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Topic 85 of 96: War in Iraq

Sun, Apr 6, 2003 (11:26) | Paul Terry Walhus (terry)
The War in Iraq
7 responses total.

 Topic 85 of 96 [news]: War in Iraq
 Response 1 of 7: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Wed, Apr 16, 2003 (03:35) * 77 lines 
Is Saddam in Syria?

From DEBKAfile War Diary - Day 15, April 3, 2003

April 5, 2003, 1:58 PM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile’s Exclusive Middle East sources have tracked down the top Iraqi leadership’s bolt-hole. It is a large 1,600-room luxury resort with 600 meters of private sandy beach in the Mediterranean coastal town of Latakiya called Cote d’Azur De Cham Resort, prepaid and chartered in toto by Baghdad.

The group may include Saddam Hussein or his sons, but this is not confirmed.

The hotel is located close to the Assad family villa.

Top Iraqi officials are reported hiding there since March 23, four days after the US-led coalition invaded Iraq. They are guarded by a Syrian commando unit armed with anti-air missiles while Syrian naval missile boats secure the port.

DEBKAfile’s military sources also report: The Iraqi troops sent to reinforce Baghdad’s international airport are members of the Iraqi 26th Brigade’s special commando unit, whose sole task is to defend lives of Saddam Hussein and close family. These commandos take orders from no one but Iraqi ruler and sons, who are unlikely to have stripped themselves of this protection if they were still present in the capital. This outward movement from Baghdad is further indication of drastic changes in the Iraqi government’s top level

Saddam Departs Baghdad

On the exact 14th day of the Iraq War, Wednesday, April 2, the Saddam regime looked as though it had breathed its last. Its primary military props, the Special Republic Guards divisions, Saddam’s Fedayeen suicides and Iraqi intelligence’s special commando units, were clearly losing their grip as a functioning command in control of a coherent force of resistance. Iraqi elite units were letting key positions drop into the hands of the coalition forces already dangerously close to Baghdad, without lifting a finger. The SRG Baghdad Division did nothing to stop allied forces crossing the Tigris bridges from west to east although it was their job to blow them up and prevent the allied advance. Commanders were rumored to have been summarily fired; others disappeared.

During the day, DEBKAfile’s military sources describe a procession on Iraqi television of division and brigade commanders who assured the troops that all was well and the battle was going on. They looked tense and harassed. This unusual demonstration looked as though it was intended to betoken its participants’ loyalty to whoever is in charge in Baghdad, possibly a new ruling clique, or an attempt to draw attention to the men with whom the United States must discuss capitulation terms or deal with as the future leaders of the New Iraq.

In a move that smacked of panic, Iraqi intelligence agents went round the capital impounding cell phones to cut off contact with the outside world as wild rumors swirled around the fate of Saddam Hussein, his sons and his regime.

The little hard information reaching DEBKAfile’s most reliable intelligence sources is that Saddam and his sons departed Baghdad some days ago. They do not know where he went, or in what state of health, whether he traveled abroad for medical treatment or the family headed for a safe berth prepared in advance, or even if they arrived safely at their destination.

But it is safe to say that Saddam and the senior members of his family are no longer at the helm of government. Iraq is undoubtedly in the process of regime change, the main objective of the Iraq War. Anything beyond that is hazy. Other members of the Saddam regime may have seized power after the ruler himself departed. The new ruling caste may be divided between a faction negotiating terms of surrender with the Americans and a second, which is determined to fight on. The whole truth of the day’s events on April 2 may never be fully discovered. The war may come to an abrupt end, but not the Iraq crisis which promises more upheaval ahead.

Earlier, DEBKAfile reported:

US-led Forces Commandeer Iraqi Highways, Trisect Country

Tuesday, April 1 – Day 13 of Iraq War – American-led forces directly commandeered or placed under their guns the three main highways leading out of Baghdad: the southward and eastern routes and the highway connecting Iraq to Syria.

This exercise effectively carved Iraq into three segments:

The South – which is falling under US-British control;

The Center – still under Iraqi control;

The Northwest – under American control.

It also tightened the noose encircling Baghdad.

This was achieved on Tuesday and early Wednesday, April 1-2, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report, by means of a two-headed American thrust eastward from a point east of Karbala. The two heads swarmed across the Euphrates-Tigris plain north of al Kut and took the Iraqi towns of An Numaniyah, Az Zubaydiyah and Al Iskandariyah. This maneuver netted the coalition forces three tactical gains:

1. The severance of the Baghdad-Najef and Baghdad-Karbalah Highways 9 and 10 through the capture of Al Iskandariyah

2. Placing Expressway No. 8 that runs south from Baghdad along the eastern bank of the Tigris within US tank cannon and artillery range. The Iraqi 4th Corps positioned between Al Amarah and al Kut has been left high and dry with no access to Baghdad or a northward escape route. Concurrently, the Americans intensified their bombardment of the Iraqi 10th Armored Division, the fighting backbone of the 4th Corps, leaving this Iraqi force the option of battling its way out of the American box by retaking the three towns or surrendering.

