Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Thursday, 8 April 2004.  Translated and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member, editorial board, the Free Arab Voice



Thursday, 8 April 2004.


Firece battle rages in al-Fallujah.


Battles between the Iraqi Resistance and the US invaders raged for the fourth straight day on Thursday in al-Fallujah.  US fighter aircraft and helicopters pounded the city with rockets and bombs indiscriminately during the morning hours inflicting severe damage and destruction in the besieged city.  Columns of smoke rose from fires blazing inside defiant al-Fallujah.


The Iraqi Resistance defenders beat off repeated attacks by the occupation forces inflicting dozens of dead and wounded in the American ranks on Thursday alone.  Al-Jazeera’s correspondent reported that F-16 fighter bombers fired a barrage at an-Nizal neighborhood in the eastern part of the city.  Heavy fighting broke out in the streets intermittently between US invaders and Iraqi Resistance fighters in al-Jawlan neighborhood in the city’s north west.


Witnesses reported that an American helicopter was shot down in a garden in al-Jawlan neighborhood Thursday morning.  Al-Jazeera’s correspondent reported that occupation forces were trying to take over the Mosque of al-Khulafa’ ar-Rashidin at the eastern entrance to the city and that they had re-taken the Mosque of ‘Abd al-‘Aziz as-Samarra’i in an-Nizal neighborhood.  From the rooftops of the mosques and higher apartment buildings the US aggressors take pot shots at Iraqi civilians in the streets and houses below.


Tahir al-‘Isawi, Director of al-Fallujah Hospital, said on Thursday that the number of Iraqi victims who have fallen since the start of the US attack on Monday has risen to 280 dead and 400 wounded, but he cautioned that the number of dead is likely to rise if the military operations continue – as they appear to be doing. (The number of dead and wounded was later reported as 300 and 500, respectively, but was continuing to climb later on Thursday.)


A statement issued by the ‘Ulama’ and Imams of Mosques of al-Fallujah to the US forces warned them against attempts to target or occupy mosques, as that constitutes the targeting of holy places and houses of worship.  A spokesman for the American occupation forces in Iraq, General Mark Kimmitt said that strikes on Iraqi mosques were prompted by military goals.


Humanitarian assistance to al-Fallujah began to arrive on the outskirts of the besieged city on Thursday, but whether it could get in was in serious doubt, thanks to US obstruction.  Thousand of Iraqis set off for al-Fallujah from Baghdad in a march to bring humanitarian supplies to the stranded and beleagured residents of the city.  The march was in response to a call issued by Islamic organizations to organize a peaceful march to bring humanitarian and medical supplies to al-Fallujah.  Al-Jazeera’s correspondent reported that US aggressor troops prevented hundreds of cars loaded with humanitarian and medical supplies from entering the city.


US invaders launch five attempts to land in al-Fallujah but all fail.


US aggressor forces on Thursday failed to land troops in the city of al-Fallujah where the correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam (www.islammemo.cc) reported that US forces launched five attempted landing assaults on al-Fallujah on Thursday.  Three of these targeted al-Jawlan neighborhood, the area that has put up the toughest resistance to the US aggressors and a scene of numerous battles.


Residents report that one of the failed landing attempts left no fewer than 15 dead Americans in its wake after the Resistance directed intense fire upon several of them who were unable to flee.  Those who got away only escaped after air support was called in but they had to get away from the scene of the fighting first because the helicopters were afraid to approach the area lest they become targets of Resistance missiles.  Al-Fallujah’s residents reckon that many US soldiers were killed in these failed offensives.


US aggressors change their strategy against al-Fallujah after three days of failed attempts to break into the defiant city.


Al-Jazeera’s correspondent in besieged al-Fallujah reported that in response to repeated bloody defeats at the hands of Iraqi Resistance fighters defending al-Fallujah, the US aggressors changed their strategy on Thursday and employed more F-16 fighter bombers instead of the helicopters which the Iraqi Resistance had been successfully shooting down repeatedly in the last few days.


In addition the correspondent noted that the US military had begun to target Iraqi civilians.   American snipers mounted on buildings shot at passers by in the streets  


Al-Jazeera: US using internationally banned cluster bombs on al-Fallujah.


Eyewitnesses report that American fighter bomber aircraft have bombed the defiant besieged city of al-Fallujah including anti-personnel clusterbombs.  Al-Jazeera TV has reported that US fighter bombers were heavily bombing al-Jawlan neighborhood in the city at around 9:45pm Mecca time on Thursday using internationally-banned cluster bombs.  There was no further immediate information on the bombing available.


Resistance fighters down four US helicopters in al-Fallujah on Thursday alone; total 12 since Tuesday.


