DAILY WAR NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, February 21, 2007
Photo: Iraqi boy wounded by a US cluster bomb. From "Pictures of Destruction and Civilian Victims of the Anglo-American Aggression in Iraq
" at Robert Fisk's site.
A U-S Black Hawk helicopter has made a "hard landing" in Iraq
but everyone on board is O-K. A military spokesman says an investigation is under way into the reason for the landing north of Baghdad. Major General William Caldwell says the airmen on board the Black Hawk were picked up by another helicopter.
> The initial reports confirmed that a U.S. Black-Hawk helicopter with nine personnel onboard made a forced landing in northern Baghdad.
> Iraqi police captain Mahmoud al-Mashhadani said he saw some type of projectile hitting the helicopter before it came down in a rural area known as the Line, 30 kilometres north of Baghdad. "I saw a ball of fire hitting the aircraft and smoke coming out of the helicopter as it came down," Mashhadani told Reuters.
> (update) A U.S. helicopter that crashed Wednesday north of Baghdad was shot down, the military said after initially stating that the chopper made a "hard landing." All aboard were safely evacuated by a second helicopter, said military spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver.
"I can confirm that initial reports indicate that it was brought down by small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades," Garver said, adding that the site had been secured.
The statement from Garver came hours after chief military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell told reporters that the Black Hawk had made a "hard landing."
CNN first reported that the helicopter was shot down.
Bring 'em on
: On Feb. 20, an MND-B unit was conducting a clearing operation in order to search a residential area and reduce the levels of violence in a northern urban district of the Iraqi capital when they received small arms fire, killing one Soldier. (CENTCOM)
Bring 'em on
: A Marine assigned to Multi-National Force-West was killed Feb. 20 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province. (CENTCOM)
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
Three Iraqis were killed and 11 others wounded in a car bomb blast near a gas station
in south-western Baghdad.
One police officer was killed and three others wounded
when an explosive device targeting a patrol in Karada district detonated, an Iraqi police source said. No further details were immediately available.
A native of northeast Iowa was in critical condition Tuesday after being injured in Iraq
, where he works as a private security guard, officials said. David Hackley, a West Union native and an employee of DynCorp International, was injured last Thursday night in a mortar attack while working security at the Baghdad Hotel, said Gregory Lagana, DynCorp's spokesman. Glen Joyce of Roodepoort, South Africa, another DynCorp security guard, died in the explosion, and three Iraqis were injured, Lagana said.
The Iraqi army killed three insurgents and arrested 28 during the last 24 hours
in different parts of Baghdad, the Defence Ministry said.
Mortars wounded four children in Adil district in western Baghdad.
Mortar bombs killed three people and wounded 10 in Bayaa district
in southwest Baghdad.
A car bomb went off near a U.S. patrol
on an intersection in Baghdad's western neighborhood of Amriyah, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. "Apparently the attack caused casualties among the U.S. soldiers, but we don't know exactly how many of them were killed or wounded as the U.S. troops immediately cordoned off the scene," the source said. The U.S. military did not confirm the incident.
A mortar round landed on the entrance of the large parking lot
of Alawi area in central Baghdad,, wounding two people.
A car bomb killed at least three people and wounded 40 in Sadr City
. One police source put the toll at three while another said four were killed.
Police found seven bodies tortured and shot dead on a road in Ghaziliya
in western Baghdad.
A total of 25 bodies were found shot dead on Tuesday in different districts of Baghdad
, police said.
Unidentified gunmen attacked on Wednesday a U.S. vehicle convoy in Diala province destroying two tanks
, an eyewitness said. "Unknown gunmen staged an assault at a U.S. vehicle convoy at al-Katon district shortly after two explosive charges went off targeting the U.S. force," an eyewitness told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq. The eyewitness added "the charge blasts destroyed two U.S. tanks while clashes that erupted between the U.S. force and attackers thereafter lasted for nearly an hour." Al-Katon area is 4 km west of Baaquba, capital city of Diala province.
RPGs and small arms were used by the gunmen during the attack, the eyewitness said. Following the attack, the U.S. force launched a search campaign in the area in hunt for the gunmen, he added.
A suicide car bomb exploded at a police checkpoint near a busy market in Najaf
on Wednesday, killing 13 people and wounding 35, a spokesman at the police media office said. Another police source and a hospital doctor put the death toll at 11, with between 35 and 38 wounded.
