Iraq’s Inconvenient Truth

The Truth Of Iraq And How America And Iraq Are Winning The War

Iraqi Sunni Politician’s House Raided, Al-Mahdi Army Suspect Arrested
March 10th, 2007

(BBC Monitoring) Between 0800 gmt and 1200 gmt on 9 March, Baghdad Al-Sharqiyah Television reports on security and political developments in Iraq as follows: Security Developments: - “An Iraqi Army force raided the house of Khalaf al-Ulayan, representative of the Iraqi Al-Tawafuq [Accord] Front in the Council of Representatives, in the Al-Yarmuk area in western Baghdad, stripping the guards of their weapons. Speaking to Al-Sharqiyah over phone, Al-Ulayan held the Iraqi Government responsible for anything that might happen to his family, saying that the raid operation was ordered by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.” Al-Ulayan says: “Acting on orders from the prime minister and the defence minister, a National Guard force raided my house in the AlYarmuk area. They broke the doors and ransacked the house, despite the fact that I am a member of the Council of Representatives and have immunity, which was not respected. They stripped the guards of their weapons; they only left two rifles and two pistols. This is a permission for the terrorist militias and forces to kill all the guards, who are soldiers assigned by the defence ministry, which provided them with these weapons. Despite all of this, they carried out this provocative and humiliating operation. We, therefore, hold the prime minister and the defence minister responsible for any operation against this area in general and against my family’s house and my office in particular.” - “Joint US-Iraqi forces arrested a prominent commander of Al-Mahdi Army, which is affiliated with Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whom the US forces accuse of involvement in identity-based murder and abduction operations, in Al-Sha’b neighbourhood in eastern Baghdad. Local residents said Husayn al-Asadi was arrested while at a banquet in the area. The arrest came after the forces raided the house of his brother, who gave information about Al-Asadi’s whereabouts. All those who accompanied Al-Asadi to the banquet were also arrested. It was disclosed that a large number of the arrested are Iraqi Police members who are involved in operations carried out by death squads.” - “A medical source said that Ba’qubah Hospital received the bodies of seven treacherously-killed people, which were found with signs of torture and bullet holes in various areas in the governorate.” - “The US Army announced that a gunman was killed and 48 suspects were arrested during operations in various Iraqi cities. A US Army statement said that the coalition forces killed a gunman and arrested 21 people suspected of affiliating with Al-Qa’idah Organization in Mosul, including a commander of an armed cell responsible for several abduction and suicide operations in Mosul and Al-Ramadi. The statement added that US forces arrested two people suspected of carrying out armed operations and assisting foreign armed men in AlFallujah, west of Baghdad, in addition to arresting a commander in the Al-Qa’idah Organization and seven other people suspected of providing information to the organization in the Al-Karmah area in the city. The statement also added that joint US-Iraqi forces carried out military operations in Al-Dulu’iyah Subdistrict, during which they arrested eight people.” - “A security source said that the Iraqi Police thwarted attempts to detonate two booby-trapped cars at an industrial compound in northern Kirkuk, north of Baghdad.” Political Developments - “Iraqi Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Lubayd Abbawi expressed hope that the international conference scheduled to be held in Baghdad on Saturday would yield positive results that would reflect positively on the situations in Iraq. Speaking to Al-Sharqiyah over phone, Abbawi said that all countries of the region and the five permanent members of the Security Council will attend the conference, something that will make the discussions more transparent and frank, unlike previous conferences.”

- “Basim al-Sharif, representative of Al-Fadilah Party in the Iraqi Council of Representatives, said that the party is currently working independently to formulate new political visions away from the sectarian atmosphere, adding that the party mem bers are open to any national dialogue. Speaking to Al-Sharqiyah over phone, Al-Sharif welcomed Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa’s statements on foreign interference in Iraq’s internal affairs and expressed hope that the Baghdad international conference would end divisions in Iraq.” IraqUpdates Source: Al-Sharqiyah TV, Dubai Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

USCENTCOM NEWS BRIEFS For March 09 2007
March 9th, 2007

Title: SUSPECTED AQ MEDIA EMIR, ALLEGED”BUTCHER” CAPTURED IN RAIDS Release Date: 3/9/2007 Release Number: 07-01-03P Description: BAGHDAD, Iraq - Coalition Forces killed one terrorist and captured 16 suspected terrorists including an alleged al-Qaeda media emir during raids Friday morning throughout Iraq. In Mosul, Coalition Forces captured an al-Qaeda related suspect known as “The Butcher” who is allegedly responsible for numerous kidnappings, beheadings, and suicide operations in the Ramadi and Mosul areas. Coalition Forces captured five additional suspects and killed one terrorist during the raid. During operations in Fallujah, Coalition Forces captured two suspected terrorists with alleged ties to foreign fighter facilitation. Northeast of Karmah, a suspected al-Qaeda media emir was captured along with seven others. The suspects are also believed to be part of an al-Qaeda courier network. “Coalition Forces will continue to target al-Qaeda in Iraq and foreign terrorist facilitators regardless of where they may hide,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson. Title: IRAQI ARMY, ATTACK HELICOPTERS CAPTURE 32 INSURGENTS Release Date: 3/8/2007 Release Number: 07-01-03P Description: CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS BASE SPEICHER, Iraq - Iraqi soldiers from the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 4th Division and Iraqi police from Tikrit’s Emergency Service Unit completed operations today in Duluiyah and the abouri Peninsula where they detained eight suspected terrorists. U.S. Soldiers from Company A, 3rd Combined Arms Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, and attack helicopters assisted the Iraqi-led perations, which began at the request of the local populace. “This operation demonstrates the ability of the [Iraqi security force] to react and conduct complex operations. The support of the forces from Tikrit has been outstanding, and it’s impressive that the Iraqi army is able to mass forces at different points in the province,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Dunlop, commander, 3rd Combined Arms Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment. “Operations like this are possible only because local people come forward with information and ask for help. The more information and cooperation the Iraqi army receives, the more frequently it can conduct these missions, so that security is provided for everyone.”

In Bayji more than 400 Iraqi army soldiers from the 2nd Strategic Infrastructure Brigade detained more than 24 suspected terrorists during joint operations. Paratroopers from the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, provided quick reaction assets.

“The Iraqis are taking great strides in leading and planning operations,” said Bryan Owens, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team,

82nd Airborne Division. “Their continued success will help to make alah Ad Din a peaceful place for all its citizens.” Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

In Iraq, Whispers Of Soft Coup Arise: Allawi Re-Emerges To Push Political Overhaul
March 9th, 2007

