Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Friday, 13 August 2004. Translated and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member editorial board The Free Arab Voice. http://www.freearabvoice.org
Friday, 13 August 2004.
Iraqi Resistance attacks US column on highway north of al-‘Askari neighborhood in al-Fallujah Friday morning.
Iraqi Resistance forces attacked a US military column Friday morning using rocket-propelled grenades and C5Ks in the al-‘Askari neighborhood in al-Fallujah according to a report by the Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent in the city.
The Resistance attack took place at 9:05am and lasted for 15 minutes, as Resistance fighters pounded an American column on the highway north of the al-‘Askari neighborhood in the city. The correspondent reported that the US column was on its way to ar-Ramadi at the time of the attack, where it was to reinforce other aggressor troops there who have come under repeated Resistance attacks. There was no immediate word on the extent of US casualties sustained in the morning Resistance attack.
Resistance attacks US column north of al-Fallujah.
Iraqi Resistance forces launched a powerful attack on a US military column Friday morning according to eyewitness accounts reported by the al-Fallujah correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam. The witnesses said that the US column tried to close the road north of al-Fallujah in order to hinder the movements of the Resistance in that area. But they were suddenly surprised at exactly 11:05am with a sudden and severe attack lasting 10 minutes.
The witnesses reported that the US column resumed its march after the attack but that it had sustained an undetermined number of losses.
Resistance hits US command point north of al-Fallujah Friday morning.
A US command point north of al-Fallujah came under Iraqi Resistance rocket attack on Friday morning at 11:25am. The extent of damage was not available to the Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent who reported the attack, but plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the place of the attack, indicating that a number of US military vehicles had been directly hit.
Resistance strikes US to the south of al-Fallujah as well.
In what appears to be a coordinated series of attacks, the Iraqi Resistance launched a heavy and concentrated attack at a US command point south of al-Fallujah Friday morning, as US troops north of the city were coming under repeated Resistance assaults as well.
The al-Fallujah correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the Resistance fired 120mm mortars at the US command point south of the city at exactly 12:04pm Friday. In his dispatch posted at 1:00pm Mecca time, the correspondent wrote that fighting was still raging around the emplacement at that time.
Al-Fallujah residents march in support of an-Najaf.
Massive demonstrations swept the streets of al-Fallujah after Friday noon congregational prayers as residents of the defiant city expressed their support for their brothers and sisters in an-Najaf and Karbala’ and their outrage over the campaign of US aggression now targeting that region.
The local correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the march left the Mosque of al-Faruq after the prayers and headed for the governorate building in al-Fallujah led by tribal chiefs, ‘ulama’, and prominent citizens of the city.
Protesters denounced the US crimes against the people of an-Najaf and chanted slogans in support of the position taken by Muqtada as-Sadr as he resists the US aggression.
American tank shells house in al-Fallujah.
US aggressors troops shelled a home in the city of al-Fallujah at noon on Friday, in keeping with the criminal American policy of attacks on the civilian population of that defiant city. The local correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam reported that at about 12:30pm, an American tank fired a shell at a private dwelling in the city devastating the building. When his report was posted at 3:45pm Mecca time, the correspondent had no information on casualties as a result of the American attack, nor had the American side provided any explanation for their latest assault on the civilian population.
US aggressor mortar shell hits house in al-Fallujah wounding woman and three children.
Friday night US aggressor troops lobbed a mortar shell at a house in the ash-Shuhada’ neighborhood of al-Fallujah, wounding three children and a woman. Prior to this bombardment three Iraqis had been killed in US attacks in the city, one of them a woman, and 15 others had been injured.
Resistance mortar barrage slams into US base at Saddam International Airport.
Iraqi Resistance forces pounded the US base set up in Saddam International Airport near Baghdad with mortars on Friday. Al-Jazeera satellite TV reported that clouds of black smoke could be seen rising over the occupied airport, indicating direct hits had been scored on installations and equipment.
The Resistance frequently targets US bases, despite their being under the most stringent security, with mortar and rocket assaults.
Muqtada as-Sadr reported wounded in US bombardment as fighting continues in an-Najaf. Afternoon brings relative calm, after Muqtada as-Sadr announces 10-point proposal for a cease fire.
Aws al-Khafaji, the director of the Muqtada as-Sadr office in an-Nasiriyah reported on that Shi‘i religious leader Muqtada as-Sadr was wounded during the American bombardment of a fortified position in which he was staying early Friday morning in an-Najaf. After the attack he was taken to an undisclosed location.
