Sunday, July 23, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR SUNDAY, JULY 23, 2006 An Iraqi woman and a boy walk past the wreckage of a car in Baghdad's poor neighborhood of Sadr City. Bombers have struck a bloody blow against Iraq's fledgling hopes for peace, killing at least 64 people just one day after the government launched national reconciliation talks.(AFP/Wissam Al-Okaili) Army medic killed by roadside bomb Saturday in Baghdad is identified as Adam Fargo, 22, of Ruckersville, VA. Cpl. Matthew P. Wallace, 22, of Lexington Park, Md., died on July 21, in Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Bradley Fighting Vehicle during combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq, on July 16. Wallace was assigned to the Army's 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. U.S. soldier killed by small arms fire in Baghdad Saturday night. I believe this came too late for yesterday's post. Car bomb at Jameelah market in Sadr City kills 34, wounds 73, according to Iraqi Army statement."In Sadr City, dazed and angry people milled about the car bombing site, many of them still reeling from the effects of an early morning raid against what the U.S. military described as "death squad" members. "We could not sleep because of the raid, and today we woke up with the explosion of the car bomb," one man told Associated Press Television without giving his name. "How long is it going to be like this?" Police searched through the wreckage of the car bomb for more victims and warned bystanders to leave or they would be arrested. An elderly man, his clothes soaked in blood, wept as he called out the name of a missing relative." Remote-controlled bomb near Kirkuk courthouse kills 15, wounds 60. This Washington Post story also gives the toll in the Baghdad bombing as 48 dead. Two Iraqi soldiers killed by roadside bomb in Mosul. Second bomb two hours later kills 8 near municipal building in Sadr City. AP also reports that "before dawn Sunday, Iraqi troops and U.S. advisers raided Sadr City and the mostly Shiite district of Shula, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. The sounds of explosions and bursts of automatic fire echoed through the heart of the capital. Two hostages were freed in the Sadr City operation. Two people were arrested in Shula, officials said." Five civilians killed in separate attacks in Baquobah. AFP also reports:
  • In Moqtadiya, four Shiites who were kidnapped on Saturday were found murdered, according to the interior minister.
  • Gives death toll in Kirkuk bombing as 22.
  • US security contractors buzzed the area in helicopters shortly after the Sadr City blast, but there were no reports of casualties among coalition forces. I'm noting this item because it's news to me that mercenaries are using helicopters. -- C
Iraqi and U.S. forces arrested 150 suspects during a 10-day raid and search operation in the towns of Riyadh, Hawija and Rashad, southwest of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Sunday. They seized 350 weapons of varying kinds. For what it's worth, Mujahedeen claims Iranian-sponsored attack on water pipelines to Ashraf City. This is the armed Iranian opposition organization which is still being harbored in Iraq. The allegation that the Iranian regime is behind such an attack is dubious, to say the least, but the sabotage may well have occurred -- C. Other News of the Day Human Rights Watch reports that abuse of prisoners in Iraq continued long after Abu Ghraib revelations. Much of report focuses on Camp Nama at Baghdad airport. The actions were fully authorized and formally documented. Excerpt:
By DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 34 minutes ago NEW YORK - The group Human Rights Watch said in a report released Sunday that U.S. military commanders encouraged abusive interrogations of detainees in Iraq, even after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal called attention to the issue in 2004. Between 2003 and 2005, prisoners were routinely physically mistreated, deprived of sleep and exposed to extreme temperatures as part of the interrogation process, the report said. "Soldiers were told that the Geneva Conventions did not apply, and that interrogators could use abusive techniques to get detainees to talk," wrote John Sifton, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch. The organization said it based its conclusion on interviews with military personnel and sworn statements in declassified documents. A Pentagon spokesman, Cmdr. Greg Hicks, said he wasn't aware of the report, but noted the military is reviewing its procedures regarding detainees following a Supreme Court ruling that the Geneva Conventions should apply in the conflict with al-Qaida. The Bush administration had previously held that certain enemies, including terrorists, were illegal combatants and not protected by those rules. The conventions prohibit "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment."
Read in Full Maliki departs for Washington, plans to demand that U.S. press Israel for a cease-fire in Lebanon. Context and analysis from Alastair MacDonald for Reuters:
BAGHDAD, July 23 (Reuters) - With concern on the Middle East focused on Lebanon, this week's visit to Washington by Iraq's prime minister may offer U.S. policymakers a timely reminder of how deeply troubled their project in Iraq has become. Nuri al-Maliki said he will also demand President George W. Bush press Israel to cease fire against Hizbollah, the premier's fellow Shi'ite Islamists in Lebanon, highlighting, too, how closely the region's problems are interwoven. "We are all part of this region and the deterioration may affect us," Maliki said on Saturday after denouncing Israeli action in Lebanon as "dangerous". Maliki begins his first trip outside the Middle East since forming his unity government two months ago by visiting Prime Minister Tony Blair in London on Monday before meeting Bush at the White House on Tuesday and addressing Congress on Wednesday. Maliki, who calls his outline national reconciliation plan a "last chance" for peace, says he will discuss better security for Baghdad, where a car bomb killed 36 more people on Sunday. U.S. commanders say more American and Iraqi troops may be deployed in the capital, where a month-long clampdown has so far had little effect on communal bloodshed, despite their killing last month of al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. There was little sign of reconciliation at a first meeting on Saturday to flesh out Maliki's plan. Many Sunnis stayed away. Facing elections in November that will determine control of Congress, the Bush administration will be keen to present Maliki's visit as a mark of progress in Iraq. U.S. officials are already characterising his sharp criticism of Israel and anger over crimes by U.S. troops in Iraq as signs of a healthy democracy. But with 100 people killed daily, by U.N. estimates, senior Iraqis warn the U.S. plan to replace Saddam Hussein's Sunni dictatorship with a multi-confessional, multi-ethnic democracy is all but dead and the oil-rich state heading for a break-up.