According to our sources, the American forces will not engage 4th Corps units, leaving them to dry out without supplies or communications routes to Baghdad.

3. The bridges of the three captured towns have become available for the American crossing of the Tigris from west to east saving them having to pass through the strategic al Kut bridge.

The American plan for the capture of Baghdad thus dovetails with every other past blueprint for this goal. Two forces will follow the course of the Tigris into the heart of the city from south to north, marching along parallel routes along its western and eastern banks.

US 101st Airborne

With little fanfare, units of the US 101st Airborne Division are responsible for the third consecutive day of explosions and artillery fire heard in Baghdad from the west. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that this division has plugging away since last Thursday to cut Al Ramadi off from Falluja and seize control of Expressway No. 1 leading out of the capital to the western region. Units of the 101st are also making progress towards securing the giant air base at Habaniyah between the two towns. This facility is close enough to Baghdad – 90 km – to enable US bombers and helicopters to double or treble their round-the-clock strike rate against the capital.

Northern Front

Tuesday afternoon, April 1, DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the US forces arrested their military momentum in northern Iraq, including aerial bombardments of Iraqi forces in the Mosul and Kirkuk regions in order to draw a line against the progress of Kurdish militias towards the oil cities. Until now, the Kurds fought their way forward under American air and artillery cover. However, Washington decided that letting the Kurds approach the oil fields was not the best way to advance the mission of US secretary of state Colin Powell. He arrived in Ankara Tuesday night for a degree of fence-mending that would allow US military reinforcements access to northern Iraq through Turkey. At the moment, the Americans have no more than 5,000 troops deployed in northern Iraq and no armored units.

Preventing Iraq missiles reaching Israel

DEBKAfile’s military sources reveal that, in a further attempt to prevent Iraqi missiles secreted in eastern Syria from reaching western Iraqi for launching against Israel, American special forces took control of the highway connecting Al Qaim in western Iraq to Abu Kamal in southeast Syria. At the same time, the main highway from Mosul to Syria via Sinjar was left open to traffic – possibly as a hint to Saddam Hussein and his sons that they still have the option of escaping to Syria and thus bring the war to an end.

 Topic 85 of 96 [news]: War in Iraq
 Response 2 of 7: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Tue, Jun 24, 2003 (22:35) * 44 lines

June 24, 2003

"The Road to Coverup Is the Road to Ruin"

Mr. President, last fall, the White House released a national
security strategy that called for an end to the doctrines of deterrence
and containment that have been a hallmark of American foreign policy
for more than half a century.

This new national security strategy is based upon pre-emptive war
against those who might threaten our security.

Such a strategy of striking first against possible dangers is heavily
reliant upon interpretation of accurate and timely intelligence. If
we are going to hit first, based on perceived dangers, the perceptions
had better be accurate. If our intelligence is faulty, we may launch
pre-emptive wars against countries that do not pose a real threat
against us. Or we may overlook countries that do pose real threats to
our security, allowing us no chance to pursue diplomatic solutions to
stop a crisis before it escalates to war. In either case lives could
be needlessly lost. In other words, we had better be certain that we
can discern the imminent threats from the false alarms.


We have heard a lot about revisionist history from the White House of
late in answer to those who question whether there was a real threat
from Iraq. But, it is the President who appears to me to be intent on
revising history. There is an abundance of clear and unmistakable
evidence that the Administration sought to portray Iraq as a direct and
deadly threat to the American people. But there is a great difference
between the hand-picked intelligence that was presented by the
Administration to Congress and the American people when compared
against what we have actually discovered in Iraq. This Congress and
the people who sent us here are entitled to an explanation from the

 Topic 85 of 96 [news]: War in Iraq
 Response 3 of 7: Cheryl  (CherylB) * Fri, Jul 18, 2003 (13:27) * 7 lines 
Body matches missing weapons expert

By Gideon Long LONGWORTH (Reuters)