In a telephone conversation with al-Jazeera satellite TV, al-Khafaji called on the world and all political forces to live up to their responsibilities regarding what is going on in an-Najaf.
In a dispatch posted on Mafakarat al-Islam at 8:25am Friday Mecca time, a spokesman for Muqtada as-Sadr was quoted as saying that the Shi‘i religious leader “was wounded in three places and there is no word on his condition until now.”
Al-‘Arabiyah satellite TV reported minutes later that a spokesman for Muqtada as-Sadr in Baghdad reported that the Shi‘i religious leader received minor shrapnel wounds to his chest and forearm in the course of the fighting in an-Najaf while he was in the tomb of the Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Al-‘Arabiyah reported that as-Sadr received medical treatment in the mosque itself and is expected to recover completely from the wounds.
Earlier, Iraqi puppet officials said that as-Sadr was holed up inside the Mosque of the Imam ‘Ali with thousands of his followers.
The Jaysh al-Mahdi militia has been firing mortar barrages at US aggressor troops and their Iraqi stooges, and has also mined the area around the mosque.
Meanwhile the US-installed Iraqi puppet “government” has denied that Muqtada as-Sadr was wounded, saying instead that his forces are negotiating a deal for their departure from the shrine of the Imam ‘Ali in an-Najaf. Spokesman Falah an-Naqib of the puppet so-called “interior ministry” made the claim despite instances by several aides and spokesmen for as-Sadr that he had indeed been wounded in the US attacks.
Minutes after the mendacious claims by the US puppet regime, as-Sadr representative in an-Nasiriyah, Aws al-Khafaji, confirmed that Muqtada as-Sadr had been wounded by a shell fired by a US aircraft when he was in the Shrine of the Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib in an-Najaf. Speaking to al-Jazeera TV, al-Khafaji said that as-Sadr’s precise medical condition was still unknown and that he had been taken somewhere for treatement.
Al-Khafaji said he expected fighting to escalate in all the southern provinces of Iraq in response to the events in an-Najaf. He said that the Jaysh al-Mahdi might carry out its earlier threat to blow up the oil pipeline network, and that the militia in an-Nasiriyah had in fact cut off electricity and oil supply to Baghdad from the pumping and generating stations there.
The Commander of the Jaysh al-Mahdi in Baghdad, Qays al-Khaz‘ali confirmed that Muqtada as-Sadr had been wounded. He said that he had received a message from the Shi‘i religious leader calling on him to act with cleverness and not to allow his emotions to take command. Al-Khaz‘ali said that the supporters of Muqtada as-Sadr would be setting off on marches to an-Najaf from all parts of Iraq.
International news networks showed footage of the US Marine aggressors attacking the area around the empty home of Muqtada as-Sadr in the eastern part of an-Najaf, breaking down a door and storming inside the empty structure. The US raid was preceded by heavy fighting according to as-Sadr spokesman, Ahmad ash-Shaybani, who noted that the house was simply a private dwelling, not a barracks and had no military significance. The correspondent for Abu Dhabi TV reported that US F-16 fighter bombers dropped 1,000-pound high-explosive bombs on the area.
Local eyewitnesses reported enormous damage to the whole area as a result of the air raids. Tongues of flame and clouds of thick smoke rose into the air covering a vast area of the city as a result of the American attacks.
After being wounded in savage US cluster bombing, Shi‘i religious leader Muqtada as-Sadr on Friday issued a list of 10 conditions for any cease fire in the holy city of an-Najaf where US aggressor troops continue to battle the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia.
Muqtada as-Sadr issues 10-point cease-fire proposal.
Official Muqtada as-Sadr spokesman ‘Ali Sumaysim read a statement on behalf of as-Sadr to journalists at the Shrine of the Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib in central an-Najaf. “Muqtada as-Sadr believes the following 10 points are the solution to the crisis of an-Najaf,” as-Sumaysim declared, according to Agence France Presse (AFP).
“The first of these points is a guarantee that occupation forces, the police, and the army will be withdrawn from the holy city. The second of the points is that the old section of an-Najaf al-Ashraf be a preserve under the authority of the supreme Shi‘i religious authorities, equally with other religions, unless the supreme Shi‘i religious authorities expressly refusse to undertake this in an official statement.”
