little house. Everything was destroyed: the window glass, the car, the televison, plates, jars. All we have left is the furniture and the bed.”
Nearby another family was renting a small truck to haul away what remained of their furniture. Their faces showed fear and confusion.
‘Abbas Khudayr said, “It's time we moved away from here. This isn't a safe place after today. I always told my family that we need to leave this house because it's close to the gate of the Polish detachment, but they would tell me, ‘It's Polish, not American, so why worry?' And now this is the result. Thank God we were saved. God knows what will happen next time if we don't get out of here as fast as possible.”
Qasim ‘Ali, a local resident, said, “It was wrong of them to put these military units in the middle of cities among the people. Why don't they put them on the outskirts of cities in areas far from where people live, the way the Japanese did? They put their forces outside the city in the desert, far away from all the people.”
Muhammad at-Ta'i, director of the Teaching Hospital in al-Hillah, told Agence France Presse (AFP) “we received seven Iraqi bodies, including two women and a girl aged 12. One of the bodies was actually body parts: a pelvis and two legs.” He said, “among the injured there are three children who lost their families: Razzaq Muhammad, 6 and his brother ‘Umar, 2, both of whom have head wounds; and there's Sayf Salih a bullet penetrated his skull.”
A spokesman for the occupation forces said “58 members of the coalition forces were treated for wounds and some were able to leave the hospital. Six of them are still receiving treatment.”
Poland is in command of a so-called multinational force of about 9,500 soldiers in south-central Iraq, and Polish troops also served Washington by fighting in the US invasion of Iraq in the spring of 2003.
Iraqi Resistance bomb strikes US convoy, wounding 1 US occupation soldier.
Iraqi Resistance forces attacked a US convoy near the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq on Wednesday, leaving one American occupation soldier wounded. ‘Ata Allah ‘Abdallah al-Jabburi, an officer in the puppet police forces told Agence France Presse (AFP) “one American was wounded in an attack on a convoy south of Kirkuk, 255km north of Baghdad.” US Lieutenant Colonel William Shaffer confirmed that one of his soldiers had been wounded in an explosion but refused to give any further details.
Mass raids and arrests in northern Iraq.
In recent days northern Iraq has been the scene of a wave of US house raids and searches. Witnesses have reported from Kirkuk that in the last few days dozens of Iraqis have been taken prisoner in the city by the US occupation forces on charges of carrying out armed Resistance operations against the US aggressors. The Iraqis were reportedly arrested in the areas of Faradat and ar-Riyad.
Mass grave of Americans reported found.
Iraqi citizens have reported that they have discovered a mass grave containing the bodies and remains of American soldiers killed at the hands of the Resistance in armed operations that took place after the occupation of Baghdad in April 2003.
Eye witnesses in the city of al-Hadithah, west of Baghdad, told a correspondent of Quds Press that they have found a grave containing the bodies and remains of at least 30 American soldiers thrown in a valley in the environs of the city. The bodies were wrapped in plastic bags and were not buried in the normal way.
The witnesses said that the mass grave was discovered by heardsmen in the area who were alerted by the movement of US helicopters at night time hovering over the area and dumping bags with unknown contents in the bottom of the ravine. This provoked them to go to the place and check it out and there they found the bodies belonging to the American soldiers.
The people of the area say that the occupation forces regularly come to dump a number of bodies of their dead in the area of the al-Hadithah dam. Similar stories were related by Iraqi citizens living in the area of ar-Ramadi.
Communiqué of “Liberation Front – Provisional General Command” circulates in al-Fallujah.
A communiqué circulated on Wednesday in the city of al-Fallujah bearing the signature of the Liberation Front – Provisional General Command which announced the formation of this front in order to “manage the affairs of the Iraqi state.”
Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that the leaflet said “the fighting, political, and cultural detachments have agreed to form a provisional general command to manage the affairs of the Iraqi state.”
The leaflet said that the Liberation Front is the “legitimate representative of the Iraqi people in all their political, religious, and ethnic groups.” It said that the Front is composed of a supreme consultative body made up of 25 commanders and a president of the Iraqi state who is the president of the supreme consultative body and general commander of the mujahid detachments, aided by the commanders of the fighting organizations.”
The document said that there are officials with the rank of minister for foreign affairs, minister of the interior, of oil, of finance, education, culture, information, Islamic pious endowments (awqaf), and municipalities.
The communiqué addressed the United Nations, presidents of states, and the League of Arab States, saying that the document would reach them by way of “special representatives for this purpose.” It added, “We categorically reject the so-called Interim Governing Council,” which it described as “the worst example of open and concealed lackeyism in this already bad period in the life of the Arabs and Muslims.”
The statement rejected unreservedly the subject of elections and promised the Iraqi people that they would “attain all their hopes.”
US Marine Corps to take over suppression of al-Fallujah from 82 nd Airborne.
