Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Wednesday, 23 March 2005. Translated and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member editorial board The Free Arab Voice.
Wednesday, 23 March 2005.
American invaders seal off al-Hadithah with more than 60 tanks, threatening the city with siege.
In a dispatch posted at 12:12pm Mecca time Wednesday, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that US forces had completely sealed off the western Iraqi city of al-Hadithah at dawn on Wednesday, preventing citizens from entering or leaving it.
The correspondent reported that the Americans surrounded the city with more than 60 tanks, positioned on the four sides of the city. They also closed roads and the only two bridges in the city.
US aircraft dropped leaflets offering huge monetary rewards to residents who help the American troops arrest what they called ‘terrorists.’ On the other hand, the leaflets threatened city residents that they would be cutting off water, electricity, and sanitation services from the city if the people refuse to cooperate.
The correspondent reported that the Resistance has continued to stay in place and has not ventured out to meet the American military since they are present in such large numbers. The Resistance has resolved to bide its time and see what will transpire.
Fierce fighting rages Wednesday afternoon. . .
In a dispatch posted at 2:32pm Mecca time, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that violent fighting was under way at that moment between US Marines and Iraqi Resistance forces on the eastern approaches to the city of al-Hadithah.
Heavily armed Resistance fighters had set up 62mm mortars, and were launching shoulder-fired rockets and anti-personnel and anti-tank grenades, and firing heavy and medium-weight weapons at the Americans, the correspondent reported.
At the time of writing, however, and despite the participation of large numbers of Resistance fighters, the balance in the battle seemed to be in the Americans’ favor. The Americans had the advantage of very large numbers of tanks and other vehicles and were savagely bombarding the Resistance positions.
Nevertheless, in the first minutes of combat, the Resistance succeeded in setting one tank and two Humvees ablaze, killing all aboard, according to sources in the Resistance.
Battle continues as Resistance knocks out second US tank. . .
In a dispatch posted at 3:25pm Mecca time Wednesday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported from al-Hadithah that the Resistance had set a second tank ablaze, totally destroying it, in the course of their continued battle with US Marines in the city.
The correspondent in the city reported that a short while before, Resistance fighters ahd fired an armor-piercing rocket at the American tank, totally destroying it and killing all who were aboard instantly, according to a commander in the Resistance.
The Resistance in the city, for its part, issued a statement over loudspeakers calling on all the journalists who had entered the city after hearing of the battle to fear God and to report the truth to all the world’s Muslims. It called on them not to report only the statements issued by the American forces as is their usual habit in such battles.
The correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam reported that more than five well-known satellite TV stations were now in al-Hadithah, including the al-‘Arabiyah satellite TV network.
Iraqi Resistance forces fired nine Grad rockets into the US base in the city of al-Qa’im on the border with Syria, a facility known as A22, at 2pm Wednesday afternoon, local time. The correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam in al-Qa’im reported a source in the puppet so-called “Iraqi rapid deployment force” as saying that the bombardment killed and wounded a number of US troops inside the base.
Resistance bombards US al-Habbaniyah base in pre-dawn hours Wednesday.
Iraqi Resistance forces fired a barrage of rockets into the southern part of the US al-Habbaniyah base, 8km west of Baghdad, known as the al-Hadbah [“the Heights”] Airbase at about 3am local time. Mafkarat al-Islam reported local witnesses as saying that the Resitance fired several surface-to-surface rockets starting fires that were, in turn, followed by the sound of powerful explosions rocking the inside of the US-occupied facility. The secondary explosions of the US munitions were so powerful that they shattered window glass in houses about a kilometer from the base.
US helicopters were called into the area. The correspondent reported that he was unable to obtain any information regarding the extent of US losses or casualties, particularly since the Americans have imposed a curfew in the area, preventing anyone from leaving home between 6pm and 6am.
Resistance bombards US base west of ar-Ramadi at
Iraqi Resistance forces bombarded the US headquarters in the al-Warrar base on the Euphrates River west of ar-Ramadi (which is 110km west of Baghdad) at dawn Wednesday. Mafkarat al-Islam reported that Resistance fighters shot rockets and 120mm heavy mortar rounds that blasted into various parts of the American-occupied base.
