Resistance shoots down US helicopter over ar-Ramadi.
Iraqi Resistance forces shot down a US Apache helicopter before sunset on Thursday according to a report from the correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam in the city. The aircraft caught fire and crashed behind the Agricultural College, burning entirely and leaving nothing but a twisted metal skeleton. Two American soldiers aboard the craft were killed.
Earlier in the day, the US command admitted that two Marines had been killed in another helicopter crash in al-Anbar province (see story later in this report).
Meanwhile on Thursday the neighborhood of ad-Dubbat in ar-Ramadi was the scene of continuous battles from early morning until sunset and intermittent clashes continued into the night and were still going on when the correspondent posted his report at 11:55pm Mecca time Thursday.
Resistance destroys two US armored vehicles in round-the-clock combat in al-Khalidiyah, west of Baghdad.
Battles that raged on Wednesday continued until evening on Thursday in al-Khalidiyah, west of Baghdad as the Resistance fought US aggressor troops according to the local correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam. The Resistance on Thursday used a rocket-propelled grenade to destroy an armored vehicle. No one emerged from the stricken vehicle after it was hit and burst into flame.
Another US armored vehicle was also destroyed on Thursday in the course of combat in the ash-Shuhada’ neighborhood of the town. The exact number of US casualties in the two vehicles is not known.
Resistance hits US camp near as-Saqlawiyah with mortar barrage, slams US structure in missile strike northeast of al-Fallujah Thursday afternoon.
About 12 Iraqi Resistance mortar shells of 120mm caliber rained down upon the US base near al-Fallujah at about 3:45pm Thursday afternoon, Mecca time, according to the local correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam. The mortars were fired apparently from an area in the northwest of al-Fallujah and targeted the US camp located east of as-Saqlawiyah. On Wednesday the Resistance struck the same camp with 10 mortar rounds scoring direct hits on several vehicles.
Then at about 3:50pm Mecca time on Thursday afternoon, the Iraqi Resistance fired a barrage of 10 rockets at a building erected by the Americans north east of al-Fallujah. The rockets scored direct hits on the building that the Americans put up about a month ago near the fueling station in the agricultural zone northeast of al-Fallujah. Eyewitnesses reported that thick smoke was still rising from the scene of the rocket attack nearly half an hour later, but no more detailed information on casualties was available at that time.
Later in the evening the al-Fallujah correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam reported that Iraqi Resistance fighters fired a salvo of eight mortar rounds at a US camp near al-Fallujah. The Resistance mounted their attack from an area in the center of al-Fallujah at about 7:10pm Mecca time on Thursday. The correspondent wrote that based on their sound, the mortar shells were most likely 82mm caliber shells. As usual, the US blacked out all information on their casualties.
Later, at 8:05pm Mecca time, Iraqi Resistance fighters used rockets to attack an American command post located east of al-Fallujah. The local correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the Resistance fired four rocket-propelled grenades at the US outpost. Immediately after the Resistance attack, US forces closed off the area, preventing the correspondent from gleaning any information on possible US casualties.
A US aircraft on Thursday night carried out an air raid on a neighborhood of al-Fallujah. The correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the plane rocketed an area in the industrial zone in the south of the city at 8:15pm Mecca time. At the time of reporting, further details on the casualties inflicted by the criminal American raid were unavailable.
Thursday morning gunbattles rage between Resistance and US invader troops in northern al-Fallujah.
Earlier on Thursday, Resistance fighters battled US aggressor troops for some 20 minutes in the northern part of al-Fallujah. According to the al-Fallujah correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam, the fighting broke out at about 8:00am Thursday morning in the ash-Shurtah neighborhood and lasted until about 8:25. The Resistance initiated the fighting when they opened fire on US forces nearby after the latter had begun to make some “suspicious movements.”
US military admits two Marines killed as helicopter goes down in combat in al-Anbar Province.
The US military announced on Thursday morning that two Marine invaders were killed when their helicopter gun ship crashed “in al-Anbar Province” west of Baghdad. As usual for the American military, their announcement provided few details of the time, place, or circumstances of the crash, other to say that it occurred as it was flying in support of operations to quell the Iraqi Resistance which has been increasing. Although the American statement, reported by al-Jazeera satellite TV made no mention of the aircraft crashing due to Resistance gunfire, the fact that it crashed in the midst of combat would strongly hint at that. The US blackout on news of American losses in the war reduces official American statements to little more than guessing games however.