Thursday evening a US helicopter was shot down over ad-Dubbat neighborhood in al-Fallujah by Iraqi Resistance fighters – the fourth American helicopter downed in al-Fallujah on Thursday alone.


Earlier, eyewitnesses in the city of al-Fallujah confirmed that the Iraqi Resistance was able to bring down two US aggressor helicopters on Thursday in al-Karmah district in the northern part of the city, according to al-Jazeera TV.  Earlier in the day al-Jazeera reported the downing of another US helicopter in al-Jawlan neighborhood.


A total of 12 American helicopters have been shot down over al-Fallujah since the US assault on the city began Tuesday.  Five Apache helicopters were downed by the Resistance on Wednesday; three on Tuesday.


Resistance knocks out 10 US tanks on Thursday around al-Fallujah.


Iraqi Resistance fighters defending the defiant city of al-Fallujah put at least ten US tanks out of action in various parts of the city according to the correspondent on the scene for Mafkarat al-Islam (www.islammemo.cc) website.  Residents suspect that the number of destroyed US tanks is even higher.


According to the correspondent, two tanks were crippled in al-Jawlan neighborhood, five on the road between Baghdad and al-Fallujah, and three on the road to al-‘Amiriyah.  The number of US casualties attendant upon these blows is still unclear as the American side is not disclosing numbers.


Report: Resistance rocket attack on US HDQ kills or wounds US operations commander in al-Fallujah.


Reports have been circulating that the commander of US military operations in the city of al-Fallujah had been killed or wounded at around 5:30 on Thursday evening when ten Iraqi Resistance rockets slammed into the temporary American headquarters which the US forces had set up among some residential buildings behind the US base that already existed in the area of the city of al-Fallujah, but which had been evacuated three days previous.  The Iraqi Resistance apparently launched its attack rockets among various residential buildings.


Circumstantial confirmation of the reports is grounded in the fact that large numbers of US forces late in the day began to retreat from areas in the western part of the city – the neighborhoods of al-Jawlan and ad-Dubbat which had been major targets of repeated US air and ground assaults.  The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam (www.islammemo.cc) reported that US armored vehicles could be seen moving in the direction of Baghdad, apparently leaving the city.


US forces remain concentrated in the eastern and southern parts of the city.  Most US military operations have been focused on the neighborhoods of ad-Dubbat, ash-Shuhada’, and al-Jawlan which was intensely destroyed.


The report of the wounding or killing of the US commander have not been confirmed from other sources however, the US military have never disclosed who exactly is the US commander at al-Fallujah.


All of al-Fallujah is a target for Marine assaults; 300 Iraqis dead 500 wounded as American aggression continues.


Al-Jazeera satellite TV has reported from the city of al-Fallujah that the entire city has become a target for the weapons employed by and for the US Marine aggressors, with no distinction being drawn between one house and another.  According to al-Jazeera the casualty toll among Iraqis continues to mount due to the blockade that has been imposed on the city, and because the US aggressor troops fire on ambulances when they see them and prevent the wounded from getting to medical stations for aid.  The medical stations, in turn, are jammed with wounded who have managed to get there, but there is a severe shortage of needed medical supplies.


The correspondent of al-Jazeera noted that the city soccer field had been turned into a mass grave in which those killed in the US bombing are being buried, since Iraqis are not able to get to the regular grave yards.  Gardens next to houses are also being used for burials, one city resident telling al-Jazeera that when his parents were killed he was unable to get out to the cemetery to bury them there because American snipers were shooting a anyone who put his head outside anywhere in the city.  He therefore buried his parents in his house’s yard.


The correspondent reported medical sources as saying that 300 had died from the US shelling, bombing, and rocketing and some 500 had been wounded – figures that can be taken as semi-offiicial.


Despite bloodshed on such a scale and the deliberate targeting of unarmed civilians and women, children, and the elderly with cluster bombs and sniper bullets which are aimed at heads, Arab and international media and the United Nations are devoting little attention to the brutal assault being mounted on al-Fallujah and the courage of its defiant residents.  As one elderly bearded shaykh summed up the spirit of the people of the city, “either life with honor or martyrdom.”  He added that the people would not surrender even if the blockade should go on for a year.


US media admit one Marine aggressor killed in al-Fallujah.


The American Associated Press admitted early on Thursday that one Marine aggressor had been killed in a gun battle with the Iraqi Resistance that took place in the city of al-Fallujah. It offered no further details.


Humanitarian convoy of Baghdad residents forces its way to al-Fallujah despite US attempts to stop them.


Thousands of Iraqi sympathizers, both Sunni and Shi‘ite Muslim, forced their way through US military roadblocks in a bid to bring aid from the capital to the besieged defiant bastion of al-Fallujah.  Aggressor troops in armored vehicles attempted to stop the convoy of cars and marchers from reaching the western town where US Marine invaders have met ferocious resistance in a four-day-old offensive against the Resistance.


