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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

From the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)

This document is provided as a service by UNAMI. The material is drawn from non-UN sources and does not reflect the opinions of the United Nations, nor can the UN vouch for its accuracy

Sunday, 20 February 2005

HEADLINES, Click to follow link

·         Allawi, Salih meet US delegation
·         Al-Sistani said "neutral" over premier selection
·         TV notes SCIRI official, Allawi differences on role of Ba'thists
·         Two Iraqis killed in car bomb attack in Ba'qubah
·         Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV news summary 19 Feb 05
·         Al-Iraqiyah TV news gmt 19 February 05
·         Kurdish paper reports "another 365 Arabs" appointed at the Northern Oil Company
·         Updates from Kurdish Press - 17 Feb 2005

IRAQI NEWS, 19 Feb 05

Allawi, Salih meet US delegation
Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has met a visiting US Congressional delegation, Al-Sharqiyah TV reported on 19 February. Allawi's talks with the five-member delegation, which included senators John McCain and Hillary Clinton, dealt with relations between the two countries, the future of Iraq after the elections, and ongoing efforts to form the next government, the TV said. The delegation also met with Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih. (Al-Sharqiyah Television in Arabic 19 Feb 05)
Al-Sistani said "neutral" over premier selection
Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has taken a neutral position on a disagreement over candidates to be nominated for the post of prime minister, Al-Diyar TV reported on 19 February. The contenders from the Al-Sistani-backed United Iraqi Alliance List are Islamic Al-Da'wah Party leader Ibrahim al-Ja'fari and Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmad al-Chalabi. Ahmad al-Safi, an Al-Sistani aide said the religious leader "does not support any figure at the expense of the others". He said Al-Sistani took a neutral position in the matter. (Al-Diyar TV, Baghdad, in Arabic 19 Feb 05)
TV notes SCIRI official, Allawi differences on role of Ba'thists
Abd-al-Aziz al-Hakim, spokesman for the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), has criticized the return of Ba'thists to state establishments, Al-Diyar TV reported on 19 February. Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi on the other hand has warned against excluding Ba'th elements from the government, the TV added. (Al-Diyar TV, Baghdad, in Arabic 1230 gmt 19 Feb 05)
Two Iraqis killed in car bomb attack in Ba'qubah
Two Iraqis were killed in a car explosion in the northern Iraqi city of Ba'qubah on 19 February, in an apparent bid to assassinate an Iraqi army general, AFP news agency reported, citing a statement by the Iraqi army. Lieut Col Ismail Mohammed said a guardsman and a civilian were killed and another three civilians were wounded when a car driven by a suicide bomber exploded outside the National Guard Command headquarters in the city. A police officer said the bomb went off just after the Diyala province army commander arrived at the HQ. (AFP ) Al-Iraqiyah TV quoted a security source in Ba'qubah saying two the attack caused extensive damage. (Al-Iraqiyah TV, Baghdad, in Arabic 1200 gmt 19 Feb 05)
Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV news summary 19 Feb 05
·         Muslims today mark anniversary of martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn; hundreds of thousands gather in Karbala; strict security measures imposed ...
·         Four Iraqis killed, 22 wounded in bus explosion in Al-Kazimiyah in Baghdad ...
·         Suicide bomber blows up himself wounding National Guard soldier at checkpoint in northwest Baghdad ...
·         Six Iraqis killed, about 70 wounded in separate incidents in several cities in Iraq ...
·         Armed clashes erupted in Al-Azamiyah district in north Baghdad yesterday and at dawn today ...
·         Allawi holds talks with visiting US Congress delegation on relations, future of situation in Iraq ...
·         US Congress delegation meets Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih ...
·         Recorded video interview with Senator John McCain on developments in Iraq ...
·         Five civilians killed, nine wounded in clashes between gunmen and US column in Al;-Iskandariyah south Baghdad ...
·         Al-Anbar Governorate headquarters comes under mortar attack ...
·         US Military prosecutors file new charges which would reduce jail term of US Army reservist Lynndie England charged with "abuse" of Iraqi prisoners ...
·         Indonesian president says kidnapped Indonesian journalists friends of Iraq. Video shows kidnapped journalists with gunmen ...
·         Iraqi national human rights association organizes symposium on freedom of prisoners of conscience
Al-Iraqiyah TV news gmt 19 February 05
·         Iraqis celebrate Ashura ...
·         Iraqis converge on Karbala to mark Ashura ...
·         Three car bombs in Baghdad; three killed and 37 hurt in suicide bombing west of Baghdad ...
·         Car bomb near National Guard headquarter in Ba'quba kills two ...
·         Report looks back at terror acts committed on Ashura day last year ...
·         Iraq army tightens security during Ashura festival in Baghdad ...
·         Emergency plan carried out by Ministry of Health during Ashura festival ...
·         Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi calls on Iraqis to follow footsteps of courageous Imam Al-Husayn ...
·         US congressmen visiting Baghdad say Iraq pullout depends on stability and security situation in the country ...
·         US Senator says during meeting with Allawi he is pleased with Iraq poll result ...
·         Friends of abducted Italian journalist campaign for her release ...
·         French foreign minister hails Iraq decision to join International Criminal Tribunal

