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
Monday, May 09, 2005
HEADLINES, Click to follow link
The Iraqi government said on 8 May that security forces had arrested Ammar al-Zubaydi, a top aide of Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, leader of the Al-Qa'idah organization in Iraq . Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported a government statement as saying that Al-Zubaydi, also known as Abu-Abbas, was arrested three days ago in Baghdad . The statement added that Al-Zubaydi helped in planning the attack on the Abu-Ghurayb prison last April, in addition to his responsibility for a series of car bomb explosions in Baghdad . (Al-Sharqiyah 9 May 05)
Iraqi MP urges Iraq to harden stance against Jordan
Al-Iraqiyah TV's Al-Minbar al-Iraqi (The Iraqi Podium) discussed on 8 May the surge in terror acts after the new cabinet had been formed. One guest, National Assembly member Mariam al-Rais, said that Iraqis were becoming like Palestinians: they were suffering tremendously but had a strong will to carry on with their lives. She said the government may be doing its best but parliament should fulfil its role of overseeing its policy. Regarding the use of the death penalty, Al-Rais said "terrorists" should stand a fair trial as sentencing them to death was likely to rouse political and historical sensitivities and cause a furore among some groups. Al-Rais also accused Jordan of playing a big part in fuelling violence in Iraq , and criticized some Iraqi officials for toning down their diplomatic offensive against Amman . (Al-Iraqiyah TV 8 May 05)
Iraqi Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum said on 8 May that his ministry's new watchword will be fighting corruption and increasing oil production, Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported. Following the National Assembly's approval of his appointment as oil minister, Bahr al-Ulum pledged to increase oil exports to 1.75m barrels per day and fight corruption. (Al-Sharqiyah 8 May 05)
A US military statement on 8 May said that coalition forces had arrested more than 100 suspected insurgents in raids across Iraq over the weekend, including 54 allegedly linked to the network of Jordanian-born militant Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, AFP reported. The statement said that six insurgents were killed and 54 suspects arrested in a series of raids on 8th near the town of Al-Qa'im near the Syrian border. It said that the operation followed reports that key aides to al-Zarqawi had moved into the area. In other raids, US forces arrested 33 suspects in Baghdad on 7th, and US forces, assisted by Iraqi, Polish and Salvadoran troops, captured 17 people on the same day in a sweep near Al-Mashru, south of Baghdad , the report added. (AFP) Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported the US army as saying that six insurgents had been killed and 45 arrested in the raids near Al-Qa'im. The army statement was quoted as saying that the "terrorists... were planning on upsetting security and stability in the area through attacks on Iraqi and multinational forces and building safe houses in that region to facilitate the movement of foreign fighters and the transfer of money from Syria to Iraq". (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 8 May 05)
Arbil bombing victims moved to Turkey, Iran for treatment
Twenty-six people injured in the 4 May suicide attack on a police recruitment centre in the northern city of Arbil have been transferred to Iran and Turkey to be treated for wounds described as "critical", Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported on 8 May. The Kurdistan regional government's minister of health, Jamal Abd-al-Hamid, was cited as saying that 21 had been taken to Ankara on a special aircraft sent by the Turkish government, and that the other five had been transferred to Iran on 7th. All were suffering from multiple fractures and severe burns, the report added. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 8 May 05)
A protest by residents of the city of Al-Ramadi , west of Baghdad , against the practices of US forces locally entered its second day on 8 May, Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV reported. It said that the protest, described as a "civil sit-in", was demanding that US forces "end their siege on and leave the city, release prisoners, end indiscriminate raids and killings and restore public services". A reporter for the channel said that the protest had turned Al-Ramadi into a "ghost city... empty of its residents even though they are there". People were using the protest to "express demands that have often been proposed but have received no response", it concluded. (Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 8 May 05)
Leading figures from Iraq 's two main Kurdish parties have held talks in the summer resort of Salah-al-Din in an effort to resolve differences over plans to unify the two administrations in Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) satellite TV reported on 8 May. Speaking after the meeting, in remarks broadcast by the TV, Kosrat Rasul Ali from Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said that they had held a "very good meeting", adding that "God willing, we shall achieve a good outcome". Nechirvan Barzani from Mas'ud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) said that while "we may have different views regarding some issues", the meeting "reached some good conclusions" and he was "confident that we shall reach a conclusion". (Kurdistan Satellite TV, Salah-al-Din, in Sorani Kurdish 8 May 05)
New oil minister says Iraq to boost crude oil exports
New Iraqi Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr-al-Ulum on 8 May said that his country was planning to boost crude oil exports. "We aim to maximize this country's revenues through the production and export of oil," he said, in remarks broadcast by Al-Iraqiyah TV. He said another priority was to "save on consumption of oil derivatives and find alternatives" so as to "alleviate people's suffering and prevent crises". He was speaking shortly after parliament approved him as the permanent minister of oil. (Al-Iraqiyah TV, Baghdad , in Arabic 8 May 05)
The Iraqi government today said that the security forces arrested Ammar al-Zubaydi, a top aide of Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, leader of the Al-Qa'idah organization in Iraq .