BAGHDAD,Iraq lsly @ tribune .com Secular former prime minister and U.S. favorite Ayad Allawi is leading a new push to replace the Shiite-led administration of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with a broad-based government that would focus on restoring order. Amid deepening concerns among Sunnis and secularists about al-Maliki’s performance, Allawi has emerged at the center of an initiative to create a “national salvation front,” which his supporters say would be able to secure the backing of Iraqi insurgents, reunite the country and end the sectarian conflict that has prevailed for more than a year. Though Allawi’s aides deny that he wants to replace al-Maliki as prime minister, Allawi is preparing to embark on a tour of the region to win the support of Arab governments for his proposals, just as representatives of Iraq’s neighbors are gathering with the U.S. in Baghdad for a regional conference intended to shore up support for the al-Maliki government. The idea of a new coalition to overturn the current political process is not new, and the front has yet to be fully formed. Sending a message But the effort has been given new momentum by the reappearance on the Iraqi political scene of Allawi, a high-profile U.S. ally who is both a Shiite and a centrist; the defection this week of the Fadhila Party, a small faction from al-Maliki’s ruling Shiite coalition; and a trip by Allawi in the company of U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to visit the Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani last weekend. U.S. Embassy officials refused to say why Khalilzad accompanied Allawi on the trip to Kurdistan or what was discussed during the talks. But the Kurdistan visit was interpreted by many in Baghdad as a public display of support for Allawi by the U.S. It was also seen as a warning to al-Maliki that he cannot count on continued U.S. support if his Shiite-led government does not deliver on a range of promises intended to end the sectarian conflict and bring about real reconciliation with Sunnis. “You see Allawi meeting with Barzani and the U.S. ambassador is with Allawi, so people analyze this as meaning that the U.S. supports Allawi,” said Kurdish legislator Mahmoud Othman, who discussed the meeting with Barzani and does not believe the U.S. has made a decision to support the new front. “Maybe the U.S. is using this to put pressure on Maliki to deliver more, to remind him that there are alternatives,” Othman said. Sunnis and secularists staunchly opposed to the Islamist Shiite parties now running the government have unsuccessfully tried to find ways to block Shiite rule since the December 2005 election, which gave Shiites a plurality, though not an outright majority, in the Iraqi parliament. For any new coalition to have a chance of outvoting the al-Maliki government in parliament, it would have to secure the backing of the Kurds, the second-largest parliamentary bloc. The Kurds teamed up with the Shiite coalition to form a majority in the current government. Triggering rumors The Kurds are not prepared to abandon their Shiite partners for now, said Othman, which makes it difficult to see how Allawi can succeed in his efforts. The U.S. has also given no indication that it is considering abandoning al-Maliki. Addressing reporters at his first news conference on Thursday, Gen. David Petraeus, the new commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, expressed full confidence in al-Maliki, saying that he and his team are “striving to be leaders for all Iraqis and responsive to the desires of all Iraqis.”

The political maneuvering has nonetheless triggered rumors across Baghdad that a coup plot is being hatched, stirring fury among alMaliki’s supporters. “If there is any conspiracy or plot against Maliki’s government, millions of people will take to the streets,” Shiite legislator Hassan Snaid, one of al-Maliki’s closest advisers, told Al-Hurra TV, in a reminder that the Shiite government enjoys the support of the vast majority of ordinary Shiites. Supporters of the new front deny that they are conspiring to remove al-Maliki. They say they will seek to replace him only if he fails to fulfill a set of demands that includes the formation of a new government, an overhaul of the de-Baathification law, which prevents many former Baathists from returning to public life, and a review of the constitution. These are longstanding Sunni demands, backed by the U.S., that al-Maliki has repeatedly said he will address. They also include a revamp of his Cabinet, which he has promised in the coming week. “Our problem is not with Mr. Maliki as a person. Our problem is with the system, which must be modified,” said Izzat Shahbandar, a parliamentarian from Allawi’s bloc who is closely involved in the new effort. “The first step is for Mr. Maliki to make changes, and if he doesn’t respond we are ready to form a parliamentary bloc that is big enough to remove the prime minister.” The latest challenge to al-Maliki has the support of most members of the main parliamentary Sunni and secular blocs, and efforts are also under way to lure support away from the Shiite coalition, which controls 128 seats. Past efforts to split the United Iraqi Alliance have failed, though the small Fadhila Party, with 15 seats, announced it was leaving the coalition earlier this week. But with the Kurds in control of 53 seats, that still leaves the Allawi initiative far short of the 138 seats needed to bring about a parliamentary coup. “I’m not optimistic that it will succeed,” said Othman, the Kurdish legislator. “I’d prefer a secular government, but the Shiites are sticking together and they’re a strong coalition.” IraqUpdates

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Iraq Reconstruction Projects Providing Residents With Essential Services
March 9th, 2007

(USACE) U.S. reconstruction efforts are providing successful, tangible results in the lives of Iraqis every day, said the commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Brig. Gen. Michael J. Walsh addressed the media at two press conferences recently at the Combined Press Information Center – one with Adm. Mark Fox from Multi-National Force – Iraq, the other with Ambassador Joseph Saloom from the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office. “Every day in Iraq we see the successes of the U.S. government’s construction program – better essential services where, in many places, there were none; and 75 percent of the country with twice as much power as before the war,” Walsh said. “Many of the services are things Americans take for granted – access to medical facilities, a fire station or school in your neighborhood, a paved road, clean water.” To date, the United States has contributed almost $22 billion toward Iraq’s rebuilding effort – an effort that was estimated by the World Bank to be an overall $60 billion to $80 billion task in 2004. At the end of Fiscal Year 2006, the Department of Defense had obligated all of its $13.4 billion Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Funds on a broad range of projects throughout the country. “While our efforts to date have been successful, we should remember the U.S. contribution was intended to jumpstart the rebuilding efforts,” Walsh continued, “to help the Iraqi government lay a foundation upon which to continue to rebuild of their country.”

As of Feb. 28, the Department of Defense has: • Planned 3,832 projects, at a program cost of $12.05 billion. • Completed 3,183 projects, at a program cost of $8.67 billion. The projects are being completed throughout the country in the categories of Facilities, Public Works and Water, Oil and Electricity. “Electrical demand rose 32 percent after 2003, and has risen more than 10 percent every year thereafter. At present, it is estimated that demand for power has increased more than 70 percent since 2003,” Walsh said. “That’s a good sign – it means that people are able to buy more luxury items – washing machines, televisions. However, it means as we add capacity to the Iraqi system, we find ourselves chasing this increasing demand.” Walsh cited healthcare and potable water as other areas that reconstruction is making a difference in the daily lives of the Iraqi people, and invited media out to his projects to see for themselves. The Erbil-Ifraz Water Treatment Plant – a $191 million project – is one of the three largest infrastructure projects in Iraq, and provides water to a population of more than 950,000. The Basrah Children’s Hospital, scheduled for completion in late 2008, will bring specialty oncology care to Iraqi children. IraqUpdates “Certainly, the work in Iraq is challenging and difficult, but reconstruction efforts are a vital component to Iraq’s progress toward democracy,” Walsh said. “Ultimately, it is up to the Iraqi people to rebuild and secure their country. We are giving them the assistance they need to ensure that success.” Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

Iraqi Army Medics Train With A Little Help From Their U.S. Army Friends
March 9th, 2007

by Staff Sgt. Jon Cupp 1st BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs CAMP TAJI, Iraq — The sounds of explosions fill the air and bullets whiz past the heads of Iraqi Army medics as they perform life-saving medical procedures on their wounded brothers-in-arms on a battlefield. Bearing stretchers, these combat medics carry their wounded countrymen to awaiting field

ambulances. In some instances they must provide security, engaging enemy fighters as they wait for military aircraft to evacuate their more seriously wounded comrades to military medical facilities. These were the types of scenarios Iraqi army soldiers from the 9th Iraqi Army Division (Mechanized) faced during a tactical combat casualty care course instructed by Soldiers from Medical Company C, 115th Brigade Support Battalion March 1 on Camp Taji, Iraq. For three weeks, Soldiers from the company have been teaching Iraqi army medics and a few Iraqi transportation troops in classes designed to prepare them for treating wounded troops in the combat environment. The students in the course included Iraqi troops from the 2nd and 3rd Brigade of the 9th IA Div. and the division’s logistics battalion. “This serves as some refresher training for some of them, and for others this is all new,” said Tallassee, Ala. native Staff Sgt. Lisa Woods, a platoon sergeant for the medical company and noncommissioned officer-in-charge of Taji’s Muleskinner clinic. “It’s very rewarding to see what they’re putting into it,” added Woods. “They get totally engaged in it and they really want to learn.” The training was a team effort. The Soldiers worked with an Iraqi Army platoon leader, an Iraqi army pharmacist and an Iraqi environmental officer. Military transition team medical advisors were also on hand to observe the training. During morning lectures, Iraqi army soldiers did hands on instruction in preventing bleeding, preventing shock, learning how to give intravenous fluids, managing trauma, splinting fractures and many other life-saving techniques. They also were given realistic trauma lanes to train on which allowed them to perform in a simulated combat environment using their classmates acting as casualties. Speakers blared battle sounds of gunfire and explosions while the Iraqi troops going through the lanes rushed to the aid of their comrades who donned rubber appliances – representing various injuries. Simulated wounds ranged from fractures to amputations and head injuries to abdominal wounds. “We’ll be depending upon these guys when they go outside the wire, so it’s very important for them to not be too surprised by the types of things they’ll see and encounter when they’re in (the actual combat environment),” said Sgt. Haider Al Salami, an Iraqi army combat medic serving in the 9th IA Div., who holds a degree in nursing and aided in the training. Although U.S. Soldiers served as the main instructors for the course, they said they wanted to do things the Iraqi way.

