12 August 2004 Events in Iraq
This chilling phrase returns from its grave in Quang Tri Province: US Marines supported by tanks and helicopter gunships...
18.26 Teheran. IRAN CONDEMNS US ASSAULT ON NAJAF - Teheran government delivers a harsh criticism of US military operation in Najaf. "The US invaders show that they have no regard for moral principles. The atrocity is unjustified and their behavior is horrible and inhuman," says Hamid Reza Asefi, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Teheran also demands an explanation from Baghdad on the arrest of four Iranian journalists and the disappearance of the Iranian consul in Karbala.
17.54 Najaf. US FORCES ENTER AL SADR RESIDENCE. US forces have entered the residence of Moqtada Sadr in Najaf. The cleric was not at home.
16.52 Baghdad. IRAQI MINISTRY OF DEFENSE: "MILITARY OPERATIONS IN NAJAF TO CONTINUE". Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Chaalane has declared troops will pursue al Sadr militiamen until they leave the city.
16.46 Baghdad. GOVERNMENT ORDER MILITIAS TO LAY DOWN ARMS. Iyad Allawi tells al-Sadr militiamen to lay down arms, to leave the tomb of Imam Ali and to participate in the country's political process.
16.25 Cairo. MESSAGE FROM BIN LADEN. The internet site Minbar Ahl alSunna wal Jamaa says Osama Bin Laden is preparing a tape with a message that he is ending a truce with European countries.
15.57 Baghdad. FIVE LEBANESE TRUCK DRIVERS RELEASED. Lebanese security officials say five kidnapped Lebanese truck driver have been freed without their vehicles or cargo.
15.32 Najaf. US TROOPS BESEIGE CITY CENTER. Marines supported by tanks and helicopter gunships tighten their grip on Najaf. So far they have not entered the sacred shrine of Imam Ali.
15.17 Baghdad. SHI'A MILITANTS ATTACK POLICE BARRACKS IN BAGHDAD. US troops have entered into action near Haifa Street.
15.16 Baghdad. GUERRILLA OFFENSIVE IN CENTER OF CITY. US tanks have closed off Haifa Street in west Baghdad.
15.14 Baghdad. EXPLOSION AND GUNFIRE. Eyewitnesses say there's been a big blast following by gunfire in Baghdad. Helicopters and warplanes are overflying the district in which the explosion occurred.
15.11 Najaf. ARMORED AMERICAN VEHICLES IN EAST NAJAF. Armored US vehicles have penetrated into the Al Ichtiraki quarter of east Najaf. Explosions continue and columns of black smoke have been spotted near al Sadr's residence. It is unknown if al Sadr is in the residence.
14.30 Najaf. COMBAT AND BOMBINGS NEAR AL SADR'S RESIDENCE. Witnesses affirm that combat is ongoing near the home of Moqtada Al Sadr in Najaf. The US Army is bombarding the surrounding neighborhood.
14.26 Kut. SHI'ITES ATTACK POLICE STATION IN AL KUT. A few hours following massive nighttime bombardment by US helicopters, Shi'ite guerrillas have resumed their assault on a police station in the centrally-located Al Balda quarter, killing one police officer and wounding another nine.
14.24 Basrah. BRITISH SOLDIER KILLED IN BASRAH. A British soldier was killed an another wounded as a British patrol was attacked in Basrah.
14.10 Najaf. GOVERNMENT REPRESENATIVES IN NAJAF FOR NEGOTIATIONS WITH SADR. Muwafaq Al Roubaie, national security advisor for the caretaker government has arrived in Najaf in the hopes of negotiating with Moqtada Al Sadr to convince him to lay down his arms.
13.53 Najaf. AL SADR MILITIAMEN CONTROL CENTER OF NAJAF. Despite the US offensive, Al Sadr militas hold the center of Najaf. Known as the old city, it is the radius of 2 km from the mausoleum of Ali
13.36 Ramadi. IRAQI CIVILIAN DIES IN ATTACK ON CONVOY. Guerrillas launch attack on US convoy in Ramadi. One civilian was killed. As US troops returned fire several passers-by were wounded. Some are in grave condition.
13.11 Najaf. REGIONAL COUNCIL ATTEMPTS MEDIATION. The chairman of the Najaf regional council wants to find a solution to the the "bloodbath" after the US and Iraqi trooops (police and national guard) launch their offensive. "We are woking towards a solution to contain the crisis and to end the slaughter," says Sheik Fayed al-Shamari.