In the wake of stunning Resistance attacks in al-Fallujah, one of which sent the US commander of forces for the Arabian Gulf region fleeing from the country, the other liberating 87 prisoners from a local prison camp, the US has decided to change the military unit occupying the area. The 82 nd Airborne Division of the US army is to be replaced by a detachment of 25,000 from the US Marine Corps.
Assassination of Ba‘th Party member.
Al-Jazeera TV reported that in the southwestern Iraqi city of Karbala', Captain Salim Jiyyar, puppet police chief for al-‘Amil neighborhood, said that unidentified persons shot and killed a member of a detachment in the Arab Ba‘th Socialist Party. He said that the attackers prepared an ambush on Tuesday night for Hashim Rajih ‘Akkaw and then “fired shots at him, killing him instantly.” Captain Jiyyar gave no further details about the attack except to say that he doubted that it was a matter of personal grudges.
Iraqi atom scientist assassinated in Baghdad.
Dr. Majid Husayn ‘Ali a professor at Baghdad University and a reputed Iraqi nuclear expert has been found murdered in Baghdad.
A spokesman for the puppet so-called Iraqi interior ministry announced that the body of the deceased was found in the Raghibah Khatun District in central Baghdad. He said that an autopsy had revealed that Dr. ‘Ali was shot and killed by one bullet in the back, aimed at his heart. According to al-Bayan newspaper the interior ministry source said, “at the time of the investigation the family of the Iraqi atomic scientist said that he had not returned home for a week. They confirmed that he had no personal enemies.”
The Iraqi Resistance Report for 11 February 2004 published the story “Zionist Mossad said assassinating Iraqi intellectuals,” in which the General Secretary of the National League of Academics and Intellectuals of Iraq, Hani Ilyas said that the Zionist Mossad is behind the assassinations of Iraqi religious leaders and intellectuals.
Ilyas said that most of the religious leaders, intellectuals, and university professors who have been assassinated in Iraq were not killed in connection with any “settling of scores” or revenge.
The occupation authorities have calculated that the number of people assassinated in Iraq since the US aggressors occupied the country is about 1,000 persons, most of them members of the intellectual elite.
US commander in Iraq: Occupation will last years; puppet forces will remain tightly under tactical US control for “at least one year.”
The US commander in Iraq, in an interview published on Wednesday, said he sees American troops staying for years, and continuing to take part in “maintaining order” in occupied Baghdad for at least the coming 12 months.
“I would say we're talking about years, not months,” Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez told Spanish newspaper El Pais when asked how long the US army would remain in Iraq.
As has been reported, US occupation troops are moving to the outskirts of occupied Baghdad to avoid the relentless attacks of the Resistance and push the Iraqi puppet police and soldiers into their eventual role as the capital's US-installed “guardians.” In answer to a question about that redeployment, Sanchez said that tactical control of the puppet forces “remained firmly in the coalition's hands.” This “this (arrangement) will stay in place for at least the next year,” he said.
“The only thing that is changing is that we are giving Iraqi police officers and Civil Defense Corps soldiers a little bit more responsibility and they are starting to operate more freely,” he was quoted as saying. “But (the Iraqi forces) continue to operate under the tactical control of the coalition forces. It's not a case of us leaving town and leaving them on their own.”
Turkoman sources: Zionists claiming land for settlement in north Iraq.
According to a report in ash-Sharq newspaper carried by Islammemo.cc, Turkoman sources in northern Iraq report that in accordance with the US-Zionist goal of subjugating the Arab Region to their control, there is a plan to settle thousands of Jewish families in northern Iraq. The Turkoman sources report that “Israel” has imposed its presence in the area by taking control of a 200-square-kilometer piece of territory that begins at the Syrian-Iraqi border and extends to the east as far as the border of Iran, passing through Tal‘afar and Mosul.
The sources add that the aim of the land purchases is to settle more than 150,000 Jews in the area that coincides with the borders of the “Kurdish state” desired by Kurdish chauvinist parties.
The Turkoman sources speculated that the Zionist plan was a part of a broader effort to create a zone of armed strife that would embroil and exhaust the various ethnic and religious groups in Iraq.
An alternative or additional explanation of the Zionist land acquisitions in northern Iraq might be related to a report published on 24 October 2003 that said that the Turkish government in Ankara, sensitive about the situation in northern Iraq, had protested to the Zionist regime in occupied Palestine over alleged purchases by Zionist interests of oil fields from Kurds in northern Iraq. At the time the Turkish Foreign Ministry was reported to have summoned the “Israeli” ambassador to Ankara, Pini Avivi, to convey its concern over the matter and to call on “Israel” to bring such purchases to an end.
Sources: al-‘Arab al-Yawm daily newspaper, Amman, Jordan, Thursday, 19 February 2004.