Sumaysim went on to say, “the third point is an appeal for all services to revert to the city of an-Najaf al-Ashraf and for a supervisory body to be formed for the city to that end.” The fourth point was a declaration that the Jaysh al-Mahdi was an ideological current. The group would therefore declare that the Jaysh al-Mahdi members would not bear arms except in cases of self-defense or for the protection of personalities and the people. The fifth point is a call for the withdrawal of the Jaysh al-Mahdi from the city after the supreme Shi‘i religious authorities assume control over the area, unless those authorities refuse to do so in an official statement.
The sixth point read out by Sumaysim called for the need to release the Resistance fighters and the religious leaders and women being held captive. Point seven provides that honorable Resistance fighters would not be pursued whether they are followers of Muqtada as-Sadr or other currents. Point eight calls for freedom of political activity for the followers of as-Sadr. Point nine proclaims that the followers of as-Sadr would submit to a legal constitution of a government elected by free and clean elections. The final point calls for all efforts of good will to be directed to building a free, united, and independent Iraq.
Earlier, ‘Ali Sumaysim had announced that talks were underway with the puppet security forces represented by Muwaffaq ar-Rabi‘i who is in an-Najaf. He said that the talks went on all night and that ar-Rabi‘i must remain in an-Najaf to continue to pursue the discussions. As to the success of the negotiations, Sumaysim said that on some points they were progressing, while on others they were not.
In a report posted at 7:35pm Mecca time Friday evening, Mafkarat al-Islam quoted a report by the al-‘Arabiyah satellite TV company saying that US tanks began withdrawing from the area of an-Najaf after noon Friday. The move came after Muqtada as-Sadr had reportedly agreed to withdraw his Jaysh al-Mahdi militiamen from the old areas of an-Najaf in accordance with his 10-point proposal which also calls for the withdrawal of US and Iraqi puppet forces from the city and for the Jaysh al-Mahdi to lay down arms in order to save the city residents from further bloodshed.
During Friday afternoon, calm settled over the city for the first time in nine days of bloody fighting between the US aggressors and the city’s Jaysh al-Mahdi defenders.
Muqtada as-Sadr demands resignation of US-installed Iraqi government.
A spokesman for Shi‘i religious leader Muqtada as-Sadr urged the US-appointed Iraqi “government” to resign. On behalf of as-Sadr, the spokesman said that he and the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia loyal to him would remain in the city of an-Najaf until death or victory, according to a report carried Friday night by Reuters.
The spokesman quoted as-Sadr as telling his followers in the Mosque of the Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, that he advises the government, which he described as a “dictatorship” and foreign “lackey” regime to resign. He said that the entire Iraqi people demanded their resignation.
Some 2,000 Iraqi puppet troops have been fighting along side 1,800 US forces against the Jaysh al-Mahdi in an-Najaf.
Al-Khafaji at Friday sermon: as-Sadr wounded slightly in the face, more severely in the hand. Local governor ignored instructions from US-appointed regime in Baghdad to crack down on Jaysh al-Mahdi.
Early on Friday afternoon, Aws al-Khafaji, the representative of Muqtada as-Sadr in an-Nasiriyah announced that he had spoken with as-Sadr who informed him that the US forces had dropped anti-personnel cluster bombs on the area where he was, wounding him slightly in his face and more severely in one of his hands.
In a Friday sermon delivered on the Eastern public road in the Eastern neighborhood of an-Nasiriyah, al-Khafaji confirmed that Muqtada as-Sadr is well, despite his injuries.
The local correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam in an-Nasiriyah reported that in his sermon al-Khafaji thanked the governor of the city of an-Nasiriyah for his efforts to avoid unrest in the city. To this end, al-Khafaji said, he tore up the instructions he had received from the puppet “Iraqi interior ministry” insisting on the need to fight the Jaysh al-Mahdi and to drive it out of the city.
Al-Khafaji went on to order the Italian aggressor troops who have a base in an-Nasiriyah to leave the city.
An enormous crowd of people from an-Nasiriyah and neighboring areas as well – the districts of al-Qurrath, and ash-Shatrah – attended the Friday prayers in an-Nasiriyah, the Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent wrote, which were held on the street to accommodate the throng. Al-Khafaji stood facing the assembled people with his back to the Euphrates River.
Jaysh al-Mahdi seizes control of an-Nasiriyah.
Iraqi Resistance forces of the Jaysh al-Mahdi have seized control of the city of an-Nasiriyah on Friday, driving Iraqi puppet police and the US-backed stooge army to withdraw from the southern Iraqi city.
The correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam in the city reported at 12:10pm Mecca time Friday that the Jaysh al-Mahdi had seized some 50 control points in the city, posting 15 to 20 fighters at each position.
The correspondent reported that the Jaysh al-Mahdi used rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and C5Ks and that he had seen the militia in possession of truckloads of anti-aircraft missiles in addition to the widely distributed automatic weapons that they carry.
Eyewitnesses reported that the Jaysh al-Mahdi was heavily deployed in the neighborhoods of ash-Shuhada’, as-Salihiyah, and in the environs of the highway that runs through an-Nasiriyah.
Witnesses also reported that large numbers of local residents were flocking to a large Husayniyah (Shi‘i religious center) to prepare for a huge rally in support of Muqtada as-Sadr as he fights the US aggressor troops.
Also on Friday morning, a caravan of food supplies and 5 million Dinars left an-Nasiriyah bound for an-Najaf with the aim of bringing aid to the people of that defiant city under vicious US bombardment.
Battalion of Iraqi government troops goes over to Jaysh al-Mahdi in al-‘Amarah.
Sources in the Iraqi puppet army reported that Battalion 606 under the comand of Major General Hikmat ‘Abd al-Halim in the area of al-‘Amarah have switched sides and joined forces with the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia loyal to Shi‘i religious leader Muqtada as-Sadr. According to al-Quds al-‘Arabi newspaper the local puppet council in al-‘Amarah has threatened to turn against the Iraqi puppet government in Baghdad if the US attack on an-Najaf continues.
The newspaper reported that puppet police patrols were seen withdrawing from Iraqi cities as the Jaysh al-Mahdi launches its attacks, in protest over the American offensive on an-Najaf.
The Sunni Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ also has condemned the events in an-Najaf and issued an statement prohibiting any Muslim from fighting on the side of the occupation forces against the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia.
Jaysh al-Mahdi fighters encircle Polish invader troops after fighting in al-Hillah.
A Polish military spokesman announced on Friday that several hundred supporters of Muqtada as-Sadr have surrounded a group of some 20 Polish troops in a puppet police station in al-Hillah.
Reuters offered no further details. Al-Jazeera satellite TV reported that fierce fighting took place between the Jaysh al-Mahdi and members of the Iraqi puppet police supported by Polish aggressor troops stationed in the city.
Resistance fighters threaten life of British journalist if US fails to halt its attacks on an-Najaf within 24 hours.
Eyewitnesses have reported that Iraqi Resistance fighters kidnapped a British journalist in the southern Iraqi city of al-Basrah and threatened to kill him if the US forces do not cease their attacks on the holy city of an-Najaf within 24 hours. The witnesses told Reuters that the Resistance fighters captured the journalist in the hotel where he was staying in al-Basrah.
Later in the day the British hostage was freed as a result of intercession by the Office of Muqtada as-Sadr in the city. At a press conference in Baghdad, al-‘Arabiyah satellite TV reported James Brandon expressed deep gratitude for the intercession by the as-Sadr office to secure his release. He said that he believed that the problem in al-Basrah was not the problem of the Jaysh al-Mahdi.
New Iraqi Resistance group announces plans for guerrilla warfare against US occupation.
An Iraqi Resistance group calling itself the Squadrons of al-Husayn has circulated a video tape in which its spokesmen pledge to begin launching guerrilla attacks on the US occupation in order to defend Islam and the holy places in Iraq. In the statement included in the tape, broadcast by the US Associated Press (AP), the Resistance group said that their attacks would be in response to the American attacks in Iraq.
Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ begins actions in support of an-Najaf.
Shaykh Muhammad Bashshar al-Faydi, the official spokesman for the Sunni Board of Muslim ‘Ulama’ announced on Thursday that the Board would wage a campaign to gather donations for the people of an-Najaf besieged by US aggressor forces. Al-Faydi told a press conference in the Umm al-Qura Mosque in Baghdad, headquarters of the Board, that the organization would stand with the city of an-Najaf just as it stood with the city of al-Fallujah. They would gather donations of food and medical supplies to help their brothers and sisters in an-Najaf and any other Iraqi city.
Al-Faydi denounced the resort to force against an-Najaf, and said that right after Friday midday congregational prayers, the Board would hold a rally with speakers and that this would be the start of their activities relating to an-Najaf which would continue until the crisis is over.
He said that if necessary and it if would help, they are ready to go to an-Najaf themselves to take part in bringing an end to the crisis.
