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24 février 2008 7 24 /02 /février /2008 21:54


Iraqi police: 11 al-Qaida members killed in operation near Baghdad

Iraqi security forces killed 11 alleged members of al-Qaida in Iraq during operations just north of Baghdad, police said Saturday.

The first operation took place Saturday near the city of Tikrit, the hometown of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, and killed eight members of al-Qaida. They were killed in a raid in Thar Thar, 40 kilometers northwest of Tikrit, said the police.

Police said two other people they identified as al-Qaida members were killed late Friday near the town of Samarra as they planted a roadside bomb. Another man identified by police as Abdul Basit al Nisanian, an al-Qaida area leader, was also killed Saturday near Samarra, 95 kilometers north of Baghdad.

Al-Qaida in Iraq Intelligence and Suicide Operations Facilitator Killed

Sunday, 24 February 2008
The identification card found on Abu Karrar, also known as Arkan Khalaf Khudayyir, an al-Qaida in Iraq intelligence and suicide operations facilitator in Diyala Province. Karrar was killed Feb. 17 during a Coalition operation near Khan Bani Sad. Department of Defense photo.
The identification card found on Abu Karrar, also known as Arkan Khalaf Khudayyir, an al-Qaida in Iraq intelligence and suicide operations facilitator in Diyala Province. Karrar was killed Feb. 17 during a Coalition operation near Khan Bani Sad. Department of Defense photo.
BAGHDAD — A terrorist killed during an operation Feb. 17 has been positively identified as Abu Karrar.

Karrar, also known as Arkan Khalaf Khudayyir, was a senior intelligence leader involved in the al-Qaida in Iraq network in Baqouba. He was also a terrorist facilitator for the suicide bombing network in the Diyala River Valley region, which conducts attacks in Baghdad, to include attacks by female suicide bombers. Reports indicate the network has been disrupted by recent successful Coalition operations in the area.

Karrar was killed when Coalition forces conducted an operation near Khan Bani Sad Sunday afternoon. As Coalition forces arrived in the target area, they observed Karrar and another suspect fleeing their vehicle. Karrar brandished a weapon with the perceived intent to fire on Coalition forces. The assault force engaged, killing both men. Coalition forces discovered an AK-47 and ammunition in the vehicle, and they destroyed the vehicle to prevent further use for terrorist activity.

“Iraqi and Coalition forces will relentlessly pursue terrorist leaders, like Abu Karrar, who plan al-Qaida’s indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman.

(Multi-National Force - Iraq Press Release)

In Other Recent Developments Here:

BAGHDADMulti-National Force - Iraq joins the Government of Iraq in welcoming al-Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr's pledge to extend the cease-fire.

BAGHDADCoalition forces killed one terrorist and detained 20 suspected terrorists Wednesday and Thursday during operations to disrupt al-Qaida operating in central and northern Iraq.



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22 février 2008 5 22 /02 /février /2008 09:34
Kurdish troops surround Turks in worst confrontation yet in Iraq

By Leila Fadel and Yasseen Taha, McClatchy Newspapers
Thu Feb 21, 7:31 PM ET

BAGHDAD — Iraqi Kurdish troops on Thursday encircled Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq and threatened to open fire in the most serious standoff between the two nation's forces since Turkey threatened late last year to go after guerrillas from the Kurdistan Workers Party sheltering in Iraq .

he standoff began when Turkish troops in tanks and armored vehicles left one of five bases they've had in Iraq since 1997 and moved to control two main roads in Dohuk province, Iraqi officials said.

Kurdish soldiers from the peshmerga militia, which is loyal to the Kurdish Regional Government, moved to stop them. For an hour and a half, the two sides faced off before the Turkish soldiers retreated to their base, which is about 27 miles northeast of the city of Dohuk. The peshmerga surrounded the base and remained there late Thursday.

The Turkish troop movement was accompanied by artillery and airstrikes that targeted mountain areas held by rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party , which is known by its initials as the PKK. A spokesman for the peshmerga, Jabar Yawar , said the shelling began at about 11 a.m. and continued past midnight. Two bridges were knocked out over the Great Zab River, he said.

"This is a matter of the sovereignty of Iraq and the unity of Iraq ," said Falah Bakir , the head of the foreign relations department of the regional government. "We hope that there will be no clashes— the Kurdistan Regional Government has done enough to show our goodwill to Turkey ."

Bakir said the regional government has tightened security at checkpoints, airports and hospitals to stop PKK movements, but that the Turkish military has continued its buildup. He called for the Iraqi central government and U.S. military to step in to stop what he called Turkey's "abnormal movements."

In Baghdad , Iraqi government officials held tense meetings with American civilian and military officials to stem the crisis in one of the only peaceful areas of Iraq .