Authorities in Iraq frequently give varying tolls and exact numbers are often impossible to pin down. Captain Hadi Al Najafi, an explosives expert, said police had been searching the bomber’s car when it exploded. He said four policemen and two women were among the dead
Four Iraqi soldiers were killed and nine wounded as they tried to dismantle a bomb planted inside their base
in the town of Hawija, 70 km (40 miles) southwest of Baghdad, the Iraqi-U.S. Joint Coordination Centre said.
The bodies of eight people, including three policemen, were found shot dead
in different parts of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad
A car bomb in a market wounded 10 people in the city of Kirkuk
, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad.
Two roadside bombs exploded in quick succession in a bus terminal
in the centre of the city, wounding nine peope, police and hospital source said.
Al Anbar Prv:
"Unknown gunmen launched today afternoon an attack on an Iraqi army base in al-Yarmouk district
in south of Falluja," the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). The source added "the attack occurred today at 4:00 pm and followed by 20-minute-clashes." "The gunmen used small arms and RPGs in their assault against the base," the source added. The source could not say if there were casualties among the Iraqi soldiers.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki fired a top Sunni official who had called for an international investigation into the rape allegations leveled by a Sunni Arab woman
against three members of the Shiite-dominated security forces.
A statement by al-Maliki's office gave no reason in announcing the dismissal of Ahmed Abdul-Ghafour al-Samaraie, head of the Sunni Endowments. Al-Samaraie, whose organization cares for Sunni mosques and shrines in Iraq, had joined other prominent Sunnis in criticizing the government's handling of the case. (…)
Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, the chief U.S. military spokesman, said the woman was admitted to a U.S.-run medical facility Sunday and was released the next day. He refused to divulge details of her medical treatment or examination for privacy reasons, and said she left the hospital with her medical reports.
Caldwell also told reporters that Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, ordered an inquiry into the case and appointed an investigating officer who already has begun collecting information on the allegations.
> Maliki absolved the accused men less than a day after accusations were raising, claiming that Sabrine's medical examination showed no evidence of sexualt assault. This, however, contradicts NYT reporting, which cites the nurse who examined Sabrine immediately after the incident as saying that her body displayed evidence of physical and sexual abuse.
Bring 'em out
: Britain will withdraw around 1,600 troops from Iraq in the coming months and aims to further cut its 7,100-strong contingent by late summer if Iraqi forces can secure the country's south, Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday.
Bring 'em out
: Denmark's prime minister said Wednesday that his country will withdraw its 460-member contingent from southern Iraq by August and transfer security responsibilities to Iraqi forces.
Bring 'em out
: Lithuania is "seriously considering" withdrawing its 53 troops from Iraq, a government spokeswoman said Wednesday. Defense Ministry spokeswoman Ruta Apeitkyte told The Associated Press that the Baltic country was considering not replacing the contingent when its mission ends in August. It was the first time that Lithuania, a staunch U.S. ally, indicated it would reduce its commitment in Iraq.
If you can call being attacked twice in one month quiet, then January was a quiet month for airmen tasked to lead and protect convoys across Iraq
, according to the Air Force. During 28 convoys handled by airmen, there were two attacks, one from a roadside bomb and one from mortar/rocket-propelled grenades.
An Arab news agency is claiming that the Baghdad offices of Shi'a political leader Muqtada al-Sadr was just raided by US military and Iraqi security forces
. Military sources could not confirm the reports.
The Kuwaiti News Agency reports that "some 14 military vehicles are now surrounding the office and Iraqi and US soldiers could be seen confiscating material and documents."
> The influx of Iraqi refugees is triggering a sharp rise in prices of housing and goods and is overcrowding schools in Syria
, a state-run newspaper warned on Wednesday. The report in the Al-Baath daily was an unusual complaint, as Syrian state media rarely comment on the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have taken refuge here. It follows reports earlier this month that Syrian authorities imposed stricter residency rules on Iraqis.
Al-Baath cited the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees agency figure that the number of Iraqis fleeing their homeland is increasing from 30,000 to 40,000 a month — almost double the rate from only a few months ago.
>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Chris Floyd, Empire Burlesque: ANNALS OF LIBERATION: BUSH SURGE ACCELERATES ASSAULT ON IRAQ ACADEMICS
One of the most curious, and ominous, aspects of life in the Bush gang's Babylonian satrapy has been the continual, unrelenting and clearly deliberate targeting of Iraq's academics, intellectuals, technicians –basically, anyone who might be capable of independent thought and action, transcending the sectarian, ethnic and tribal cliques empowered by Bush's aggression, and outside the control of the occupiers and their sycophants as well.
