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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

17 December Iraq Special Weapons News

US Policy
United Nations
Reconstruction Issues
Foreign Reactions
News Reports

Current Operations

  • OIF/OEF Casualty Update 17 Dec 2003 [PDF]

  • TASK FORCE "ALL AMERICAN" CAPTURES FINANCIER, TRAINS ICDC, AND CONDUCTS CIVIL AFFAIRS OPERATIONS CENTCOM Release 17 Dec 2003-- The 82d Airborne Division and attached units, also known as Task Force "All American," continued security operations and civil affairs projects within the Al Anbar Province.
  • Task-Force Ironhorse Wrap-up CENTCOM Release 17 Dec 2003-- A Fedayeen leader and anti-Coalition activity financier was captured along with 72 others when soldiers from C Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, raided a building west of Balad, in the early morning of Dec. 16.
  • 101st CONTINUES TO MAKE NORTHERN IRAQ SAFER CENTCOM Release 17 Dec 2003-- Elements of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) conducted numerous operations, both civil and military, over the past 24 hours in northern Iraq.
  • 4th ID's 24-HOUR ACTIVITY CENTCOM Release 17 Dec 2003-- Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division and Task Force Ironhorse have, over the past 24 hours, conducted 163 patrols, one raid and captured 21 individuals.
  • OPERATION IVY BLIZZARD CENTCOM Release 17 Dec 2003-- Early this morning the 4th Infantry Division and Task Force Ironhorse initiated Operation Ivy Blizzard, a joint operation with Iraqi security forces within Samarra at the request of local leadership.
  • CIVIL AFFAIRS FUNDS SECURITY CHECKPOINT AND EDUCATION RENOVATIONS CENTCOM Release 17 Dec 2003-- Task Force "All American" Civil Affairs (CA) personnel met with the Babil Province finance officer and local officials in Iskandariyah to review police effectiveness. Most police sub-stations have limited effectiveness due to budgetary constraints. They advised the finance officer that the department needs a $6,000 monthly operating budget for daily operations.
  • Stryker brigade encounters first combat in Iraq Army News Service 17 Dec 2003-- Infantrymen from 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, took to the roads and villages north of Baghdad on Dec. 14, patrolling to keep the peace.
  • JUBILANT FAMILIES WELCOME V CORPS ENGINEER BATTALION HOME FROM IRAQ V Corps Release 17 Dec 2003-- Excited spouses and children gathered at Bamberg's Warner Barracks holding banners and flowers to greet Soldiers of the corps' 54th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade who returned recently after a 10-month Iraq deployment. Loud cheers and patriotic songs, courtesy of the 1st Infantry Division band, greeted more than 300 smiling Soldiers Dec. 9 and 10. Many tears of joy were shed as spouses and children embraced their Soldiers for the first time in almost a year.
  • PATIENT EFFORT BY 4TH INFANTRY LED TO SADDAM'S CAPTURE V Corps Release 17 Dec 2003-- The image of a bearded and bowed Saddam Hussein, captured in this small farming village Dec. 13, is already burned in the memories of people worldwide.
  • 4th ID Follows up Big Catch with Operation in Samarra AFPS 17 Dec 2003 -- The Army's 4th Infantry Division is continuing its aggressive fight against enemy cells with a raid in Samarra that picked up 73 men and a significant amount of material useful in making improvised explosive devices.
  • Capture of Saddam Not Luck, but Skill, Abizaid Says AFPS 17 Dec 2003 -- Coalition successes in Iraq - including the capture of Saddam Hussein - are not the result of lucky breaks, but the patient, exacting work of intelligence professionals and the soldiers who act on their information, U.S.Central Command chief Army Gen. John Abizaid said here today.
  • IRAQ/BLAST VOA 17 Dec 2003 -- An apparent car bomb has exploded in Baghdad. Iraqi police tell V-O-A the blast killed at least 12 people and wounded many more.
  • Iraq: Fuel Truck Explodes In Baghdad, As U.S. Military Continues Operation In Samarra RFE/RL 17 Dec 2003 -- A fuel truck blew up early this morning in Baghdad, causing a fiery explosion that engulfed other cars, killing at least 12 people and wounding 15 others.
  • TASK FORCE "ALL AMERICAN" ENGAGES ENEMY CENTCOM Release 17 Dec 2003-- The 82d Airborne Division and attached units, also known as Task Force "All American," continued security operations within the Al Anbar Province.
  • TASK FORCE "ALL AMERICAN" DISCOVERS WEAPONS CACHES CENTCOM Release 17 Dec 2003-- The 82d Airborne Division and attached units, also known as Task Force "All American," continued security operations within the Al Anbar Province.


  • ASIA TROOPS / IRAQ VOA 17 Dec 2003 -- South Korea's government has finalized plans to send another three-thousand troops to Iraq. While Japan is still working out deployment details amid growing security concerns.

US Policy

  • U.S. Welcomes Italian Support for Iraqi Debt Reduction Washington File 17 Dec 2003 -- The United States welcomes the statement by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi "supporting substantial debt reduction for Iraq in the Paris Club in 2004."
  • U-S / EUROPE / IRAQ VOA 17 Dec 2003 -- U-S Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, standing in for the hospitalized Secretary of State Colin Powell, discussed the situation in Iraq Wednesday, with European Union chief diplomat Javier Solana. Both said the trans-Atlantic rift over U-S-led military action in Iraq is on the mend.

