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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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).

Monday, November 14, 2005

14 November 2005 Events in Iraq and Related

Salah-ad-din Province. US forces supported by Iraqi troops conducted nocturnal house-to-house searches in three towns in the province looking for Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, No. 2 of the former regime, four days after his announced death. Homes in Siniya, Dour (al-Douri's home village), and the Mawashta quarter of Dour were searched.

Baghdad. US steps up offensive against rebel strongholds north, south and west of Baghdad in advance of December 15 elections. Offensives against Obeidi continues, Houssaybah and Karabilah occupied.

Baquba. Iraqi Special Forces launch Operation Knockout in city and arrest 370 people. The arrests sparked protests across Sunni towns north of Baghdad.

Geneva. The United Nations has published a report saying ongoing US offensives are having a "devastating effect on the civilian populace" and continue to cause displacements and suffering for thousands of families. The report suggests that the actions of the US will lead to "the proliferation of militias and criminal or terrorist groups."

Cairo. The Arab League has announced that Premier Ibrahim Jaafari will attend the opening session of an Iraqi reconciliation conference to start on 19 November. The foreign ministers of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Algeria and Egypt will also be present.

London. Tony Blair says pullout of British forces from Iraq may begin next year. Defence Minister John Reid insists that the pullout will be gradual, a statement supported by Jalal Talabani, who is in Vienna.

Jerusalem. Condoleezza Rice delayed her trip to South Korea in an attempt to win an agreement on the Rafah checkpoint between Palestinians and Israelis. Meanwhile Palestinian President Abbas reports a compromise negotiated by Quartet representative James Wolfensohn on the Rafah terminal under which Israeli border police will not be present.

Jerusalem. A rocket launched from the northern Gaza Strip struck Israeli territory. No injuries reported.

Ramallah. Israeli Defense Shaul Mofaz met with the Palestinian Minister for Civil Affairs Mohammed Dahlan.

Strasbourg. The European Union is prepared to deploy observers to the Rafah terminal within the next few days. Israeli is insisting on real-time camera surveillance of the crossing. The EU will also deploy a civilian police contingent to the Palestinian territories to "reinforce Palestinian security and police structures" on January 1, 2006.

Baghdad. Two South African security contracters were killed and three of their colleagues wounded (another South African, and Iraqi and and American) when a car bomb rammed next to their SUV near the Green Zone. All were employees of Dyncorp.

Jerusalem. Condoleezza Rice and Ariel Sharon hold ave diverging opinions on the participation of Hamas in the January Palestinian legislative elections. Sharon maintains that the participation of Hamas would be "a serious mistake" while Rice believes it will be easier to disarm Hamas following the elections. Rice also demanded an end to futher Israeli settlements on the West Bank.

Ramallah. Israeli military assassinates Hamas military leader Amjad Hinnawi and a second Palestinian.

Tunis. Tunisian authorities will launch an investigation into the beating of a French journalist last week in Tunis. Christophe Boltanski, special correspondent for the newspaper Libération was beaten by "unknown persons" after covering a human rights demonstration.

Beirut. Lebanese Minister Trad Hamadi warns that if Hezbollah and Amal cabinet ministers are forced out, then the Lebanese government will cease to exist. Meanwhile, Amal and Hezbollah demand the following: 1) Rejection of international resolutions demanding the disarming of Hezbollah and Palestininan militias; 2) rejection of a demarcation between Lebanon and Syria in the are of Shebaa 3) Rejection of the findings of the Mehlis Report, which Amal and Hezbollah believe are "political".

Beirut. Michel Aoun begins 15-day visit to the United States. Aoun will meet with Congress and Administration officials. Aoun will be received as a former Lebanese Prime Minister, and not an ordinary MP. Before leaving, Aoun met with Georges Adwan of the Lebanese Forces militia.

Laghouat (Algeria). Violent demonstrations broke out after a young man was shot by police after an argument in front of his home. Mustapha Rougab, 25, died of his wounds in a hospital in Ghardaïa. Hundreds of Algerian youths then attacked government buildings, setting fire to police headquarters.

Paris. Mohammed al-Joundi, former guide for French reporters Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, kidnapped in Iraq, is suing the French government for not keeping its promises. Mohammed al-Joundi lives in a tiny flat in Paris with his wife and three children. The family had been promised reimbursement of living expenses by the French government.

23:57 Washington. The US Senate is to demand that the Bush Administration issue regular reports to the Senate on progress in Iraq as part of an bipartisan amendment.