The sectarians, such as the Shiite death squads enthroned by Bush, want to get rid of the intelligentsia because they stand in the way of the fundamentalists' desire to impose religious obscurantism on Iraqi society. In addition, many of the intelligentsia – though by no means all – are Sunni, owing to the prejudice in favor of Sunni advancement under the old regime. Meanwhile, certain factions of the Sunni insurgency (which contains its own religious fanatics) also target the intelligentsia in order to make the nation ungovernable under the occupation. Meanwhile, the Bush animus toward any independent thought that might challenge the murderous fantasies of the Leader is also well-known.
In other words, to be an independent thinker in Iraq, educated and capable of taking effective action in civic society – the supposed goal of the "liberation" for all Iraqis – actually makes one an avowed enemy of all the factions either deliberately empowered or inadvertantly loosed in Iraq by Bush, including the land's most powerful faction: the White House, backed up by the U.S. military, which Bush has turned into his own private militia, serving the financial, political and ideological interests of his own little clique, at the expense of the peace, prosperity and liberty of the American people.
The new "surge" ordered by Bush has only accelerated this purging of the Iraqi intelligentsia, as the Sunday Times
reports. The "sovereign" Iraqi government – whose security organs are in large part scarcely distinguishable from the Shiite death squads – are using the "crackdown" to ramp up the brain drain, harassing, robbing and beating academics.
But this is to be expected. As Arthur Silber succinctly notes, no good thing can come from America's criminal enterprise in Iraq. Conceived in evil – in lies, in the lust for blood, loot and dominion – it can only breed more evil. And it will go on breeding evil, on scales large and small, for as long as it is allowed to continue. Silber's conclusion is the whole and utter truth of the matter: "We should never have been there. Get out now. Make what reparations we can. If we have any remaining sense of decency at all, that is all we can do -- and what we must do."
Excerpts from the Sunday Times: The security forces separated the men from the women and then ordered [Mohammad] Jabouri’s wife to give them a suitcase filled with jewellery and £20,000 in cash. When she argued they threatened to shoot her. Then they destroyed the furniture and broke the windows of the cars in the garage. "The same militiamen who used to raid our areas in the past are now conducting the security crackdown, using this as a chance to attack us further," Jabouri said.
Later the same night, security forces raided a compound containing the homes of 110 university professors and their families. Professor Hameed al-Aathami described what happened: "They dragged us out of our beds as we slept with our wives and children, took us outside, bound our hands and blindfolded us. They beat, cursed and insulted us."
Dr Salah Bidayat, the dean of the school of law, fired two shots from his licensed gun in the air to get the soldiers’ attention. "They caught him, lay him on the ground and proceeded to beat, kick and curse him in the most aggressive manner and when he explained we were teachers and professors they told him you are all a bunch of asses and terrorists," Aathami said.
"They gathered all the men in the centre of the compound and proceeded to their homes, where they broke furniture, stole money, mobile telephones and jewellery as we sat outside listening to our women and children scream and cry," he said.
"It was very hard for us to go through this. This is the security crackdown they have been bragging about. There is no such thing as a security plan; it is all an attempt to rid the country of the few remaining educated and decent people," said Aathami, who is planning to leave Iraq as soon as he can.
Axis of Logic: THE BLOOD OF THE MARTYR IS THE SEED OF THE REVOLUTION
News of 3 Iraqi women sentenced to be hanged on March 3 came as a shock even to seasoned monitors of U.S. atrocities in Iraq like myself. Intellectually, I have known for a long time the heartlessness and savagery of which the U.S. government is capable. One doesn't have to look far back in U.S. foreign policy to see it. Their recent history - their destruction of the cradle of our humanity, their slaughter of about a million Iraqi people since 2003 (add another million under the Bill Clinton sanctions of 1992-2000) - and their blunt-force oppression of human rights everywhere has taught me well. But somehow ... news of their plans to execute these 3 women ... women ... women who fought back ... I guess it somehow rekindled the fire within me. Where did Wassan Talib ... Zainab Fadhil and Liqa Muhammad
find the courage to fight back? Where?
