Sunday, November 25, 2007

Mini Mini Battlefield Digest: Iraq, Week 47

Kurdistan Goes Sour - Newsweek (see link below)

Items on military justice, this week.

Battlefield News, Iraq

Political Developments and Major Campaign Resource Shifts
  • AsiaTimes: Muqtada moves to stop a Sunni 'surge'
  • Guardian: The British commander in southern Iraq confirmed yesterday that UK officials have been holding talks with supporters of the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army in the hope they would be drawn into the political process. -Friday, November 16, 2007
  • WaPo: More than 300,000 Shiite Muslims from southern Iraq have signed a petition condemning Iran for fomenting violence in Iraq, according to a group of sheiks leading the campaign. -Thursday, November 22, 2007
  • Reuters: Iran has agreed to hold a new round of talks soon with the United States on how to improve security in Iraq, Iran's foreign minister said on Tuesday. -Tuesday, November 20, 2007
  • UPI: The Iraqi Health Ministry said more than 80 cases of cholera were reported in Baghdad over the past few weeks. A Health Ministry official said most cases of the disease were reported in impoverished areas that lack water and other necessary services... -Friday, November 23, 2007
  • NPR: While insurgent violence is down in Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi forces continue to face a tough fight in Mosul, the largest city in northern Iraq. The surge of American forces into Baghdad pushed some insurgents northward into the Mosul area. -Friday, November 16, 2007
    note: 11/11/07 MCT: Mosul's governer survives 2 assassination attempts
    the governor of Mosul , Dureed Kashmoola and the general brigadier Wathiq Al-Hamadni , the chief in command of Mosul police , survived from two assassination attempts by two roadside bombs , one in the forest area and the second one was few minutes...
  • NPR: Nine months after the start of the U.S. troop surge in Baghdad, signs of life are slowly returning to some neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital. In the Sunni enclave of Amriya on the west side of the city, shops are reopening, and the economy is picking up. -Tuesday, November 20, 2007
  • Newsweek: Kurdistan Goes Sour - As shocking as it was to witness, Nariman Ali wasn't surprised when a mob of his fellow Kurds ransacked and burned the paramount emblem of their people's suffering—the memorial to the more than 5,000 victims of Saddam Hussein's 1988 chemical... -Saturday, November 17, 2007
  • dpa: Poland will withdraw all its troops from Iraq by the end of 2008, new Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in his first address to the Polish parliament on Friday. -Friday, November 23, 2007
  • BBC: An estimated 1,000 people a day are returning across Iraq's borders having previously moving abroad to escape the violence, Iraqi authorities say. Most of the returnees are coming from Syria - and very few from Jordan... -Wednesday, November 21, 2007
  • AP: Thousands of Iraqi refugees in Syria have applied for resettlement in the United States, a U.N. refugee agency official in the Syrian capital said Wednesday. -Thursday, November 15, 2007
  • AP: Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. -Friday, November 16, 2007
  • AP: Iraq's prime minister lashed out at the country's Sunni Arab vice president in an interview published Tuesday, drawing attention to a bitter rift between two key politicians from rival sects at a time the U.S. is pressing for Iraqi unity. -Tuesday, November 20, 2007
  • Reuters: Reuters: U.S Commander says surge working in badlands south of Baghdad: "There's way too much emphasis on civil war and sectarian violence, because we're not seeing it. What we are seeing is violence," Major-General Rick Lynch said, adding that a lot of the violence was due to "thugs and criminals" vying for power, rather than insurgents -Friday, November 16, 2007