But the US contingents were overwhelmed as residents of villages west of the capital came to the convoy's assistance, hurling insults and stones at the beleaguered occupation troops.


Some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of Baghdad, a US patrol was attacked by the Iraqi Resistance defenders of the city just moments before the Iraqi marchers arrived, and armed Resistance fighters could be seen dancing around on two blazing US military vehicles.


Two US Humvees attempted to stop the marchers but were forced to drive off as residents joined the marchers, shouting "Allahu Akbar!" (God is greatest).


US aggressor troops armed with machine guns and backed up by armor again blocked the highway further west, but were forced to let the Iraqis past as they came under a hail of stones.


“No Sunnis, no Shi‘ites, yes for Islamic unity,” the marchers chanted. "We are Sunni and Shi‘ite brothers and will never sell our country."  The marchers set off from the Umm al-Qura mosque in west Baghdad where wellwishers donated food, drinks and medicine.

They carried portaits of Shi‘ite religious leader Muqtada as-Sadr, as well as pictures of Sunni Islamist icon, Shaykh Ahmad Yasin, the spiritual leader of the Palestinian Hamas movement who was assassinated in a Zionist air raid last month.


Resistance forces seize Hadithah after US forces flee.


Al-Jazeera’s correspondent has reported that US aggressor troops were compelled to withdraw from the city of Hadithah, west of Baghdad after Resistance forces attacked and crippled two US military vehicles.  Resistance fighters deployed throughout the city immediately after the flight of the Americans.


Resistance destroys five US military vehicles in Abu Ghurayb, west of Baghdad.


Five US military vehicles were destroyed by Resistance rocket fire in Abu Ghurayb, a western suburb of Baghdad on Thursday.  Al-Jazeera’s correspondent reports that US helicopter gun ships fired barrages at the area in which the attack took place.  No reports were initially available about the extent of losses or casualties.


British troops flee from al-Basrah.


British occupation forces fled the Iraqi city of al-Basrah on Thursday afternoon, retreating to the outskirts of the city as Shi‘ite and Sunni Iraqi Resistance intensified in the city.  Two British tanks were set ablaze after Sunset on Thursday and one British soldier was reported killed.  The Iraqi puppet police, who in al-Basrah are made up of the Badr Brigades and Hizb ad-Da‘wah militias – both tied to Shi‘ite collaborator members of the puppet so-called interim governing council – have disappeared from the city as demonstrators in support of Muqtada as-Sadr sweep the streets.


Resistance downs British aircraft over Maysan.


A British reconnaissance aircraft was shot down over al-Majidiyah in Maysan where battles are raging around the scene of the crash, according to a report carried by al-Jazeera.  The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam (www.islammemo.cc) reported that British forces had begun withdrawing from al-Basrah, the city becoming clear of British forces by mid-afternoon Thursday.


Japanese, Dutch occupation headquarters shelled by Resistance.


In the southern Iraqi city of as-Samawah al-Jazeera’s correspondent reported eyewitness accounts that the local headquarters of the Japanese and Dutch aggressor forces in that city had come under mortar attack by the Iraqi Resistance.  No reports of casualties were available.


Iraqi organization holds Japanese hostages, demands Tokyo withdraw.


An Iraqi organization by the name of Detachments of the Mujahideen has threatened to kill three Japanese whom they say they are holding hostage if the Japanese aggressor government does not order a withdrawal of Japanese forces from Iraq.


In a statement issued in a video obtained by al-Jazeera, the Detachments of the Mujahideen gave Tokyo three days from the date the video was broadcast to withdraw Japanese invader troops and said that they would kill the three Japanese if no such order were given.  The video showed the three surrounded by armed Resistance fighters who also displayed the Japanese’ passports to the camera.


Tokyo rejects demand of Detachments of the Mujahideen.


The Japanese government rejected the demand of the Detachments of the Mujahideen to withdraw Japanese aggressor forces from Iraq and called for the release of the hostages offering nothing in return.


South Koreans held hostage in Iraq.


In Seoul, an unnamed source in the foreign ministry reported that an Iraqi organization was still holding eight south Koreans hostage.  One of the Koreans was released.  Later in the day it was announced that seven Korean missionaries had been released.


Three explosions reported in Baghdad.


Three explosions were heard, at least one of which was in the US occupation command’s headquarters complex known as the “Green Zone” in central Baghdad on Thursday, news agencies reported.


Puppet police: bomb in Baghdad kills five.


Iraqi puppet police sources in Baghdad report that an explosion took place in a northern district of Baghdad and killed five Iraqis and wounded 18 others.  No other information on the nature of the blast were provided by the puppet police.