Sunday, December 17, 2006

December 17th News From Iraq Translated From Arabic Together With Western Agency Reports

Summary of events reports on Aswat Al Iraq

Baghdad:
Gunmen "dressed in police uniforms" stormed the Iraqi Red Crescent building in Karada and forced scores of its employees at gunpoint to acompany them to an unknown destination.
Baghdad:
The Iraqi army forces raided on Sunday morning houses in al-Fadhal area in central Baghdad confiscating weapons caches, the spokesman for Iraqi defense ministry said.
Baghdad:
Four people were killed, four others wounded, car bombing of a market in al-Mahmudiyah outskirt (south Baghdad.)
Baghdad:
The dentistry college of Baghdad University in al-Muaadham near the health ministry was attacked in an apparent repeat of the Health Ministry Attack on November 23rd.
Hilla:
Unknown gunmen shot and killed Sheikh Sabah a tribal chief along with a local official of the Sunni Islamic party in north of Hilla.
Fallujah:
American armoured vehicle patrol bombed.
Basra:
A member of Basra governoarate's council home was attacked by grenade.
Kirkuk:
Four people arrested weapons seized in raids on villages in the Debis district.

Main Story

Actually there are two main stories - you can't take them in isolation. They are:

  1. The Red Crescent kidnappings.
  2. The attack on the Dental Hospital.

Red Crescent Workers Abducted in Karada | Aswat al Iraq: Baghdad | Bab al-Mu'azzam/al-Muaadham | Near Health Ministry | Dentristy College Attacked: The pattern is identical to the Health Ministry-Attack
(see below) and the al-Sanak market attack.

The Arabic URL for this story on Aswat al Iraq is here:

So far what is known is that at least 28 (males) were kidnapped from the the Red Crescent's Offices in Karadah. The modus operandi was identical to previous mass kidnappings including the one in al-Sanak during the week and the November attack on the health ministry. It's worth repeating what I said back then because an extremely clear pattern has emerged:

relatives and workers react to kidnapping1. A worker at the Redcrescent Office reacts to the kidnapping.
2. A relative of one of the kidnap victims.

There's really not much to be said about this. You're well capable of working out why a ministry under Sadrist control came under attack. The health ministry complex is in central Baghdad.That area is under green zone government Ministry of Defense contro. Which is to say that it's under SCIRI control.

[snip]

The attack was very well coordinated it was very well planned it consisted of a concerted mortar barrage followed by in the region of 100 gunmen storming the complex. Snipers covered their attack and shot at people trying to escape the complex.


In broad daylight in Bab al-Mu'adham for crying out loud 100 masked gunmen were able to storm a major ministry complex with in the region of 2,000 people inside. To get to Bab al-Mu'adham you have to go through checkpoint after checkpoint after checkpoint. And that's not including the checkpoints in Bab al-Mu'adham itself

They had help - they had a lot of help.

Link to posting (emphasis has been added.)

The pattern is identical and very very blatant, in each case it has been in an area that's heavily patrolled by SCIRI controlled forces. In each case it has been in an area to which to gain access you have to go through checkpoint after checkpoint after checkpoint controlled by SCIRI forces. In each case it has been in an area in which to move around you have to go through checkpoint after checkpoint after checkpoint controlled by SCIRI forces. In each case it has been in an area in which to leave you have to go through checkpoint after checkpoint after checkpoint controlled by SCIRI forces.

Here's what happened today you can see very easily how it fits the pattern. It's important to know that SCIRI control Karadah.

