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Sunday, November 14, 2004

Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Developments in Iraq

Developments in Iraq

Sunday November 14, 2004 6:31 PM

By The Associated Press

Developments in Iraq on Sunday:

- The U.S. military's ground and air assault of Fallujah has gone quicker than expected, with the entire city occupied after six days of fighting, said Marine Maj. Gen. Richard Natonski who planned the operation.

- The military said 31 Americans and six Iraqi soldiers have been killed during the Fallujah assault. Earlier, U.S. commanders said more than 1,200 guerrillas have been killed since the siege began Monday.

- U.S. troops from Task Force 2-2 of the 1st Infantry Division discovered an immense series of underground bunkers linked by tunnels that insurgents stocked with medical supplies, a CNN correspondent embedded with the unit reported. Warplanes dropped four 2,000-pound bombs on the bunker network.

- Marines in Fallujah found the mutilated body of what they believe was a Western woman. The body was lying in the street covered with a blood-soaked cloth. Two foreign women were kidnapped last month - Margaret Hassan, 59, the director of CARE International in Iraq and Teresa Borcz Khalifa, 54, a Polish-born longtime resident of Iraq.

- French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said two French journalists held hostage for nearly three months in Iraq were believed to be in a ``fairly safe'' part of the country. The government has said Christian Chesnot, 37, and Georges Malbrunot, 41 were believed to be alive but authorities lost direct contact with the kidnappers.

- Militants attacked two police stations in Mosul, killing at least six Iraqi National Guards and wounding three others. One insurgent was killed and three others were wounded. Iraqi security forces later regained control of the stations.

- Saboteurs set fire to four oil wells in Khabbaza, 12 miles northwest of Kirkuk, the state-run Northern Oil Co. said. Iraq's oil industry, which provides desperately needed money for reconstruction efforts, has been the target of repeated insurgent attacks in recent months.

- Insurgents clashed with U.S. troops after blowing up a railroad overpass in the northern town of Beiji. Later, a gun battle erupted between militants and American troops in the central market, and at least six people were killed.

- The government plans to reopen Baghdad International Airport to civilian flights Monday, Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's office said. The airport was closed for 48 hours under a state of emergency announced Nov. 7 and that extension was repeatedly extended.

- Italian troops will not remain in Iraq if the new government elected in January can handle the fight against terrorism on its own, Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino said. Italy has 3,000 troops in Iraq.

- U.S. Marines reopened the Fallujah bridge where Iraqis strung up the charred bodies of two American contractors in March, with officers calling the span's clearing for traffic a symbolic victory in the fight against Iraq's insurgents.

- Heavy explosions hit central Baghdad after nightfall, followed by a spate of gunfire. At least two big blasts were heard near central Saadoun Street, and the rattle of heavy gunfire followed. The U.S. military had no immediate comment.

Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Developments in Iraq

Army Wife

Another day, another time, nothing left to do but cry!
I am just considered another Army Wife that misses her husband for no special reason.
Maybe it is the knowing he will not be home with our family for the upcoming holiday season.
He is away in a far off land..but our daughter says " No mommy a man at school says he is playing in the sand!"
In somepeople's eye's this could be true..but none of us know what they are doing or maybe going through!
I am sitting here typing this poem to help pass the time, because not a minute passes that my husband is not on my mind!
Jeff means more to me than he will ever know, Our love is like no other it continue's to grow!
He and Our daughter are my life. I feel very blessed to be her mother and his very Proud Army Wife!
Heather ..................VirginiaSoldiers' Angels

Wounded U.S. Marine Launce Corporal Jason Holloway American Hero

Wounded U.S. Marine Launce Corporal Jason Holloway guides his way on a wheelchair at a U.S. combat hospital, after he was hurt in a roadside bomb attack in Falluja, November 13, 2004. At Baghdad's main U.S. combat hospital, medical staff have been working around the clock to treat American and Iraqi troops and insurgents bloodied in the six-day-old U.S.-led offensive against Falluja. Picture taken on November 13, 2004. REUTERS/Faleh Kheiber Yahoo! News - World Photos - Reuters

A U.S. Army soldier from 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment

A U.S. Army soldier from 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, takes cover behind a destroyed car in Falluja Nov. 10, 2004. (Reuters - Handout)Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - Reuters

Our Wounded need us..