A government statement said that Al-Zubaydi, also known as Abu-Abbas, was arrested three days ago in Baghdad . The statement added that Al-Zubaydi helped in planning the attack on the Abu-Ghurayb prison last April, in addition to his responsibility for a series of car bomb explosions in Baghdad . (Source: Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad , in Arabic 9 May 05)
IRAQI PRESS HEADLINES, 8 May 05
Al-Bayyinah [general cultural and political weekly newspaper published by Hizbullah Movement in Iraq ]
- US Iraq strategy uncovered by Al-Bayyinah: Shi'is to rule, Kurds not to secede
- Syria declares willingness to turn in 4,000 Saddam loyalists, with Washington rejecting Damascus ' terms
- Interior minister has names of 3,000 terrorists laid out on his desk; those released by Al-Naqib clique rearrested
- Plot to submerge Kurdistan in bloodbath, Arbil operation being the start
- Al-Sari plea: Lend your support to Al-Ja'fari, do not burn Iraq down in sectarian fire
- Al-Ja'fari in Washington soon to get new arms for Iraqi army
- Talabani stresses better, stronger ties with Jordan
- Al-Ja'fari government settles issue of vacant portfolios, nominations to be considered by National Assembly today
- Syria 's decision to resume relations with Iraq welcomed by Zebari
- Mish'an al-Juburi detained for a few hours
- Ministry of Higher Education bans arms on campuses, investigates incident at college of pharmacy
- Release of construction funds demanded by Al-Sadr City Council
- Remains found of second F-18 pilot killed in crash
- Food ration vouchers, corruption topping list of Trade Ministry priorities
Al-Adalah [general political daily newspaper published by Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq ]
- Final cabinet lineup to be submitted to National Assembly today
- Al-Zarqawi lieutenant detained by Iraqi security forces
- First civilian plane landing in holy Al-Najaf
- Three terrorists, Egyptian suspect apprehended in Daquq
- Terrorist operation in central Baghdad claims several innocent victims
- President Talabani arrives in Amman on first post-inauguration visit
- Joint forces deployed in great numbers to restore security to hotbeds of tension, 100 US tanks entering Tall Afar to provide support for Iraqi army, reinforce troops at Ramadi's three entrances
- Twenty-one gunmen detained by Wolf Brigade in Dawrah
- Al-Zarqawi aide Ali Rawah captured by Iraqi security forces
- Gruesome atrocity in central Baghdad ; attack targeting four foreigners leaves scores of innocent citizens dead, wounded
- Senior Al-Zarqawi aides confessing: What we thought would be holy war turned out to be acts of murder, robbery and blackmail aimed at innocent people
- Thirty-six martyred, injured in Baghdad 's south gate car bombing
- President Talabani starts talks with Jordanian monarch
- Self-restraint urged by National Dialogue Council
- Most Iraqis envision Islam as source of legislation, but not the sole one
- Australia not to bow to new ultimatum
- Opposition "Syrian Reform Party" intending to open office in Damascus
- Monetary, administrative irregularities uncovered in Basra
- 10b dinars earmarked for projects to rehabilitate services in Al-Diwaniyah
Al-Zaman [ Baghdad edition of London-based independent daily newspaper]
- Chieftain of Al-Masa'udi tribe assassinated in Ba'qubah; three roadside bombs detonated in Al-Mafraq, Al-Tahrir, Al-Aswad; fire rages in Sa'dun Street as car bombs go off
- Clearing up Al-Fallujah debris backed by international organization
- Al-Ja'fari to present National Assembly with complete cabinet lineup, with Al-Dulaymi chosen for Defence, Al-Shibli for Human Rights, Shalash for Electricity
- Mosul policeman has home blown up by unidentified assailants
- Arab parties in Kirkuk demand release of detainees
- Institutional conference calls for restructuring Iraqi military institutions
- Yazidi Movement lays out vision of new constitution, asks for administrative, cultural and political rights of Yazidis to be officially acknowledged, unambiguously stated in new constitution
Al-Sharq al-Awsat [ Baghdad edition of London-based independent daily newspaper, Saudi-owned]
- Kurdish lawmakers demand incomplete oath, skipping mention of federalism, be taken again, this time in full
- Iraqi president raising issues of Al-Chalabi file, Sunni participation, Jordanian monarch underscoring respect for Iraqi options, support for Iraqis' anti-terror stand