“We’re not trying to change their household,” Woods said. “But rather to add to the things they’ve already had. We’re not telling them ‘you need to do it this way’ or the American way, but we’re doing it their way.” “We’ve taken their past experiences and continue building on them and they’re more receptive to this way of training,” added Woods. “We’re hoping they will continue doing it their way.” Due to an obvious language barrier, there were many obstacles instructors had to overcome during 8-hour training days. “It has been extremely challenging, and we used a lot of help from our interpreters, many of them have seen people die on missions, so they know the importance of being able to stress emphasis on medical things in the class room,” Woods said. “Without their knowledge and skills, we could not have transferred the right information to our soldiers and built a solid foundation for them,” said Al Salami. Those who aided in the training said they were impressed with how the Iraqi troops performed. “I have confidence that when we go out as a MiTT outside the wire, they can save each other or one of us if necessary,” said Capt. Michael Whiddon, a medical operations MiTT advisor and a native of Purvis, Miss. “They’re obviously making progress,” said Al Salami. “When they first came to the course they barely knew anything, but now they are very proficient.” It was another way for them to build bonds. “We work together as brothers,” said Al Salami. “The Iraqi soldiers used to ask each other ‘what sect are you, what religion?’ Now we’ve got just one sect—we are one family.” Photo: Iraqi coldiers with the 9th Iraqi Army Division (Mechanized) treat a simulated casualty, who has a amputated leg during a tactical combat casualty care course March 1 on Camp Taji, Iraq.
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Petraeus: Iraq Security Plan Can Work, But Will Take Time
March 8th, 2007

“Indeed, our operations will endeavor to provide Iraq’s citizens and leaders a chance to mend that fabric,” Petraeus said. “If we can do this, and I do believe that Iraqi and coalition soldiers and police will be able to improve levels of security for the Iraqi population, then the Iraqi government will have the chance it needs to resolve some of the difficult issues it faces.”

Mar 08, 2007 BY Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON (American Forces Press Service, March 8, 2007) - A new strategy that puts U.S. and Iraqi forces inside Baghdad neighborhoods to safeguard residents against insurgent and sectarian violence can work, but it’ll take time to be fully implemented, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq said in Baghdad during his first news conference today. “We and our Iraqi partners recognize that improving security for the Iraqi people is the first step in rekindling hope,” said Gen. David H. Petraeus, who became MultiNational Force - Iraq commander Feb. 10. “The upward spiral we all want begins with Iraqi and coalition forces working together and locating in the neighborhoods those forces must secure.” About 40 joint Iraqi-U.S. security posts have been established across Baghdad as part of the three-weekold Operation Law and Order, Petraeus said. Protecting the people, he noted, is an important component of counter-insurgency operational doctrine. However, the operation “will take months, not days or weeks, to fully implement,” Petraeus cautioned, noting it “will have to be sustained to achieve its desired effect.” Iraqi and coalition security forces are working in tandem during patrols throughout Baghdad and surrounding areas to locate and capture or kill insurgents, Petraeus said. Their efforts seem to bearing early fruit, he said, noting sectarian killings have been lower in Baghdad in recent weeks compared to the previous month. And, small numbers of Baghdad residents are returning to homes they’d abandoned to escape the violence, he added. “Importantly, Iraqi and coalition forces will not just clear neighborhoods,” Petraeus said. “They will also hold them to facilitate the ‘build’ phase of the operation and help Baghdad’s residents realize aspirations beyond survival.” As Iraqi citizens feel safer, that will set conditions for the resumption and improvement of basic services, Petraeus said. The Iraqi government, he added, has budgeted billions of dollars for infrastructure improvements and capital investment. “This is hugely important. Indeed, Iraqis have often ranked the provision of services ahead of security in importance,” Petraeus said. “And, it is vital that the ministry representatives in the neighborhoods are able to provide for their constituents.” Additionally, a joint U.S. State Department/Defense Department initiative will double the number of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) in Iraq from 10 to 20, Petraeus announced, noting the PRTs will focus their efforts on Baghdad and al Anbar Province in western Iraq. As security improves in Iraq commerce will return and local economies will grow, Petraeus said, noting that Iraqi leaders have drafted a new hydrocarbon law that calls for equitable distribution of the country’s petroleum-derived wealth among its citizens. “Each step in this process helps reinforce the desired momentum,” the general said. “And, over time, the government and its ministries will be able to gain the population’s confidence and support by demonstrating the capability to deliver.” Earlier this year, President Bush directed the deployment of more than 21,500 additional U.S. Soldiers and Marines to Baghdad and restive areas of western Iraq to deter rising sectarian and insurgent violence. A tragic example of this violence was the Feb. 22, 2006, bombing of a holy mosque in the Iraqi city of Samarra. “It is not in our power to turn back the clock to the day before” the mosque was bombed, Petraeus acknowledged. However, he said, it’s possible to work with the Iraqis to help improve security to enable them to contain the sectarian violence that’s torn at the country’s societal fabric over the past year. “Indeed, our operations will endeavor to provide Iraq’s citizens and leaders a chance to mend that fabric,” Petraeus said. “If we can do this, and I do believe that Iraqi and coalition Soldiers and police will be able to improve levels of security for the Iraqi population, then the Iraqi government will have the chance it needs to resolve some of the difficult issues it faces.”

Meanwhile, the build up of U.S. and Iraqi security forces continues, Petraeus said, noting that the last of the 21,500 troops constituting the original “surge” directed by the president should arrive in Iraq by early June. An additional 2,200 military police announced yesterday by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates should arrive in a few months, the general said. PR Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