US aggressors battle Jaysh al-Mahdi in southern Iraq for seventh day as as-Sadr supporters threaten to blow up oil pipelines if US launches offensive on an-Najaf.
Shaykh As‘ad al-Basri, the commander of the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia loyal to Shi‘i religious leader Muqtada as-Sadr, threatened to blow up oil pipelines in southern Iraq if US aggressor troops carried out their threat to attack an-Najaf. Al-Basri’s warning followed an announcement by the US military that its forces were preparing to launch a “final” offensive against the Jaysh al-Mahdi in an-Najaf, together with the puppet so-called “Iraqi national guard.”
Battles continued intermittently in an-Najaf for the seventh straight day, as US fighter aircraft attacked a multi-story house near the tomb of the Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. Battles raged in the area of the Wadi as-Salam Cemetery where partisans of Muqtada as-Sadr are entrenched.
Early on Thursday morning, the Iraqi puppet so-called “ministry of health” set the toll for the previous 24 hours of fighting at 63 killed and 333 wounded. Fighting spread from an-Najaf to al-Basrah, al-‘Amarah, al-Kut, and an-Nasiriyah where British aggressor troops were also involved.
US helicopters shelled positions of the Jaysh al-Mahdi in al-Kut as Jaysh al-Mahdi fighters fiercely battled Iraqi puppet “security forces” in the city. Eyewitnesses told al-Jazeera satellite TV that Jaysh al-Mahdi militiamen seized a puppet police station in the city and set 50 prisoners free.
Thousands of Iraqis demonstrated in an-Nasiriyah in support of Muqtada as-Sadr, raising his portrait and posters denouncing the US aggression against an-Najaf. Marchers descended on the headquarters of the so-called “national accord party” the political party of the US-installed Iraqi puppet “prime minister” Iyyad ‘Allawi and burned the building for the second time in a few days. They demanded that ‘Allawi be removed and chanted slogans against him.
Hospital sources: US massacre in al-Kut. Women and Children among at least 75 dead, 148 wounded.
Iraqi medical sources reported to Agence France Presse (AFP) Thursday that American aircraft shelled the town of al-Kut, 175km south of Baghdad, killing at least 75 Iraqis and wounding 148 others.
Qadir Fadil ‘Arrar, the Director of al-Kut Emergency Hospital said that, “At 3:00am local time [23:00GMT] US aircraft shelled the eastern neighborhood in the south of al-Kut killing 72 people and wounding more than 150 others.” Later the Iraqi puppet so-called “ministry of health” issued a statement putting the death toll in the city from the air raid at 75 and the number of wounded as 148, according to an Agence France Presse (AFP) report.
The Iraqi sources reported, according to the Zionist newspaper Yediot Aharonot, that there were Jaysh al-Mahdi fighters among those killed, but that many of the dead are women and children as well.
Neither American propaganda nor the Iraqi puppet regime had mentioned the massacre by early afternoon.
Major fighting erupts in an-Najaf as battles enter second week.
Thursday morning an-Najaf was shaken violently by a series of explosions as US Marine invaders launched an attack on the Jaysh al-Mahdi defenders of the city. Reuters reported that the sound of automatic weapons fire reverberated in the southern parts of the city as plumes of smoke rose over the area.
Thursday morning US aggressor troops, backed up by Iraqi stooge forces, closed the roads leading to the shrines of the Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib in an-Najaf, according to a report by al-Jazeera satellite TV. Eyewitnesses told Reuters that American imperialist troops used loudspeakers to broadcast to local residents that the offensive they have launched on Thursday is aimed at “cleansing” the city center of the Jaysh al-Mahdi. US forces at mid day were reported to have gained control over the center of the city, according to a report filed on Mafkarat al-Islam at 12:55pm Mecca time.
The Second Deputy official in charge of the Provincial Council of an-Najaf, Jawdat Kazim Najm al-Qurayshi, tendered his resignation from his post Thursday morning in protest against the US attack on the city center. In a statement covered by the Saudi News Agency WAS he said that his resignation was in protest against conditions in the city and the US military operations. American invader troops have been using the gamut of their arsenal of destruction against the defenders of an-Najaf.