"We have to do something," said a senior Iraqi official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue. "We cannot keep quiet and keep digging our heads in the sand."

The growing tension between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan has wedged the United States between two allies. Turkey is a NATO member, and the Iraqi Kurds have been among the biggest supporters of the American presence in Iraq .

But the PKK, which has battled Turkey for decades for an autonomous Kurdish region in southern Turkey , also has broad support in northern Iraq , despite being labeled a terrorist organization by the United States .

There were no PKK casualties from Thursday's Turkish shelling, said Ahmed Dennis , a spokesman for the group.

Meanwhile, violence hit elsewhere in Iraq . In Diyala province, 24 bodies were found in two graves.

The Iraqi army discovered 15 men buried under a thin layer of dirt about 10 miles north of Baqouba , the province's capital, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. The corpses appeared to be about 10 days old. Each had been blindfolded, handcuffed and shot, Iraqi police said. Ten of the bodies were Iraqi soldiers.

The second grave also was near Baqouba ; a police patrol uncovered the bodies of six men and three women.

Fighting between Shiite Muslim militias and the Iraqi army also broke out in Baqouba . An Iraqi army spokesman said the militias were affiliated with both Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq , the country's most influential political party. It was unclear how many people had been killed in the fighting.

(Fadel reported from Iraq ; Taha, a special correspondent, reported from Sulaimaniyah . Special Correspondent Ali al Basri contributed from Basra.)


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20 février 2008 3 20 /02 /février /2008 00:16

Irak/Terrorisme : Al-Qaïda exécute les « traîtres »  rangés aux côtés de la force multinationale

Six islamistes, dont deux Saoudiens et un Algérien, membres de la nébuleuse terroriste Al-Qaïda, ont été abattus ce mardi avant l'aube dans un raid lancé par l’armée irakienne contre des caches d’armes de l’organisation terroriste près de Samarra, dans la province de Salâh ad-Dîn au nord de l'Irak. De grandes quantités de roquettes et des bombes ont été saisies au cours de l’opération. L’armée irakienne a également annoncé l’arrestation d’un chef local de la mouvance terroriste, Mahmoud Al-Rahmani, dans le quartier industriel de cette ville.

A Bakouba, dans la province de Diyala, également dans le nord, un père de famille de 60 ans, sa femme, son fils de 18 ans ainsi qu'une voisine de 35 ans ont été abattus lundi soir par l’organisation terroriste. Les quatre victimes venaient de rejoindre les «comités populaires», appelés également les «forces du réveil», qui coopèrent avec l'armée américaine dans sa lutte contre Al-Qaïda. Cette exécution démontre la volonté de l’organisation terroriste d’éliminer ses anciens alliés de la « résistance irakienne », qu’elle considère comme des traîtres. Ces groupes comptent actuellement quelque 80 000 membres, essentiellement des sunnites.

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13 février 2008 3 13 /02 /février /2008 22:37
Al Qaeda Fighters Flee Cities, Head for Desert or Out of Iraq

Wednesday, 13 February 2008
A summary to date of operations in Multi-National Division - North as part of Operation Iron Harvest, part of the countrywide Operation Phantom Phoenix in Iraq. Graphic by Fred W. Baker III.
A summary to date of operations in Multi-National Division - North as part of Operation Iron Harvest, part of the countrywide Operation Phantom Phoenix in Iraq. Graphic by Fred W. Baker III.
WASHINGTON — A surge in military operations and a shift in local support in northern Iraq has driven many al Qaeda fighters out of cities that once provided them safe haven and into the desert, or even out of the country, a commander in the region said Monday.

Citizens in the four-province region of Multi-National Division - North have begun shifting their support to Coalition and Iraqi forces in “droves,” and security gains are increasingly putting extremists on the run with no clear place to go to be safe, said Army Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, commander of Multi-National Division - North and the U.S. Army’s 1st Armored Division. The northern division is about the size of Pennsylvania and includes Diyala, Salahuddin, Ninevah and Tamim provinces.

Some foreign fighters are returning to their home countries of Syria and Saudi Arabia, he said, taking with them funds earmarked for fighters in Iraq. Some are trying to reorganize outside the country’s borders, but Hertling’s troops are watching the border and have arrested some as they try to return, he said.  Others, who no longer feel safe in the cities because they are afraid that local citizens will turn them in, are hiding out in abandoned mud huts, canals or caves in the desert.

“That's their biggest fear. So many of them are going to the desert regions to just get away from being ratted out by the citizens by being pointed out and captured,” Hertling said.

But, even their desert hideaways are targets under six-week-long Operation Iron Harvest, part of the countrywide Operation Phantom Phoenix.