A representative of the people of the southern provinces at the press conference warned against talking about splitting the southern provinces from Iraq. He said, “we hope that people will not fall into a trap put together by outside powers by talking about splitting the south away from Iraq.” Al-Quds al-‘Arabi newspaper quoted the speaker as saying “we call on them to declare their areas to be liberated regions of Iraq, with the hope of liberating all of Iraq. The idea of liberation is the correct one, not that of splitting away. The concept of splitting is one that he Iraqis do not like, nor does any decent person.
Puppet police arrest al-‘Arabiyah cameraman in an-Najaf.
Iraqi puppet police arrested Muhammad Fu’ad, a cameraman for the al-‘Arabiyah satellite TV network in the city of an-Najaf. Al-‘Arabiyah reporteed that Fu’ad was arrested at about 3:20pm Mecca time Friday afternoon as he was doing his job. The puppet police took him to an unknown location and his colleagues in al-‘Arabiyah were still unable to contact him or find out where he had been taken as of one hour later.
On 18 March US troops killed a journalist and cameraman working for al-‘Arabiyah in Bghadad, the Americans claiming that both had died as a result of an “accidental discharge of a weapon.” A few days ago, the Baghdad office of another independent Arabic news station, al-Jazeea, was ordered closed by the puppet authorities who complained that the coverage provided by the station was not favorable to US or its stooges.
For the first time: All four top Shi‘i religious authorities leave Iraq as US bombards an-Najaf.
Sources in the city of an-Najaf have disclosed that all four supreme Shi‘i religious authorities (maraji‘) who make up the top echelon of the Shi‘i clerical hierarchy in Iraq are now out of Iraq for the first time. Ibrahim Bahr al-‘Ulum was quoted by the Bahraini newspaper Akhbar al-Khalij as saying that the last of the four supreme authorities to leave an-Najaf was Shaykh Ishaq al-Fayyadi.
Bahr al-‘Ulum said that the supreme religious authority Bashir an-Najafi had already left for Iran, while the supreme authorities Muhammad Sa‘id al-Hakim went to Germany and ‘Ali as-Sistani has been in a London hospital for several days because of apparent heart problems. Ishaq al-Fayyadi’s whereabouts were not clear, but he had definitely left an-Najaf, making this the first time in which the supreme Shi‘i religious authorities have simultaneously left the country.
Their departure was occasioned by the intensification of the US aggression upon the Shi‘i holy city.
Egyptian father: if my son spied for the US occupation, I don’t want his body back.
Following reports that his son had been executed by Iraqi Resistance fighters for spying on them, the father of an Egyptian killed in Iraq told the press, “if it’s proven that my son was involved in spying for the foreign occupiers of Iraq, then I don’t want to claim his body.”
A video broadcast on Tuesday showed scenes of the Egyptian saying “My name is Muhammad Fawzi ‘Abd al-‘Al Mutawalli from the Egyptian Arab Republic, from the city of as-Sunbulawayn in ad-Daqhaliyah Province. I worked as a spy for the Americans inside Iraq. I would throw down disks on positions of the Iraqi mujahideen and citizens [to guide US warplanes to those targets], and the airplanes would track those discs that I threw down and bomb the area.” He also said on the tape, “I would also take women to the airport for the Americans to do whatever they wanted to with them.”
According to Islam on Line, the father, Fawzi ‘Abd al-‘Al, 67 years old, had not seen the tape and said he knew nothing about what his son was doing since he left Egypt 18 years ago to work in Iraq. He said that he thought his son had died in the American raids on Iraq in 1991, since all contact with his family was broken off for so many years.
The father said, “If it’s proven that he was my son and that he was involved in the crime of spying for the foreign occupiers of Iraq, I will decline to ask the government to retrieve his body, because if that’s true he will be a lasting shame on his family and his country.”
Meanwhile, a source in the as-Sunbulawayn Police Department said that they had no information on any Muhammad Fawzi ‘Abd al-‘Al Mutawalli who was said to be the person on the video tape, other than the fact that he left years ago for Iraq with the many other Egyptian workers who went there in the time of President Saddam Hussein to find work.
For his part, the Egyptian Ambassador, Mahmud Sharif Rayhan, Director of the Egyptian Interests Office in Baghdad, said that it was still too early to confirm the charge against that Egyptian citizen of spying for the occupation forces, particularly since there was no reliable evidence to back up such serious charges.