A U.S. Army nurse leaves an operating room as surgeons work to save the life of an American soldier with shrapnel wounds at the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq Sunday, Nov. 14, 2004. On the operating door is a Thanksgiving decoration.(AP Photo/John Moore) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

wounded Iraqi National Guardsman

U.S. Army Sgt. Todd Foxworth carries a foot in a cooler which was transported with a wounded Iraqi National Guardsman to the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq (news - web sites) Sunday, Nov. 14, 2004. Although the soldier's condition was stabilized Sunday, Army doctors said that reattaching the foot was not a medical option. (AP Photo/John Moore) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

A U.S. Marine of the 1st Division

A U.S. Marine of the 1st Division carries a mascot for good luck in his backpack as his unit push further into the western part of Fallujah, IraqSunday, Nov. 14, 2004. U.S. military officials said Saturday that U.S. Forces had now 'occupied' the entire city of Fallujah. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

31st Combat Support Hospital

Hospital orderlies remove bloody sheets after an American Marine wounded in Fallujah fighting was transported to the operating room at the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq Sunday, Nov. 14, 2004. The Marine later died of his wounds, hospital officials said. (AP Photo/John Moore) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP

A U.S. Army medevac helicopter crew delivers a Marine

A U.S. Army medevac helicopter crew delivers a Marine seriously wounded in Fallujah, according to hospital officials, to the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq Sunday, Nov. 14, 2004. The Marine later died of his wounds. (AP Photo/John Moore) Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP Experiencing 'culture shock'

Experiencing 'culture shock'
Former Riley High School student tells stories of life in Marine Corps


Riley High School
Kirby Smith is just 19 years old, but he has already spent almost a year in Iraq and has seen more than most people his age.

Smith decided he wanted to graduate early so he could get to his military career, which was why he transferred from Riley partway through his senior year to a by-mail school.

After enlisting, he was sent to boot camp near San Diego.

"Our basic training took place about 500 meters from the San Diego airport, so every time we'd go out for a run or drill or anything we'd get to see the planes flying home. That was both motivating and depressing at the same time,'' Smith said.
read Experiencing 'culture shock'
Iraq War News
31 U.S. Troops Killed So Far in Fallujah: "The weeklong U.S. offensive to retake the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah has claimed the lives of 31 American troops and six Iraqi soldiers, a U.S. general said Sunday. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Falluja Residents Desperate for Food, Water, Aid: "No food. No water. No help. Asfierce fighting casts a pall of smoke over the rubble-strewnIraqi city of Falluja, thousands of Iraqi families remain cutoff from desperately needed supplies. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Bradley crew's shift: 19 hours in Fallujah shooting gallery (Chicago Tribune): "Chicago Tribune - After nearly 18 hours in the claustrophobic urban canyons that constitute the front lines of the battle for Fallujah, the crew of the lead Bradley Fighting Vehicle was cramped, weary and low on ammunition."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

6 Kurdish Militia Killed, 2 ING Slaughtered: "

From the New York Times :

In Mosul, 225 miles north of the capital, sporadic fighting erupted Saturday, but clashes were smaller than on Thursday, when groups of insurgents overran at least a half-dozen police stations, said Lt. Col. Paul Hastings, a spokesman for Task Force Olympia, assigned to control the northern region. Hundreds of policemen fled the guerrillas that day, and the Iraqi government fired the city’s police chief on Friday.

Mosul has sizable numbers of Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Christians, and ethnic tensions have run high since the Americans invaded Iraq. It is clear that the Sunni Arabs are leading the insurgency here, while the Kurds and Christians are more sympathetic to the American forces.

A car bomb exploded next to a Kurdish patrol in the afternoon, killing at least six militiamen, witnesses said. The city’s health bureau said that at least 25 people were killed and 62 wounded in violence on Thursday and Friday, though it was unknown how many of them were civilians and how many were guerrillas.

It is clear that the American-led forces were taken by surprise by the magnitude of the uprising. The Stryker Brigade, a light-armored mechanized unit based in Mosul, had to recall a battalion from the fighting in Falluja. The Iraqi government ordered four battalions of national guardsmen, all Kurds, to the city.

Up to 500 insurgents, far more than American and Iraqi intelligence had predicted, carried out the first big wave of attacks on police stations on Thursday by working in groups of 15 to 50, Brig. Gen. Carter Ham, commander of the Stryker Brigade, said in a telephone interview late Friday.

The general said he believed that the insurgency was being organized by former members of Saddam Hussein’s security forces.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry appointed a new police chief in Mosul on Saturday, and police officers were returning to the stations, some of which had been set afire, Colonel Hastings said. But the police were being confined to security duties at six sites, he added, because American soldiers might not be able to tell the real police from insurgents who could be roaming the city in stolen police uniforms or body armor.

In Al Wehda, a neighborhood of Mosul, insurgents slit the throats of two Iraqi National Guardsmen in the street, witnesses said.

“When I was driving back to my house, I saw a huge gathering of people, so I stopped the car and went to see what was the matter,” said Muhammad Hazim, a resident. “I saw a number of insurgents holding two Iraqi National Guard soldiers and reading a statement calling them traitors and collaborators with the enemy, and then they slaughtered them by slitting their throats and yelling, ‘God is great!’ ”

General Ham, the commander in Mosul, said the performance of the Iraqi policemen on Thursday had been “very disappointing.” While raiding six or seven of the city’s 33 police stations, the insurgents made off with up to 40 police vehicles, hundreds of weapons, handheld radios, computers, telephones, police uniforms and body armor.