Iraqi Vice-President Says “Common Vision” Emerged At Syria Talks
March 8th, 2007

[News conference by Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Shar’a and Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi in Damascus on 7 March - recorded] (BBC Monitoring) [Al-Shar’a] Allow me to tell you that the visit Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi paid to Syria was successful. Several intensive meetings were held. These were headed by his meeting with President Bashar al-Asad. The meeting, which I attended, was thorough and detailed. It stemmed from our large concern for brotherly Iraq and from the fact that the essence of the current political process in Iraq is maintaining the unity and the Arab identity of Iraq and working for the independence of Iraq in accordance with an agreed timetable that helps the Iraqi people attain a comprehensive national reconciliation. Syria stands by the side of all factions of the Iraqi people and it will be a strategic depth for Iraq. It supports any solution that leads to the restoration of security and the establishment of a new Iraq that is Arab in affiliation and that is an active member of the Arab League as well as a brother of Syria and all other Arab countries - an Iraq that has very good relations with its neighbours. The meeting with the vice president was very useful. I believe we have reached good results which will reflect on the situation in Iraq, God willing, especially in the light of what we heard about the hopes pinned on the meeting that will be held in Baghdad for the neighbouring countries and the permanent UN Security Council member states on 10 March, and the subsequent meetings that will be held to deal with the situation in Iraq and help bring about the success of the political process in Iraq. I once again welcome my brother and colleague and leave the podium for him. [Al-Hashimi] In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate. First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude for the kind invitation my brother His Excellency Vice President Faruq al-Shar’a addressed to me and for the constructive meetings and useful dialogue I had with His Excellency President Bashar al-Asad and their excellencies the vice president, the prime minister, the foreign minister, and leaders of the Arab Socialist Ba’th Party. We discussed several issues of common concern, headed by the situation in Iraq. We emerged with a common vision. Our analysis of the situation was identical and we had a common vision of the way to address the chaotic situation in Iraq. We also discussed the distinguished role our brotherly neighbour the Syrian Arab Republic can play to help the Iraqis get over the hard times through which they are passing at present. Several issues were discussed and I see a broad horizon for the development of relations between the Republic of Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic. There is a joint desire to do so and there are common areas where these relations can be developed. These include the political and economic fields, in addition to the security field, of course. [The broadcast is interrupted abruptly at this point for four minutes to carry the call to evening prayer] The national interest of Iraq requires the activation of these committees and agreements. We will do our best to develop these relations and alleviate the suffering of the Iraqis are going through at present. At the same time, we hope that the good words we heard during the past few days will be translated -and I am sure they will - into a policy that is adopted by the government of the Syrian Arab Republic to activate and develop its performance in order to alleviate the Iraqi people’s suffering. Thank you very much. [Unidentified correspondent] Vice President Al-Shar’a: Have you discussed the anticipated Baghdad conference, especially since large hopes are pinned on it? Will there be a US-Syrian dialogue in Baghdad? [Al-Shar’a] We have not reached that point because the aim is helping Iraq and the Iraqi people. Iraq is going through an extremely large hardship and difficulty. We hope that a horizon will open up so that this major issue can be solved. Syria will do all it can without reservation to help brotherly Iraq in all that leads to the success of national reconciliation in Iraq, preservation of the unity of Iraq, and the return of security to Iraq. As I told the Iraqi vice president a short while ago, Syria will be a strategic depth for Iraq in the same way as Iraq is a strategic depth for Syria. [Unidentified correspondent] Iraqi vice president: You spoke about the Syrian role in the process of national reconciliation in Iraq. How do you view this role in the upcoming Baghdad conference and how do you view Syrian-Iranian relations? How will this reflect on the success of the conference? [Al-Hashimi] I was really pleased when the foreign minister briefed me on paragraphs of the paper he sent to the Arab League and some of

his colleagues, the Arab foreign ministers. I discovered that some of the main points of our national plan were contained in the Syrian paper. These are headed by activating the national reconciliation plan, which still needs two things. The first is reforming and developing this document in order to include the elements and forces which were not included in this extremely important document. These have to date refrained from participating in the political process. They are headed by the national resistance. The second issue is fulfilling some obligations mentioned in this document. These have not been fulfilled yet and the Iraqi Government can fulfil them immediately. These obligations or commitments are headed by declaring a general amnesty for the detainees. The issue of Syrian-Iranian and Iraqi-Iranian ties was certainly discussed. I do not conceal from you the fact that we still have apprehensions and worries about the interference of our neighbour Iran in Iraq’s affairs. I believe the message has reached their excellencies the president and the vice president. I also believe that the situation in Iraq has clearly reached the leaders in the Syrian Arab Republic and they promised us well in this regard. I am confident that the Syrian Arab Republic will not relinquish its pan-Arab role for which it is historically known. As for us in Iraq, I will convey my country’s apprehensions to Iran during my visit next week, God willing. I will hold dialogue with the Iranian leaders face to face. I will frankly tell them about my apprehensions. I hope to receive frank and firm answers and a pledge that Iran will help the Iraqis get over their ordeal and nothing else. Thank you. IraqUpdates Source: Al-Iraqiyah TV, Baghdad Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

Petraeus: More Violence In Iraq
March 8th, 2007

(Aljazeera) US General David Petraeus says anti-government forces in Iraq have sought to intensify attacks during a security surge in Baghdad and are regrouping north of the capital. But Petraeus, in his first news conference in Baghdad since taking command of US forces in Iraq last month, said sectarian killings and displacement were down in the capital. He said on Thursday that a US-backed Iraqi security crackdown in Baghdad will take months, but there have already been signs of progress. “[It’s] too early to discern significant trends, [but] there have been a few encouraging signs,” he said. Petraeus said US and Iraqi forces would press ahead with the plan while “recognising that some sensational attacks inevitably will continue to take place”. Political action He denounced the recent wave of other attacks, including the “thugs with no soul” who have killed more than 150 Shia pilgrims in the past three days. But Petraeus said it was “critical” for Iraqi leaders to halt any drift towards sectarian conflict. He also said that US and Iraqi security forces cannot solve the problem of violence in Iraq without political action from Iraqi leaders and reconciliation with disaffected groups. “There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq, to the insurgency of Iraq,” Petraeus said. “Military action is necessary to help improve security … but it is not sufficient.” He said political progress would require talking to and reconciling with “some of those who have felt the new Iraq did not have a place for

them”. No more troops needed Petraeus also said that he currently saw no immediate need to request more US troops be sent to Iraq other than those already announced. “Right now we do not see other requests [for troops] looming out there,” he said. “That’s not to say that some emerging mission or emerging task will not require that, and if it does then we will ask for that.” Petraeus took command of US troops in Iraq last month at a critical time, having been appointed to oversee the new strategy of George Bush, the US president The new plan aims to halt the daily suicide bombs and death squad killings in Baghdad in an attempt to prevent Iraq descending into civil war. Bush has promised to send 21,500 more troops, mostly to Baghdad, to help the Shia-led government of Nuri al-Maliki, the prime minister. IraqUpdates Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

Joint Iraqi And U.S. Force’s Arrest Senior Leader Of An Al-Qaeda Iraqi Cell In Muqdadiya Town
March 8th, 2007

A joint Iraqi and U.S. force arrested the senior leader of an al-Qaeda Iraqi cell in Muqdadiya town, Diala province, 57km northeast of Baghdad, a police source said on Wednesday. “Overnight a combined force of U.S. and Iraqi troops initiated a security crackdown in the Blour area, near Muqdadiya, after reliable intelligence reports indicated the presence of al-Qaeda elements there,” the source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). “The operation ended with the arrest of Udai Khalid al-Sameraai, who is believed to be the leader of an al-Qaeda armed group in Muqdadiya, and to have been involved in several attacks against security forces and civilians in the area,” he added. The forces also seized a large amount of weapons and CDs during the raid, the source said. Muqdadiya is 45 km northeast of Baaquba, which is the capital city of Diala province. IraqUpdates Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

