Attacks in Yusufiyah, Mosul, Kut
Islamic Parties Meet to Shape the Constitution
A vehicle accident near Hit in Iraq left a Marine dead on Wednesday, according to AP. 1,683 US military personnel have died so far in Iraq.
al-Sharq al-Awsat: A mortar attack aimed at a military site at Yusufiyah instead hit two civilian homes and killed two Iraqis and wounded 3. Guerrilla attacks in Mosul killed two policemen and wounded several other persons, including the wife, children and relatives of one of the policemen, whose house was targetted. The other policeman died when mortar shells rained down on the police station in Mosul. 5 were wounded in that attack. In Telafar the day before yesterday, a car bomb went off prematurely and killed 4 guerrillas. In Kut, police said that the day before yesterday, a grenade attack on the center of the Islamic Action Organization in the city left 2 persons wounded and wrought extensive damage to the building and its environs.
al-Sharq al-Awsat A source in the Iraqi Islamic Party said that an Islamic consultation committee has been formed from Sunni and Shiite religious parties and boards to discuss some constitutional issues before proposing them to the parliamentary committee charged with drafting the permanent constitution. The committee includes the Iraqi Islamic Party, the Sunni Pious Endowments Board, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the Dawa Party, and the Badr Organization.
Anthony Shadid and Steve Fainaru explain why the new Iraqi Army is unlikely to take over security duties effectively any time soon. The last sentence of the report is chilling.
Borzou Daragani in the LA Times reports on back channel contacts between the US Embassy in Baghdad and the Sunni Arab guerrilla movements. Some observers quoted in the article express skepticism about the sincerity of the contacts on both sides.
Major General Joseph Taluto admits that “good, honest Iraqis” form part of the guerrilla movement fighting the US presence. Taluto admits that 99 percent of fighters captured by the US in Iraq are Iraqis. He also offers a realistic assessment of the character of the guerrilla movement:
“”I think there is a small core of foreign fighters. I don’t know how big that is but there is some kind of capability here, and it’s being replenished. Then there is a group of former regime personnel they’re the facilitators. They make all the communications, move the money, they enable things to happen. Their goal isn’t the same as the foreign fighters but they’re using them to do what they want to do.”>
Tidbits from the Iraqi Press via BBC World Monitoring:
For June 8, 2005:
Al-Dustur publishes on the front page a 100-word report citing Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani calling for the inclusion of the “multiplicity” principle and the recognition of the majority’s opinion in the new permanent constitution, and adding: “The role of religious authorities is to study the legal fatwa from all aspects.” . . .
“Al-Manarah publishes on page 2 a 1,000-word article by Ali al-Husayni criticizing the people who claim that the formation of the southern federal bloc will lead to fragmentation of Iraq. The writer says that citizens of Basra and other southern governorates have been deprived of their share of natural resources even after the downfall of the former regime, and thus they have the right to benefit from the resources and develop their region.
Al-Manarah publishes on the front page and on page 6 a 900-word editorial by Chief Editor Dr Khalaf al-Munshidi strongly criticizing the chaotic situation in the country. The writer says that both Basra and Maysan police chiefs have announced the presence of unofficial police commando brigades in their governorates. The writer adds that the Advisory Council in a number of governorates has declared Thursday as the weekly holiday while in others it is still on Saturday. The writer notes that this chaos indicates the continuing political vacuum in the country. . .
Ishraqat al-Sadr carries on page 1 a 100-word report citing Muqtada al-Sadr calling on the Iraqi Government to “refrain from accusing the Arab Sunnis of backing terrorism.” Al-Sadr is cited as saying that such accusations “kindle sectarian strife,” adding that the government must “include all Iraqis in the political process.” Ishraqat al-Sadr runs on page 1 a 150-word report citing Muqtada al-Sadr accusing the US forces of “collaborating with terrorists,” during a meeting with Karbala Governorate Council, adding that “the Ba’thists, terrorists, and occupation” Are enemies of Iraq. Ishraqat al-Sadr publishes on page 1 a 300-word text of a statement issued by the Iraqi Elites Group calling on the Iraqi Government to release detainees belonging to the Al-Sadr trend. . .
Ishraqat al-Sadr runs on page 8 a 1,500-word report citing Muqtada al-Sadr’s replies to a number of questions posed to him by Iraqi women. The questions revolve around the current political and constitutional process and the role of women in social and political issues. . .
Al-Zaman carries on the front page a 250-word report citing a statement by the Association of Muslim Scholars condemning the decision of the Transitional Government to extend the stay of “the occupation” forces in Iraq. The report cites Shaykh Abd-al-Salam al-Kubaysi, a member within the Association, saying that Operation Lightning is targeting those who are against “the occupation”. . .
Al-Dustur publishes on page 4 a 100-word report saying that the Sunni Waqf Diwan has denounced the raids carried out by the Al-Husayn Commandos Brigade, affiliated to the Interior Ministry, in the mosque at Al-Za’faraniyyah area, and the arrest of the brother of the mosque’s imam. The report adds that the brigade also conducted raids on a mosque in Sab abkar Sunni District and arrested 45 persons including the head of the agricultural department at the Sunni Waqf. . .
Al-Zaman carries on page 8 a 150-word report citing Diya al-Sa’di, the general secretary of the Iraqi Lawyers Association, saying that the ban on the Iraqi Judiciary from dealing with lawsuits against “the occupation” forces represents a violation of the Geneva Convention. . . .
Al-Mada publishes on the front page a 500-word report saying that the newspaper has learned that the Al-Ramadi Emergency Squad is preparing itself for peace keeping operations in the city, paving the way for the withdrawal of the US forces, which have imposed a siege on the city for over three months. . .
Al-Dustur publishes on page 6 an 80-word report saying that the Interior Ministry has called on the people with expired weapon licenses to renew them at the ministry. . .
Al-Manarah publishes on page 3 a 250-word report citing Justice Minister Abd-al-Husayn Shandal asserting that the ministry has asked the Iraqi government to demand that the multinational forces lift the right of veto from some files. . .
Al-Mada publishes on page 2 a 200-word report citing the new fuel crisis in Al-Muthanna Governorate. [This province is the site of the rich Rumaila oil field, which has 500 wellheads.]
Al-Mashriq publishes on page 5 an 80-word report quoting oil sources as saying that Iraq intends to reduce oil production at Basra to 1.5m barrels per day . . .
Al-Furat publishes on page 3 a 300-word unattributed article saying that due to the frequent electricity outages, most Iraqi people are dependent on electric generators, a matter that contributes significantly to the fuel crisis in the country. The writer believes that it is more feasible from an economic point of view to construct power plants. . . .
Al-Zaman carries on page 5 a 400-word article by Rabah Al Ja’far commenting on the similarity in the tragic situation of Palestinians and Iraqis. . .