Witnesses reported that more than 13 rockets and mortar rounds struck the base at about 6:15am Wednesday morning. An official source in the city’s puppet police reported that the bombardment set massive fires burning inside the facility and confirmed that numerous explosions followed the bombardment.
Five puppet troops killed, eight abducted by Resistance in Hit early Wednesday.
In a dispatch posted at 11:25am Mecca time Wednesday morning, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that Iraqi Resistance forces attacked a patrol of the puppet “Iraqi army,” which is run by the US invaders, in the as-Sikak neighborhood opposite the Dhat as-Salasil boys primary school in Hit at 8am, local time Wednesday morning.
The Resistance fighters opened fire with light arms and medium-weight machine guns, killing five puppet troops. The Resistance fighters abducted another eight of the puppet soldiers, one of them the commander of the patrol who was a captain in the puppet “army,” according to a source in the Iraqi puppet police who spoke with Mafkarat al-Islam.
Witnesses at the scene told the correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam that Resistance fighters attacked a patrol made up of two pickups and forced them at gunpoint to get out of the vehicles. The puppet troops initially put up no resistance, but, faced with the choice, eight agreed to go along with the Resistance, but five others responded by opening fire on the Resistance fighters, forcing the Resistance to kill them.
The correspondent noted that US forces were at the time of reporting conducting a broad search of the neighborhoods of Hit looking for the abductees, but as of the time of writing had found nothing.
Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ protests brutal, deadly raid by US, Iraqi puppet troops on village last Friday.
US occupation troops backed up by the puppet so-called “Iraqi special forces” mounted an airborne assault on the village of Ra‘idah in the ar-Ridwaniyah area near Baghdad shortly after midnight on Friday, 18 March 2005. Ra‘idah is home to a number of families belonging to the Zawbi‘ tribe.
A statement issued by the Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ [Scholars] in Iraq, a copy of which was received by Mafkarat al-Islam, reported that a large invader force transported on three helicopters landed in the area to encircle the village of eight houses. Other helicopters could be seen circling about the skies over the area on the outskirts of the village.
The attack, in which about 100 US and puppet troops took part, lasted for an hour and a half. One witness reported that “at about 12:30 just after midnight we heard sounds that kept getting louder and louder as they approached the village. We realized that they were a number of helicopters. One of them fired a rocket at the fence around one of the houses and destroyed it completely. The people of the village were terrified by the thunderous explosion.
“The Iraqi [puppet] force cut off the main electricity line into the village. Then they started storming houses. They threw noise grenades that blasted down the doors and shattered the window glass all over us, causing many injuries.
“The Iraqi [puppet] troops tried to scare the women and children by smashing every piece of furniture they came across. Then they took all our documents – everybody’s, the women’s as well as the men’s – and pointed their guns at us and threatened to kill us if any one of us moved for any reason whatsoever.
“Worse than that, the soldiers unleashed a barrage of dirty abuse, insults, and profanity at the women and the men. They used such filthy language that it would make any decent person break into a sweat.”
Another witnesses whose house was raided testified: “Fifteen American and Iraqi soldiers stormed into my house and started interrogating the men, the women, and even the children weren’t safe from them. They threatened to kill them and to beat them until they admitted that they were terrorists.”
Another witness said that the troops, “took my brother Yahya to one corner of the house and fired 30 bullets at his head in front of the women and children. He was martyred on the spot.”
Another witness said, “they came up to one of those they had ordered to lie on the ground and they stamped on him with their boots with all their might, breaking his back. One of the Iraqi [puppet] soldiers grabbed his head and others pulled out their sharp knives to butcher him, but the Americans wouldn’t let them and one of the Iraqi troops told the man, ‘the Americans saved you from me.’ The Iraqi [puppet] troops opened fire on another man who was martyred instantly.
“Even the animals weren’t save from their evil. They shot a cow belonging to one of the peasants. She was the only one he had.
“The Iraqi [puppet] troops said, ‘the Americans arrest you and then let you go after a month or two. But we’re going to butcher all of you!’ and they kept using sectarian expressions against the residents of the village.”
Another villager related “they took one of us, his name is Haytham, with them and put him up on a helicopter. They took him far away and threw water on him and turned on the propeller of the helicopter and they demanded that he admit that there were weapons in our possession. After they didn’t find anything out from him they took him back aboard the helicopter and then pushed him out blindfolded over one of the fields, breaking his bones.”