13.02 Cairo. ARAB LEAGUE: "OPERATIONS IN NAJAF MUST CEASE". The Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Mussa, characterizes the consequences of the operations against al Kut and Najaf as "a repugnant, new spilling of Iraqi blood." Mussa has invited all parties to agree to a ceasefire and has warned against "the ongoing violation of sacred spaces which occupy an important place in the life of all Muslims". Mussa further cautioned that "there will be very serious repercussions."
12.59 Najaf. COLUMNS OF SMOKE RISING FROM DOWNTOWN NAJAF. Al Sadr militiament have massed in the mausoleum of Ali and in the cemetary of Najaf.
12.51 London. AL SISTANI CALLS FOR RESPECT FOR NAJAF. Ayatollah Sistani, one of the most important religious authorities in Iraq, has asked for respect for the holy city of Najaf.
12.21 Baghdad. SYRIAN HELD HOSTAGE IN IRAQ. Nasir al Jundi, a Lebanese truckdriver released last week, says kidnappers still hold two Lebanese and one Syrian who were part of the same truck convoy.
11.13 Ramadi. ATTACK ON US CONVOY, ONE DEAD AND TWO WOUNDED.
10.59 Najaf. AL SADR SPOKESMAN: "WE ARE PREPARED TO RESIST UNTIL THE END". "We have been fighting US forces for eight days. We shall continue to fight them for another eight days. We are completely ready to repel any attack on our positions.", says Ahmed Al Shibani, spokesman for Moqtada al Sadr.
10.48 Najaf. MARINES ARE IN THE CENTER OF THE CITY. Marines are in the center of the city and have blocked of the Mausoleum of Alì.
10.41 Baghdad. IRAQI FORCES ONLY TO ENTER INTO NAJAF AND KUFA. "We have issued strict instructions that only Iraqi forces will enter sacred sites", says government spokesman Sabah Kadhim.
10.37 Najaf. SHI'ITE SPOKESMAN: "NO SURRENDER IN NAJFA". Shi'ites continue resistance against US troops in the holy city.
10.18 Najaf. USA: "WE WILL NOT ATTACK THE Tomb OF ALI". US forces give assurances that they will not attack the Tomb of Ali in Najaf.
10.05 Baghdad. 165 PEOPLE KILLED WITHIN LAST 24 HOURS. 165 people are dead and another 600 wounded. 75 were killed in US airstrikes on al Kut in southern Iraq, 25 in combat in Najaf, 14 in Amara, and 7 in Diwaniya.
09.40 Kut. 75 DEAD AND 150 WOUNDED IN US AIRSTRIKE.
09.38 Mosul. ATTACK ON POLICE VEHICLE, FOUR DEAD. Guerrillas attacked a police vehicle Wednesday afternoon, killing one child and two police officers travelling in the vehicle.
09.32 Baghdad. PROTESTS IN BASRAH AND BAGHDAD AGAINST ATTACK ON NAJAF. Thousands of Shi'a demonstratedin Basrah and in Baghdad against the offensive on the holy city of Najaf shouting. "Long live Sadr - America and Allawi are infidels"
09.16 Nassiriya. ITALIAN CARABINIERI ATTACKED, NO INJURIES. Italian police were attacked with gunfire and RPGs around 2:00 am south of Nassiriya. The Italians were on a scheduled patrol and returned safely.
08.54 Najaf. THOUSANDS FLEE CITY. Thousands of civilians are fleeing Najaf. Eyewitnesses confirm that US troops in 'Humvees' are making announcements in Arabic that US troops are there to liberate the people of Najaf. "People of Najaf: Coalition forces are ridding the city of the 'Al Mahdi Army." Leave the city. Help the Coalition. Do not shoot at them.".
08.40 Najaf. TROOPS CLOSE OFF ACCESS TO TOMB OF ALI. US troops and Iraqi National Guard have closed off the main access to the tomb of Imam Ali, one of the most sacred Shi'a devotional sites.
08.15 Najaf. COMBAT RESUMES IN CITY, VICE GOVERNOR QUITS. Combat resumed at 7 am (11:00 pm Wed EST). The situation is so grave that Vice Governor of teh province, Jawdat Kadam Najem al-Kuraishi, quit in protest of the US final assault.. "I resign my office", announced Kuraishi, "to denounce the terrorist operations carried out by the US troops against this holy city.".
07.30 Ramadi. US HELICOPTER SHOT DOWN IN AL ANBAR PROVINCE, TWO MARINES KILLED. A US helicopter was shot down by guerrillas during a "security and stabilization operation" in the province of Al Anbar.
07.00 Kut. US AIRSTRIKES ON AL KUT KILL 56 PEOPLE. Hospital reports some militia members and many civilians, including children have been killed in the airstrike.