COIN: Actions, Reactions, Counteractions, etc.
  • KUNA: Undersecretary at the Iraqi Interior Ministry Adnan Al-Asadi on Wednesday said that the Ministry's internal affairs directorate has discharged, within the past few years, some 18,000 of its staff [!] as part of its reform process. -Wednesday, November 21, 2007
  • timesonline: Iraq’s most infamous Shia death squad commander was accused yesterday of masterminding the kidnapping of five British citizens who have not been heard from since their abduction in Baghdad three months ago. -Saturday, November 17, 2007
  • Reuters: Three Iraqi footballers secretly left their team hotel in Australia hours after playing a weekend Olympic qualifying match and plan to seek asylum, an Iraqi football official said. -Sunday, November 18, 2007
  • Reuters: The provincial governor of Muthanna province accused U.S. troops of opening fire on civilian cars south of Baghdad, wounding six people, and threatened to suspend ties with U.S. officials over the attack. -Sunday, November 18, 2007
  • NYTimes: With violence in Iraq on the decline and a quarter of American combat brigades scheduled to leave by July, commanders plan to give the remaining brigades an expanded role in training and supporting Iraqi forces -Friday, November 23, 2007
  • NYTimes: Five months ago, Suhaila al-Aasan lived in an oxygen tank factory with her husband and two sons, convinced that they would never go back to their apartment in Dora, a middle-class neighborhood in southern Baghdad. -Tuesday, November 20, 2007
  • MCT: In the expanse of gray desert east of Baghdad, an Iraqi Army brigade marched Sunday in matching boots and uniforms with M-16 rifles slung over their shoulders, showing off their new formation to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. -Sunday, November 18, 2007
  • LATimes: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki is proposing a $7.4-billion boost in public spending next year in an aggressive budget designed to stimulate industry and speed up repairs of this country's tattered roads, sewers and utilities. -Thursday, November 22, 2007
  • KUNA: Kurdish victims of the Anfal campaign bayed for blood yesterday as Iraq indicated the hanging of "Chemical Ali", one of the masterminds of the slaughter, may be delayed indefinitely. Anger was directed not only at the Iraqi government... -Sunday, November 18, 2007
VIOLENCE: Tactical Developments
  • Reuters: Three suspected al Qaeda militants, including two sisters, beheaded their uncle and his wife, forcing the couple's children to watch, Iraqi police said on Friday. The militants considered that school guard Youssef al-Hayali was an infidel because... -Friday, November 23, 2007
  • Reuters: The body of police major Saad Jumaa was found near Samarra after he was kidnapped on Monday, the Joint Iraqi-U.S. Coordination Centre said. -Tuesday, November 20, 2007
  • Reuters: Two rockets or mortars were fired at the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, where the U.S. embassy and Iraqi government headquarters are located, police said. The U.S. military could not immediately confirm the report. -Tuesday, November 20, 2007
  • Reuters: Teenagers on a motorbike threw a hand grenade at a police checkpoint in Yarmouk in western Baghdad, wounding a soldier, police said. -Thursday, November 22, 2007
  • Reuters: Suspected al Qaeda militants attacked the house of Kadhim al-Mehdawi, the head of a Sunni tribe and kidnapped his 13-year-old son on Monday in the town of Muqdadiya, 90 km (55 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police and his relatives said. -Thursday, November 15, 2007
  • Reuters: Six members of the same family were killed when a Katyusha rocket hit their house in the oil hub of Basra, 550 km (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said. Three of the dead were children. -Monday, November 19, 2007
  • Reuters: Police discovered a weapon cache in a Shi'ite mosque in the town of Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, on Monday, police said. (Editing by Paul Tait) -Tuesday, November 20, 2007
  • Reuters: Iraqi soldiers detained 35 suspected militants in Kerbala, 110 km (70 miles) southwest of Baghdad, the Iraqi government said in a statement. nother three people were detained while they were planting explosives and weapons including... -Thursday, November 22, 2007
  • Reuters: Gunmen kidnapped the manager of a grain company in Dhi Qar province on the road between Nassiriya and Basra, 375 km (235 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said. -Friday, November 23, 2007
  • MNF: Three Multi-National Division-North soldiers were killed as a result of an suicide vest attack while conducting operations in Baqubah, Diyala Province, Nov. 18. The names of the deceased are being withheld pending next of kin notification... -Sunday, November 18, 2007
  • MCT: Around 8 a.m., gunmen assassinated Dr. Musa JaĆ¢'afar , the head of the Geological survey , killing one of his companions and injuring the other at Baratha mosque intersection in Uttaifiya -Tuesday, November 20, 2007
  • independent: Three times more journalists have been killed in Iraq than in both world wars many deliberately targeted by militias. Kim Sengupta reports on a forgotten death toll that is still rising -Sunday, November 18, 2007
  • dpa: In Amarah, the capital of Maysan province, 390 kilometres south of Baghdad, gunmen shot dead a police officer and injured his brother as they were leaving their home on Friday, media reports said. -Friday, November 16, 2007
  • CBS: They are the casualties of wars you don't often hear about - soldiers who die of self-inflicted wounds. Little is known about the true scope of suicides among those who have served in the military. But a five-month CBS News investigation discovered... -Wednesday, November 21, 2007
  • AP: U.S. helicopters dropped 600 troops into two villages south of Baghdad before sunrise Friday, launching an assault on militants believed to be involved in the May kidnapping of three American soldiers, the military said. -Friday, November 16, 2007
  • Gunmen killed a woman principal of a high school in a drive-by shooting in the Shi'ite district of Kadhimiya in northern Baghdad, police said. -Thursday, November 15, 2007
US Military Justice/Violence
  • WaPo: Federal authorities have convened a grand jury to investigate multiple shootings involving private security contractors in Iraq, including a Sept. 16 incident in which guards for Blackwater Worldwide killed 17 civilians at a Baghdad traffic... -Tuesday, November 20, 2007
  • NYTimes: Federal agents investigating the Sept. 16 episode in which Blackwater security personnel shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians have found that at least 14 of the shootings were unjustified and violated deadly-force rules in effect for security contractors... -Wednesday, November 14, 2007
  • AP: The highest-ranking U.S. serviceman to face court-martial involving combat since Vietnam was due to answer charges Friday of failing to investigate the killings of 24 Iraqis, including women and children. -Friday, November 16, 2007
  • AP: The leader of an anti-al-Qaida Sunni group is accusing U.S. troops of mistakenly killing dozens of his fighters during a battle north of Baghdad. The sheik told Al-Jazeera television that he had tried repeatedly to call American commanders... -Wednesday, November 14, 2007
  • AP: The Iraqi military on Tuesday took a hard stance against 33 foreigners and 10 Iraqis detained after a shooting involving their convoy run by a U.S.-contracted firm in Baghdad, saying they were accused of opening fire randomly and wounding an Iraqi woman. -Tuesday, November 20, 2007
  • AP: Iraqi soldiers detained two American and one Italian security guards along with several other foreigners traveling Monday in a private security convoy after they opened fire in Baghdad, wounding one woman, an Iraqi military spokesman said. -Monday, November 19, 2007

Economic Developments, Reconstruction, and General Good News

[this space purposely left blank because of lack of de-classified, systematic data]

  • CSM: Ammar al-Hakim is presiding over an Iraqi Shiite building boom. His austere Shaheed al-Mihrab Foundation has raised 400 mosques in Iraq since 2003. It's building the largest seminary here in the holy city of Najaf and opening a chain of schools... -Monday, November 19, 2007

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