“Some of them are saying it's not even safe in the desert because the night raids are coming to get them,” Hertling said. “And that's a good thing. We want them to keep thinking that they can't sleep well at night because we're coming after them, because, quite frankly, we are.”

Hertling could not give specific numbers on how many fighters have left or an estimate of the size of the enemy force remains in the region, but he said fewer al Qaeda fighters are in the province now than six weeks ago.

“We’re doing exactly what we’re trying to do, and that is make the cities safer for the Iraqi citizens while continuing to target al Qaeda and the other extremist groups,” the commander said.

Diyala province, specifically, is much safer today than it was a month ago, Hertling said. Citizens are less afraid to go out on the streets, and markets are opening, he said.

Hurtling attributed the gains in the province to the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces, the installation of local bases in the province, and improving local and national governments.

In Iron Harvest operations over the past 45 days, Coalition and Iraqi security forces there have conducted 74 missions. They have captured or killed more than 70 high-value individuals, and “hundreds” of enemy fighters, the general said. They found more than 430 caches with tons of explosives and weapons, he added, and they have cleared 653 homemade bombs, 42 house bombs, 35 car bombs and three bomb factories.

Attacks have leveled off in the region since December, following a drastic drop. Attacks range from about 20 to 50 daily, Hertling said.

(Story by Fred W. Baker III, American Forces Press Service)

In Other Recent Developments Here:

BAGHDADMulti-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers arrested a suspected suicide bomb facilitator during a raid in the Rashid District of the Iraqi capital, Feb. 9.

BAQUBAHNewly registered “Sons of Iraq” led Coalition Forces to an al-Qaeda in Iraq safe house, Feb. 8.

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12 février 2008 2 12 /02 /février /2008 22:41
21:48 Irak : l'armée américaine a transmis que plusieurs leaders d'Al-Qaïda fuient le pays en emportant sur eux de l'argent liquide. Elle a expliqué ce mouvement en invoquant la pression grandissante qu'elle exerce sur les nids terroristes. (Guysen.International.News)
Certains chefs terroristes ont pris le chemin de la Syrie mais la plupart ont pour destination des pays du Golfe persique, tels que l'Arabie saoudite ou le Qatar.

Iraq :
diminution substantielle et continue du nombre de tués civils et militaires en Irak depuis l'opération "Sursaut"

ADVANCE FOR FEB. 13; chart shows U.S. military deaths in Iraq ...

Georges Malbrunot, le Figaro

mardi 12 février 2008 par Spyworld
Chassée de Bagdad et d’al-Anbar, la mouvance terroriste s’est réfugiée plus au nord à Mossoul, où l’armée américaine menace de lancer un assaut contre les affiliés de Ben Laden, en déroute.

D’un côté du tigre, al-Qaida et ses tueurs. De l’autre, leurs rivaux islamo-nationalistes de la guérilla. Entre les deux, une population prisonnière de la violence, qui amasse de la nourriture. « Mossoul est coupée en deux, regrette Mohammed, un de ses habitants, joint au téléphone. et même si al-Qaida va être vaincue par les troupes américaines déployées autour de la ville, les djihadistes fuiront une fois encore vers d’autres régions. »

Claironné par le gouvernement irakien, le chant du cygne de la mouvance terroriste semble encore prématuré, même si hier, à Bagdad, Robert Gates, le secrétaire américain à la Défense, affirmait qu’al-Qaida avait été mis « en déroute » . Sur place, ses généraux restent prudents, après les deux attentats à la voiture piégée qui ont tué hier encore 20 personnes dans la capitale. Depuis des mois, pourtant, al-Qaida est sur la défensive. Les terroristes, qui ont perdu le soutien de la population, sont en guerre ouverte contre des factions de l’insurrection et la plupart des tribus. Sauf à Mossoul, où al-Qaida joue des divisions tribales pour empêcher la formation d’une branche du Réveil des tribus, ce front qui permet aux Américains de remporter des succès contre les djihadistes. Après avoir été chassés de Bagdad et de leur bastion d’al-Anbar, ceux-ci cherchent à se sanctuariser dans la grande ville du nord de l’Irak, non loin de la frontière syrienne, principal point de passage des combattants étrangers rejoignant al-Qaida. Or de là, les forces de sécurité irakiennes ont du mal à surveiller ces routes qui mènent vers la Syrie dans la région de Rabi’ah, fief de la tribu Chamar, accusée de collaborer avec al-Qaida. Parallèlement à sa migration vers le nord, al-Qaida a changé de tactique : aux attentats de grande envergure contre des civils ont succédé des attaques suicides plus ciblées, visant les forces de sécurité ou les milices sunnites alliées à l’armée américaine. Reflet des divisions entre la direction en Afghanistan et sa branche irakienne. Conséquence également des appels lancés par Oussama Ben Laden. À deux reprises ces derniers mois, l’homme le plus recherché au monde a exhorté à la vengeance contre « les traîtres alliés des Américains ». Mais pour la première fois, Ben Laden a dû reconnaître que ses affiliés irakiens avaient commis des « erreurs » en massacrant des civils, sous prétexte qu’ils portaient un jean ou n’avaient pas la barbe correctement taillée.