Glimmer Of Hope For Baghdad
March 7th, 2007

By Amir Taheri On March 10, Baghdad will host the largest gathering of foreign diplomats it has seen since the 1970s. With more than 200 diplomats representing 70 nations, including all major powers, the gathering is a target of choice for opponents of new Iraq. Two insurgent groups have warned they would not allow the conference to convene. Called by the Iraqi government, the conference offers the international community, especially the Arab states, an opportunity to end their unofficial boycott of new Iraq. It also provides an early test for the new plan to secure Baghdad with the help of more than 20,000

additional American troops. Holding the conference a month after the plan was launched is a gesture of defiance towards terror groups who have promised to challenge any move to normalise the capital. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki called the conference after receiving assurances from two men who may hold the key to the future of Iraq. One is Lt General David Petraeus, the new commander of the US-led multinational force, who took charge last month. The other is Major General Abboud Qanbar, the Iraqi commander in Baghdad. Despite being under the limelight of Congressional and media scrutiny for weeks, Petraeus is still regarded as a hard man to read. He evokes a mixture of admiration and envy within the American military elite. One recently retired American general, speaking off-the-record last week, described Petraeus as “a precocious general” who had “new ideas” and wanted “to do things differently”. Well, maybe that is not a bad thing, seeing that old ways of doing things seem to have trouble with new forms of asymmetric war. If Petraeus is still a relative unknown, his Iraqi partner Qanbar is even more of an enigma. The two men have what might be the most difficult task assigned to military commanders in recent history. They have to work with two dysfunctional governments that, in turn, have to fight hostile legislatures and media. They know that wellorganised opponents of new Iraq are determined to portray any setback as proof that the war is lost. The same retired US general, who spoke of Petraeus with grudging admiration, says he is “impressed and surprised” by Qanbar’s performance. “The guy seems to be the right man in the right place at the right time,” said the retired general. “All the feedback on him is positive.” That opinion is shared by some in the Iraqi military elite, including many generals purged under the new regime’s de-Baathification programme. In interviews with the Baghdad daily Al Mada (Perspective), several former Iraqi generals said they were “confident” that Qanbar was “the man needed to clear Baghdad” of terrorists and death-squads. But is Qanbar the “saviour” (munqidh) that some Baghdadis, desperate for normality, seem to imagine? Qanbar has some positive features. He is one of the few Shiite soldiers to rise to positions of command in the Iraqi army under the Baath party. Born in Amarah, he comes from the same tribe as Al Maliki and thus is trusted by him. Many purged army officers see Qanbar’s return to service as a sign that they, too, might be invited to re-enlist. Serious error The Iraqi army has always been the key non-sectarian institution preserving the concept of statehood in a land of different ethnic and religious communities. Its dissolution was a serious error and its reconstitution, in the service of an elected government, could reassure the aggrieved Arab Sunnis and secularists that new Iraq will not be a Shiite sectarian state. The success of the Baghdad plan, based on US President George W. Bush’s “surge” strategy, depends on too many imponderables beyond the control of Petraeus and Qanbar. So far only a fifth of the troops promised have arrived, and even fewer have been deployed. The new US Congress may cut funding for the “surge” or impose such constraints on the use of American troops as to render them meaningless in practical terms.

So far, however, things seem to have gone better than expected. To start with, Iraqi units assigned to Qanbar have all shown up and seem to be performing well. This is in contrast with previous attempts to secure Baghdad when only 10 per cent of Iraqi units promised showed up. By the time the new build up is complete, Qanbar will have 10 Iraqi brigades in and around Baghdad. Contrary to claims by opponents of new Iraq that the plan would depend on Kurdish units, only 15 per cent of the troops used are Kurds. There has also been a sharp drop in sectarian killings. More importantly, perhaps, the insurgents appear to have all but stopped infantry style attacks on Iraqi and US positions. According to Iraqi and US sources, the deployment of new units in Baghdad has persuaded many fence-sitters to stop hedging their bets. Intelligence tip-offs in the five most terrorist-infested districts of the capital have risen four-fold since February. According to US and Iraqi sources more than 2,000 insurgents and terrorists have been killed and a further 8,000 captured. Sign Another sign that the new plan may be working is the virtual disappearance of Moqtada Al Sadr’s Mehdi Army, described by some opponents of new Iraq as “the strongest military force in the country”. Al Sadr remains in Iran while more than 100 of his key associates are under arrest. Accompanied by US troops, Qanbar’s units control Sadr City, the fugitive’s stronghold. Perhaps the most important sign of confidence in the new plan is Qanbar’s invitation to families who have fled to return. Since 2005 an estimated 60,000 Baghdadi families, both Sunnis, Shiites and Christians, have been driven out of their homes in what amounts to ethnic cleansing through intimidation. Qanbar has declared all seizure of property in Baghdad to be illegal and promised to remove squatters. In the past two weeks some 700 families, mostly Sunnis, have regained their homes in Baghdad. In recent days Baghdadis have seen Qanbar walking along Haifa Street, the heart of the capital’s badlands. They have also seen Al Maliki venture out of the “Green Zone” to press flesh in a campaign-style walkabout, the first by an Iraqi prime minister since 2004. Does this mean that Petraeus and Qanbar have already succeeded? It is too early to tell. What is certain, however, is that they have shown that, given the will and the means, success is possible. IraqUpdates Iranian author Amir Taheri is based in Europe. Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

Bahrain Emphasizes Gulf Desire To Open On Iraq
March 7th, 2007

(Al-Sabaah)Trade ministry emphasized that the first Iraqi-Gulf meeting supervised by Bahrain would participate in an active form and enhance opening of Arab gulf states on Iraq in all fields after 15 years withdrawal. General Director of the Iraqi General Fairs Company of trade ministry Dr. Sabah al-Sae’di said in a press statement that, the rendezvous which organized within Iraqi Ro’aia company arrangement… presents a big universal manifestation including fairs organizing which 10 thousand sides participate with including the mainly companies in all gulf states besides the biggest international companies interested in investment in Iraq. IraqUpdates

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MP Says Iraq Cabinet Reshuffle To Include 10 Portfolios
March 7th, 2007

07 March 2007 (BBC Monitoring) “Council of Representatives Member Sami al-Askari has said that the cabinet reshuffle will include 10 portfolios, noting that the security portfolios will not be included in the first stage. Other members of the Council of Representatives said that convening Baghdad conference on 10 March is a positive step in the current stage. The Council of Representatives resumed its activities with a debate session in Baghdad today. ” - “Iraqi security forces have arrested 160 suspected members of the so-called terrorist Jund al-Sama [soldiers of heaven] Organization. This came in raid and search operations carried out by the security forces against the said organization in Al-Diwaniyah Governorate.” Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

US Raids Net 24 Suspected Insurgents
March 7th, 2007

07 March 2007 (AP Worldstream) U.S. forces detained 24 suspected insurgents in raids across Iraq on Wednesday morning, the U.S. military said. In a raid northeast of Karmah, 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Baghdad, U.S. troops detained nine suspects believed to have ties to senior al-Qaida in Iraq leaders, the military said in a statement. Five suspected bomb-makers were detained in Rutbah, in arid western Iraq about 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Baghdad, it said. In southern Baghdad, ground troops detained eight suspects accused of planting car bombs to target U.S. and Iraqi soldiers, the statement said. Two others accused of weapons trafficking were picked up in Samarra, 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, it said. Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

Top Iranian General Dies, Disappears, Defects, Or Is Kidnapped
March 7th, 2007

March 5, 2007 by Allahpundit Everyone’s already linked this, but for the benefit of our three readers who missed it, it seems a very big fish has vanished from his tank: One respected analyst with sources in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard says Gen. Ali Reza Asgari has defected and is now in a European country with his entire family, where he is cooperating with the U.S… “This is a fatal blow to Iranian intelligence,” said the source, explaining that Asgari knows sensitive information about Iran’s nuclear and military projects. Iran called tens of its Revolutionary Guard agents working at embassies and cultural centers in Arab and European countries back to Tehran out of fear that Asgari might disclose secret information about their identities, according to the analyst… Asgari’s years with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian defense ministry would make him an invaluable source of

information. He was reportedly based in Lebanon in the 1990s and was in charge of ties with the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah. Haaretz also says it has reason to believe (without saying how) that he may have defected, and that he’s likely to have “intimate knowledge” of the nuclear program. An Iranian Revolutionary Guard news site claims he was kidnapped by the CIA or Mossad; naturally they’d prefer that storyline to one in which he crosses over willingly to our side, but the Debka thinks there may be some truth to it. Specifically, they think this might be an American reprisal: The missing general has been identified as the officer in charge of Iranian undercover operations in central Iraq, according to DEBKAfile’s intelligence and Iranian sources. He is believed to have been linked to – or participated in - the armed group which stormed the US-Iraqi command center in Karbala south of Baghdad Jan. 20 and snatched five American officers. They were shot outside the Shiite city. An Middle East intelligence source told DEBKAfile that the Americans could not let this premeditated outrage go unanswered and had been hunting the Iranian general ever since. Another tantalizing detail: the Saudi press seems to have known about this earlier than the rest. Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