  1. A large convoy of SUVs identical to those used by Interior Ministry forces arrive at the building. In this case there were at least 10 SUVs. Even by current standards that's a pretty hefty convoy.
  2. A large number of gunmen storm the building - in other words there was shooting, a lot of shooting, between them and those guarding it. Nobody came to investigate the shooting. Both the SCIRI controlled Interior ministry and the SCIRI controlled Defense Ministry deny that anyone reported it. The SCIRI controlled police deny that anyone reported it.
  3. In this particular "incident" the gunmen also attacked the Dutch Embassy and captured three of the embassy guards. Are we supposed to believe that the embassy didn't call for help?
  4. The kidnappers go through the building fairly quickly but very thoroughly - in other words they knew the layout of the building - the plans for buildings such as the Red Crescent Building are on file, you get absolutely no prizes whatsoever for guessing which ministry has those files.
  5. According to people present in the Red Crescent building the gunment "in the uniforms of" the SCIRI controlled special forces took the time to confiscate all the mobile phones they could find.
  6. They even recorded on video cameras brought along for the purpose what they were doing. Don't believe me?

    "A woman who was present at the scene when the gunmen stormed the building told VOI 'the kidnapers took all the mobiles found with the people present at the office while one of the attackers was recording the kidnapping with a video camera.' "

  7. The gunmen then drove off taking their victims with them.
  8. Brigadier Abdul-Karim Khalaf (appointed by SCIRI), denies all knowledge of any details of the incident, despite the fact that those detail are being broadcast on several radio stations and carried on Iraqi news sites.
  9. Brigadier Abdul-Karim Khalaf (appointed by SCIRI), makes a statement saying that the SCIRI controlled Interior ministry and the SCIRI controlled Defense Ministry, and the SCIRI controlled police, are busily engaged in setting up check points, roadblocks, and "making investigations." - Yeah right. The good brigadier doesn't have far to look. Neither do the American advisers in the Ministry to whom he reports directly.

Let it not be forgotten that a senior Red Crescent Official complained on Friday that the biggest problems the organisation have are with the American invaders.

Now lets look at the Dental Hospital Attack. (URI (Arabic on Aswat Al Iraq)) You'll notice the same MO. This time it didn't work. And yes it's Sadrist controlled nearly all the health facilities are:

  1. The Dental faculty is in Bab al-Muaadham very close indeed to the Sadrist controlled Health Ministry.

    I repeat the area is massively under the control of SCIRI and that to get into, out of, or around, the area you have to go through innumerable checkpoints all manned by heavily armed forces loyal to SCIRI controlled ministrys.
  2. The Health Ministry was the scene of a massive attack in November.
  3. A convoy of gunmen drive up
  4. They open fire and attempt to storm the building.
  5. This time heavy fire from the guards drive them off
  6. So they withdraw - somehow or another managing an impossible feat which is to get out of the neighbourhood avoiding all the SCIRI controlled roadblocks to say nothing of any American roadblocks and patrols. I'd love to know how they managed that trick.
  7. No don't bother I already know how they managed that trick:

    Al Hakim and Bush

markfromireland

See also: various Western Reports Below - mfi:

ICRC calls for immediate and unconditional release of Iraqi Red Crescent staff abducted in Baghdad:

Press Release 06/144
ICRC calls for immediate and unconditional release of Iraqi Red Crescent staff abducted in Baghdad
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) called today for the immediate and unconditional release of all persons abducted from one of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society offices in Baghdad.

Geneva (ICRC) - Some 30 persons, most of them Iraqi Red Crescent workers, were kidnapped by unidentified armed men in the morning of 17 December from their duty station in the Iraqi capital.

Shortly thereafter, ICRC Director of Operations Pierre Krähenbühl appealed for the unconditional and immediate release of the Iraqi Red Crescent personnel and of all others abducted with them. "I call upon those who carried out the kidnapping at the Iraqi Red Crescent office to immediately release all the abducted persons unharmed," he said. "Iraqi Red Crescent workers provide vital help for all Iraqis in need. They do so with devotion and with humanity. They must be respected and supported, not harmed."

The Iraqi Red Crescent offices are clearly identified by the red crescent emblem. The staff working for this humanitarian organization are entitled to full protection under international humanitarian law.