- Al-Zarqawi aide detained in raid in western Iraq ; Ghassan al-Rawi admits having met Jordanian militant in January
- Survivor describes how he managed to slip away from gunmen, with victims' relatives saying 14 bodies dug out of Baghdad rubbish dump were Sunni farmers from Al-Mada'in
- Special hotline set up for reporting threats, acts of blackmail; Interior Ministry provides medics with arms for self-defence
IRAQI PRESS QOUTES & EDITORIALS, 8 May 05
"It is not Saddam's Ba'thists that we blame, but rather our own compatriot brethren, who, alas, have chosen to abandon us and side with the suicide attackers reemerging from the Middle Ages, the Aflaqites [followers of the Ba'th Party] bred in Lattakia and those who have taken to frequenting the British embassy, all of whom are clearly living their last days and will soon be brought to justice before God Almighty to receive the punishment they deserve for having betrayed their homeland, slaughtered the descendants of the House of Muhammad and robbed the hungry of their scarce livelihood."
"With corruption having spread like a plague and infesting every corner of Iraqi officialdom, it would be perfectly reasonable to assume that everyone is corrupt until proven otherwise. It is in this light that Dr Al-Ja'fari's ultra-cautious checking and double-checking of ministerial nominations ought to be seen. After all, the man is right in trying his best to exclude from his crew anyone who, once allowed to come aboard, might be tempted to sink the ship."
"The repercussions of the recent events in Al-Mada'in persist, and the case can hardly be considered closed now that police and military forces have played their part in stabilizing the restive area. The vehement calls for decisive anti-terrorist action made as the gruesome crisis began to unfold were clearly prompted by patriotic rather than sectarian considerations. But these calls seem to have caused quite a stir in certain circles, prompting some to defend the killers and condemn the victims."
IRAQI PRESS & BROADCAST MEDIA, 8 May 05
- Iraqi president meets Jordanian prime minister in Amman , discusses bilateral relations
- Iraqi government faces new obstacle hours after its approval with minister of human rights saying he will not accept post; assembly approves remainder of vacant cabinet posts
- Iraqi assembly says cabinet to take oath of office again to include omitted passages concerning federal system
- Official in Ministry of Transport assassinated in Baghdad
- Blast targeting US-Iraqi military convoy kills two Iraqi soldiers, injures four civilians, including one child
- Jordan and Iraq agree to increase security cooperation to combat terrorist activities
- Ministry of Finance issues new pension guidelines for retirees
- Sunni council statement condemns killing of 15 men in Mada'in, calls for unity among all Iraqis
- Some of those injured in Arbil suicide blast transported to Turkey and Iran to receive medical treatment
- Residents of Al-Ramadi continue protests against conditions in their town, call for end to attacks and arrests by US forces; local official says citizens want roadblocks and other obstacles lifted
- Clash between armed group and US-Iraqi forces south of Baghdad ; two armed men killed
- US army says coalition troops killed six men in operation in western Iraq against group that moved to area to begin attacks against US forces
- Ministry of Education bans weapons and security personnel from entering campuses
- US forces storm campus of Al-Anbar University for second time in two days, attack university guards
- Australian minister of defence expresses pessimism regarding fate of abducted Australian citizen in Iraq
- US President George W. Bush ends visit to Netherlands to commemorate end of Second World War
- Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari vows to complete political process on time. Video report covers his comments on putting final touches to cabinet, announcing new ministers to fill empty cabinet positions. ( 2:40 )
- National Assembly approves five candidates for ministerial positions. Video report covers parliament discussions, comments by assembly member. ( 3:20 )
- President Jalal Talabani hails deep ties with Jordan . Video report covers his visit to Amman .