United Nations

  • UN: Annan Says 'Credible' Political Transition In Iraq Can Assure Stability RFE/RL 17 Dec 2003 -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says now that Saddam Hussein is captured, the best hope of providing stability in Iraq is a quick, "credible and inclusive" transition of power.
  • Iraq: Interim Foreign Minister Appeals For UN Unity, Help In Transition RFE/RL 17 Dec 2003 -- Iraq's interim foreign minister has urged the United Nations Security Council to move beyond its differences over the Iraq war and come to the aid of the struggling country. Hoshyar Zebari aimed some criticism of his own at the UN for permitting Saddam Hussein's regime to abuse Iraqis, but he also said Iraqis need UN help as they prepare to assume power in the next six months. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan asked for clear directions from Iraqis and the Security Council about the UN's political role in Iraq.

Reconstruction Issues

  • Iraq: Will Hussein's Capture Clear Up Confusion About Alleged WMD? RFE/RL 17 Dec 2003 -- The capture of deposed President Saddam Hussein is sparking new debate concerning the whereabouts of Iraq's suspected weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Washington maintains the weapons posed an urgent enough threat to require toppling Hussein's regime. But some top arms inspectors say they increasingly believe most of the weapons were destroyed. Will Hussein's capture finally clear up the mystery?

  • BRITAIN / IRAQ VOA 17 Dec 2003 -- The current president of the Iraqi Governing Council is promising a fair trial for Saddam Hussein. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim spoke with reporters in London following talks with senior British officials.
  • SADDAM - TRIAL VOA 17 Dec 2003 -- The capture of Saddam Hussein last Saturday has raised a debate about the way in which he should be tried and about the extent to which Iraqis are up to the task of judging the former dictator. V-O-A's Robert Daguillard reports legal experts and Iraqi anti-Saddam activists met in Washington for a panel discussion on the issue.
  • Iraq: Head Of Governing Council Says Hussein To Be Tried At Home RFE/RL 17 Dec 2003 -- The head of the Iraqi Governing Council Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim has said that deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein will be tried in an Iraqi court, the BBC reported.
  • SADDAM/JUSTICE VOA 17 Dec 2003 -- Since coalition forces have captured former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, an international debate has begun about how and when he should face trial for his alleged crimes. Many Iraqis are calling for a quick trial and a conviction on crimes against humanity. But legal experts are cautioning that it is particularly important to make sure he receives a fair trial. Many observers believe that is going to take time.

  • New Iraqi Health System Will Offer Care to All, Official Says Washington File 17 Dec 2003 -- A discriminatory Iraqi health care system that serviced a select few is being transformed by the renewed Iraq Ministry of Health to ensure affordable health care regardless of ethnicity, gender, geographic origin or religious affiliation, says interim Minister of Health Khudair Abbas.

  • IRAQ: Focus on help for war wounded and landmine victims IRIN 17 Dec 2003 -- When a rocket ripped through Baha al-Din Sa'd’s leg, he thought his life was over. The 19-year-old was in one of Saddam Hussein’s conscript military training camps in Mosul, in northern Iraq, when US aircraft attacked it in April. After seven operations, his leg was amputated from above the knee and he resigned himself to a life of unemployment and bachelordom.
  • IRAQ-IRAN: More Iraqis go home IRIN 17 Dec 2003 -- Two hundred and forty-five Iraqi refugees were repatriated from Iran on Monday, according to the Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They travelled from the Ahvaz refugee camp in the southwestern province of Khuzestan.

Foreign Reactions

  • ITALY / DEBT VOA 17 Dec 2003 -- U-S special envoy James Baker has met with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in his effort to obtain Italy's support for a debt relief program for Iraq. Mr. Baker has already secured a pledge from France and Germany to cooperate in the debt-relief program.
  • EC head urges halt to Iraq`s occupation following Saddam`s capture IRNA 16 Dec 2003 -- Chairman of Iran`s Expediency Council (EC) Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here on Tuesday that the arrest of the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein left no more pretext for US troops to stay in the country.
  • Germany agrees to Iraq`s "substantial" debt relief after Baker visit IRNA 16 Dec 2003 -- German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has agreed to "substantially" reduce Iraq`s debt burden following his meeting with American special envoy James Baker, German government spokesman Bela Anda was quoted as saying Wednesday in a press release.
  • Blair accused of exaggerating arms finds in Iraq IRNA 16 Dec 2003 -- Prime Minister Tony Blair was accused Wednesda of exaggerating the findings of investigators looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
  • President Khatami: Saddam`s capture a positive point IRNA 16 Dec 2003 -- President Mohammad Khatami here on Wednesday called the recent capture of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as a positive point, but said he doubted if Saddam would be given a fair trial.
  • Chinese FM denies helping Iraq military planning PLA Daily 17 Dec 2003 -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao denied Tuesday that China had helped the Iraqi army make military plans to combat the US and Britain forces, saying such reports are totally "groundless".

News Reports

  • IRAQ / BASRA VOA 17 Dec 2003 -- Eight months after the fall of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, British-controlled southern Iraq is enjoying a relative peace that still eludes the violence-stricken central and northern parts of the country.
  • 2003 & Beyond: Saddam Hussein's Capture A Ray Of Hope For U.S. Efforts In Iraq RFE/RL 17 Dec 2003 -- Nine months ago, when U.S. cruise missiles and precision bombs began raining down on Baghdad in the war's first salvos, the United States probably never imagined where it would be today -- fighting a guerrilla war with no easy exit in sight. But with the recent capture of deposed leader Saddam Hussein, there is new hope that Washington can improve stability in Iraq next year.

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