Tarissement des filières de recrutement

« Ben Laden lance un cri d’alarme, assure cheikh Abdellatif Omaim, de Faloudja. Il est conscient qu’al-Qaida a tout perdu. Des Irakiens n’ont adhéré à al-Qaida que parce qu’ils ont eu besoin d’argent et qu’ils voulaient se venger des milices chiites soutenues par l’Iran qui assassinaient des sunnites. » Mais aujourd’hui, al-Qaida recule un peu partout face aux assauts des tribus. « Un grand nombre de ses partisans rejoignent les groupes nationalistes, se félicite cheikh Omaim, ils se sont rendu compte que l’agenda djihadiste n’était pas irakien. » D’autres fuient avec de l’argent en Syrie, en Arabie saoudite et au Qatar, selon des responsables américains. Al-Qaida est désormais confronté à « une crise extraordinaire », reconnaît même un de ses « émirs » dans des documents saisis par l’armée américaine lors d’un récent raid. Et Abou Tarek de se plaindre de ne plus être à la tête que d’« une vingtaine d’hommes », au lieu de 600 auparavant.

Le commandement reste majoritairement composé d’étrangers (quelques centaines pas plus), ceux-là mêmes qui se terrent à Mossoul ou dans la province mixte plus au sud de Diyala. Parmi eux, des criminels, comme ce Saoudien auquel manquaient trois doigts, après qu’il eut été châtié dans son pays : l’ancien bandit était devenu l’émir de Samara. La mouvance terroriste souffre également du tarissement des filières de recrutement. « Les Syriens ont réduit les entrées de djihadistes en Irak de 50 % », affirme un dirigeant jordanien. Parallèlement, les arrestations de cadres se sont intensifiées : 51 en décembre, dont huit émirs de régions, qui finissent par parler au cours d’interrogatoires musclés.

« Al-Qaida en Irak, ce n’est pas seulement un État virtuel », prévient cependant un spécialiste antiterroriste français. Ils ont réussi à monter une bonne structure de communication sur la Toile qu’ils vont tenter de reproduire en Afghanistan, et de Mossoul, ils vont se redéployer au Liban, plongé dans le chaos. » Acculée, al-Qaida pourrait d’ici là commettre un spectaculaire attentat chimique ou au moyen d’avions sans pilote bourrés d’explosifs.

Des soldats américains patrouillent dans la banlieue, redevenue calme, de Bagdad. En quelques mois, al-Qaida a remplacé ses attentats d’envergure contre des civils par des attaques visant les forces de sécurité. Crédits photo : AFP

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10 février 2008 7 10 /02 /février /2008 19:53
Al Qaida Leader's Diary Reveals Organization's Decline

Sunday, 10 February 2008

ImageWASHINGTON — U.S. troops found a diary belonging to an al Qaida in Iraq leader that has Coalition forces believing the terrorist organization is “on its heels,” a senior military official in Baghdad said yesterday.  Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team captured a diary Nov. 3, 2007, belonging to Abu Tariq, an al Qaida emir in control of five battalions within two sectors, U.S. Air Force Col. Donald J. Bacon, a Multi-National Force - Iraq spokesman, told online journalists and “bloggers” during a conference call.

View Translated Diary (PDF)

The Soldiers found the diary during a patrol conducted about 15 kilometers south of Balad. Bacon said the 16-page diary contains records about man power, operations, weapons, and finances, and it shows that al Qaida is hurting badly in the belts of Baghdad.

“There were 600 al-Qaida members in this sector, now there (are) 20 or less,” said Bacon.

In the diary, Tariq describes each battalion’s number decline and goes on to describe the 4th battalion as “scoundrels, sectarians and nonbelievers.” Tariq attributes his terrorist organization’s decline in large part to groups of Concerned Local Citizens (CLC), who are also known as the ‘Sons of Iraq’.

Many high-ranking al Qaida members, including Osama Bin Laden, have spoken out about the negative impact that the CLC groups have had on their organization. As a result, the CLC are being attacked more frequently by the terrorists, Bacon said.

Nevertheless, Bacon said the numbers of CLC are growing, which indicates that they are less afraid of al-Qaida.

