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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Saturday, October 15, 2005

15 October 2005 Events in Iraq

Guantanamo. US force feeds detainees on hunger strike during the daylight hours of Ramadan. More than 150 prisoners are engaged in a hunger strike. [BTW, in DoD Speak, force-feeding is "involuntary feeding."--Nur]

London. The Times reports that the United States has offered a deal to Syrian President Bashir al-Assad to exit the state of international isolation in which Syria finds itself. The offer, qualified as a Qadafi Bargain, will compel Syria to 1) cooperate with the Mehlis Commission investigating the death of Rafiq Hariri, 2) To punish any Syrian agent involved, 3) cease interference in Lebanon and 4) end the recruitment, financing and training of Iraqi insurgents. A Times source says it is likely that President al-Assad will reject the deal.

Baghdad. 6,200 polling stations will be opened across Iraq for the Constitution referendum. Sunni voters in the provinces of Anbar, Salaheddin, Niniveh, and Diyala are expected to reject the draft Consitutution at the ballot box.

Jerusalem. Vice-Premier Shimon Peres says he expects an agreement to be reached "shortly" for the opening of a border crossing Rafah and Egypt.

Kuwait City. Crown Prince Sheikh Saad al-Abdallah al-Sabah is expected to announce that he will renounce the throne because of health problems. The prince.has been in London since August. His half-brother, Prime Minister Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, is thought likely to ascend the throne.

Amman. Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas is in the Jordanian capital for talks with Jordanian officials before flying to Cairo for talks on Monday with Egyptian President Hosni Moubarak.

Paris. Palestinian Foreign Minister Nasser al-Qidwa, stated his "deep concern" by the participation of French companies in the contruction of a tramway in the occupied West Bank near Jerusalem.

Paris. Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas will make a stop in Paris before continuing on to Washington, where he expected by President Bush on Thursday.

Baghdad. The Palestinian Minister for Civil Affairs, Mohammed Dahlan, in Baghdad to seek treatment for a back problem, denied rumors that he had retired from political life.

Vienna. IAEA non-proliferation representative Olli Heinonen has concluced a three-day mission to Tehran.

New York. In a televised interview, King Abdallah of Arabia told ABC news of his concern over the role of Iran in Iraq. He also reproached the United States for its policies on Palestine and the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

Karbala. Three Iraqi soldiers were killed in a clash with police in an argument over responsibilities.

Baghdad. All air traffic is suspended through Sunday evening.

Ramadi. Voters in al-Anbar Province will be permitted to vote at any polling station of their choosing.

Baghdad. Half the prison population of Abu Ghraib has already voted in the referendum the draft Constitution.

Tehran. Shi'ite dignitary Ayatollah Mohammed Emami Kachani urged Iraqis to vote massively in favor of the draft Constitution.

Baghdad. A Western diplomat in Baghdad said fair turnout was expected in Sunni-dominated provinces such as Anbar, Salaheddin, Niniveh and Diyala, with most voters expected to say "No". Most people in those areas shunned the election in January. "It is conceivable that the constitution will be defeated," he said, predicting that this would not worsen instability.

Moscow. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has openly clashed with Russia over whether Iran can pursue a nuclear energy programme. In talks with Russian officials in Moscow, Ms Rice said Iran needed to recognise its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). But her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, told reporters that Tehran had the right to enrich uranium. Rice had sought clearer Russian support on Saturday for its hard line against Iran's suspected nuclear arms programmes on a surprise trip to Moscow. Rice wanted to press President Vladimir Putin to commit to backing U.S.-led efforts to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council if it continues to reject talks with European powers and keeps up sensitive nuclear-related activities.

New York. The US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, accused Iran of spending 18 years of trying to develop nuclear weapons.

21:50 Baghdad. Voter turnout was estimated by 61% today in Iraq said National Elections Committe Chairman Abdel Hussein Hindawi

19:00 Abu Ghraib. Insurgents kidnapped 10 members of the Supreme Elections Commission of al-Anbar Province. Another official was wounded in an attack on a polling station in Abu Ghraib. The hostages are from the towns of Jalidiya and al-Jazira on the Syrian frontier.

18:47 Abu Ghraib. Ballot boxes stolen by insurgents.

18:21 Geneva. UN accuses the USA of violations of the Geneva Convention. The US military violated the Geneva Convention by denying food and water to force Iraqis to abandon their towns before launching offensives targeting the insurgency. Official Jean Ziegler calls the violations, "major".

16:08 Baghdad. Polling stations close. UN observers reported few incidents.

16:07 Baghdad. The draft Iraqi Constitution contains 139 articles and stipulated that the country is a federation with a democratically elected parliament with legislative elections every four years. A final article was added at the last minute providing for a commission which will have four months to put forward recommended changes to the document.

16:07 Basrah. Iraqi security forces and British troops cooperate to keep the peace for the referendum.

15:42 Baghdad. The US military announced the arrest of two alleged al-Qaeda members: Walid Mohammad Farhan Jouar al-Zoubaïdi, alias Firas, Abou Zyad, or "Le Barber" and Ibrahim Mohammad Sobhi Khaïri al-Rihawi, aka Abu Khalil.

15:40 Sadr City. Shites danced in the streets to celebrate the referendum. Police and security forces joined in.

12:40 Baghdad. A powerful blast was heard in downtown Baghdad.

07:51 Baquba. Three Iraqi soliders killed by a roadside bomb which targeted their convoy near the Iranian frontier.

07:27 Baghdad. A policeman was injured by an explosion near a polling station.

07:31 Kandahar. Bomb explodes in front of a US base, destroying eight fuel trucks. Two persons were injured.


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