Turkey Strikes PKK Bases in North Iraq;
At Least 29 Dead in Civil War Bombings, Shootings
Turkish jets bombed bases in northern Iraq on Thursday of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which has been responsible for several terrorist strikes in eastern Anatalia in recent months. The US military, which monitors everything that happens in Iraq electronically, somehow could not figure out that the air raids came from Turkey.
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has called on Iraqi politicians to please stay in Iraq and take care of business. Ever since the elections of January, 2005, it has often been the case that much of the cabinet and many parliamentarians were actually in London or elsewhere abroad for much of the time. Sistani must fear that this absenteeism is part of the problem with governance in the country, which threatens everything he has worked for.
1000 British troops have been pulled out of Camp Naji near Amara. They were under constant mortar attack there from nationalist Shiite guerrillas and took 17 shells just Wednesday, leaving one soldier wounded. They turned the base over to the local Iraqi security forces of Maysan province, which is dominated by followers of Muqtada al-Sadr. Half of the British troops will be given patrol duties and half sent to Basra. I can only conclude that the British military felt that its position in Maysan was untenable and that its troops ere in danger to no good purpose.
Iraqi professors and teachers are fleeing the country this year in twice the numbers they did last, in fear of insecurity and even assassination.
Reuters reports civil war violence in Iraq. The reported deadly violence occurred in Ninevah, Salahuddin, Diyala, Baghdad, Karbala, and Kut provinces, i.e. from the north through the center and down to the Middle Euphrates. Many deaths and woundings each day are never reported in the Western press, in part because journalists cannot easily circulate any longer. 3 US GIs were killed in the last day and a half. The other major incidents according to Reuters:
‘MOSUL – A hospital in Mosul received the bodies of seven people with gunshot wounds, including five from the same family, a hospital source said. . . Two policemen were wounded when a roadside bomb went off near their patrol in Mosul, police said.
BALAD – Gunmen killed three policemen on Wednesday at a checkpoint in Balad, 80 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
BAQUBA – Two policemen were killed and three wounded when a roadside bomb went off near their patrol in Baquba, police said . . . A car bomb wounded four policemen and a civilian . . .
BAGHDAD – Two civilians were killed and nine people, including two policemen, wounded when a car driven by a suicide bomber exploded near a police station in eastern Baghdad, a source in the Interior Ministry said. [Eleven persons, mostly policemen, were wounded in 4 other reported bombings in Baghdad] . . .
KERBALA – Gunmen killed four people, three of them from Saddam Hussein’s ousted Baath party, in different attacks in Kerbala, 110 km (68 miles) southwest of Baghdad.
[KUT] Police found the bodies of three people, handcuffed and with gunshot wounds, in Kut, 170 km (105 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.
Turkmen and Arabs in Kirkuk are protesting next year’s referendum that may dragoon them into the Kurdistan Federal Region.
The Kurds don’t get it. (Though they actually have managed to develop Turkoman political clients.)
The USG Open Source center report for Aug. 24 paraphrases the Iraqi press:
‘ Al-Ittijah al-Akhar on 19 August devotes all of page 18 to a report by Dina Hajj Ahmad accusing US companies of trafficking Iraqi women.
Al-Mashriq carries on page 2 a 500-word follow-up report entitled ‘Half of Iraqi Children Have Seen Corpses and Torn-off Limbs; Psychiatrists Warn of Generation That Might Turn into Murderers. . .’
Al-Zaman runs on page 13 an 800-word article by Husam-al-Din Abd-al-Aziz al-Ali commenting on the negative influence of increasing oil product prices on the poor in Iraq. . .
Al-Muwatin carries on page 2 a 240-word report citing Parliament Member Samirah al-Musawi confirming that growing numbers of Iraqi families are falling below the poverty line. . .
Ishraqat al-Sadr on 23 August carries on page 3 a 400-word article by Husayn al-Askari commenting on terrorism, poverty, and administrative corruption which are affecting Iraqis. The writer strongly criticizes the US scheme aimed at destroying Iraq in order to satisfy Israel . . .
Al-Bayyinah al-Jadidah carries on page 3 a 1,000-word article by Sayyar al-Jamil strongly criticizing the idea of fragmenting Iraq into three states on sectarian grounds. The writer adds that Iraq is not a new Yugoslavia. . . .
Al-Zaman carries on page 2 an 800-word report on the comments of a number of Iraqis on the use of “unintelligible terms” by Iraqi MPs. . .
