Guerrillas come Back in Qaim
Heavy Clashes in Tal Afar
Reuters reports that pipeline sabotage has again interrupted exports from the Kirkuk fields to the Ceyhan terminal. The Kirkuk fields under normal circumstances could produce 1.5 million barrels a day, but they have only been averaging 200,000 bbd.
Al-Zaman/DPA: In the holy city of Najaf on Sunday, someone detonated a bomb at a beauty parlor, killing one woman and wounding two others.
Al-Zaman: Guerrillas are once again in control of the western border city of Qaim near Syria, after US and Iraqi troops withdrew from it. They had fought fierce battles in the city, which ended on Sunday. According to press reports, the mayor of Qaim (who is a refugee in Baghdad) is the source for the reports of a renewed guerrilla dominance.
In the northern Turkmen city of Tal Afar, US troops continued their siege. Eyewitnesses said that a guerrilla ambush of a US aonvoy inflicted substantial damage. [US military sources do not acknowledge this report, which may not be well grounded.] US airstrikes on the city killed one resident and a child, and seriously wounded 11 others, including 4 children. All this according to health officias ath the al-Zahrawi Teaching Hospital at Mosul and the Qada’ Hospital in Tal Afar. Local eyewitnesses alleged that dozens of persons had actually been wounded by the US airstrikes. They said local and Mosul health teams had not been able to reach the wounded. They also said that Tal Afar remains surrounded and under siege, and that US forces have made many random arrests. Details were difficult to gather given the US security shield around the city.
Radio Ninevah, the local station, broadcast a warning to Tal Afar residents that a curfew had been imposed as of sunset on Sunday and until 7 am Monday. The struggle between local guerrillas and US forces, and the security perimeter established by the US military around the city in recent weeks, have interrupted city services such as electricity and created a good deal of fear. As a result, al-Zaman estimates that 90 percent of the city of 200,000 have departed for nearby villages and surrounding cities. About 70 percent of the city is Sunni Turkmen, who had a history of joining the Baath Party and the Iraqi military. Some are Sunni fundamentalists who have established ties to Sunni Arab fundamentalists. They give cover to jihadi volunteers coming in through Syria. The Turkmen Front says that the Majlis al-Aghawat or Council of Elders has decided that the city is facing a dire crisis and have called an emergency meeting between local clan leaders and notables on the one side and officials of the federal ministries of defense and interior. They are saying that militias must depart the district in some decisive fashion.
In the holy city of Karbala south of Baghdad, police announced a one-day curfew because they had received intelligence of a planned terrorist attack to coincide with a Shiite pilgrimage day.
In Mosul, Iraqi police discovered two big weapons caches. The discovery came as police battled guerrillas who took refuge in the sites of the caches, but were captured. One contained two car bombs ready to go.
Three bodies of civilians were discovered, along with a wounded man, near Mosul. They appear to have been traveling, and were either executed by guerrillas or got caught in the crossfire of a battle.
Al-Zaman/DPA : President Jalal Talabani and the head of the Kurdistan Confederacy, Massoud Barzani held a meeting on Sunday and rejected more explicitly than ever before any amendment of the constitution that would touch upon its provisions for federalism.