“Right now there (are) approximately 77,500 CLC with 135 different initiatives, and more and more are being hired,” Bacon said.

Bacon said he believes the diary is also in part a will of sorts, in case anything was to happen to Tariq.

“He wanted to keep a clear record,” Bacon said.

Bacon said he believes the diary is indicative of some other areas in Iraq but not all of Iraq. He cautioned that al Qaida is still a dangerous enemy.

“We still believe they are our number one threat,” said Bacon.

“There is a 90 percent decline of violence in Anbar but we are still fighting them in Diala,” he added. “They still have the capacity and the will but we have the momentum.”

Bacon noted, however, that “overall levels of violence in Iraq are down, and we are seeing positive trends.”

(Story by Navy Seaman William Selby, Special to American Forces Press Service)

US says captured papers reveal Qaeda in Iraq weakened

Sun Feb 10, 9:37 AM ET

BAGHDAD (AFP) - A diary and a document captured during raids on Al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq show the group has been weakened and that civilian anti-insurgency groups are making an impact, the US military said on Sunday.


Both documents were captured during raids by US forces in November, military spokesman Rear Admiral Gregory Smith told a news conference in Baghdad.

The 16-page diary is that of an Al-Qaeda sector emir named Abu Tariq in Balad, north of Baghdad, while the other document is a 39-page memo written by a mid- to high-level Al-Qaeda official with knowledge of the network's operations in the western province of Anbar.

"Abu Tariq's diary provides clear and compelling evidence that the Iraq volunteer citizens' groups ... are restricting the terrorists' freedom of movement," said Smith.

"The diary shows that Al-Qaeda regards these groups as a grave threat and the terrorists are increasingly targeting them," he added.

Smith said the emir in the diary complained that he once commanded nearly 600 fighters "but the tribes changed course" and his force had now been reduced to "just 20 or fewer terrorists".

Around 130 Awakening groups have been formed across Iraq comprising around 80,000 Iraqis -- 80 percent of them Sunni and 20 percent Shiite -- since the first was launched by tribal leaders in Anbar in September 2006, according to US officials.

The groups are credited by US commanders of being a major factor behind the 62-percent drop in attacks across Iraq since June and for putting Al-Qaeda to flight in most of their strongholds.

Smith said the Anbar document contains the assessment that "the Islamic State of Iraq (Al-Qaeda) is faced with an extraordinary crisis, especially in Anbar."

"It is a pessimistic assessment of Al-Qaeda in Iraq's long-term prospects in Anbar," he said, adding that it recommended foreign fighters be moved out of the province to other areas "where they may have greater freedom of movement."

The document, according to Smith, bitterly derides the "traitors who are taking on Al-Qaeda" and complains that the citizens' groups and increasingly effective Iraqi police are making it more difficult to operate in Anbar.

The document showed that suicide bombers arriving in Iraq sensed they were being "misused and undervalued" and were asking to be assigned new missions or to be allowed to return to their home countries.

The author criticises his fellow emirs of being uncooperative and being over-reliant on suicide missions.

"The emirs too often lack leadership and military experience, they suffer from lack of support from local residents and are forced to have to confront more than one enemy at a time," Smith quoted the document as saying.

He said it identified Al-Qaeda's most dangerous enemy as being the "renegade tribes" -- the Awakening groups.

"We lost cities and afterward, villages ... The desert became a dangerous refuge ... We find ourselves in a wasteland desert," Smith quoted the document as saying.

He cautioned however that the diary and document do not suggest Al-Qaeda is defeated within Anbar or across Iraq.

"This does not signal the end of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, but it is a contemporary account of the challenges posed to terrorists from the people of Iraq," Smith said.

"Al-Qaeda remains a significant and dangerous threat in Iraq."

The documents are believed to be authentic, he added, because they contain details that only Al-Qaeda leaders could know about specific events on the battlefield.

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9 février 2008 6 09 /02 /février /2008 09:11
Iraq 'Shia militia leader' held

Iraq Wasit map
US troops in Iraq say they have arrested a suspected leader of a Shia militia group allegedly backed by Iran.

He was arrested late on Thursday, along with three other suspects, during operations in the Mashru area in the province of Wasit, south of Baghdad.

The most prominent Shia militia, the Mehdi Army, has been observing a ceasefire since August.

The US military has accused what it calls rogue elements of failing to observe the truce.

The ceasefire is due to expire at the end of February, and correspondents say it is not clear if it will be renewed.

A US military press release said the arrested man was believed to be a "special groups" leader - language the military uses to describe Shia militias allegedly backed by Iran.

Correspondents say the US military has been careful not to accuse Moqtatda Sadr, the leader of the Mehdi Army, himself of any role in attacks by Shia militants.