Kurdish paper reports "another 365 Arabs" appointed at the Northern Oil Company
Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) newspaper Kurdistani Nuwe reported on 19 February that PUK officials and the director-general of the Northern Oil Company held a meeting on 17 February to discuss the "illegitimate" interference by the Iraqi ministries into the internal affairs of the Kirkuk governorate. PUK official Ramazan Haji Rashad told Kurdistani Nuwe that the Iraqi Oil Ministry had issued an order on 27 January 2005 "to employ 356 people in the Kirkuk Oil Company, all of whom are Arabs. He added that the oil ministry had tried to intervene in the past in a bid to prevent the appointment of Kirkuk residents in the company. (Kurdistani Nuwe, Al-Sulaymaniyah, in Sorani Kurdish 19 Feb 05)
Updates from Kurdish Press - 17 Feb 2005

Kurdistani Nwe daily issued by PUK in Sulaymanya


The Independent Electoral Commission (IECI) is expected announce ratified elections results today.


Kirkuk is an issue beyond compromise, the PUK leader Jalal Talabani said Wednesday in a broad meeting with the chief and members of his party's Garmyan Center on Wednesday
¾         A recruitment center for the Iraqi new army will be opened in Sulaymanya soon, major Sherzad Abdulla told the daily. The recruitment will be open for volunteers aged between 18 and 40 years and the base monthly salary will be ID 500,000 (about $340) subject to increase according to the ranks, in addition to allowances he further explained.
¾         Kirkuk police announced that unidentified terrorists killed a security officer of the North Oil Company and two of his bodyguards Wednesday morning while they were passing by Rashad village south of Kirkuk. The slain officer, an Arab fro Tikrit, is the third security official of the Company killed months. Also in Kirkuk, the police held the Islamic hardliner groups responsible for the murder of a citizen, whose head was found behind a mosque Tuesday night.
¾         A source from the KRG-Sulaymanya Council of Ministers advised that the government would expand the scope of marriage loan beneficiaries to cover every newly married couple, even if none of them is a government civil servant.
¾         Since year 2003, the KRG-Sulaymanya Culture Ministry has been granting a monthly honorary payment to the writers and artists who have been publishing since more than 25 years. The Culture Minster divulged that the honorary payment system is being expanded to cover those with publishing records above 10 years. The monthly payment ranges from ID 10,000 (about $70) for writers and artists with a ten-year publishing record to ID 500,000 (about $340) for those with a record of 30 years and above. The family of a deceased writer or artist with a publishing record above 10 years is also eligible for a monthly pension of about $50. <>


Talabani does not need [Iraqi} presidency seat. The Presidency seat needs Talabani. <>


The Los Anglos Times ran a report by its correspondent Jeffrey Fleishman on the lifestyle and culture differences between Kurdistan Region and the rest of Iraq, as well as settlement and employment of Arabs in the Region. The correspondent quotes an Arab Shiite labor, who came from Baaquba to Sulaymanya for work, as saying that the Kurds were rich and intellectual while Iraqis in the south Iraq suffered from poverty. A Sunni doctor from Mosul is also working in Sulaymanya. He says he was graduated last year and appointed in Tikrit but he refused to there. ``I did not go to the city of the deposed dictator. I came here to Sulaymanya, where the people need my expertise and I need their stability,'' the young doctor explains. Since the Saddam fall, about 2,600 Sunni and Shiite Arab labors, doctors and teachers have settled in Sulaymanya for work, a source from Sulaymanya administration told the correspondent.


The Americans respect Iraqis, but they respect you more once they now you are a Kurd, a Kurdish student in the US told the website. Hamdi, who has been in the US since two years under the Fulbright educational program said he was invited to express his views on the Iraqi January elections. ``I was called onto the stage as an Iraqi student. Once I got there and introduced myself as an Iraqi Kurd, all the attendants rose up and clasped for me for a long while,'' Hamdi added. After the seminar ended, many media outlets approached me and asked me for my opinion on the polls while they were hardly paying attention to the Arab students, he elaborated. Upon their return to their homes, the US soldiers who served in Kurdistan give a bright view of Kurdistan Region, the Kurdish student explained. Region

Khabat daily issued by KDP in Erbil


Iraqi Oil Ministry documents show that Benon Sevan, the Chief of the UN's phased out Oil-for-Food program had stolen $1.2 million for the program, a US investigation committee said.


