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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Thursday, December 01, 2005

1 December 2005 Events in Iraq and in the Region

Baghdad. US General Martin Dempsey, responsible for the training of Iraqi security forces, told AFP that 33 Iraqi battalions now control their own "combat space."

Baghdad. Gunmen wounded Saad al-Obeidi, an advisor to Iraq's defense minister, and killed one of his bodyguards on Thursday in an attack on his convoy. Two other guards were wounded.

Berlin. German government attempts to contact the kidnappers of archaeologist Susanne Osthof.

Jerusalem. Ariel Sharon's old adversary, Shimon Peres, has joined Sharon's Kadima party.

Damascus. Syrian Airlines announces that Baghdad has asked Syria to ban Arab citizens from flying to Baghdad except for passengers with a special permit.

Ramallah. The human rights agency B’Tselem affirmed that the security wall under construction by Israel was deliberately build to extend existing Jewish settlements and to create others.

Gaza. Israel and Palestine reach an agreement on the removal of rubble from Jewish settlements in Gaza. Timothy Rothermel of the United Nations Program for Development made the announcement.

Gaza. Dozens of armed members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades invaded a building housing the Interior and Finance ministries in Gaza to demand that the primaries continue. Meanwhile, the "new guard" of Fatah made stunning breakthroughs against the organization's current leaders.

Ramadi. "Reports of insurgents taking control of Ramadi are completely unsubstantiated," Marines Captain Patrick Kerr said in an emailed statement. "There have been a few sporadic small-arms engagements, but nothing out of the ordinary."

Hit. Residents of Hit demonstrated against the U.S. offensive on Thursday, complaining about excessive force and calling on foreign troops to leave their city.

Baghdad. Iraq's Interior Minister dismissed his deputy, responsible for probing ministerial corruption and abuses. Nouri al-Nouri was fired on Nov. 28 nearly two weeks after the discovery of a bunker at the Shi'ite-run ministry where more than 170 prisoners, most of them Sunni Arabs, were held, beaten and half-starved.

21:30 Baghdad. Radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada Sadr says the Iraqi people demand a schedule for the pullout of US troops.

19:46 Dubai. A video was uploaded to an insurgent websit showing a man who was beaten for spying. The man, Nasser Hadi Ali, is shown being interrogated in the video by men who threaten him with assault weapons.

21:41 Ankara. Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki, on a visit to Turkey, made it known that his country has no intention of negotiating with the United States over Iraq. According to Newsweek, the US Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, announced the opening of a dialog with the Iranian government.

19:40 Washington. The White House said it was "very worried" about the news that the US Army's Information Operations Task Force distributed payola to Iraqi newspaper editors to plant stories to better the image of the United States.

19:37 Amman. Jordan's prime minister met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday and renewed Jordan's support for the Palestinian Authority to help it consolidate control over the West Bank and Gaza Strip. New premier Marouf al-Bakhit, a former ambassador to Israel, said Jordan will remain a strong supporter of its Palestinian brothers in their efforts to regain their legitimate rights and establish their state on their national soil.

19:34 Hebron: Israeli forces arrested a reporter for al-Jazeera in Hebron. Reporter Awad Radjoub, 29, was arrested at his home in Hebron. Israel gave no reason for his arrest.

19:04 Amman. Royal Jordanian airlines has banned citizens of Arab nations from flying to Iraq on a request from the Iraqi government, turning away five Arabs on Thursday, an airline official said. Officials at Iraqi Airways and the Iraqi Embassy in Amman were not immediately available for comment.

19:03 Baghdad. Insurgents are winning the intelligence war against U.S-backed troops in Iraq, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi said on Thursday, but he promised to tackle the problem.

19:02 Washington. Iraq is moving closer toward securing a fresh loan with the International Monetary Fund. Thomas Dawson, a spokesman for the lending institution, said the IMF's board is likely to take up the matter before the end of December.

17:20 Rome. Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi said a Coalition pullout from Iraq would result in chaos.

15:43 Baghdad. Insurgents launched a brief assault west of Baghdad on Thursday, firing mortar rounds and rockets at a U.S. base and local government buildings, the day after Washington unveiled its new strategy for victory in Iraq. Residents said heavily armed men wearing masks attacked a U.S. garrison in the centre of Ramadi, a rebellious city 110 km (65 miles) west of Baghdad, and fired on nearby council offices before seizing several streets. Leaflets were distributed saying that al Qaeda in Iraq, the group led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al Zarqawi, was taking control. But after a couple of hours, most of the militants dispersed and the city appeared to return to relative calm.

14:01 Baghdad. Academic assassinated. Aqil Abdel Al Jabbar, Professor of Medicine at Al Nahrein University, was shot dead.

13:23 Washington. The military hasn't done a good enough job of explaining to the American people what is going on in Iraq and the political and military progress there, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Thursday. Even so, Gen. Peter Pace, warned that battling terrorism will be a long war.

10:33 Ramadi. 400 insurgents control city. Masked men equipped with heavy weapons have entered the city, organizing street patrols and checkpoints.

09:55 Ramadi. US bases attacked. Several US military bases around Ramadi were attacked by rebels with mortar and rocket fire. Rebels also targeted the Governor's residence during a meeting between US officials and local tribal leaders.

08:29 Baghdad. 2 US soldiers killed, one in a firefight in Fallujah, the other by small arms fire in the capital.


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