They instead blame rogue militiamen violating his cease-fire order.

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8 février 2008 5 08 /02 /février /2008 08:54
Iraq works to clean up national police
In Baghdad
Khalid Mohammed / Associated Press
National police raise their weapons as they patrol the capital. Now, one resident said, "there is a huge difference in the national police force's attitude toward the people."
Training, integration and anti-corruption efforts are aimed at creating a force that will contribute to the country's stability.
By Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
February 6, 2008
NUMANIYA, IRAQ -- "Police, police, police!"

Young recruits cradling make-believe machine guns lined up in front of a building, identified themselves three times in Arabic, then burst through the door.

The drill may have been standard, but the class at the police training center here was not: For the first time, the class -- 1,830 cadets who graduated Jan. 21 -- included as many Sunni as Shiite Muslims.

They are part of an effort to overhaul the national police, a force that is equated in the minds of many Iraqis with Shiite death squads that kidnap, torture and kill Sunnis, whose bodies once turned up by the dozens each day in Baghdad's garbage dumps and sewers.

Last year, national police chief Maj. Gen. Hussein Awadi sent recruiting teams into former Sunni insurgent strongholds such as Anbar and Diyala provinces to persuade Sunnis to join the overwhelmingly Shiite force. He has also pulled hundreds of corrupt and abusive policemen off the streets; standardized uniforms, equipment and training; and introduced a computerized payroll to help reduce fraud.

But his biggest challenge, he said, is convincing his critics that the national police force has changed. As recently as September, an independent U.S. commission recommended that the force be disbanded.

"It has become something like the hanger on which everyone hangs their dirty laundry," said the wiry commander, fingering worry beads at his office in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, about 80 miles northwest of the Numaniya training center. Every time there is an abuse of authority, the assumption is that the national police must be responsible.

"I don't deny that there are probably still some mistakes being made," Awadi said. "But as soon as we are made aware of them, we act on them."

A commission led by retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones found that the national police remained "a highly sectarian element of the Iraqi security forces and one that for the most part is unable to contribute to security and stability in Iraq."

The force reports to the Interior Ministry, which the panel concluded was so riddled with corruption and sectarian factions that it would be incapable of carrying out reforms.

The panel recommended using about 6,000 of the 26,000 members of the force to create specialized units to assist with ordnance disposal, civil unrest control and other tasks beyond the abilities of local police. The rest of the members should be absorbed by the police and army, it said.

U.S. military officials in Iraq acknowledge major shortcomings in the national police, but say Iraqi leaders are weeding out sectarian elements.

"They chose an option to attempt to eliminate . . . bad actors and to then put in the right leadership and train the force in order to reform," said Army Maj. Gen. Michael Jones, who commands the U.S. assistance teams that advise the Iraqi Interior Ministry. "In this case, it appears to me that their option is working."

In just over a year, all nine brigade commanders have been replaced -- one of them twice -- for improper behavior, along with 18 of the 27 battalion commanders and about 1,300 rank-and-file policemen, according to U.S. figures. Thousands more have been removed from the rolls for being absent without leave, Awadi said.

But senior leaders are rarely brought to trial; most are reassigned to less influential positions within the ministry.

Accusations of misconduct dog all of Iraq's security forces, but few are as feared as the national police. It was created to rein in a patchwork of commando-style, anti-terrorist units with questionable loyalties and no unified command.

U.S. advisors to Bayan Jabr, a Shiite who became interior minister in May 2005, accused him of purging Sunnis from the ministry and organizing Shiite militiamen into special police commando brigades. Jabr said the new commandos were needed to pursue Sunni extremists responsible for relentless bomb attacks on Shiite communities and the Iraqi security forces. He conceded that there was some militia infiltration, but denied that it was systematic or widespread.

When the bombing of a revered Shiite shrine in February 2006 pushed Iraq into civil war, it became clear that Shiite militiamen were using the commando units as cover for death squads that roamed Baghdad targeting Sunni civilians.

In April that year, U.S.-led forces persuaded Jabr to combine the commandos and other heavily armed units into a single force, the national police.

Under Jabr's successor, Jawad Bolani, national police officers have been vetted and sent on a four-week basic training course that focuses on professionalism and ethics -- in most cases, the first training they had received. Upon completion of the course, they have been issued blue, digital-print uniforms. Jabr had maintained that criminals were buying fake uniforms in markets, but the new ones are more difficult to replicate.
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1 février 2008 5 01 /02 /février /2008 10:28



Mosul, the next major test for the U.S. military in Iraq

By Steve Lannen, McClatchy Newspapers
Thu Jan 31, 6:27 PM ET

MOSUL, Iraq — Iraq's third-largest city looks like Baghdad did a year ago.