Read in Full Saddam is hospitalized due to hunger strike. Prosecutor says he is being fed by tube, doesn't specifically say that this is involuntary, but that appears to be the implication. U.S. military clears specialist Nathan Lynn of charges in shooting of an unarmed Iraqi civilian in Ramadi. Concludes he "had reason to believe" the man was carrying a gun. U.S. has set up network of combat outposts and security bases in Ramadi. Borzou Daragahi of the LA Times tells the story of the Jihad massacre. Excerpt:
July 23, 2006 BAGHDAD — The uniformed gunmen knocked politely on Hamid Shammari's door. They took away his 20-year-old son, promising to let him go the next day. He hasn't been seen or heard from since that dreadful Sunday that changed the Jihad neighborhood of western Baghdad, and perhaps the rest of Iraq. For several hours on the morning of July 9, Jihad became a place of unspeakable brutality, not so much for the wanton bloodshed that has become a daily part of Iraqi life, but for the systematic nature of the killings. At least 36 and possibly as many as 55 Sunni Arab men were executed in what appears to have been a revenge operation condoned or even overseen by law enforcement officials. The shooting began early, in ferocious barrages that shook the neighborhood. Shiite youths acting in apparent collaboration with police officials cordoned off the area with barbed wire. Gunmen stood guard at checkpoints and prevented many from leaving. And later, men in police uniforms went door-to-door holding lists of names. Witnesses say the Jihad massacre, which many Iraqis consider a disquieting watershed in the country's descent into an undeclared civil war between Shiite and Sunni Muslim factions, was carried out with clocklike precision as residents cowered in their homes making panicked cellphone calls to U.S. security forces, the Iraqi equivalent of 911 and, in one case, a commander in a Shiite militia.
Read in Full News from the Levant Thanks, as usual, to Whisker. Items without hotlinks are from same source as previous. --C #1: Early Sunday, Israel hit inside Sidon for the first time in its campaign, destroying a religious complex linked to Hezbollah and wounding four people. #2: Large explosions shook Beirut as Israeli warplanes again pounded guerrilla targets in the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital. #3: After sunrise, Israeli bombs hit a textile factory in the border town of al-Manara, killing one person and injuring two, mayor Ali Rahal told The Associated Press. The death brought the civilian toll in Lebanon to 373. #4: Warplanes and helicopters Sunday bombed Nabi Sheet, in the hills near Baalbek, wounding at least five people, witnesses said. In Baalbek, strikes leveled an agricultural compound belonging to Hezbollah. Raids also targeted a factory producing prefab houses near the main highway that links Beirut to the Syrian capital of Damascus, witnesses said. #5: Rockets fired by Hezbollah guerrillas have pounded the northern Israeli city of Haifa, killing at least two people. #6: A police spokesman says 13 rockets fell in the Haifa area, with most landing in open areas. Rockets also pounded other communities throughout the region. Rockets fired by Hezbollah guerrillas have pounded the northern Israeli city of Haifa, killing at least two people. #7: On Saturday, soldiers moved across the border into southern Lebanon and pushed into Maroun al-Ras. Armoured vehicles continued to travel in and out of the village. #8: The military also confirmed Hezbollah attacked the Nurit army base near the Israeli town of Avivim near the Lebanese border, wounding one soldier. #9: Israeli warplanes Sunday hit a minibus carrying Lebanese fleeing border villages, killing three and wounding 13, Lebanese security forces said. #10: Israel renewed bombardments on south Lebanon on Sunday and a Lebanese woman photographer was killed in the Israeli air raid, local media reported. Layal Nagib, a 23-year-old freelance, was killed near a village east of the southern Lebanese port city of Tyre when an Israeli missile struck next to a taxi, said the reports. #12: In addition, at least five Lebanese civilians were killed and about 80 others wounded in Israeli air raids on south Lebanon on Sunday. Tyre bore the brunt of the strikes. Quote of the Day When it comes to the immediate, and the short term, security and liberty can appear to conflict. Indeed government justify their actions by claiming a trade-off exists - it's a callous attempt to scare a population into granting powers that ultimately undermine liberty and security. To think that the Iraq war has made Britain safer is absolute nonsense. Anthony J. Evans


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