Later in the afternoon eyewitnesses reported that US F-16 fighter bombers had carried out air raids around the home of Shi‘i religious leader Muqtada as-Sadr in the al-Ishtiraki neighborhood of an-Najaf. Witnesses told Reuters that American Marine invaders clashed with the Jaysh al-Mahdi in the area as well. Thick clouds of smoke rose over the battleground, hours after the Americans had closed the roads to the area and announced that they had “gained control” over it.
At 4:55pm Thursday Mafkarat al-Islam posted a report saying that the situation in an-Najaf was feverish as the Americans were warning – again – of the biggest battles yet seen by the city. The correspondent of al-‘Arabiyah satellite TV reported from the city that fierce battles had been raging since early in the morning around fortified Jaysh al-Mahdi positions in the Wadi as-Salam Cemetery.
US armored vehicles took up new positions as large massses of American arrived in the city in preparation for what they say will be a decisive fight. Some 2,000 US troops and 1,800 Iraqi stooge “security” forces have deployed around the city, whose population is about 600,000.
The al-‘Arabiyah correspondent reported that US artillery bombardments are concentrating mainly around the areas of the Wadi as-Salam cemetery and the Bahr an-Najaf cemetery in the city. He said that journalists had tried to get into the area of the fighting but that he Americans deployed there had prevented them from doing so.
The correspondent reported that US snipers were deploying on the rooftops of buildings throughout the city where they are shooting at anything that moves.
At 5:45pm Thursday Mecca time Mafkarat al-Islam posted a report saying that after their city had been blasted apart and their blood shed in the streets, the residents of an-Najaf appeared to want to get out and the Iraqi puppet regime’s so-called “national security adviser” Muwaffaq ar-Rabi‘i arrived in an-Najaf for what were described as negotiations between the Jaysh al-Mahdi and the US-appointed puppet regime.
At 7:10pm Mecca time, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that al-Jazeera satellite TV had just issued a bulletin saying that American forces and puppet police had stormed into the home of Shi‘i religious leader Muqtada as-Sadr in an-Najaf. Al-Jazeera reported that the news report could not immediately be confirmed. Reuters reported eyewitnesses as saying, however, that US forces had stormed the house in the center of the city after American war planes had bombed targets near by in the course of their battles with the Jaysh al-Mahdi. It was not clear as to whether as-Sadr was at home at the time of the fighting or the American raid. Some sources report that Muqtada as-Sadr was in the Mosque of the Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, some two kilometers from his home.
165 Iraqis killed, 300 wounded in US attacks in 24 hours.
The puppet so-called Iraqi “ministry of health” reported on Thursday afternoon that 165 people had been killed and more than 300 wounded in the clashes throughout the coutnry between US aggressor troops and the Jaysh al-Mahdi in the last 24 hours, in particular as a result of the bombing of al-Kut and the US assaults on the Madinat as-Sadr district of Baghdad.
Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that an announcement by the “ministry” said that 75 had been killed in the American air raid on al-Kut and 148 others wounded. In the battles in Madinat as-Sadr, 44 people were killed and many others wounded.
The “ministry” reported that 25 people were killed in an-Najaf, scene of a major US offensive against the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia. Another 14 were killed al-‘Amarah, another southern city where the Jaysh al-Mahdi is battling American invaders. Seven were killed in ad-Diwaniyah in similar fighting, according to the “ministry.”
Britain admits one soldier killed, another wounded in roadside bombing in al-Basrah.
British aggressor forces announced on Thursday that one British soldier had been killed and another wounded severely on Thursday when a bomb exploded under their patrol in a street in the southern Iraqi city of al-Basrah.
British Sky News reported a British spokesman as saying that a roadside bomb was detonated at about noon on Thursday as a British patrol was passing, killing one soldier and wounding another critically.
The attack came some time before thousands of supporters of Muqtada as-Sadr took to the streets in a mass march to condemn the US aggression against an-Najaf.
Explosions, US aircraft overflights heighten tension in an-Nasiriyah where authorities fear mass demos on Friday could shake their control.
A powerful explosion shook the as-Sadr neighborhood of the southern Iraqi city of an-Nasiriyah on Thursday night. According to the local correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam in an-Nasiriyah, the blast took place at about 10:25pm and was followed by flights of US aggressor aircraft over the city as automatic weapons could be heard going off until about 10:50pm.
