Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Sunday, April 17, 2005

17 April 2005 Events in Iraq

London. Foreign Minister Jack Straw says British troops to be withdrawn from Iraq in two years.

Damascus. Syrian intellectuals plead for release of French reporter Florence Aubenas and guide Hussein Hanoun. Syrian intellectuals reaffirm their commitment to freedom of expression and condemn any controls on the freedom of information, especially violence against journalists, says Political Scientist Salam Kawakibi.

Baghdad. Meeting of Iraq's neighbors postponed to 25 and 26 April. A meeting of states bordering on Iraq was postponed one week due to a request from Iraqi President Ibrahim Jaafari. The meeting with be the 8th in a series.

Brussels. Possible international conference in June. European Council President Jean-Claude Juncker says a meeting may be organized on Brussels in early June. However, Iraq has been hesitant to issue the request. The meeting would concentrate on the coordination of assitance to the country, says the European Commissioner for Foreign Relations, Benita Ferrero Waldner.

Baghdad. Shi'ite and Kurdish MPs are concerned by the delay in forming a new government. Outgoing Foreign Minister and MP Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd, and MP Houmam Hamoudi, a Shi'a, say they believe the delay has fueled the resistance.

Mosul. Four police and five civilians were killed in separate incidents across northern Iraq.

Baghdad. Iraqi security sources say they arrested Izzat Ibrahim in March. The US had placed a bounty of $10 million on Ibrahim, a nephew of Saddam Hussein. Also announced was the arrest of Hashem Hussein Raduana al-Juburi

22:00 Al Madā’in. The kidnapping of a group of traveling Shiites last week near the town, 10 miles south of Baghdad, generated a retaliatory kidnapping of a group of Sunnis by Shi'ites a few days later. Friday night's exaggerated reports of a takeover of Al Madā’in by Sunnis and a mass exodus of Shi'ite residents to Al Kūt was played down by residents Saturday, despite a bomb blast which demolished a Shi'ite mosque. The situation in the town topped the agenda of Sunday's session of the National Assembly. Meanwhile, other reports say that when US and Ukrainian troops arrived in Al Madā’in, they saw streets full of people calmly sipping tea in cafés and going about their business. There were no armed Sunni mobs, no cowering Shiite victims. After hours of careful searches, the soldiers assisted by air surveillance found no evidence of any kidnappings or refugees at all.

22:00 The US Embassy said Marla Ruzicka, 27, the director of CIVIC, an international NGO, a Czech-born French national and an unidentified third person were killed by a suicide carbomb on the highway leading to Baghdad Airport.

21:22 Ba’qūbah. Seven Iraqis taken hostage. Seven workers at a US military base at Al Al Mansūrīyah were kidnapped by rebels as they left their jobs for the day.

20:21 An Najaf. Officials of the holy Shi'ite city said Highway Police General Karim Silawi died after being shot by fellow police loyal to his predecessor, General Hilal Abdallah. General Abdallah had been fired by the Provincial Council for his links to the former Ba'ath regime and replaced by General Silawi. When Gen. Silawi reported for work, he was shot dead by fellow police officers. Gen. Abdallah has been arrested. In March another incident involving Najaf police took place when Gen. Ghaleb al-Jazaïri refused to be transfered to Baghdad. A city judge then wrote out an arrest warrant which was served and ignored. Gen. al-Jazaïri kept his job.

13:17 Baghdad. High-ranking police officials assassinated in Baghdad and in Mosul. In Baghdad, Amazr Hassan, leader of the anti-terrorist Wolf Brigades was shot dead. In Mosul, Col. Yunes Mohammed al-Jawadi, was shot dead as he returned home. A group linked to Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi claimed credit for al-Jawadi's assassination.

11:02 Al ‘Azīzīyah. The bodies of 19 unidentified men were found floating in the Tigris.

10:28 Ar Ramādi. Mortars fired at US base kill three Americans. At least three US soldiers were killed and seven wounded by mortar fire directed at a US base near Ramadi. [I am doubtful that it was "mortar" was likely another suicide bombing inside the camp--Nur].


Anonymous Christiane said...


Une jeune femme française, mariée à un diplomate suisse en poste à Baghdad vient d'écrire un roman décrivant sa vie au jour le jour depuis le début de l'occupation américaine.

