23 June 2005 Events In Iraq
From the AFP: US lawmakers warn Iraqi officials that without progress on the political front, US troops may leave Iraq. Democratic Senator Carl Levin, Number 2 on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that the schedule for drafting the Iraqi Constitution must be maintained or the US may rethink its presence. Levin made the statement in the presence of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. We must show the Iraqis that our willingness to bear the burden for security has its limits. Shouldn't we send a message that there will be consequences if progress is not made?, offered Senator Sandra Collins. [What's humorous is that the Senate doesn't want to blame itself for handing warpowers to the worst.president.ever, so it is threatening Jaafari.--Nur]
Baghdad. At least 32 are dead and 50 wounded in quadruple carbombing. The series of bombings started with a suicide carbomber who rammed a police patrol, killing 24. The second blast occurred in a busy street, crowded with shoppers. The third carbomb targeted a Turkish bath (hammam) and the fourth the Karradah Mosque, which is Shi'ite. Meanwhile, the United Nations released a report saying that 300 Iraq civilians have been killed or wounded by landmines or cluster bombs in four of Iraq's eighteen provinces.
New York. US 'stalling UN Guantanamo visit'. Investigators from the United Nations have accused the US of stalling over their repeated requests to visit detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The UN said for over a year there had been no response to its requests to check on the condition of detainees. This suggested the US was "not willing to co-operate with the United Nations human rights machinery," the team said.
London. At the G8 meeting in London, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice again criticized Syria for insufficiently monitoring its border. Meanwhile General John Abizaid said in a Senate Armed Forces Committee meeting that there are more insurgents present in Iraqi now than six months ago and that Syria was responsible. Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the US can win the war.
Damascus. Syria to demand proof from Iraq. Damascus has asked Baghdad to supply proof of the US accusations against it.
Amman. Saddam Hussein to publish swashbuckling adventure novel. The novel, Out With the Accursed Scoundrel, will be published in Jordan, reports the newspaper al-Arab. The plot: A hero, a heroine and an Arab swordsman overthrow a corrupt ruler. The Hussein family lawyer, Ziad Najdawi, says extracts from the novel have been reprinted in the Arab press. Saddam Hussein published a prior adventure novel entitled, Zabiba, the King and the Impregnable Fortress.
Damascus. Syrian Prime Minister Naji al-Otari met with two Iraqi ministers in Damascus this month, the first such announced meeting between senior Syrian and Iraqi officials since July 2004, when former caretaker Prime Minister Iyad Allawi visited Damascus to discuss cooperation, especially on security.
23:59 Washington. Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari told U.S. lawmakers on Thursday he planned to visit Syria in a bid to ease tensions and urged Washington to keep up pressure on Damascus to stop insurgents crossing the border, officials who attended the meeting said. Jaafari said Iran should not interfere in Iraq's internal affairs, and said Baghdad's relations with the United States would remain strong even if Washington confronted Tehran militarily over its nuclear ambitions, the officials said.
23:58 New York. Secretary-General Kofi Annan wants to transfer US$200 million in oil-for-food revenue to the Development Fund for Iraq and use another US$20 million to pay Iraq's past U.N. dues. This would still leave over $125 million in the account to pay for activities of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). Security Council approval of the proposal was virtually certain.
22:53 Washington. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, accused Syria of having knowledge of foreign fighters passing through its territory heading for Iraq.
23:57 Washington. The White House as closed ranks around Presidential Advisor Karl Rove against calls for his resignation. Rove blamed the Democrats of undermining the war on terror and American efforts in Iraq. Senator John Kerry is among those calling for Rove's ouster.
23:57 London. US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice obtained the support of the foreign ministers of the G8 on the Syrian question. The State Department believes Syrian intelligence agents are still inside Lebanon.
23:56 Washington. Vice President repeated his assertion that the Iraqi insurrection is in its last throes.
23:56 Washington. Defense officials have placed the draft out of consideration. The idea that we should go back to mandatory military service is a terrible mistake, said Centcom Commander General John Abizaid.
23:52 Washington. Iraqi Premier Ibrahim al-Jafari met with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and other lawmakers.
23:40 Washington. US lawmakers warn Iraqi officials that without progress on the political front, US troops may leave Iraq. Democrat Senator Carl Levin, Number 2 on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that the schedule for drafting the Iraqi Constitution must be maintained or the US may "rethink its presence." Levin made the statement in the presence of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. We must show the Iraqis that our willingness to bear the burden for security has its limits. Shouldn't we send a message that there will be consequences if progress is not made?, offered Senator Sandra Collins.
22:00 Baghdad. In the day's main political development, a list of 15 Sunni Arabs was approved Thursday by a group of 50 Sunni Arab religious, tribal and political leaders who met in Iraq's old parliament building in downtown Baghdad. The 15 men and a single representative from Iraq's small Sabian community will sit on a special committee that will be formed in tandem with an existing 55-member Constitutional drafting committee exclusively made up of elected legislators. The 71-member group will take decisions through consensus and send them to the other group for ratification.
20:29 New York. Oil hits $60 per barrel.
18:40 Hillah. Slovakian troops kill Iraqi civilian. Slovakian troops fired a warning shot into a vehicle as it passed their convoy heading for Camp Charlie, killing the driver, says Slovakian Defense Minister Zenon Mikle.
18:23 Touz. Booby-trapped car kills one and wounds ten. A booby-trapped carbomb was set off remotely near a US covoy on the road to Touz, 175 km from Baghdad. One Iraq policeman was killed and 10 others wounded as they gathered around the demolished car. The blast slightly damaged US vehicles.
16:27 Rafah. Hundreds of Palestinians blocked at border. At least a thousand Palestinians attempting to cross into the Gaza Strip were blocked by Israeli forces. The Palestinians have been held up for three days and the number continues to grow. The crowd includes the elderly, the sick, pregnant women and children.
12:49 Baghdad. Abdullah Mohammad al-Rashood, a Saudi Islamic radical, was killed by a US airstrike on Qaim. The date of his death is unknown. Al-Rashood was one of 26 militants wanted by the Saudi government.
10:44 Baghdad. Seven rebels were killed this morning as they fired on a patrol during a joint US-Iraqi operation.
07:28 Baghdad. Death toll rises to 15 dead in a series of carbombings in the capital this morning. At least 50 are wounded.
06:47 Baghdad. Three carbombings take place in the Karradah business district. Three police are dead and two wounded.
06:19 Baghdad. Two blasts in the capital. Three are reported dead in blast in the Karada business district.
00:52 New York. Alexander Yakovlev, one of the heads of the UN's procurement office and involved in the Oil for Food scandal, resigned after Fox News accused him of attempting to place his son in a job with one of the suppliers with which Yakovlev dealt.