U.S. soldiers drive armored Humvees and tanks through a decimated and dusty landscape. Burned-out cars sit on the street corners, and trash and chunks of concrete litter the medians and the gutters. Poor people from the countryside have flooded the city, but the streets and sidewalks are mostly deserted.

U.S. officials say that al Qaida in Iraq and other terrorist groups have a significant presence in the city and that Mosul is a gathering point for foreign fighters coming across the border from nearby Syria .

On Monday, gunmen killed five U.S. soldiers during a firefight after an improvised explosive device attack on their Humvee, and in the past week, 20,000 to 30,000 pounds of explosives in an insurgent weapons cache exploded, killing 60 people and ripping a huge crater in the city. The next day, a suicide bomber killed the police chief at the blast site.

Terrorists aren't Mosul's only problem. The city's Sunni and Shiite Muslim Arabs detest each other, and the Arabs distrust the city's Kurdish, Christian and Turkmen minorities. Although 60 percent of Mosul's population of 1.8 million is Sunni, three-quarters of the provincial government is Kurdish, and the Arabs suspect the Kurds of wanting to take over the city.

"We live in chaos," said Sheik Fawwaz al Jarba , a former member of the Shiite alliance in Iraq's central government. He spoke from Baghdad because Sunni insurgents blew up his house in Mosul .

Islamic extremists have found it easy to blend into this backdrop, said Rear Adm. Gregory Smith , a U.S. military spokesman.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki has vowed a "decisive" battle against al Qaida in Iraq in Mosul and said he was sending more troops, but in fact they were already on their way. How Iraqi and American forces fare in Mosul will test whether the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy and additional American troops can defeat the insurgents or whether they will keep pushing them around Iraq .

The two main American units in Mosul have been on the job only a short time, and the U.S. soldiers are treading warily. The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment from Fort Hood, Texas , arrived in late November, and the attached 1st Battalion, 8th Regiment, from Fort Carson, Colo. , arrived in late December.

U.S. and Iraqi forces are using the formula developed in Baghdad last year— building outposts where there's been no security presence and setting up police stations around the city.

At night, the soldiers move out in their armored Humvees to look for insurgents or weapons caches.

During the day, they "meet and greet" Iraqis in Mosul's neighborhoods. Convoys halt and block the roads. An interpreter and one or two soldiers question shopkeepers about everything from insurgent activity to the water pressure in the local primary school.

The units move quickly, knowing that trouble might arrive soon. Soldiers charged with perimeter security point their rifles down streets, scanning for snipers. Some curious children get close and smile, but most others fix the Americans with hard stares.

One recent Saturday morning, Lt. Michael Smith of Johnstown, Pa. , led part of Charlie Company's 4th Platoon from the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, into north Mosul's al Noor neighborhood.

This wasn't the kind of mission Smith's men had trained for. For months, he and the rest of his battalion studied maps of Baghdad , because that's where they were headed until a little more than a month ago.

During their first day in the city about two weeks ago, part of Smith's platoon was pinned down on a rooftop during a 30-minute firefight. Eight rocket-propelled grenades were fired at them, Smith said. A day later, three platoons lost vehicles to IEDs at a traffic circle.

No soldiers were killed, but at least one must undergo reconstructive face surgery, Smith said.

A few days later, insurgents blew up a school the soldiers had visited.

Smith and his soldiers jumped from the back of their Bradley Fighting Vehicles and banged on the front doors of houses a block from the traffic circle.

There was no electricity and little kerosene, and each home they entered was as cold as the mid-40-degree temperature outside. Women and children quickly retreated to other rooms. The soldiers in their big tan boots tried not to step on the Iraqis' house sandals.

Smith, a West Point graduate, smiled and used the little Arabic he knows to introduce himself. He left the rest to his interpreter.

"We're a new unit. We're new to the neighborhood. We're here to keep you safe," he said.

Some of the Iraqis spoke calmly, but others were visibly nervous and struggled under the constant questions. No one would admit knowing anything about the recent IEDs at the traffic circle, but Smith and his interpreter didn't believe all the answers they were given.

"They're extremely afraid to say anything; I can see where they're coming from," Smith said later. "This is our first step right now."

Outside the last house on the block, a doctor and his adult sons offered little nougat candy bars to the American soldiers.

A nearby explosion interrupted the moment. The Americans crouched and readied their weapons.

"In the house! In the house!" Smith yelled from the door.

Some of the soldiers stormed upstairs to see if they could spot an assailant from the windows.

Someone fired a rocket-propelled grenade at one of the vehicles from near the traffic circle. No one was hurt, and the moment passed.