The statement by the Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ said that the villagers were unanimous in their denunciation of this kind of extremely bad treatment, particularly on the part of the Iraqi troops.
One villager said, “the Iraqi troops treated us in such a bad way that we have never in our lives seen worse. Even the Americans didn’t treat us the way those troops who call themselves Iraqi did.”
Some of the villagers said that the children and women of the village are still afflicted by fear and horror because of what happened that night.
Resistance bomb kills four US troops in south Baghdad late Wednesday morning.
An Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a column of several US military vehicles on the highway in the Sukkaniya area north of the southern Baghdad suburb of ad-Durah at about 11am Wednesday morning.
The correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam reported that one Humvee was totally destroyed and four US troops were killed and a fifth wounded in the blast.
Witnesses and a source in the traffic control who was standing at the Sukkaniya highway intersection, about 100 meters from the blast said that the bomb appeared to have been planted by the side of the road next to an exposed sewer opening. They said that the explosion struck a US vehicle as it passed by, totally demolishing the vehicle and killing the four Americans instantly and mortally wounding one more.
At the time the correspondent filed his report – posted at 2:12pm Mecca time Wednesday – US troops were encircling the scene of the attack and had closed the highway, creating a huge traffic jam throughout Baghdad, since the highway is one of the main roads linking central Iraq with the south of the country.
Four Americans killed in Resistance ambush in al-‘Amil neighborhood Wednesday afternoon.
Iraqi Resistance fighters attacked a column of two US Humvees and two armored vehicles in the al-‘Amil neighborhood area of western Baghdad at 4pm Wednesday afternoon local time. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the Resistance fighters were armed with light and medium-weight weapons including RPG7s, and in the course of their attack they destroyed one Humvee and killed four US troops and wounded three more.
The correspondent reported workers in a fuel station in the middle of al-‘Amil who saw the attack that occurred near where they were as saying that the Resistance fighters, their faces covered, attacked the US column and destroyed a Humvee, killing four Americans and wounding three more. They said that one Resistance fighter was also killed in the attack.
Afterwards, US forces encircled the area and evacuated their dead and wounded, while preventing journalists from approaching the scene. As usual, the Americans launched a wave of arrests in the local neighborhood, charging the residents with taking part in the attack.
Shi‘i demonstrators denounce SCIRI, Badr Brigade attempts to split Iraq, isolate it from Arab Nation.
In a dispatch posted at 11:51am Mecca time Wednesday morning, Mafkarat al-Islam reported from Baghdad that Shi‘i demonstrators had gathered outside the headquarters of the collaborationist Shi‘i chauvinist so-called “Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) in the al-Jadiriyah district to protest the activities of the Badr Brigades, the armed wing of SCIRI which joined with US troops in invading Iraq in spring 2003.
The dozens of demonstrators were holding up signs with slogans opposing the Badr Brigades. Others protested the role being played by SCIRI’s chief, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Hakim, which they said was “splitting Iraqi unity.” They cited his orders that Sunni citizens be assassinated, as an example of how the SCIRI is trying to split the country along sectarian lines. They also cited al-Hakim’s recent demand that the Jordanian monarch officially apologize for an incident in al-Hillah where a man of Jordanian origin carried out a Resistance operation against more than 100 members of the puppet army and puppet police. The demonstrators regarded al-Hakim’s demand as an attempt to divide Iraqis from their brothers in the rest of the Arab Nation.
The demonstrators held up placards reading, “Iraqis, Sunni and Shi‘i, this is our homeland and it’s not for sale.”
The correspondent reported that Badr Brigade members attacked the protesters with clubs and staves in an effort to break up the demonstration – in full view of al-Hakim. The Badr Brigade gunmen smashed the cameras of journalists and took some of the writers away to an unknown destination. Among those led away were correspondents for the ash-Sharqiyah TV station, Reuters, and various Arab and international newspapers, and also the correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam himself. He reported that all the gunmen did to him was to confiscate his camera and throw him out of the area along with five other journalists.
The correspondent wrote that demonstrators remarked that this was the first protest action
of its kind to be held against a Shi‘i collaborationist leader since the occupation of Iraq, in denunciation of his racist policies.
Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ denies claims it held talks with Shi‘i, Kurdish collaborationist parties.
The Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ [Scholars] in Iraq denied claims published on Monday that it had held meetings with two factions of the Shi‘i chauvinist “United Bloc” and the Kurdistani chauvinist alliance.
A statement by the board said, “the London-based al-Hayat newspaper published a report on 21 March 2005 saying that the Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ had taken part in a dialogue with the Shi‘i bloc and the Kurdistani alliance. The article by the reporter Basil Muhammad quoted Mr. ‘Adnan al-Bajah Ji as claiming that “the Sunni Arabs are determined to take part in the 2006 elections, to eliminate the weak representation of the Sunnis in the present parliament.” The article claimed that “a committee set up at a meeting of Arab Sunnis, that is made up of him and of others, including a member of the Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ met with the two factions of the ‘united bloc’ and the ‘Kurdistani alliance’.”
The statement by the Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ stated: “the Board would like to make clear that this report is totally untrue in whole and in part. The board reaffirms that no representative of the board has taken part in that committee and that the board continues to adhere to its position regarding the political process as enunciated in the Statement of the Forces Opposed to the Occupation issued on 15 February 2005.”
In conclusion, the statement of the Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ repeated its admonition to all the media that the board’s positions and statements must be reported precisely and must be issued by the board’s General Secretary or its official spokesman only. It also expressed the wish that political personalities not just throw the name of the Board around randomly or use its name as a bargaining chip in their political games.
Puppet police force raids Baghdad mosque Tuesday morning.
Witnesses reported that puppet so-called “Iraqi emergency police” raided the Khatim an-Nabiyin Mosque in the Baghdad district of az-Za‘faraniyah on Tuesday morning in an apparent attempt to arrest the imam and preacher in the mosque, Shaykh Mu‘adh Muhammad ‘Ubayd al-Marsumi, a member of the ar-Rusafah district branch of the Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ [Scholars]. The puppet police did not find him on the premises, so they arrested Shaykh Fawwaz al-Kubaysi who happened to be visiting the mosque instead.
The Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’, in an exclusive statement to Mafkarat al-Islam, said that these raids must be described as barbaric, showing no respect for the houses of God, the Most High, nor their sanctity. In the course of these raids the contents of mosques have been ransacked and ruined.
Puppet so-called “emergency police” also raided residential quarters across from the mosque and arrested to members of the police force, one of whom was later released and the other retained. These arrests have been attributed to sectarian motivations on the part of the puppet police.
Earlier, Iraqi puppet forces arrested a prominent figure in the mosque, al-Hajj Taha ‘Ali Khudayr al-Qaysi and his son on Monday, without ever giving reasons for the arrest.
Resistance shoots down US Cobra helicopter Tuesday night.
Iraqi Resistance forces shot down a US Cobra helicopter as it was flying over a village in the vicinity of the city of al-Khalis, 40km north of Ba‘qubah (which is east of Baghdad) on Tuesday night.
The correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam in al-Khalis reported that residents in the village of al-Jassasah said that Resistance fighters in a thickly grown date palm grove ambushed the helicopter at 11pm Tuesday night. The villagers said that the Resistance shot a shoulder-fired Strela rocket at the American aircraft, hitting it directly and blowing it completely apart in the air, killing its crew.
At dawn Wednesday the Americans found the remains of the crew in an area about 500 meters from the crash site. Immediately, US troops rushed in to search houses and arrested a number of residents of al-Khalis, whom they hauled away to the main US military base in Ba‘qubah. US vehicles hauled away the wreckage of the helicopter during the night amidst tight security.
Nine US troops killed in late night bombing in al-Iskandariyah.
In a dispatch posted at 11:59pm Mecca time Wednesday night, the correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam in al-Iskandariyah south of Baghdad, reported that shortly before an Iraqi Resistance roadside bomb exploded by a passing American Zil troop transport vehicle in al-Iskandariyah. A source in the puppet police gathered at the scene of the bombing told the correspondent that the American transport had been carrying nine US troops and that all of them perished instantly when the bomb went off. The correspondent witnessed three US helicopters evacuate the bodies of the dead Americans.
Resistance bomb kills four US troops near al-Latifiyah Wednesday afternoon.
An Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a US patrol made up of six Humvees in the al-Dulaymiyah area west of al-Latifiyah (which is 30km south of Baghdad) at 3pm Wednesday afternoon, local time. Witnesses told Mafkarat al-Islam that the blast destroyed one Humvee completely and killed four US troops. Residents of ad-Dulaymiyah who saw the attack said that the bomb was planted by the side of a road and exploded as the US column passed by, inflicting the above-mentioned damage and loss.
Resistance warns local people: steer clear of US troops for the “fires of Iraqi rage will burn all in their path.”
Iraqi Resistance forces in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul distributed leaflets among the local population on Wednesday morning calling on the people of the city not to approach US vehicles as they drive own streets and not to approach the US bases and barracks in the city, in order not to put their lives at risk.
The correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam in the city reported that the Resistance leaflet read:
“To our patient perseverant people of Mosul.
“Peace be upon you.
“The Iraqi Resistance calls on you not to approach American columns as they go through streets and to keep 500 meters or more away from them as you drive your cars, because they will be in our sights wherever they go or live from now on. We also ask you, our brothers, sisters, and children, in order to protect yourselves, not to approach the area around their bases because it will be in the range of our deadly missiles.”
The statement also called on members of the Iraqi puppet police on Mosul to turn back and repent from service to the occupation. The Resistance statement said:
“And we call on the people of the city who are members of the police to turn away from sin, to take heed from those [collaborators] upon whom the verdict of God and His prophet has been executed, and to declare their repentance within three days from now, because the punishment will be painful and the fires of Iraqi rage will burn all who stand in their path.”
Resistance blasts Ukrainian occupation base in al-Kut Wednesday morning.
Iraqi Resistance forces bombarded the main Ukrainian base located west of al-Kut (which is 150km south of Baghdad) with rockets at 10am Wednesday morning local time. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported local witnesses as saying that they saw a number of US helicopters land in the Ukrainian base after the barrage to evacuate a number of Ukrainian casualties.
The correspondent reported that the Ukrainian occupation troops in Iraq requested their government in Kiev to use Ukrainian helicopters to fight the Resistance attacks mounted against them, particularly of late, since the number of such attacks has been notably on the rise.
Two Bulgarian occupation troops killed in Resistance bombing in Karbala’.
An Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a Bulgarian occupation army patrol in the al-Husayn neighborhood in the middle of the southern Iraqi city of Karbala’ at about 9:30pm Tuesday night local time.
The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the blast destroyed a Bulgarian military Jeep and killed two Bulgarian troops and wounded one more, according to local witnesses. The witnesses reported that the bomb was planted under a mound of garbage in the island in the middle of the street.
Afterwards, Bulgarian and Iraqi puppet troops encircled the area, preventing journalists from approaching. One member of the puppet police confirmed the report of the attack to the Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent but refused to give details.
Resistance car bomb kills seven British troops in al-Basrah.
An Iraqi Resistance martyrdom fighter driving an explosives-laden Nissan pickup blasted into a column of four British military vehicles in the predominantly Sunni Abu al-Khasib district of the southern Iraqi city of al-Basrah on Wednesday. The correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam, in a report posted at 2:45pm Wednesday, Mecca time, reported that the blast destroyed two British vehicles – one Jeep and the second an armored vehicle – and killed at least seven British troops and seriously wounded five more according to local witnesses.
The witnesses reported that the Resistance martyrdom fighter blew himself up in the midst of the British column as it was on its way to the port of al-Basrah on its routine daily patrol at about 10am.
The correspondent reported that when he arrived on the scene of the attack he found the entire area engulfed in flames, smoke and dust, the smell of the burning flesh of the bodies pervaded the entire area.
British troops surrounded the area and drove the local people who had gathered on the scene away. They particularly drove off the journalists. Three helicopters were called in and landed in the middle of the street to evacuate the bodies of the dead and the wounded. They left one body behind in the middle of the road, for it was not that of a British soldier but of an Iraqi collaborator translator. That act of discrimination aroused ill feeling and much grumbling among the local people who viewed it as inhuman and in stark contrast to the slogans that were raised when the invaders first poured into Iraq.
A joint British-Iraqi puppet detachment then began storming into the houses of local Sunni citizens, and arrested several to be taken away for interrogation.