Decade Plan To Develop Iraq’s Technical Institutions
March 7th, 2007

Technical Education Organization prepared indications of decade plan from 2006 to 2016 to develop its institutions and facilities, head of the Org. Dr. Mahmood Shaker said at press statement. He added that the plan which made according to directions of High Education and Scientific Research Ministry includes creation 13 technical colleges, 169 scientific departments besides 10 research units as two units to each main specialty at the Org. and creating doctorate programs at 2010, and providing 759 laboratories to meet need of new departments as 5 laboratories to each engineering department, 4 to each of medical and agricultural specialties and 3 to management and practical arts specialties. Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

50,000 Iraqi Soldiers Trained On Street War Flow Into Plan
March 7th, 2007

Baghdad, 07 March 2007 (Al-Sabaah) Number of soldiers who trained to support security plan reached to 50 thousands after addition new large unites finished the training on streets of war recently, General Terry Wolf General Commander of training and support team at multinational forces. He added at limited press conference that those soldiers become ready to join the security plan forces after extensive trainings at Basmaia camp on fight in cities to agree with the plan, and he denied that this added big force is the units which officials spoke about bring it from Kurdistan or south provinces, stressed that they newly trained examined to basic training programs besides extensive trainings on fighting armed men at inhabited areas. Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

Headline News Briefs From Iraq
March 6th, 2007

Controlling Investment In Iraq 06 March 2007 (Gulf News) — With considerable fanfare, Iraq’s Cabinet last week announced approval of a draft law that would permit foreign investment in the nation’s oil industry and provide for … Iraq Sets Provincial Oil production Quotas BAGHDAD, 06 March 2007 (UPI) — The Iraq Oil Ministry will set production quotas for provinces to ensure oil revenue sharing, though the effects of war still hamper the vital oil sector. Turkey To Invest In Iraqi Oil Sector 06 March 2007 (MENAFN) — The Turkish Energy Minister announced that the Turkish government will host discussions with US and Iraqi officials over Iraq’s oil development program, Iraq Directory reported. Maliki: Plan Began In Baghdad To… 06 March 2007 (Al-Sabaah) — While more than 500 officers pledged during concluding their conference to support Maliki’s Govt. and fighting terror, General Commander of armed forces Noori Maliki said … Exhibition For Construction Material Kicks Of In Arbil Arbil, 06 March 2007 (Voices of Iraq) — A five-day construction material exhibition was opened on Monday with the participation of more than 80 companies, most of them Turkish, working in construction … Controlling Investment In Iraq 06 March 2007 (Gulf News) — With considerable fanfare, Iraq’s Cabinet last week announced approval of a draft law that would permit foreign investment in the nation’s oil industry and provide for … US Plans To Vitalize Iraq’s Economy 06 March 2007 (MENAFN) — MWC News reported that the Pentagon’s Under Secretary, accompanied by 45 US business figures will visit all Iraqi provinces in an attempt to revive the business in post-war … Ashour International Bank Opens Two Branches In Kurdistan 06 March 2007 (Iraq Directory) — Wadee’ Al-Hanzal, board chairman of Ashour International Bank, confirmed that the Kurdistan region, which is considered a promising market for the active investment … Tehran To Host First Iran-Iraq Economic Meeting in April Tehran, 05 March 2007 (BBC Monitoring) — The first Iran-Iraq Joint Economic Committee meeting will be held here from April 6-7, Ministry of Commerce reported today. Higher Demand For Dollar Action Baghdad, 05 March 2007 (Voices of Iraq) — Demand for the dollar increased in the Iraqi Central Bank’s daily auction on Sunday to reach $67.810 million, compared with $63.110 million on Thursday. A Shared Stake In Iraq’s Future 04 March 2007 (Times) — Under the national hydrocarbon law approved last week by Iraq’s council of ministers, oil will serve as a vehicle to unify Iraq and will give all Iraqis a shared … Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

Iraqi PM Interviewed on Baghdad Conference, Security Plan
March 6th, 2007

Baghdad Al-Iraqiyah Television in Arabic at 1805 gmt on 4 March carries a 30-minute recorded interview with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri alMaliki, conducted by an unidentified foreign “media network” in Baghdad. Asked by an unidentified correspondent about the most important aims of the conference that will be held in Baghdad this month, Al-Maliki says: “The conference will be held upon an Iraqi initiative as part of the process of imposing stability and building a state based on the constitution, which stressed the need to maintain strong ties with the neighbouring countries.” He adds: “We expect the countries invited to this conference to support the Iraqi people’s choices, headed by their choice of democracy, elections, national unity government, parliament, and the constitution on which the Iraqi people voted. We hope the representatives of the countries attending the conference will become acquainted with the progress the Iraqi people have made and with the Iraqi people’s aspirations. We also hope they will know the true state of affairs, which might have been distorted by the media and political interests of those who object to the political process.”