Police have found a body that matches that of a mild-mannered scientist who disappeared after becoming unwittingly embroiled in a furious political dispute about the Iraq war. The softly spoken 59-year-old had been thrust into the limelight by a row over whether the government hyped the threat from Iraq in order to justify joining the U.S.-led war. The political fallout was almost immediate. Prime Minister Tony Blair's government promised an independent judicial inquiry into events leading up to the death of Dr David Kelly, if it is confirmed. Blair has refused previous calls for a wider inquiry into the government case for war in Iraq. Kelly's family reported him missing overnight after he went for a walk in the Oxfordshire countryside on Thursday with no coat and stayed out despite a rainstorm. Police found a body in a wood near his home earlier on Friday. "We can confirm that the body matches the description of Dr Kelly. The body has not been formally identified," a police spokeswoman said. Kell
, a microbiologist at the Defence Ministry who had worked for U.N. inspectors in Iraq, had been grilled by parliamentarians on Tuesday after admitting he spoke to a reporter for Britain's BBC radio. The reporter, Andrew Gilligan, said in May a senior intelligence source had told him the government "sexed up" data to emphasise the threat from Iraq. That report sparked parliamentary hearings into how the government made the case for war, forced Blair onto the defensive and pitted government officials against the broadcaster in a heated war of words. Blair spoke to top officials about the case from aboard a flight to Tokyo from Washington. "The prime minister is obviously very distressed for the family of Dr Kelly," a spokesman said aboard the flight. If the death is confirmed the defence ministry would hold an independent judicial inquiry, presided over by a judge with access to all government papers, he added. Kelly's discomfort in the spotlight was evident from his demeanour at the foreign affairs comm
ttee hearing. Speaking so softly he could barely be heard, he admitted he had met Gilligan but denied telling him Blair's communications chief Alastair Campbell had ordered intelligence on suspected Iraqi banned weapons to be hyped. Kelly appeared shell-shocked when parliamentarians at the hearing described him as "chaff" and a government "fall guy", put forward to shield top officials from blame. Kelly's wife Jane described him as deeply upset by the hearing, family friend Tom Mangold, a television journalist, told ITV News. "She told me he had been under considerable stress, that he was very very angry about what had happened at the committee..," Mangold said.

 Topic 85 of 96 [news]: War in Iraq
 Response 4 of 7: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Wed, Oct 29, 2003 (12:23) * 4 lines

Not coming to a tv near you soon.

 Topic 85 of 96 [news]: War in Iraq
 Response 5 of 7: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Oct 31, 2003 (10:20) * 42 lines 
A Match Made in Limbo
By Laura King, Times Staff Writer

BAGHDAD — The bride wore a below-the-knee pink and ivory dress, her
hair falling in loose ringlets. The groom wore combat fatigues and body
armor, his M-16 rifle propped nearby. As they recited their vows, her
hand trembled so hard he had trouble slipping the ring onto her finger.

Sgt. Sean Blackwell, 27, who has served for the past seven months with
U.S. forces in Iraq, wed his 25-year-old Iraqi fiancee two months ago
in a hasty, clandestine ceremony staged while he snatched a few moments
away from his foot patrol in downtown Baghdad.

Now he and his bride wonder when — or even whether — they will be able
to live together as husband and wife. He is confined to base in
Baghdad, facing possible military discipline because he left his
patrol. She lives quietly in the capital with her mother, fearing
retribution from fellow Iraqis who might consider her a traitor for
falling in love with a member of the occupying U.S. Army. They have not
seen each other since their Aug. 17 marriage.

"We love each other so much," said E., a petite, lively physician from
a wealthy Iraqi family who speaks fluent English with only the
slightest trace of an accent. "All we want is to be together."

Because E. — she does not want her full name used out of her fear of
other Iraqis' anger — has no access to a working phone in Baghdad,
Blackwell uses his infrequent phone privileges to call his mother,
Vickie McKee. And in these conversations, McKee says, her son talks of
little but his newfound love.

"He tells me that she's just the most beautiful, the sweetest thing,
the most wonderful thing that ever walked the Earth," McKee, who lives
in the Pensacola, Fla., suburb of Pace, said in a phone interview. "And
how he can't wait until all this is over and he can just be with her."

That probably won't be any time soon.


 Topic 85 of 96 [news]: War in Iraq
 Response 6 of 7: Wolf  (wolf) * Fri, Oct 31, 2003 (10:55) * 1 lines 
they knew in 5 months? just how many patrols DID he leave to meet with her? (don't get me wrong, i'm all for romance and stuff)

 Topic 85 of 96 [news]: War in Iraq
 Response 7 of 7: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Jun 13, 2004 (04:24) * 3 lines

June 13 (Bloomberg) -- Twelve people were killed and thirteen others wounded in an attack on an Iraqi police patrol in the capital, Agence France-Presse reported, citing an unidentified US military spokeswoman.

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