In Command Post: Irak

US Soldier Killed in Baghdad: "

From the Times-Reporter :

The American military said that a U.S. soldier in Baghdad was killed by “indirect fire,” probably referring to a mortar or rocket attack.

In Command Post: Irak

For Iraqi Leader, Political Risks of Attack on Falluja Grow: "Rising public denunciation of the invasion of Falluja by prominent Iraqi groups has put Ayad Allawi's political support at risk when he needs it most."

In New York Times: World Special

Military hails attacks...Bridge to reopen....Palestinians move on in Iraq & Terror

Police chief says terror attacks have been thwarted in U-K in Iraq & Terror

Commander says U-S ground assault on Fallujah goes quicker than expected in Iraq & Terror

Fallujah offensive 'ahead of schedule': "The U.S. military's ground and air assault of Fallujah has gone quicker than expected, with the entire city occupied after six days of fighting, Marine Maj. Gen. Richard Natonski said Sunday."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Weary GI's Endure Relentless Combat: "

From the Chicago Tribune :

Jump out. Kick in door. Spray machine-gun fire. Run to rooftop. Kill enemy. Jump back into armored vehicle. Move to new location.


So goes the battle for Fallujah as experienced Friday by the exhausted and bewildered soldiers of the 3rd Brigade of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division. Flanked by Marines, the bleary-eyed troops led the southern push to corner die-hard Sunni Muslim insurgents who were the last obstacles to full American control of the city.

(Media Bias)

In Command Post: Irak

U.S. Says Aid Convoy Can't Go Into Falluja Today: "An Iraqi Red Crescent aid convoywaiting at the edge of Falluja will not be allowed to enter thecity center on Sunday, a U.S. Marine officer said. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Fallujah falls...Body found...Elephants run amok in Iraq & Terror

Body of Western woman found: "US Marines have found the mutilated body of what they believe was a Western woman during a sweep of a street in central Fallujah."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Fallujah's Chamber of Horrors: "

From the AFP via The Australian :

The body of a woman in her 60s, with her legs and arms cut off and throat slit was found today in the city of Fallujah but it was unclear whether she was a foreigner or an Iraqi, marines said.

The discovery was made as the marines moved through the south of Fallujah, hunting out the remaining die-hard rebels after a week of fierce fighting to regain control of the city.

An AFP photographer embedded with the marines said the woman had grey hair, was wearing a blue dress and her face was completely disfigured.

The marines said she appeared to have been on the street for about two days.

Sweeps of rubble-strewn neighbourhoods in Fallujah have already uncovered a grisly underworld of hostage slaughterhouses, prisons and torture chambers as well as the corpses of Iraqis who had been executed, marines say.


In Command Post: Irak

3 Marines Die in Mined Building: "

From the AFP via The Australian :

Three Marines were killed yesterday by an explosion as they entered a booby-trapped building in central Fallujah, while another 13 were wounded in a firefight nearby, a marine officer told AFP today.

Of the 13, ten were seriously injured in the gun battle just south of the main road that cuts through the centre of the Sunni Muslim bastion, the officer said.

The latest deaths bring to at least 25 the number of US troops who have been killed in the fight for Fallujah, which was launched on Monday. Five Iraqi soldiers have also died along with more than 1000 rebels.


In Command Post: Irak

Marines Tackle Last Redoubt: "

From Reuters via the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) :

Resistance has dwindled in the last rebel redoubt in Fallujah, US officers said, but explosions still shook the smoke-wreathed city as an Iraqi Red Crescent convoy waited nearby to distribute relief.

“Two days ago they were coming out and fighting us. Last night they were running. It looks like we are about to break their will,” Captain Robert Bodisch, a US tank company commander, told Reuters. “I don’t think it will be long now.”

Fighting was focused mainly on the Shuhada district, viewed by US forces as a stronghold for foreign fighters led by Jordanian Al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

But a Reuters reporter with the Red Crescent convoy at Fallujah’s main hospital by the Euphrates river on the western edge of the city said explosions had been sending up plumes of smoke in central and southern areas since 6:00am (local time).


In Command Post: Irak

Email Received

I just want to thank you for the information on your blog. Mostly, I want to thank all our wonderful soldiers who are risking their lives for our freedom and for the freedom of the Iraqi and Afghan people. I love all of them and very proud of them. Everyone is in my prayers and everyone that I am associated with is praying for all of our soldiers. They are not forgotten. Furthermore, we do know the good our soldiers are doing regardless of the left wing press. This is not a Viet Nam. Our soldiers have a purpose and they will prevail.

God Bless our Military. God Bless America


Dianne Y. Ayala Steffey

Soldiers' Angels