Other Security Reports From Aswat Al Iraq December 17th 2006:

Babil (Babylon) | Sheikh Sabah of the Islamic Party shot dead:

Sheikh Sabah of the Islamic Party shot dead in Babil by gunmen who pulled alongside the car in which he was travelling and opened fired, Sheikh Ismail also of the Islamic party appears to have survived unhurt. Alaa Hussein Al-Janabi, was wounded and died of his wounds in hospital. [Sheikh Ismail is heavily involved in the call for national reconciliation. - mfi] URI:

Basrah | Grenade Attack On Home of Governorate's Council Member:

A hand grenade attack caused severe damage to the home of member of the Basra Governorate last night. Unknown gunmen threw a grenade at the house of Ghazi Samara member of the council of the province of Basra last night in the al-Dhobbat neighborhood (7 km north of the city.) No casualties, neighbouring houses also damaged. 2 other incidents:

  1. Police defused an explosive charge in al-Saaie (central Basra.)
  2. Three artilery shells found in al-Hakimiya (central Basra.) URL for this story:

Kirkuk | 14 Kalashnikovs Seized 4 People Arrested:

A search and seize operation in Kirkuk led to the discovery of 14 Kalashnikovs and the arrest of 4 people. The operation centred on the villages villages near Debis 35km west of Kirkuk. URL for this story

Tikrit | Salah al-Din | Mortar Attack:

3 family members including a child injured in mortar attack at dawn. Police patrol 3 members, injured when mortar shell hit their car. URL for this story

Najaf | Al Sistani | Delegation:

Grand Ayatollah Sistani received a delegation of officials including Najaf's governor Asaad Sultan Abu, Aswat Al Iraq quote a source in the Grand Ayatollah's office as saying the Grand Ayatollah called for the lives of the Iraqi people to be safeguarded by everybody and condemned this violence [against Iraqis -mfi] in Baghdad, Mosul and Karbala and the other Iraqi cities. URL for this story

Fallujah | al Anbar | American patrol bombed:

An American patrol was attacked by a roadside bomb in central Fallujah. Not known if there were casualties. URL for this story

Reuters AlertNet - FACTBOX-Military and civilian deaths in Iraq:

A roadside bomb detonated near a U.S. military patrol on Saturday, killing three soldiers and wounding one north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. Another U.S. soldier died on Friday in fighting in Ramadi, the U.S. military said. Following are the latest figures for military deaths in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003:

U.S.-LED COALITION FORCES:

  • United States 2,946
  • Britain 126
  • Other nations 121
IRAQIS:
  • Military Between 4,900 and 6,375#
  • Civilians Between 50,721 and 56,219*
# = Think-tank estimates for military under Saddam Hussein killed during the 2003 war. No reliable official figures have been issued since new security forces were set up in late 2003. * = From www.iraqbodycount.net (IBC), run by academics and peace activists, based on reports from at least two media sources. The IBC says on its Web site that the figure underestimates the true number of casualties.

Reuters AlertNet - Dozens kidnapped at Baghdad Red Crescent office:

BAGHDAD, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Gunmen in police uniforms kidnapped dozens of people at a Baghdad branch of the Red Crescent on Sunday, the same day as British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in the capital to meet Iraq's embattled leaders. A Red Crescent official and witnesses said the gunmen stormed the office in central Karrada in pickup trucks, separated men from women and then took off with some 25 employees, visitors and private security guards. Police said between 10 and 20 people were kidnapped. "They took all the men, separated them from the women and left," a witness told Reuters. Baghdad is plagued by daily kidnappings, both political and criminal. Last week, gunmen in camouflage fatigues abducted some 30 people in an industrial area in central Baghdad but released most of them a few hours later. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government is struggling to contain soaring sectarian tension and daily violence that U.N. officials estimate kills more than 100 people a day. [snip] . (Baghdad newsroom)

Reuters AlertNet - FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Dec 17:

Dec 17 (Reuters) - Following are security and other developments in Iraq as of 0630 GMT on Sunday:

  • BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb detonated near a U.S. military patrol on Saturday, killing three soldiers and wounding one north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.
  • MUSSAYAB - Police found the bodies of two people shot dead on Saturday in Mussayab, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.
  • JURF AL-SAKHAR - Police found the bodies of two people, shot dead and tortured, in Jurf al-Sakhar, 85 km (53 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.
  • ISKANDARIYA - Gunmen killed Alaa Muhsin, a Sunni sheikh from the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party, on Saturday in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.
  • ISKANDARIYA - Sheikh Ismail al-Khanfashi, deputy head of an Iraqi NGO, was killed on Saturday by gunmen. Al-Khanfashi took part in a national reconciliation conference in Baghdad.

