February 22 Events in Iraq
Amman. Jordan and Syria settle border disputed. Jordanian Interior Minister Samir Habachneh says Jordan and Syria will initial an agreement on Sunday settling a border dispute dating back to the 1930s.
Canberra. Australian Prime Minister John Howard said his country would deploy another 450 troops to Iraq to guard Japanese troops working in southern Iraq. Australia already has around 950 troops stationed in the Middle East. Prime Minister Howard, a firm ally of US President George W Bush, said he knew the surprise announcement would be unpopular with many Australians.
Baghdad. Concern over links of al-Jaafari to Iran. Detractors of Ibrahim al Jaafari accuse him of corruption, dubious links to Teheran and being an enemy of women's rights. Al-Jaafari has said he supports Islam as the source of law in the Constitution which the new National Assembly will draft. Senator Hillary Clinton complained on Sunday that the nomination of Mr. Jaafari would evoke serious cause for concern. Meanwhile Abdel Mehdi of SCIRI was consiliatory. We are always ready and willing for dialog and support the participation of everyone. The Committee of Iraqi Ulema and other Sunni groups are voices of the Iraqi people and we are in dialog with them, although we do not agree with them when they contest the legitimacy of the elections.
Kirkuk. The Islamic Alliance of Kurdistan announced that it would join a parliamentary bloc with other Kurdish parties to yield 77 seats in the National Assembly. It is now allied with Massoud Barzani's DPK and Jalal Talabani's PUK.
Samarra. Three civilians were killed and one wounded by a roadside bomb.
Brussels. Europe to train Iraqi magistrates. EU nations to train 770 Iraq magistrates, prison officials and police in Operation Lex to take place outside of Iraq.
19:46 Brussels. Berlusconi says there is no further news concerning kidnapped hostage Giuliana Sgrena.
19:15 Brussels. EU and USA say they are prepared to hold an international conference on the future of Iraq with the interim government of Iraq were to request it.
19:15 Rome. Italian journalist reportedly killed by Iraqi National Guards. The Roman public prosecuters' office reviewing the kidnapping and murder of Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni and chauffer Hisham Mahmud Hussein after reports in an Iraqi newspaper that the pair was killed by Iraqi National Guards.
16:55 Brussels: Strong NATO backing for training of Iraqis. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer says the alliance has found funds and staffing for an Iraqi troop training program. However, few nations will deploy trainers to the al-Rustamaniya Military Academy in Baghdad outside the Green Zone which is scheduled to open in September 2005. Germany is to train Iraqi troops in the UAE while France will conduct training of 1,500 officers in Qatar. This falls short of NATO's original goal of training 1,000 officers inside Iraq as well as 500 in Rome, 500 in Stavanger (Norway), and 500 in Oberrammergau (Germany). Spain and Canada have agreed to train anti-mine personnel and police. Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Luxemburg, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain have refused to send trainers to Iraq. 79 trainers of whom 34 are Americans, 13 are Danish and 7 are Polish have been contributed. Estonia, Norway, and Turkey will contribute a single instructor each.
16:11 Baghdad. Suicide bombing in Green Zone.
14:04 Baghdad. Shi'ite political alliance nominates al-Jaafari of the al-Dawa party as candidate for Prime Minister. Abdel Aziz Hakim, head of SCIRI, says al-Jaafari was nominated unanimously.
13:34 Baghdad. Chalabi withdraws from Premier nomination race within the UIA to preserve the unity of the UIA alliance.
13:08 Mosul. Carbombing in Mosul.A Fiat rented near the Sahha bridge exploded as a US convoy passed nearby, damaging a military vehicle. No victims reported.
11:54 Baghdad. Carbombing in Green Zone. Carbomb detonates as a convoy of Interior Ministry commandos exits the Green Zone, killing 2 commandos and wounding 2 civilians. 30 police were also wounded. US and British embassy officials were travelling with the convoy.
11:46 Brussels. All NATO partners to participate in Iraqi troop training program.
11:41 Baghdad. Raid on Shi'ite mosque. The al-Rasul al-Akram mosque in the Ghazalia district of west Baghdad was subject to a commando raid by insurgents.
11:20 Baghdad. Carbomb detonates outside Kurdish party headquarters.
10:49 Baghdad. Powerful blasts in west Baghdad.
10:48 Fallujah. Members of a rebel cell which allegedly kidapped and murdered Italian reporter Enzo Baldoni were killed as they tried to reinfiltrate Fallujah. The ringleader was identified as Hisham Mahmud Hussein.