The KDP leader Massoud Barzani received in his Salahuddin HQ the Regional Coordinator of the US Consulate in Kirkuk on Wednesday. Both sides reiterated the necessity of the consensus amongst Iraqi diverse political components.
¾         Barzani and the PUK's Jalal Talabani received a congratulatory letter from the Kurdish Bloc at the Iranian Parliament.
¾         A Danish charity organization provided a quantity of medicines to be sent to Iraq and distributed to hospitals and health centers.
¾         Japan is ready to support development of the Iraqi civil society organizations.
¾         The Shiite list has agreed on Ibrahim Al-Jaa'fary's nomination for Iraqi premiership. Al-Jaa'fary is expected to visit Kurdistan in a bid to guarantee Kurdish support for his nomination. Newswires quoted him as saying he considered the constitution drafting as his priority.

Hawlati, private weekly issued in Sulaymanya


Talabani gets ready for Iraqi presidency.


Al-Jaa'fary is the Shiite List nominee for premiership.
¾         The Kurds will have 77 representatives at the Iraqi national assembly; 75 from the Kurdish Alliance List and the other 2 from the list of Kurdistan Islamic Group. The latter list will have 6 seats at the Kurdistan National Assembly.
¾         Goran Talabani, a Kurdish doctor is awarded a US Congressional prize for his diagnosis of the Gulf War syndrome.
¾         Kurdish tailor in Iranian city of Mariwan gets 180 lashes and a 6-month imprisonment sentence for using Kurdistan Flag in his advertisements.
¾         For the first time in 12 years, the department of water resources in Kirkuk shuffles the source that supplies the city with potable water. <> A place apart in Iraq Los Angeles Times ines>, February 16, 2005 By Jeffrey Fleishman
Kurdistan offers jobs in a nation hungry for them. For migrants from the Arab south, the prosperous region is like a different country.
SULAYMANIYA, Iraq - Sahib Ali Abbas hopped onto a bus and rode until the date palms turned scarce and the mountains rose, big and wrinkled and waiting for snow.
The Shiite Muslim carpenter and five friends had left the bloodshed of central Iraq to head north toward Kurdistan. The language changed and glances turned suspicious. It was another country, but it wasn't. After police interrogated him and decided he wasn't a terrorist, a contractor handed him a tool belt and a sack of nails.
ike thousands of Arabs from troubled southern and central Iraq, Abbas, who left Baqubah several months ago, has found a more prosperous life in the democratic, free-market Kurdish region. Protected from Saddam Hussein's armies for 12 years by a "no-fly" zone patrolled by U.S. and British planes, the ethnic Kurds in effect raised a nation within a nation. Their clattering cities represent what many want for the rest of Iraq.
"There's a big difference between the south and here," Abbas said, stepping over metal rods and a pile of rocks on an apartment building construction site. "The Kurds are rich and educated. We're tired of poverty in the south. I look around at all this construction and see many, many Arabs just like me."
Authorities say 2,000 to 6,000 Sunni and Shiite Muslim Arabs have migrated to the Sulaymaniya region since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq two years ago. They are laborers, doctors, waiters, professors. There is even a civil aviation engineer hired from Baghdad because the Kurds lacked the experts to build an airport. Reliable statistics are scarce, but estimates suggest that the number of Arab migrants is steadily rising and may total more than 20,000 across northern Iraq, which is home to 3.5 million to 4 million Kurds.
Recent Kurdish history is a lesson in reversal of fortune. Regimes based in Baghdad brutalized the north for generations. Sunni Arabs, who were dominant under Hussein, were taught that Kurds, who are not Arabs, were beneath them; the Kurds' political voice was muted, and hundreds of thousands of them were killed.
Then the no-fly zone, established after the 1991 Persian Gulf War, transformed the region. Kurdish mountain guerrillas traded their baggy pants and bandoliers for the suits of politicians and businessmen, negotiating multimillion-dollar deals in oil, technology and retailing with Iran, Turkey and Dubai.
Over time, the Kurds fashioned a sprawling mountain bazaar. They couldn't get McDonald's, so they created MaDonal. They had cellphones before Baghdad. Internet cafes became hangouts for the young, and satellite TV dishes sprang up in the poorest villages. Not all is laissez faire - the main Kurdish political parties control much development. Patronage and corruption fuel many endeavors, diplomats and Kurdish officials say, and poverty in rural areas is high.
Kurds make up about 18% of the country's population. But thanks to high turnout, a unified Kurdish party appears to have won a quarter of the vote in last month's national election, which would give the north a large role in the new government.
"The Kurds are prosperous," said Naif Sabhan Khalaf, a Sunni Arab councilman in the oil city of Kirkuk. "They have smart political leaders who have taken advantage of things. Other provinces should follow this example. Western businesses tell me they are going to the north because there's security there, unlike places such as Tikrit, which are still ablaze."
Not everyone in Iraq is quick to praise the Kurds, most of whom are Sunnis.
Iraq has been a nation of resentment and suspicion for decades. One ethnic or religious group's good fortune has meant another's suffering. As Sunni Arabs' hold loosened after the fall of Hussein, Shiites and Kurds emerged as the prominent forces.
Iraqi Arabs often wince when they credit the Kurds and often describe the north's achievements as a conspiracy by Washington to control Iraq. Kurds were America's ally in the war to topple Hussein, and many Arabs believe they betrayed the country's sovereignty.
"The Kurds depend on the Americans," said Mikdad Mustaf Ahmet, a writer in Kirkuk, a contested, multiethnic city south of Sulaymaniya whose new government the Kurds are expected to control.