Baghdad kidnapping sows terror as Blair backs Iraq PM - Yahoo! News:

BAGHDAD (AFP) - The latest in a series of mass kidnappings spread terror in Baghdad as Prime Minister Tony Blair made a suprise visit to support his embattled Iraqi counterpart Nuri al-Maliki.

Up to 30 men were hauled off at gunpoint Sunday from a branch of the Red Crescent medical aid agency in a smart downtown area by a gang of 50 gunmen sporting police uniforms, the second mass abduction in Baghdad in three days. The hostage-takers, jumping out of around 10 pick-up trucks, raided the Red Cresent building in Karada in broad daylight, snatching between 20 and 30 men but leaving women behind, a security source said. Iraqi police and US troops were rapidly drafted in to seal off the area and monitor all traffic in and out of the abduction zone. Meanwhile, a short distance away another gang -- again in the uniforms of the Shiite-dominated security forces -- shot dead one Sunni local councillor and kidnapped three more from their car, a security official said. The latest abduction came just three days after gunmen in military uniforms snatched dozens of businessmen from a commercial street in Baghdad, before releasing around 29 hostages, all Shiites

28 kidnapped from aid office in Baghdad - Yahoo! News:

In the latest violence, gunmen in five pickup trucks pulled up at the office of the Iraqi Red Crescent in downtown Baghdad and abducted 25 employees and three security guards from an adjacent building, police said.

A Red Crescent official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of safety concerns, said the gunmen left women behind.

The Red Crescent, which is part of the international Red Cross movement, has around 1,000 staff and some 200,000 volunteers in Iraq. It works closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross, which visits detainees and tries to provide food, water and medicine to Iraqis.

"We don't know who they are. We don't know why they did this," said Antonella Notari, a Red Cross spokeswoman in Geneva.

She also said the organization was in contact with the Iraqi Interior Ministry, which denied any involvement and had assured that they were searching for the abductees.

Mazin Abdellaha, the secretary-general of the Iraqi Red Crescent, appealed to the kidnappers to release the captives.

"They represent a humanitarian agency that works for the general good, and this agency helps all people regardless of their sect or ethnicity," Abdellaha said.

At least half a dozen mass kidnappings have been carried out in the Iraqi capital this year, possibly by armed groups linked to the sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites.

The abduction comes just days after the organization's vice president, Dr. Jamal al-Karbouli, said American forces represented a greater danger to its work than insurgents.

"The insurgents, they are Iraqis, a lot of them are Iraqis, and they respect the Iraqis. And they respect our (the Red Crescent's) identity, which is neutrality," al-Karbouli said Friday.

Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, said in response that the U.S.-led coalition forces "strive to ensure they are respectful when they conduct interaction with the local population."

"strive to ensure they are respectful when they conduct interaction with the local population." Yeah sure. Lt. Col. Christopher Garver is a liar but I already knew that too. Do a search here if you don't believe me or just click around. Try looking for oh try looking for stuff like ...shooting pregnant women in the stomach ... taking children hostage... air and artillery attacks on civilian areas ...

Just look for the Standard American stuff in Iraq.

Truth is only one of the casualties of the American war against the Iraqi people. Other casualties are innocent civilians, especially women and children, and the tattered remnants of what was once the honour of the American army and the nation which it serves.

An Army reflects the values of the nation from which it springs and which it serves. Use whichever obscenity you like to express how I feel about both right now. You could try starting with "Filthy Racist Murdering Scum" and go on from there.

markfromireland

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