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Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Monday, 21 February 2005.  Translated and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member editorial board The Free Arab Voice.

 

Monday, 21 February 2005.

 

Hit.

 

Fighting breaks out in western Hit Monday morning.

 

In a dispatch posted at 11:20am Mecca time Monday morning, the correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam in Hit, west of Baghdad in al-Anbar Province, reported that fighting had broken out a short while before between US Marines and the Iraqi Resistance in the city.  The correspondent wrote that witnesses reported fighting going on at the western crossroads of the city.  Thick clouds of smoke could still be seen rising from the scene of the fighting.

 

Resistance detachment caught in US trap. . .

 

In a dispatch posted at 11:30am Mecca time Monday, the correspondent reported that a group of more than 10 Iraqi Resistance fighters fell into a trap set for them by US forces in Hit.  Local eyewitnesses told Mafkarat al-Islam that the group of fighters had been surrounded by US troops at the Hit-Kubaysah crossroads and that American forces were preparing a final blow.  Other Resistance forces not caught in the US ring withdrew from the area.

 

Eight Resistance fighters killed as US closes in; six Americans also die in the fighting . . .

 

Then in a dispatch posted at 1:05pm Mecca time Monday afternoon the correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam in Hit reported that eight Iraqi Resistance fighters were martyred and two more taken prisoner as a result of the US trap set for them in Hit.  The group of Resistance fighters fell into the trap at about 11am Monday during fighting that was intermittent but fierce.  As a result of the combat six US troops were killed and three others wounded, according to a captain in the Iraqi puppet forces, who added that eleven Iraqi puppet troops were also killed and four more wounded.

 

The correspondent, who went to the scene of the fighting was able to confirm that eight Resistance fighters were martyred and that two more were captured after they ran out of ammunition.  The Americans took the dead bodies of the Resisitance fighters as well as their captives and raced to a nearby US airbase in great haste, fearful of a second Resistance attack.

 

Meanwhile, a Resistance commander pledged to respond to the Iraqi puppet army which he called an “apostate” force, before retaliating against the Americans, as soon as they are able to today.

 

The commander told Mafkarat al-Islam, “Our eyes will not sleep today until we have taken the due owed to our brothers.”

 

The correspondent described the mood in Hit as “tense,” a calm before a storm.  Shops and schools are closed.  Local residents are keeping watch as time passes, expecting the fighting to resume shortly.

 

Resistance makes good its promise, hits puppet troop column in az-Zawiyyah . . .

 

In a dispatch posted at 3:50pm Mecca time Monday afternoon, the Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent in Hit reported that Iraqi Resistance fighters a short while before had attacked a military column of the puppet so-called “Iraqi rapid deployment force” in the city.  The column was made up of seven Jeep Cherokees and pickups in the village of az-Zawiyyah, east of Hit.  The correspondent reported that the Resistance opened fire on the puppet troops with rockets and light machine guns.

 

The Resistance attack lasted 15 minutes, the correspondent reported, and left 23 puppet troops dead.  Nine of the puppet soldiers were taken prisoner.  All the vehicles in the column were destroyed.

 

US occupation forces arrived on the scene of the attack half an hour after it took place, but as they went through the blood-soaked bodies of the puppet soldiers were unable to find anyone alive.  At the moment the correspondent was compiling his report, US forces were still searching for members of the Resistance, but so far without finding any.

 

For its part, a detachment of the Iraqi Resistance that did not mention its name announced that it had attacked the puppet column and said that they had lost one man martyred in the assault.

 

Resistance bombards US base in ‘Anah.

 

In a dispatch posted at 2:55pm Mecca time Monday, the correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam in the Upper Euphrates area reported that a short while before the Resistance had fired a rocket barrage into the US base in the city of ‘Anah, about 40km west of Hit.  The correspondent, whose Upper Euphrates area includes ‘Anah, Rawah, and Jabah Kubaysah, reported that the Resistance fired 14 various missiles – including Grad and Katyusha rockets – at the US base in ‘Anah, sending plumes of thick smoke and flame rising into the sky over the facility.  Helicopters could be seen evacuating casualties from the base after the attack.

 

Ar-Ramadi.

 

Resistance ambushes US column in ar-Ramadi Monday morning.

 

Iraqi Resistance forces attacked a US column in ar-Ramadi with rockets and heavy machine guns, killing seven US troops and four Iraqi puppet soldiers as well as a Lebanese collaborator translator and an Egyptian collaborator who carried US citizenship.  The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the Resistance attacked the Americans on 1920 Street northwest of ar-Ramadi at 9am Monday local time.  Eyewitnesses said that seven US troops were killed along with the four Iraqi puppets and the Lebanese and Egyptian translators.  Four Iraqi Resistance fighters were martyred in the attack and two more wounded.

 

The correspondent reported that US forces in the city were noticeably fewer on Monday after heavy Resistance attack on the Americans on Sunday that left 40 US troops dead or wounded.

 

Indonesian journalists said released by Resistance fighters.

 

The American Associated Press (AP) broadcast a video it obtained from an unnamed source on Monday purporting to show two abducted Indonesian journalists being released and shaking hands with Resistance fighters.  The Indonesians, a man and a woman, were apparently taken hostage by the Resistance on Tuesday in ar-Ramadi.