Al-Istiqamah carries on page 2 a 70-word report entitled ‘Terrorist Group Abducts Priest and Demands Church To Pay Ransom.’ . . .
Ishraqat al-Sadr on 23 August carries on the front page a 200-word exclusive report that Nuri al-Maliki has apologized to Al-Sadr City for the attack by multinational forces.
Ishraqat al-Sadr on 23 August carries on the front page a 270-word report that clashes erupted between British forces and Al-Mahdi Army in Maysan Governorate. The report cites eyewitnesses saying that two British tanks were damaged and a number of British soldiers were injured. (OSC plans to process this item)
Ishraqat al-Sadr on 23 August carries on the front page a 400-word exclusive commentary strongly criticizing Iraqi Al-Tawafuq Front member Abd-al-Karim al-Samarra’i for accusing Al-Mahdi Army of attacking mosques in some areas of Baghdad during the death anniversary of Imam Kazim.
Al-Bayyinah al-Jadidah carries on the front page and on page 2 a 1000-word report on documents revealing that one of [Parliament Speaker] Mahmud al-Mashhadani’s bodyguards and his brother are involved in terrorism. . . .
Al-Bayyinah al-Jadidah carries on page 4 a 90-word report that Iraqi forces have taken over security responsibility of Rimakin military base in Bayji District from multinational forces. . .
Al-Zaman publishes on page 2 a 200-word report citing a number of Iraqis expressing their dissatisfaction with the increase in concrete blocks on streets as part of the security plan. . .
Al-Ittijah al-Akhar on 19 August devotes all of page 12 to a report on the widespread corruption in Oil Ministry. The report cites parliament members criticizing the ministry for its poor performance and citing citizens demanding the government to resolve the incessant fuel crisis.
Al-Mashriq runs on the front page a 340-word editorial by Dr Hamid Abdallah saying that Iraq is witnessing different kinds of battles on the streets, satellite television screens, and in the parliament. The writer adds that gas stations are witnessing another battle between black market dealers and citizens. . .
Al-Mashriq carries on page 4 a 230-word report entitled ‘Strike Paralyses Restaurants and Bakeries in Al-Diwaniyah . . .’ [protesting lack of fuel]
Tariq al-Sha’b carries on the front page a 400-word report entitled ‘Sit-in in Dhi Qar and Demonstration in Suq al-Shiyukh Protesting Deteriorating Services.’ . .
Al-Bayyinah al-Jadidah carries on page 4 a 130-word report citing the director of Dissolved Entities Employees Department saying that the department has reinstated 9,000 employees. . .
Al-Sabah carries on page 8 a 120-word report citing an official source at Dhi Qar Electricity Distribution Directorate saying that US Engineering Corps will hand over 50 electricity generators to the directorate to help solve the electricity crisis. .
Al-Adalah runs on page 2 a 200-word report on a meeting between Abd-al-Aziz al-Hakim and PM Wa’il Abd-al-Latif to discuss the implementation of federalism in Iraq. . . .
Al-Adalah carries on page 4 a 1,000-word report on the comments of a number of Dhi Qar Governorate’s inhabitants on the need for adopting federalism in Iraq. . ..
Iraq and Lebanon
Al-Ittijah al-Akhar on 19 August publishes on page 10 a 1,000-word exclusive report entitled ‘US Report Admits: Hizballah Achieves Victory and Israel Defeated; 343 Israeli Soldiers Killed and 617 Injured; Marines Participate in Battles.’
Al-Ittijah al-Akhar on 19 August runs on page 15 a 600-word column by Sa’d Mahyu saying that Israel is suffering from a collapse.
Al-Bayyinah al-Jadidah carries on page 13 a 750-word article by Tawfiq al-Haj in which he says that Israel will resume the war against Lebanon soon.
Al-Da’wah carries on page 7 a 450-word unattrib uted article commenting on the Israeli crimes during its attack on Lebanon and calling on the international community to push Israel towards peace.
Al-Da’wah carries on page 7 a 400-word article by Ala Hadi al-Hattab praising Hizballah for succeeding in stopping the Israeli Army ‘s land attack.
Al-Zaman runs on page 15 a 1,200-word article by Talib Mahdi al-Khafaji commenting on the Israeli attacks against civilians in Qana in 1969 and 2006.
Al-Zaman publishes on page 15 an 800-word article by Ali al-Bahadili discussing the “victory” of Hizballah in the recent war, and criticizing the New Middle East project. . .
[al-Da`wah is the newspaper of the party of the same name, to which Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki belongs]