- Studio interview with Hasan al-Sari, assembly member. He speaks about role of National Assembly in political process. ( 4:00 )
- Minister of Foreign Affairs Hoshyar Zebari says Jordan and Iraq have agreed to strengthen cooperation in fight on terror. (0:30)
- Iraqis happy with new cabinet, call for better services and end to violence. Video report covers comments by women. ( 2:14 )
- Iraqi farmers call for speedy solution to violence, improved conditions. Video report
- First Deputy Speaker of National Assembly Husayn al-Shahristani says writing of constitution to be done by parliament committee. Video report covers his comments, looks at mechanism of writing of constitution. ( 3:03 )
- Baghdadis condemn terror attack near school. Video report highlights public anger, sadness.
- Iraqi police backed by multinational force foil car bombing near Tikrit.
- Key terror suspect arrested in Rawa. ( 1:15 )
- Six terror suspects killed by multinational force near Syrian border. (0:23)
- Two Iraqi soldiers killed, civilians hurt in bombing in Baiji. (0:20)
- Three terrorists kill government official in Durra--government statement. Video report
- Zebari says efforts to free Australian hostage intensified.
- Australian defence minister pessimistic about release of hostage. (0:58)
- Arab League chief hopes more Arab leaders can attend Arab-Latin summit. Video report
- Twenty sentenced to prison on terrorism charges in Kuwait . (0:29)
- Egyptian terror suspect wanted by Cairo arrested in Libya . (0:30)
- US President George Bush says democracy brings peace. Video report covers his European tour. ( 2:51 )
- Business bulletin. Zebari discusses with visiting Australian delegation contaminated wheat shipment. Iraqi-Jordanian talks over Iraqi assets frozen in Amman banks. Iraqi-Jordanian border re-opened. Sewage project underway in Fallujah, locals employed in project. Report on booming business of second-hand tires in Basra .
UPDATES FROM THE KURDISH PERSS, 8 MAY 05
- “We have information that Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari himself omitted the expression ‘[ Iraq ’s] federal democratic system’ from the oath of office,” Kurdish member of the Iraqi parliament Mahmoud Osman said Sunday. Osman’s statement came after a KDP-PUK meeting in Salahuddin town north of Erbil for discussion on the proposed draft code for Kurdistan Region presidency. “They met here last night and had another meeting this morning before the PUK delegation went back for consultation with their comrades. I hope thy reach an agreement as soon as possible,’ Osman said. He undermined the KDP-PUK differences and said that the most important issue was that of Kirkuk . “The expression of ‘federal democratic system’ was taken out of the oath and it was not a typo mistake according to our information. Jaafari himself put a line on it with his own hands. We should think of this not other issues,” Osman concluded.
- The KDP-PUK meeting in Salahuddin ended after ours of lengthy discussions without putting dots on I’s. The PUK delegation went back for further consultation with their politburo comrades and the KDP delegates continued their meeting. KRG PM and KDP politburo member Nechirvan Barzani said during a break between the meetings that there were differences between his party and the PUK over the authorities of the expected Kurdistan region president. “We believe that his authorities should not be symbolic. This does not mean that we want him to hold all the power in his hands. The authorities could be shared by the president of the Region, the parliament speaker and the prime minister,” Barzani explained. He said that the two parties are now closer to an agreement. Both sides have agreed that the president would have a deputy for Peshmarga affairs. He further said that his party wanted the president to be elected by the parliament at this first session for 4 years and in general elections for the subsequent sessions for anyone who would be ready to run for it. Barzani expressed optimism for reaching to an agreement with the PUK “after more talks.”
- PUK politburo executive chief and head of his party’s delegation to last night’s meeting with the KDP in Salahuddin Kosrat Rassoul Ali commented on the meetings saying they were candid and fruitful and both parties had good will [to settle the differences]. He added that both parties would consult with their comrades to reach better conclusions. Massoud Barzani will become president of Kurdistan Region, Ali said confidently.