 

Later in the day the Foreign Ministry of Indonesia confirmed that the two journalists had been released.

 

Al-Fallujah.

 

Resistance bomb kills four US troops in al-Karmah Monday evening.

 

An Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a US military column in the al-Karmah area 20km east of al-Fallujah Mafkarat al-Islam reported in a dispatch posted at 7:25pm Monday night Mecca time.  The blast destroyed a US Humvee and killed four American troops, the local Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent said.  American troops then encircled the area and prevented anyone approaching.  A source in the local police confirmed to the correspondent that four US troops had been killed in the attack, noting that the Americans’ robot that they recently brought into the area to search for mines on the road had for some reason failed to detect this one.

 

Baghdad.

 

Resistance bomb leaves nine US troops dead in ad-Durah.

 

A high-explosive Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded in the “island” that divides the two sides of al-Mahdi Street in the southern Baghdad suburb of ad-Durah at 7:15am Monday morning just as a US military column made up of troop transports was passing by.  It appears that the US convoy was returning from a mission of “protecting” Shi‘i pilgrims who were walking to the tomb of al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali.

 

After the blast, US forces encircled the area completely, preventing all journalists from approaching.  The Americans admitted only four of their soldiers as having been killed in the attack.  The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam and residents of houses in the area who saw the attack confirmed that nine US troops were killed in the attack, which also destroyed a US Zil troop transport vehicle.

 

US military acknowledges bomb attack in ad-Durah, hides casualty figures . . .

 

The US military acknowledged that an Iraqi Resistance roadside bomb exploded near a US military police patrol on Monday and said that after that the Iraqi Resistance opened fire on a US medical team brought in by helicopter to evacuate the wounded.  Mafkarat al-Islam reported Reuters as saying that a US First Cavalry spokesman said that the American patrol was proceeding through ad-Durah in the southern suburbs of Baghdad when the bomb exploded, resulting in “injuries” among the Americans.

 

A helicopter was sent to evacuate those “wounded” and the medical team aboard it came under Resistance fire.

 

The Americans made no mention of the total number of dead and wounded as a result of the two attacks, but local witnesses said they saw many bodies strewn about the ground.

 

Samarra’ – Salah ad-Din Province.

 

Resistance ambushes US fuel convoy Monday morning.

 

Iraqi Resistance forces attacked a US military convoy carrying fuel specially for the US camp west of Samarra’ at 10am Monday morning local time, Mafkarat al-Islam reported.  The correspondent said that eyewitnesses reported that a number of Resistance fighters fired two bazooka shells at US trucks on the main strategic road linking Samarra’ with Baghdad, destroying an oil tank truck and killing its Nepalese driver as well as a US soldier.  A second truck was disabled and hauled away.  The first wrecked truck, however, remained sitting in the street for a whole hour until US troops could come and haul it away.

 

Resistance bomb targets US column in Samarra’ Sunday night.

 

An Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a US military column in downtown Samarra’ at 7pm on Sunday evening.  The local correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the bomb was placed by the side of a feeder road leadting to the ash-Shurtah neighborhood.  When it exploded, it destroyed a Humvee and killed four US troops.  A source in the local puppet police told Mafkarat al-Islam that the bomb consisted of a 120mm mortar round that had been linked to an electric timing mechanism.

 

Mosul - Tall ‘Afar – Ninwa Province.

 

US air raid kills at least 20 Iraqi civilians.

 

US fighter aircraft bombed and rocketed several parts of the old city in Tall ‘Afar in Ninwa Province, not far from Mosul.  The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam in the city reported witnesses as saying that the American attack took place at 6am local time and destroyed several local houses.  According to first reports, the US air raid killed more than 20 Iraqi civilians, including women and children.  The US occupation forces had not offered any explanation for their attack on the civilians in the city when the correspondent filed his report, posted at 11:28am Mecca time Monday morning.

 

At around the same time the local Mafkarat al-Islam also reported that Resistance fighters in Tall ‘Afar had shot down a US Cobra helicopter over the as-Salam neighborhood.  The correspondent wrote that the aircraft was hovering at a low altitude to distribute leaflets offering huge monetary rewards to any Iraqi who helps capture Abu Mus‘ab az-Zarqawi, the head of the al-Jihad organization in the Land of the Two Rivers.

 

The Resistance opened up with intensive ground fire at the helicopter, damaging it and then causing it to catch fire in the air.  The Cobra then crashed into a house under construction, destroying the structure and injuring four construction workers.  Local people found the bodies of the helicopter crew – all dead – before the arrival of American troops.

 

Resistance blasts US base in Mosul with Rocket barrage Monday afternoon.

 

Iraqi Resistance forces fired more than 11 Grad and powerful Tariq rockets into the largest US base in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul at 4pm Monday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported.

 

The local correspondent said that the attack targeted the so-called al-Ghazlani US base in the city, setting large fires raging inside the American compound.  Columns of thick, black smoke could be seen rising from the US facility as sirens wailed.  Helicopters could be seen coming in to evacuate the casualties and/or search for Resistance attackers.