23:56 Anchorage. President George W. Bush, departing for Asia, denied charges that his Administration had manipulated evidence for war on Saddam Hussein in a speech at Elmendorf Air Base.

23:54 Washington. Iraqi Vice Premier Ahmad Chalabi met with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney behind closed doors.

23:45 Washington. Democrats accused President Bush of making "untrue" statements as Bush charged that the Democrats want to "rewrite history for political purposes" as they criticize the Administration's justifications for war on Iraq. Reasonable people may disagree on the war, said Bush, but it is irresponsible for the Democrats to claim today that we mislead them as well as the American people.

23:06 Geneva. The United Nations is concerned by the massive arrests of Iraqi Sunnis by US and Iraqi security forces, who are suspected of prisoner mistreatment. Hundreds of Sunni Iraqis are being rounded up for "imperitive security reasons", reports the UN. Thousands are being held for long periods of time exposed to the elements and without adequate judicial oversight. US forces now hold 13,514 detainees, more than double the June 2005 figures. The Iraqi Justice Ministry holds another 7,577 persons; the Interior Ministry 3,916. Nearly 340 minors are interned by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

22:10 Cairo. Egypt launches a diplomatic offensive after a Danish newspaper printed a cartoon showing the Prophet Mahomet. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit denounced the cartoon which appeared in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten and demanded an apology. [See post below---Nur]

19:52 Ramadi. At least six civilians are dead following a roadside bombing which struck two passenger coaches.

18:24 Baghdad. US airstrikes kill 50 "insurgents" in the town of Obeidi on the Syrian border.

17:59 Geneva. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Organizations has issued an urgent appeal for assistance to 350,000 Iraqis affected by the instability in Iraq where 60,000 families have been uprooted and are without adequate shelter for the winter months.

17:58 Jerusalem. New Labour Party chief Amir Peretz introduced a bill to the Knesset which provides for indemnities to Israeli settlers who voluntarily leave the occupied. West Bank

17:47 Damascus. The Muslim Brotherhood demands that the Syrian government cooperate with the UN investigation into the assassination of Rafiq Hariri and harshly criticized Syrian authorities for their refusal to implement reforms.

17:15 Obeidi. US launches airstrikes against town, claiming it killed 35 "insurgents".

17:18 Rabat. Five ex-Guantanamo Moroccan detainees did not show up for their hearing before the Antiterrorism Court in Salé. A source says they have been arrested by secret police for their links to Salafiya Jihadiya, a Jihadist movement in Morocco. Abdallah Tabarak, 50, Mohamed Ouzar, 26, Redwan Shekkouri, 33, Mohamed Mazouz 32 and Brahim Benshekroun, 26, have not been seen since Friday. They had been handed over by the US to Morocco in August 2004. Abdallah Tabarak is thought to have been a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden.

16:42 Jerusalem. The new chairman of the Labour Party, Amir Peretz, has introduced a bill to the Knesset encouraging settler evacuation from the West Bank. He ask also forced Labour ministers in the Sharon government to resign.

16:28 Srinagar (Kashmir). Bomb kills four and wounds 12. The blast occurred near a police station in the Lal Showk market in the city center. A group of militants has claimed responsibility.

16:12 Kabul. Taliban claim credit for twin suicide bombings.

15:32 Kabul. Two suicide bombings in Kabul. Four wounded. Three civilians and a German soldier are dead.

12:01 Kabul. German soldier dies in suicide bombing targeting a NATO convoy this morning.

11:49 Kabul. An automobile packed with explosives rammed a NATO patrol in the Afghani capital. Several dead reported.

09:47 Ramadi. A bomb went off near two passenger coaches, killing 6 and wounding 30. Ten of the wounded are in serious condition.

09:01 Baghdad. An automobile packed with explosives rammed an SUV near the Green Zone. US Apache helicopters are overflying the area. Later, a carbomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol, killing 3 civilians and wounding another four.

08:50 Obeidi. US launches airstrikes on Obedi on the frontier with Syria, killing 37 "insurgents".

07:50 Baghdad. Policeman dies in car bombing and two others are wounded.

07:16 Baghdad. A powerful blast was heard near the Green Zone

06:02 Nablus. Hamas leader Amjad Hanawi, 34, military chief of Hamas for the northern West Bank, was shot dead by Israeli troops as he attempted to escape.


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