The correspondent reported that the situation in an-Nasiriyah is extremely tense and that there are large concentrations of puppet police in all parts of the city, in particular along the main street and at control points in front of the entrances to the city and to its downtown area.
A puppet security source in the city reported that heavy security preparations have been made out of fear that the people of the city might come together in large gatherings for mass protests after Friday congregational prayers on 13 August, as outrage is running high among the population over US aggression in an-Nasiriyah and an-Najaf. The security agencies in an-Nasiriyah are very much afraid that they might lose control of any such mass gatherings.
Iraqi puppet regime changes its mind – now sees no need to arrest criminal Ahmad Chelebi.
The US-installed puppet so-called “Iraqi interior ministry” announced on Thursday that it was no longer determined to arrest CIA agent, convicted embezzler, and accused counterfeiter Ahmad Chelebi in the near future, even though an Iraqi court has issued an arrest warrant for him.
The declaration of the new attitude on the part of the puppet “interior ministry” came one day after Chelebi returned to Iraq from Iran in order to face the charges made against him. Sabah Kazim, official spokesman for the so-called “ministry of the interior” said, according to the New York Post “there is no intention at the present stage to carry out any measure in this regard against Chelebi, nor until the legal steps have all been concluded.” Kazim said that Iraqi puppet “security forces” are now focused on dealing with the deteriorating security situation in the country as the Resistance strikes blow after blow at the American occupation and its stooge regime.
The new attitude of the puppet regime to Chelebi becomes particularly clear when the announcement today is compared with statements made by Judge Zuhayr al-Maliki who issued the arrest warrant against Ahmad Chelebi and his accused murderer nephew Salim Chelebi in the first place. At that time the judge said that both accused criminals would be arrested as soon as they set foot in Iraq.
Sunni Religious Board bans Iraqis from joining US troops in attack on Muqtada as-Sadr’s forces.
In an effort to prevent internecine bloodshed, the Sunni Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ in Baghdad issued a fatwa (Islamic legal ruling) on Thursday saying that Islam forbade Iraqis belonging to the puppet police or so-called “national guard” to join US forces in fighting the militia loyal to Shi‘i religious leader Muqtada as-Sadr in an-Najaf, according to a report by the Qatari News Agency (Qana).
Despite the religious ban, Hazim ash-Sha‘lan, the puppet so-called “minister of defense” in the US-appointed Iraqi “government” announced that the operations of Iraqi stooge forces with the US aggressor troops in an-Najaf would continue until the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia has left the city. A reported 1,800 stooge troops have joined some 2,000 US Marine aggressors in the assault on the Iraqi city.
Sunni-Shi‘i religious conference in Baghdad calls general strike for Friday to protest US crimes in an-Najaf.
Iraqi Sunni and Shi‘i leaders at a conference in Baghdad on Thursday joined to demand an end of the US siege of an-Najaf, for the preservation of the city and an end to the bloodshed.
A number of religious personalities taking part in the conference in the al-Kazimiyah section of Baghdad denounced the US attack on an-Najaf as a crime against humanity. Jawad al-Khalisi, a Shi‘i religious leader said, “This is a crime. If we are silent about it the we will condemn ourselves to eternal humiliation.” He said, “We declare our firm principle in favor of resisting this crime and will continue to stand firm against it. If necessary we will leave here and march on foot toward an-Najaf to break the siege.
Reuters quoted ‘Abd as-Salam al-Kubaysi, a member of the Sunni Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’, as saying that the Board had designated Friday a rally day in every mosque, where standing prayers would be held at every service.
A statement issued by the meeting called on “all patriotic and religious forces to rise to their historic responsibility and oppose the barbaric attack on Islam and the sovereignty of the country by condemning what is going on in an-Najaf.” They called on the US-installed “government” to “save themselves from the curse of history and the rage of the people on one day when remorse will do them no good” by resigning or by taking a responsible patriotic position on the crimes taking place in an-Najaf.
The participants in the meeting called on all political parties and associations to demonstrate that they will boycott the government if it does not carry out these demands.”
The participants in the meeting agreed to proclaim Friday a day of rallies to proclaim their rejection of what is going on in the Iraqi provinces and for a general strike to demand the end of the siege of an-Najaf.