Asked if the conference will witness Iranian and Syrian dialogue with the United States, he says: “We will do our best to find solutions to outstanding problems between the countries of the region or between them and Iraq or the big powers -the United States, Britain, and the international community. Therefore, we will invite the UN Security Council permanent member states, in addition to the neighbouring countries. Some countries which have problems with other countries will meet during this conference. We hope that this will provide them with the opportunity to discuss these problems and find solutions to them.” Asked if the security plan will also target some politicians involved in terrorist activities, the prime minister says this is a legal and judicial issue and orders have been issued to arrest the suspects who “committed violations or crimes against innocent Iraqis.” He adds that this will be done after lifting their diplomatic immunity and subjecting them to interrogation. He then says: “We are now talking only about summoning them for interrogation in order to see if the charges levelled at them are credible. As for the politicians participating with us in the process but have no immunity, Operation Law Enforcement will apply to them. As we have repeatedly said, we do not distinguish between a politician participating in the political process and another outside it if he breaks the law. We also believe that not only the politicians participating in the government are responsible for the success of the Baghdad security plan, but also the politicians outside the government. Law will impose itself and the judiciary will continue to be respected. The judicial authority should continue to play its role without interference from the executive authority in order to apply the anti-terrorism law and impose security, stability and national safety.” Told that the multinational forces reportedly have lists of such Iraqi politicians and asked if this issue was discussed with them, Al-Maliki says: “Actually, there is now a lot of integration and coordination between us and the multinational forces. This began early this year by specifying the ones who should be arrested and the reasons for their arrest. The Iraqi government insists that arrests should be made with its knowledge so that no injustice will be done to others. In arrests, we adopted a policy that respects the citizens’ human rights, the houses of worship, and the offices of political parties. No office will be raided and no person will be arrested unless there is a reason for that. Coordination is continuing almost daily through the Baghdad security plan in order to specify the targets and deal with them on the ground.” An unidentified reporter than asks this question in English: “There have been great hopes when the unity government came into office that the government will bring Iraqis together, but in the first six or seven months security in Baghdad and some other places in Iraq worsened. There were political squabbles within the government and the gulf between Sunnis and Shi’is seemed to widen. I would like to know what your opinion is and what went wrong and how your government now can take steps to rectify those problems.” Responding, the prime minister says tension was high in Iraq when the national unity government assumed power and there were “external and internal interferences.” He adds that the government launched a plan for national reconciliation and “we managed to achieve a great deal of harmony and stability” in relations with others but “terrorists belonging to Al-Qa’idah and organizations branching for it and the Ba’thists continued their indiscriminate killings as seen daily.” He adds: “After exhausting all political efforts within the framework of reconciliation, we had to move on to the adoption of security plans to punish those who rebelled against reconciliation. After completing our political efforts, we are now in a good position. The government is now enjoying a large popular support. All those who rebelled against the law have been robbed of all excuses. Therefore, when the Baghdad security plan began, the masses - both Sunnis and Shi’is - greatly interacted with it because they realized that the past policies and practices only led to the destruction of the country and the killing of more Iraqis.” Continuing, he says: “We are now on the threshold of a completely new stage. Many in Al-Anbar, Diyala, the south, and Baghdad have again adopted the principle of supporting the national unity government and the Iraqi state so that the country can be stabilized. This gave us renewed strength and a large momentum to embark on operations and to strongly and effectively strike at the outlaws. We hope that the implementation of the Baghdad security plan will further unite the various entities of the Iraqi people and to further target and dismantle the infrastructure of the terrorist organizations, militias, and criminal organizations.” Asked about the anticipated cabinet reshuffle and the Iraqi List’s threat to withdraw from the government, Al-Maliki says: “The cabinet reshuffle will take place this or next week. We will then announce the names of the ministries which will be included in the reshuffle at this stage. There is another stage which will perhaps include other ministries. We had wished to undertake a comprehensive cabinet reshuffle but we have partners in the national unity government and we have to obtain their approval of such a comprehensive reshuffle.” He then regrets the statement the Iraqi List issued, indicating that the list members are partners in the government, parliament, and Political Council for National Security. He adds: “But I also congratulate them for benefiting from the atmosphere of democracy and freedom which allows them to make a decision that is in harmony with their convictions when they decide to withdraw from the government or parliament. This is democracy.” Continuing, he says: “Nevertheless, I hope the brothers will not make such a decision but continue to work within the government and in the political process away from all foreign implications so that efforts will be pooled to rescue Iraq.” He adds: “We respect their decision and relations between us and them will continue. They can play their role in parliament as a list objecting to government policy. This will give the list strength and stability and turn it into part of the scrutiny mechanism that should be there.” Asked again about the security plan and if it will also be implemented in the governorates, Al-Maliki says: “The plan is called Operation Law Enforcement. This means the law will be enforced not only in Baghdad but also in all Iraqi governorates. Every Iraqi group should abide by the law. All outlaws in any Iraqi governorate will be punished.” He adds: “We should not judge the security plan now because some of its mechanisms have still not been activated. The plan will work more seriously, scientifically, and professionally. Once again I would like to say that the plan is not all that we have to rectify the security situation. We will continue our national and political reconciliation efforts and dialogue. We will boost this dialogue with practical measures as happened in returning, honouring, and compensating the disbanded army and police personnel. The process of reconciliation will continue. It will be boosted with every step the security plan makes forward. In addition to the security measures adopted daily in this deployment, we have strong intelligence activity, supported by the people’s cooperation with the security and intelligence services. Therefore, the plan does not have only a military form. We have a plan aimed at dismantling the infrastructure of terrorism by arresting the head terrorists and wanted outlaws. This process will continue and gradually

exhaust the militias, terrorist organizations, and supporters of the former regime.” A correspondent then asks the following question in English: “Last September the government issued a number of benchmarks for itself, including the new oil law, review of the de-Ba’thification law, review of the constitution, and enacting a law on provincial elections. The oil part has been, of course, accepted by the cabinet and is almost complete to the process. I wanted to know what the status of the other benchmarks is, particularly the de-Ba’thification, and when do you expect to see some progress or some finalization of these other benchmarks?” Responding, the prime minister says: “The government has defined the requirements that need to be accomplished in accordance with a set timetable. Praised be God, we have managed to accomplish them. We have accomplished the investment law, which was important and necessary to develop the economy and open the door for national and foreign capital and for companies to invest in Iraq. This was approved by the Council of Representatives. We have also accomplished the law on provincial elections and it was approved, too. We have accomplished other laws dealing with oil. We have accomplishments in the field of building the army and armed forces. All depends on the extent of our success and how stable the security situation in the country is.” He adds: “This week we will take over responsibility for command and control of two divisions in Baghdad. We will continue to take responsibility for security side by side with the continuation of the security plan and spread of security in Iraq. Once the government, security, and the political process stabilize, it will not be necessary to have international forces. We will then have accomplished together the joint aims in terms of attaining full sovereignty, full control, and stability of the security situation. I do not give this a long time because, God willing, we will triumph and succeed through this partnership and this willingness to work together in dealing blows to terrorism. Terrorism wanted to use Iraq as a lodging place and a launching pad to commit terrorist acts not only in Iraq but also in the region and the world. When we triumph, it will be easy for our forces to take over the whole security file and relieve the international forces of the need to be present so intensively. This will take place after we and they succeed in stabilizing the security situation.” Asked about the “accusations” levelled at the personnel of the 36th Regiment of the Iraqi division in the Al-Sadr City, Al-Maliki praises the division’s efforts in “combating terrorism” and “pursuing outlaws” and says it is qualified and well trained. He, however, adds: “But during the implementation of tasks some mistakes or unacceptable practices might take place.” He then says: “We will investigate the complaint lodged against this division. We will also investigate any violation by any other military unit.” The following question is then asked in English: “I noticed a moment ago that you mentioned that in the past political overtures had failed and now it is time to enforce the law. Does this mean there will be no more political overtures, no more conciliation talks or contacts with the so-called nationalist wing, the resistance?” Responding, Al-Maliki says: “No, they have not failed. I did not say they failed. They have largely succeeded with those who returned to their national ranks and those who discovered that the slogans the Ba’thists or terrorist organizations raised under the name of resistance or jihad were all false. They benefited from opening the door of the political process and reconciliation for them and they returned. They are now part of the political reality, praised be God. Instead of providing shelter to or opening their areas to the activities of these organizations, they are now confronting these organizations and arresting and even killing the members of these organizations as you hear daily. I stress that national reconciliation has largely succeeded. Its success has led to isolating the rebelling wing - the wing which seeks to reach political positions over the people’s blood. Here we moved on from reconciliation to the use of force against them. The door of reconciliation, however, continues to be open for anyone who wants to return to the right path and work with us in building the country. We came to build Iraq and all the Iraqi people now realize that these are destroying the country. If they object to the current regime, let them object through the democratic channels. If they want to further rebel, let them use force against the government. Why are they using force and committing ugly crimes against the innocent Iraqis, students, and places of worship?” Source: Al-Iraqiyah TV, Baghdad Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

“IRAQI” Helicopters Patrol Baghdad Skies
March 5th, 2007

04 March 2007 (Al-Sabaah) Yesterday a Heway fighter aircrafts flied, headed by two Iraqi aviators in an exploratory air patrol to support the law imposition in Baghdad. A statement issued by the defense ministry, as-Sabah newspaper, received a copy of it, and said that the defense minister Abdul Qadar Mohammed Jassam had participated yesterday morning in this patrol.