Il ne s'agit pas du tout d'un livre politique. Mais à travers les petits faits de la vie quotidienne, Elisabeth Horem révèle ce que cela signifie de vivre à Baghdad depuis 2003. Enfermée, surveillée par des gardes jours et nuits, elle ne peut pas visiter la ville. Elle ne voit presque jamais Baghdad, mais elle la devine, mystérieure, inatteignable, dangereuse. Elle en entend parler à travers le personnel Irakien présent dans la maison et elle l'entrevoit à travers quelques escapades étroitement surveillée.
Au début j'ai été un peu choquée par le ton détaché, par le contraste que l'on imagine entre le monde protégé où vivent les étrangers et ce que doit être la vie quotidienne des Irakiens. Mais en fin de compte, Elisabeth Horem laisse entrevoir beaucoup de choses et sans subir de grandes démonstrations didactiques, on devine ce que cela doit être pour les femmes irakiennes de vivre à Baghdad dans l'insécurité d'aujourd'hui. On suit pas à pas, comment la situation sécuritaire se dégrade de plus en plus. On découvre la peur, celle de cette jeune femme de diplomate essaie tant bien que mal de tenir à distance, mais aussi celle encore pire que doivent vivre les Irakiens et Irakiennes au quotidien. A côté de la présence / absence de Baghdad c'est aussi l'absurdité de la guerre, la peur qu'elle engendre que Elisabeth Horem décrit (avec pas mal de talent, car c'est une écrivain confirmée qui publie ici son 5eme roman).

On peut télécharger quelques cette adresse du roman à cette adresse, mais c'est seulement les premières pages avant de juger ces pages qui paraissent peut-être trop détachées, il faudrait lire le tout.


(dont les commentaires apparaissent parfois sur le blog d'Helena Coban ou de Abbas Kadim)

PS : excuse me for the OT subject, but I thought you may be interested and there is no mail address to write you directly.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Mark from Ireland said...

Hi Nur,

Not sure you're right about the mortar. A reasonably performing one would typically be fairly accurate up to 3 miles.

Any way:

Berlusconi resigns,12576,1462730,00.html

Berlusconi doesn't resign:,1280,-4946077,00.html

Take care let me know if you got my mail.

Christianne if you read this I'm working on a long paper on various strands of Islamic activism. It'll be a few weeks but I'll put it up on my server when its finished and post the url here.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

Got your email, Mark. n'attends pas le moment de lire le roman. Merci!

3:18 PM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said... mortar. You are quite correct but this was precisely like the official US military statement issued after the suicide bombing in the US encampment near Mosul...mortar. I saw the photos of the cafeteria and realized immediately that it was not a mortar.

All cameras have been confiscated from our troops, so there is no evidence. Who knows?

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Mark from Ireland said...

Good glad you got it I go through a proxy and sometimes it can be a little fussy.

Good point re: Mortars, statements, and photos. I remember the Mosul 'photos and there was no way in hell.... Now if only Dubya would learn from his bigger mistakes ... Oh well we can dream. My take is that until it starts to affect a large number Americans directly (read "draft".)

Mind you there's one intriguing thing that hooks to the domsestic USA situation. Dubya ain't got no annointed successor is he likely to go "lameduck" rather sooner than later because of this - your thoughts?

Good night for now.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

Mark, Bush is only the tip of the iceberg. We are run by gangsters somehow impervious to the biggest scandals in US history.

I hear he is grooming his brother, Jeb--who's a flake. I'm sure Condoleezza would like to run, too, but the US is far too patriarchical and racist for that. Rumor is that Schwartzenegger would run if the Constitution were amended. They are other contenders--NY Governor Pataki for one.

The Congress is smelling blood at the disatrous deficit and hasn't given the Dubya his requested supplemental $82 billion to fund his wars. But they are also cretins and have cut out the $200 million for the Palestinian Authority.

Dubya has a lot riding on the Gaza pullout which Sharon and Netanyahu strain at delaying while they expand the West Bank settlements. He also has a lot riding on his freedom experiment which is about to blossom as Greater Iran and a recipe for decades of turmoil. He can control neither. I might add that Wolfensohn has prestige but no power now that he's been appointed Quartet manager.

So yeah, he'll be even lamer after the country's expectations are betrayed.

p.s. No chance of a military draft.

8:05 PM  

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