"America is using the Kurds to change the political show," Ahmet said. "There are secret deals. The Kurds want to take Kirkuk for the petrol. They want to draw Kirkuk into their autonomous region."
The main street in Sulaymaniya is a grid of Kurdish aspirations. Lots are cleared, holes are dug, cement mixers churn, wood beams are hewn and hammered, and skeletons of cinderblock buildings rise in perpetual dust. Twenty construction sites dot the street, and building projects for the district government alone are expected to cost more than $740 million. The commercial and service industries have grown by 200% in recent years, according to the Kurdistan Finance Ministry.
"People from Ramadi and Fallouja want to copy what we have, which is good, because when they come here they help our economy," said Othman Ismail Shwani, deputy finance minister of the Kurdistan regional government. "For 45 years, the Kurdish struggle was an armed struggle. Things have changed, and now the best way to prosper is through diplomacy and a strong economy."
Shaaban Nooradin draws a paycheck amid the construction clatter on the main street. Standing in muddy boots and watching girls pass in winter dresses, the 19-year-old Sunni Arab moved here from Kirkuk and was hired by a Turkish company building a government office. When he could find work at home, he painted cars for $136 a month. He earns nearly $400 a month in Sulaymaniya.
"The pay here is good and fair," he said. "A lot of young Arabs like me, even married guys, are coming north to work. They treat us good. On New Year's Eve, though, they forced the Arabs to go home because they thought terrorists might be planning something here. They let us back in later."
Ali Ibrahim Bayaty is a hematologist from Mosul. When he got his medical license last year, the Iraqi Health Ministry assigned him to a hospital in Tikrit.
"I wasn't going to work in the city of the despot Hussein," said Bayaty, a Sunni Arab, standing in the afternoon sun in a clinic here. "I came to a safe place. The Kurds needed my expertise, and I needed security. It was a nice union. I hope the situation in the north prevails over all of Iraq so I can return home, get married and complete my life."
When asked whether he would consider marrying a Kurd, he said: "Why not a Kurdish wife? Marriage is what's in the soul. It's not about nationality."
Arabs from conservative religious communities in the south find the north permissive. Women are unveiled, liquor is sold in shops, the Jihad Mosque has been closed and extremist clerics are under surveillance by intelligence agencies. Many of the new arrivals struggle with Kurdish syntax. They live in rooms provided by employers and travel home once a month, giving their paychecks to wives and mothers and having their clothes mended and washed.
"My wife and six children stay at our home in Mosul," said Akram Aziz Aabar, a Shiite who oversees a crew at a site for a government office. "All of us are from Mosul. I know these guys. I pick them and give them a chance to work. We're doing well. I'm not into politics. I'm a laborer, and I only care about my family."
A few blocks away, clothes ripped, his thin beard dusty, the carpenter Abbas climbs down from the second floor of a new apartment building. He walks past exposed metal rods and rows of concrete blocks. He has a wife in Baqubah. They are too poor, he says, to have children. He'll see her in a few days, when the bus takes him out of the mountains to where the land flattens and the heat rises.

"Everything is messed up in the south," he said. "The only thing I know about the future is that the number of Iraqis killed will go up. I'm lonely and tired, and if it wasn't for this work, I couldn't do it."
When Abbas works, he is silhouetted against a former prison run by Hussein's Interior Ministry. Kurds were interrogated and tortured there. Thousands died.
Bullets and grenades shattered the outside walls during a 1991 Kurdish uprising. There was no desire to repair the building or to tear it down. The Kurds turned it into a museum.

NB: This is not an official document. The information contained therein was compiled by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Information Office. If you have any questions/suggestions, please contact us at (+ 962 550 -4631/4632 or Cell. + 962 77 619 731 <> or <>

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