The statement quoted the minister confirmation that such patrols are a reflecting to the big work, through which, the air force is symbolizing the presence of the IRAQI air force in the military field to offer support to the land forces. Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

The US Military Rock’s!
March 5th, 2007

Another new operation launched in Iraq to secure Bagdad and the rest of Iraq
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The Iraq House of Representatives Resumes Its Sessions Tomorrow
March 5th, 2007

The Iraq

parliament

resumes its sessions tomorrow

•••• •••• - 05/03/2007• - 2:43 • | •••• •••••••: 25 | ••••• •••••••••: 0Baqir al-Hadi •••• •••• •••••• •••••••• •• •••• •••••• ••••••• •••••• ••• •• •••••••• ••• •••••• ••••• •••••••• ••••• ••••• ••••••.The Euphrates channel after the end of the first space is that the Legislative chapter for the current year. •••••• •••••• •• •••••• ••••• ••••• •••• •••••• ••••• •••• •••••• ••• ••• •••• ••• •• •••••••• ••• •••• ••••• •••• •••••• ••••• •••••••• ••••• ••••• ••••••.It added that the first deputy Canal the President of the House of Representatives Sheikh Khaled al-Attiya confirmed that he will be tomorrow, Tuesday held the first hearing of the House of Representatives for the first Legislative chapter for the current year.

parliament will resume its meetings tomorrow, Tuesday

She explained that it is expected to be ratified by the House of laws and a number of important projects including the oil, gas and cabinet reshuffle the new law, expected to uproot the Baath.
•••••••• •••••• ••••• •••••• •••••. ••••• ••••• ••••• ( ••• )The news agency pratha (father) Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

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A Plan To Build A Power Station In Every Iraqi Province
March 5th, 2007

A plan to build a power station in every Iraqi province

04 March 2007 (Iraq Directory)Iraqi Minister of Electricity, Kareem Waheed, said that his ministry is determined to implement its short, medium and long-term plans despite the many problems it is currently experiencing, in order to access in the production of electric energy to the extent of self-sufficiency in 2009, and try to produce more than 28 thousand megawatts in 2015, which gives the country the ability to export excess capacity. Waheed said in a press conference that there is a plan to build a power station in each Iraqi province, under a specific timetable in accordance with the regulations and technical standards calculated. He added that the ministry is currently intensifying its efforts to provide the electric current to the capital Baghdad as soon as possible, before the in coming of the summer, by installing diesel generators in several areas in the city. Waheed Also uncovered a project of electricity linkage with Iran (by partially linking the network through the city of Basrah), which is expected to be completed before the summer season, which contributes to increase the electricity network by 50 megawatts. The Iraqi minister confirmed that electricity in Iraq can be improved in the presence of several key factors; the most important of which are security and protection of the conducting power lines, which extends thousands of kilometers in uninhabited areas. He pointed out that the recent sabotage operations contributed in isolating the city of Baghdad completely after targeting the eight lines conducting energy to it. Waheed described electricity in Baghdad of being “miserable and semi hopeless of it in most administrative, technical and financial aspects”. He added that there are suspended power stations because of the non-availability of natural gas required for its operation, like the stations of Nasiriyah, Samawah and Khawr al-Zubayr in the south of Iraq, as well as Al-Quds thermal station which has stopped completely for the same reason; he called on the Ministry of Oil to provide fuel for those stations in order to operate the power generation units. Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

Fresh Mechanism To Distribute Oil Derivatives Among Iraqi Provinces
March 5th, 2007

Baghdad, 05 March 2007 (Voices of Iraq) Iraqi Oil Minister, Dr. Hussein al-Shahrastani, revealed his ministry’s plan to hammer out a new mechanism for distributing oil derivatives amongst the provinces, depending on the amount available in warehouses and the population rate in each province. “Each province will be notified of its weekly quota to guarantee fair sharing,” according to an oil ministry statement quoting Shahrastani, received by the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) on Sunday.

He said production from local oil refineries has not reached targeted figures due to either power failures or acts of sabotage targeting oil pipelines. “The ministry was using the pre-planned system to distribute oil products over the Iraqi provinces but due to sabotage and technical glitches there was a gap between the planned amount and the actual distributed amount,” said Shahrastani. Some provinces insisted on having their quotas intact so as to supply the local residents’ needs, he added. Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

Security Developments In Iraq (Highlights on Sunday, March 04, 2007)
March 5th, 2007

Kirkuk - Iraqi security forces arrested on Sunday 14 suspected militants during two separate security crackdowns in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, a security source said. Baghdad - A kidnapped adviser to the Iraqi defense minister was freed on Sunday morning after an army force raided the captors’ hideout in western Baghdad, spokesman for Baghdad operations command said. Baghdad - A gunman was killed and 106 suspected militants were arrested by Iraqi security forces in several areas in Baghdad during the past 24 hours within the Baghdad law-imposing plan, the Baghdad operations command said on Sunday. Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

US-Iraqi Troops Pour Into Baghdad’s Sadr City
March 5th, 2007

BAGHDAD, 05 March 2007 (Middle East Online) Iraqi and US forces on Monday pushed into Shiite militia bastions in Baghdad where they once fought raging street battles, as their security plan faced the first big test of its authority. The operation by hundreds of troops in Sadr City, once a no-go area controlled by Shiite militias, comes amid a growing row over a raid on the interior ministry in Basra by Iraqi and coalition troops which infuriated Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. The house-to-house searches in Sadr City are testing the resolve of Maliki’s government to back coalition forces in going after Shiite militants in the bastion of one of its key allies, radical anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr’s militiamen have melted into the shadows since a joint operation by Iraqi and US forces was launched in Baghdad more than two weeks ago to flush out Sunni insurgents and Shiite militiamen. The operation in Sadr City, which on its first day on Sunday drew no resistance but also saw no arrests, is sweeping through the same streets where US-led forces engaged Shiite militias in bitter battles in 2004. US officials have for several months been pushing Maliki, who on Sunday announced an imminent cabinet reshuffle, to form a new alliance around moderates. They hope to sideline Sadr whose Mahdi Army militia is accused by US commanders of being the single most dangerous threat to Iraqi stability. Maliki owes his own election to the votes of Sadr’s 32 lawmakers, and the anti-American firebrand’s movement controls six ministries. The shove into Sadr City began Sunday when 600 US and 550 Iraqi troops set up checkpoints and visited homes in the Jamila district on

the southern edge of the area, where a police station is due to be converted into a fortified base for a joint US-Iraqi force. The number two US military commander in Iraq however warned that the security crackdown in Baghdad is making only slow progress and that it would take at least six to nine months to hand security over to Iraqis. “We’re starting to see some progress, but it’s very slow,” Major General Raymond Odierno told CNN television. “We expect it to be because we think this will take months, not weeks, to accomplish.” Iraqis have deployed 18 battalions into the Baghdad area, Odierno said, although they are not at full strength. Seven units are at 55-65 percent strength levels, seven others are at 65-85 percent and the last four battalions are at 95 percent strength, he said. Coalition forces, meanwhile, were Monday under fire from Maliki for a joint raid with Iraqi troops on his interior ministry’s intelligence office in the southern port city of Basra. A British military spokesman said that Sunday’s raid, in which 37 people being held prisoner at the office, had uncovered evidence of torture. But Maliki was furious and issued a statement slamming the raid. “Prime Minister Maliki has ordered an investigation into the raid and has demanded that those behind this illegal and irresponsible act be punished,” the statement said. This is not the first time that Maliki has condemned action taken by the US-led military against his Shiite-led security forces. It will be taken, however, as a worrying sign that the allies do not always see eye to eye as they implement the broad security plan. In a further crackdown on the Mahdi Army, US troops early on Monday launched a raid on the house of Hamad Jassam, a top member of Sadr’s movement in southwestern Karbala city, but their main quarry fled. Jassam said that US paratroopers had dropped on to his roof from helicopters in the early hours of the morning but he had managed to flee although, he said, his brother was arrested. A US military statement said “a suspected militiaman” linked to the Mahdi Army was arrested in Karbala. “The operation was targeting rogue elements responsible for advanced improvised explosive device attacks against Iraqi civilians and Iraqi security forces in Karbala province,” it said. Posted in Iraqs Inconvenient Truth | No Comments »

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