- In a statement released Friday, KDP leader Massoud Barzani lashed at removing the expression of ‘federal democratic Iraq ’ and described it as a ‘serious threat to the Kurdistani alliance with the Shiites’. We will not compromise, Barzani said in his statement urging the Kurdish representatives at the Iraqi national assembly and government to settle the issue.
- The KDP wants unlimited absolute powers for the Kurdistan Region president, a spokesperson for PUK Central Media Bureau said in a statement released on Sunday. The political process in Kurdistan and meeting of the newly elected parliament has been delayed since more than a week due to difference in KDP and PUK views to the KRG presidency code to be issued by the parliament, the PUK spokesperson elaborated. He added that his party believed that the parliament could have convened despite the KDP-PUK disagreement but the KDP linked the two issues together and thus the parliament meeting did not take place. Commenting on the KDP statement published on peyamner.com website, which accused the PUK of viewing matters related to Kurdistan Region laws from Baghdad perspective, the PUK spokesperson said the KDP allegation was not true. “The PUK has clarified its understanding to the presidency issue in all bilateral meetings with the KDP,” the spokesperson said adding that the PUK viewed the presidency in Kurdistan Region as a position that should strengthen the democratic experiment not to question shed doubts on it. He further said that the KDP draft for the presidency code suggested an all-power president, whose authorities frighten not only the PUK but all Kurdistan people because we want the president to have limited authorities and be responsible before a legal and constitutional body while the KDP refuses such limitations.
- (summarized editorial) Saturday 7th of May was the 17th establishment anniversary of the Kurdistani Front that was the best response to the ousted regime’s infamous genocidal Operation Anfal of year 1988 against our people. Another achievement of the Front was the conducting the general elections in May 1992, which led to the establishment of Kurdistan Parliament and the Regional Government.
Yakgirtu, weekly newspaper issued in Erbil by Kurdistan Islamic Union (Yakgirtu)
- From 30 April to 3 May 2005 , Yakgirtu convened its fourth conference and issued a communiqué that reiterated opposition to terrorism from whatever source. The communiqué vowed to apply the policy of positive opposition to defend the public freedom and rights, as well as confronting all kinds of corruption. The party re-elected Salahuddin Bahaaddin as secretary—general. At the Kurdistani level, the final statement called for ending the administrative split in Kurdistan Region and eliminating its unfortunate social and political consequences. It also called for quick activation of Kurdistan parliament and establishment of a board based government in Kurdistan Region, as well as activating the Kurdish bloc at the Iraqi national assembly for drafting an permanent constitution that consecrates the legitimate rights of Kurdistan people, particularly identifying the border of Kurdistan Region [with the rest of Iraq], establishing federalism and implementing TAL Article 58.
- 13 new members from the younger generation, including 5 women (4 from Sulaymanya and one from Dahuk) joined the new leadership committee while 8 from the old one had left. former were with a leadership committee
- Members of al-Jaafari’s new cabinet do not believe in federalism. The term of federalism was omitted from their Oath of Office during Tuesday’s swear-in ceremonies and the Kurdish MPs expressed anger and demanded the repetition of the swearing-in.
- The authorities of Kurdistan Region’s expected president should not be symbolic like Baghdad because the situation in Kurdistan is different.
Regay Kurdistan, weekly issued in Erbil by Kurdistan Communist Party
- The guards of the PUK organizational office in Daratoo near Erbil clashed with KDP patrols in the area on 2 May 2005 . No official information is disseminated about the dispute but the two parties formed a joint committee that managed to ease down the tension by the evening the same day.
- The crisis of residence rental fee is rising in Kurdistan Region. Unofficial estimations advise that 200,000 families in Erbil , 170,000 in Sulaymanya and 60,000 in Dahuk live in rented houses.
- The planned demonstration of teachers in Erbil scheduled for 3 May did not take place and security elements were being seen in front of the education department instead of demonstrating teachers. For days before the deadline for the demonstration, [KDP] cadres have been visiting the schools on a semi-daily basis and threatening that they would transfer teachers who would participate in the demonstrations outside the city and deduct from their salaries. A group of teachers’ representatives have visited the minister of education and presented to him a memo that contained 14 demands. They had promised not to stage any demonstration before receiving an official reply to their memo from the ministry but the young teachers did not wait for the reply and set a schedule for the proposed demonstration through the press without enough arrangement wit the rest of teachers in Erbil .
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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