 

 

Al-Hillah – Babil Province.

 

Two Polish occupation soldiers killed in Resistance bombing in al-Hillah.

 

Iraqi Resistance forces detonated a powerful bomb as a patrol of Polish regular soldiers in three armored vehicles was passing along the road that leads to the Babil Provincial Government buildings in al-Hillah, south of Baghdad on Monday, Mafkarat al-Islam reported.

 

The blast destroyed one Polish military vehicle and killed two Polish occupation troops.  A third Polish soldier was moderately wounded.  Witnesses told Mafkarat al-Islam that the attack took place at 1pm local time Monday.

 

US forces and puppet police hurried to the scene of the attack, which they sealed off, preventing all journalists and photographers from approaching.

 

American invaders look on silently as Badr Brigades provoke sectarian armed violence in al-Hillah.

 

Mafkarat al-Islam reported on Monday that for two days the city of al-Hillah, 53km south of Baghdad, has been the scene of bitter fighting between members of the Shi‘i chauvinist collaborationist Badr Brigades and Islamic Da‘wah Party on the one hand and armed Sunni residents on the other.  So far, the local Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent reports, 14 Badr Brigade gunmen have been killed and nine more wounded and hospitalized.

 

The Badr Brigades are the armed wing of the Shi‘i chauvinist Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).  Together with US aggressor troops the Badr Brigades invaded Iraq in spring 2003 and the US then assigned posts to the head of SCIRI and the other main Shi‘i collaborationist organization, the Da‘wah Party, in the puppet regime it set up in occupied Baghdad.

 

The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam in al-Hillah reported that a source in a Sunni mosque in the al-Jabawiyin neighborhood – the largest Sunni area in the city – claimed that the fighting broke out after Badr Brigade gunmen climbed atop the mosque known as the Grand Mosque of al-Hillah and tried to put black Shi‘i flags and posters on the building that read “We are Husaynis not Muhammadis,” in a reference to al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali, the patron saint of Shi‘i Islam.  Another sign proclaimed that divine inspiration ceased after the killing of al-Husayn, as a sign of his supposed protection from error – another statement of specific Shi‘i doctrines guaranteed to irritate the Sunni population.

 

The imam and keeper of the mosque, however prevented the Badr Brigade gunmen from putting up their sectarian signs, so three of the gunmen beat and bloodied them.  The correspondent noted that the Sunni population took no action and made no attempt to retaliate for the incident after the Board of Guidance and Jurisconsultancy called on them to stay home and not go out because the pro-American Shi‘i collaborators are “trying to draw you into sectarian discord.”

 

The situation only got worse, the correspondent reported, however, when Shi‘i chauvinist thugs attacked the husband of a Sunni woman who refused to take what is called “the food of al-Husayn.”  That incident produced a reaction that was made stronger when large numbers of Resistance forces moved into the city after hearing the news.  The Resistance forces attacked the headquarters of the Badr Brigades, totally destroying it and killing 14 Badr Brigade gunmen, including the military commander of the local Brigade.  There are also reports that the son of the chief of the puppet police in al-Hillah, also a member of the Badr Brigade was also killed.

 

Combat between the two sides broke out after the Resistance attack on the Badr Brigade headquarters, the correspondent reported.  He said that Resistance fighters had been deployed surreptitiously around the city to await possible further developments.  The Badr Brigade, however, has not made any response.

 

The correspondent noted that the Resistance distributed leaflets Sunday evening warning the Badr gang against any other attacks on the Sunni community in the city, threatening to wipe them off the face of the earth if they did so.

 

As to the local puppet police, the correspondent reported that the US and Polish occupation troops and also the puppet police of al-Hillah witnessed the violence in which 14 Badr Brigade gunmen were killed and nine others wounded – with one Resistance fighter also wounded – but they made no move and did not intervene.

 

As has been noted in the past, one of the original aims of the US occupation of Iraq was to weaken and divide a state that served as a focus of power in the Arab East.  Outlined in articles such as “The Three State Solution” by Leslie Gelb in The New York Times of 25 November 2003, the partition of Iraq along sectarian lines has been a constant in US occupation policy.

 

When the US installed a puppet regime, it assigned seats along religious lines.  In the recent sham “election” the US facilitated Kurdish chauvinists in northern Iraq to flood the city of Kirkuk with outside voters, provoking ethnic discord between Kurds on the one side, and Arabs and Turkmen on the other, thereby reducing pressure on the US occupation forces.  Meanwhile the US occupation forces have incorporated large numbers of Shi‘i chauvinist Badr Brigade gunmen in their puppet police and so-called “national guard” and used sectarian preachers to incite such fighters against defiant Iraqi Resistance fighters in al-Fallujah.

 

In theory and practice the US has worked to divide Iraq in the hopes of weakening the Resistance to its occupation.  The latest provocations by the Badr Brigades in al-Hillah are simply another example of such efforts.  It is important, however, that the Resistance not allow itself to be drawn into sectarian conflict, keeping the overall picture in mind as they focus on the task of freeing all the Iraqi people of the occupation.

 

Sources:

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