January 24 Events in Iraq
Milan - Insurgency is one thing and terrorism another. There is a distinction between the actions on the battlefield and indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population. Milanese Judge Clementina Forleo has dismissed charges against three Islamists accused of international terrorism for having volunteered as kamikazis to fight in Iraq with Ansar al Sunna, which has no connection to al Qaeda. The threesome, Buyahia Maher, Tumi Alì Ben Sassi, and Mohamed Daki, arrested in 2003, have been released from preventative custody. Judge Forleo cited Article 18, Section 2 of the UN International Convention on Terrorism which legalizes insurgent actions provided they do no specifically target civilians. [Italian fascists are spitting nails over this.--Nur].
Baghdad. Ansar al-Sunna assassinated an Iraqi working for a contracting firm providing security to CIA personnel. Meanwhile an Iraqi policeman and a soldier were killed in three separate attacks north of the capital in which two police were also wounded.
Jerusalem. Israeli Labour leader Shimon Peres said Iran has become the source of every danger in the Middle East in an interview broadcast via Israeli military radio. Peres stated that the US may use a military option to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions. Mossad Chief Meir Gadan told the Knesset that Iran was about to cross the point of no return and that in two years Islamic republic will have the bomb. Israel has threatened to take unilateral military action against Iran.
Tokyo. Most Japanese want their troops out of Iraq before March. A survey by the Kyodo Press Agency reveals that most Japanese want Japan's contingent pulled out by March 2005.
Baghdad. Following a taped message from Abu Mussab al Zarqawi, Shi'ite cleric Sheik Hammam Hammoudi of the United Iraqi Alliance has called upon Sunni clergy to disassociate themselves from the Jordanian rebel leader.
Amman. Amman expresses satisfaction over the pending arrest of Ahmed Chalabi. Jordanian government spokesperson Mrs Asma Khodr Khodr expressed satisfaction at the possible arrest of Ahmed Chalabi. Chalabi is wanted in Jordan and that's why we approve of his arrest. If he is arrested and handed over to Interpol, we shall demand his extradition. Chalabi was found guity by an Amman court for fraud after the collapse of the Petra Bank and sentenced him to 22 years in prison in abstentia.
Fallujah. US and Iraqi forces searched for Abu Mussab al Zaqaqi inside Fallujah following rumors that the Jordanian was inside the city. Rumors have it that Zarqawi is escorted by two German-make sedans. Anyone known to own a German sedan had their residence searched. Furthermore, the identity plates of all such vehicles were photographed and registered.
Baghdad. Fears concerning the success of elections are growing for reasons other than religion. Iraqi Finance Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, a Shi'ite candidate on the United Iraqi Alliance, believes that there will be voter fraud because of lack of observers.
London. Assyrians victims of ethnic cleansing. Former head of the Anglican Church Lord George Carey has inaugurated a campaign of support for Iraqi Assyrians. Rev. Khoshaba George of the Assyrian Church of London says the invasion worsened the situation of Assyrians in Iraq. Prof. Simo Parpola, an expert in Assyrian culture, says current levels of violence affecting Assyrians are as bad as those seen during WWII, when 250 000 Assyrians were massacred. According to Lord Carey, Their churches and monasteries are attacked, people are killed, and one young churchmember was kidnapped and decapitated. The Assyrians trace their roots to 3 000 BC. There are approximately 800 000 Assyrians in Iraq.
Baghdad. Death threats directed at attorney for Saddam Hussein. Iraqi attorney Khalil Doulaïmi has received death threats and has learned that hit men have been hired to assassinate him. Ziad Khassaouneh, spokesman for Saddam Hussein's defense team, says the group holds the American administration and the Iraqi caretaker government resonsible for Doulaïmi's safety.
Strasbourg. The High EU Representative for Foreign Affairs Javier Solana says the absence of Sunni participation in the upcoming elections would be a catastrophe for the country.
Kabul. Afgan President Hamid Karzai calls on Iraqis to go to the polls in "pride and glory" as did the people of Afghanistan.
23:23 Washington US troops to remain at least until 2007. Gen James Lovelace says US troop levels in Iraq will remain at 120,000 for the next two years
22:34 Samarra. Zarqawi followers vow to place snipers on rooftops. Snipers will be deployed to rooftops on 30 January to prevent voters from going to the polls. Al Zarqawi has called for intensification of the war against the occupation.
23:10 Guantanamo. 23 prisoners attempted mass suicide. Prisoners in Camp Delta, formerly known as Camp X-ray, attempted simultaneous suicide by hanging between 18 and 26 August 2003. The US military said the action was merely a display to intimidate new prison guards.
17:18 Kirkuk. Arabs withdraw from elections. Arab Sunni and Shi'a running together on the Unified Arab Front slate have decided with withdraw from Sunday's elections per Front Secretary General Wasfi al Assi. The decision cam after the Elections Committee authorized refugee Kurds from other parts of Iraq to vote within election precincts in the city of Kirkuk.
16:12 Baghdad. Clashes near airport. Clashes between insurgents and US troops have broken out in the vicinity of Baghdad airport. Two Royal Jordanian airliners were prevented from landing and returned to Amman. Eight released Chinese hostages were unable to leave the country due to flight cancellations.
14:40 Baghdad. Allawi's party in sights of al Zarqawi. Twenty-four hours after having declared war on the Iraqi elections, Abu Musab al Zarqawi passed from words to deeds and dispatched a suicide bomber to Allawi's party headquarters. The carbomber was unable to penetrate inside the building of Iraqi National Accord; the device exploded at the same checkpoint where a suicide carbomb on January 3 killed three people. This time a dozen or so are wounded; most seriously injured are the checkpoint guards. A hospital spokesman says seven guards and three civilians are injured.
14:32 Baghdad. Important al Qaeda figure arrested. Baghdad says it has arrested Sami Mohammad Said al-Jaf, also known as Abu Omar al-Kurdi, who is thought to be behind at least 32 carbombings including the attack which killed UN special representative Sergio de Mello. [This is old news which is being recycled to serve Allawi's campaign; originally reported on 30 December 2004--Nur].
13:07 Baghdad. Al Zarqawi lieutenant arrested. Iraqi police say they have arrested a man whose nom de guerre is Abu Hilal.
12:40 Baghdad. Al Zarqawi distributes video showing execution of Egyptian truck driver. In a video distributed by al Zarqawi, a Turkish truck driver is executed in broad daylight in the middle of the street. The victim, Ibrahim Mohammed Ismail, worked for the Kuwaiti firm, 'Shallai', which supplies potable water to US troops. Ismail was shot in the head after having 'confessed' to be working for the United States.
09:41 Baghdad. Carbomb targets Allawi party headquarters. A column of smoke was seen rising from the Green Zone; five police are injured. Meanwhile, running water was restored to Baghdad after the municipal water supply was sabotaged on 15 January, affecting 40% of Baghdad households.
09:01 Dubai. Al Zarqawi executes 2 Iraqi truck drivers. Al Zarqawi distributes a video showing the execution of two Iraqi truck drivers who worked for a Lebanese trucking company delivering supplies to US troops in Ramadi.