(…) It's an easy question ... but a hard, hard answer. I found the answer in the photographs I looked at ... and published on the Internet today. Where did these women find their courage? The camo-dressed thugs - the ones who dropped bombs on their homes ... the ones who broke down their front doors, humiliated their husbands, raped them and terrorized their children ... these are the ones - the ones who killed their babies - who opened them to the courage that lay deep within their hearts.
Oh don't ask ... I don't know the details. If it wasn't the baby or assault on Wassan or Zainab or Liqa
... it was the baby or assault of a sister ... or a friend ... or a neighbor or the murder of one of their husbands, lovers or brothers. But of this much we can be certain: These 3 women are sentenced to execution by hanging for defending their country, their homes ... and their babies.
They are being hanged for carrying out successful military attacks against those who killed their babies, destroyed their homes and their country. They are being hanged for striking back against the invading, occupying U.S. government - whether that government is dressed in the camo-fatigues of a US soldier or Marine - or in the uniform of the U.S.-backed and installed puppet regime now called "The Iraqi Government
" - by the corporate media.
We must all now do a death-watch for these 3 women - who are sentenced to hang 11 days from today on March 3 - their "date". We also reject categorically the right of the puppet government in Iraq to execute a 4th Iraqi woman, Samar Sa’ad Abdullah, who has been sentenced to death under the new U.S.-backed death penalty in Iraq on other charges.
read in full…
Roads to Iraq: HOW MALIKI RAPED “SABREEN”
Here is one lesson Iraqi police leared from their American trainers: Rape
I said this before, and it was on the media [honest media only] months ago.
Iraqi Police Abuse and Rape Female Prisoners
You can watch the "Sabreen AL-Janabi" heartbreaking interview
on al-Jazeera here.
I will not translate what she said, it is very hard for me to do so, I couldn’t even watch the whole clip.
The biggest pimp of the "Green Zone" government who raped Sabreen for the second time and called her a liar, QudsPress reveals more information.
The girl’s family denied that Sabreen received any medical examination to check if she was raped, adding that when Sabreen was freed from the Iraqi police she was direcly transferred to "Ibn Sina" hospital and she was checked by specialists, the results says: "Rape Case".
This for you "Sabreen" sister, tears in my eyes when I wrote this, it is just stories like yours keeps going on and on.
Riverband: MALIKI'S REACTION
As expected, Al Maliki is claiming the rape allegations are all lies. Apparently, his people simply asked the officers if they raped Sabrine Al Janabi and they said no. I'm so glad that's been cleared up. (…)
I hate the media and I hate the Iraqi government for turning this atrocity into another Sunni-Shia debacle- like it matters whether Sabrine is Sunni or Shia or Arab or Kurd (the Al Janabi tribe is composed of both Sunnis and Shia). Maliki did not only turn the woman into a liar, he is rewarding the officers she accused. It's outrageous and maddening.
No Iraqi woman under the circumstances- under any circumstances- would publicly, falsely claim she was raped. There are just too many risks. There is the risk of being shunned socially. There is the risk of beginning an endless chain of retaliations and revenge killings between tribes. There is the shame of coming out publicly and talking about a subject so taboo, she and her husband are not only risking their reputations by telling this story, they are risking their lives.
No one would lie about something like this simply to undermine the Baghdad security operation. That can be done simply by calculating the dozens of dead this last week. Or by writing about the mass detentions of innocents, or how people are once again burying their valuables so that Iraqi and American troops don't steal them.
It was less than 14 hours between Sabrine's claims and Maliki's rewarding the people she accused. In 14 hours, Maliki not only established their innocence, but turned them into his own personal heroes. I wonder if Maliki would entrust the safety his own wife and daughter to these men.
read in full…
>> BEYOND IRAQ
One Spanish soldier was killed and two were wounded when their convoy of armoured ambulances was attacked in Afghanistan
, the defence ministry said on Wednesday. She was killed when the convoy was attacked near Shindand, south of Herat, while troops were on their way to support Italian soldiers training the Afghan army.
It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of a Royal Marine in Afghanistan today
, Wednesday 21 February 2007. The Royal Marine, from 45 Commando, was killed by an anti-personnel mine, during a routine patrol in the Sangin District of Helmand province.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
: "Oh, the alleged crime for which she was arrested was suspicion of having cooked for insurgents." -- from "The Rape of the Sabrine Woman" at Whatever It Is I'm Against It