The challenge for the American soldiers in Mosul , however, remains.

In an interview, Lt. Col. Michael Simmering , the executive officer for the 3rd Armored Cavalry, predicted a short-term rise in violence as coalition forces push into Mosul's neighborhoods.

Counting 20,000 police officers, security and coalition forces total about 45,000 in the province, Simmering said.

In the past month, Simmering, of Harker Heights, Texas , can point to a market in the city that's reopened, a road repaved and a few reopened shops.

The rest of the city, however, remains dangerous.

The surge of U.S. and Iraqi forces has caused some al Qaida members to leave the city, but Jarba, the Shiite sheik, thinks they'll return when the soldiers leave.

"They still have their eyes there, calling them and telling them," he said.

The sheik also cast doubt on Mosul's police force, which coalition forces are counting on to help secure the area. He said the police have been infiltrated by terrorists or are on the payroll, but not in uniform.

Several U.S. Army officers said they think the Iraqi police and soldiers have improved in the last few years.

Jarba thinks an awakening council, or concerned local citizens group, such as those in Anbar province and Baghdad , where the U.S. coalition pays residents and former insurgents $300 a month to protect their neighbors, should be allowed to take root.

The insurgents who blew up Jarba's house killed or threatened many others who tried to form a council or join the police, he said.

Although administration officials in Washington praise the councils for helping to restore order in Anbar province and in Baghdad , Maj. John Oliver of the 3rd Armored Cavalry said he doubts that they'd work in Mosul .

"You don't have that strong tribal structure here," he said. "One tribe couldn't maintain control here."

Still, the stakes are high in Mosul .

"Everyone says Mosul is the exception to the rule," Simmering said. But, "if there were no exceptions to the rule in Iraq . . . how powerful of a message would it be to send to al Qaida and the rest of the terrorists in Iraq ? I think it would finally address what we've been trying to get at for years."

(Lannen reports for the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader . McClatchy special correspondent Hussein Khadim contributed.)

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31 janvier 2008 4 31 /01 /janvier /2008 23:14

Irak/Terrorisme : Bagdad réalise d’énormes succès dans la lutte antiterroriste

Les crimes terroristes en Irak ont enregistré une baisse de 60% en 2007, a déclaré, mercredi, le ministre irakien de l'Intérieur, Jawad Kadhem al Boulani, affirmant que l’évolution de la situation sécuritaire dans son pays est due à «l'assainissement» de l'appareil sécuritaire.

Jawad Kadhem al Boulani, qui intervenait devant le conseil des ministres arabes de l'Intérieur réuni dans sa session annuelle à Tunis, a précisé que l’administration irakienne a mis à l’écart quelque 14.000 agents de police, soulignant que les effectifs des forces de sécurité seront portés à 420.000 hommes d'ici fin 2008.

Il a également salué les succès enregistré par les forces de l’ordre sur le terrain en infligeant de sérieuses pertes aux terroristes, notamment dans les régions d'Anbar, de Diyala et Salaheddine, a-t-il ajouté. Il par ailleurs indiqué que Bagdad avait l’intention de poursuivre sa coopération sécuritaire avec les pays voisins.


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  • : Le blog de Gad
  • : Lessakele : déjouer les pièges de l'actualité Lessakele, verbe hébraïque qui signifie "déjouer" est un blog de commentaire libre d'une actualité disparate, visant à taquiner l'indépendance et l'esprit critique du lecteur et à lui prêter quelques clés de décrytage personnalisées.
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Magie de la langue hébraïque

A tous nos chers lecteurs.


Ne vous est-il jamais venu à l'esprit d'en savoir un peu plus sur le titre de ce blog ?

Puisque nous nous sommes aujourd'hui habillés de bleu, il conviendrait de rentrer plus a fond dans l'explication du mot lessakel.

En fait Lessakel n'est que la façon française de dire le mot léhasskil.

L'hébreu est une langue qui fonctionne en déclinant des racines.

Racines, bilitères, trilitères et quadrilitères.

La majorité d'entre elle sont trilitères.

Aussi Si Gad a souhaité appeler son site Lessakel, c'est parce qu'il souhaitait rendre hommage à l'intelligence.

Celle qui nous est demandée chaque jour.

La racine de l'intelligence est sé'hel שכל qui signifie l'intelligence pure.

De cette racine découlent plusieurs mots

Sé'hel > intelligence, esprit, raison, bon sens, prudence, mais aussi croiser

Léhasskil > Etre intelligent, cultivé, déjouer les pièges

Sé'hli > intelligent, mental, spirituel

Léhistakel > agir prudemment, être retenu et raisonnable, chercher à comprendre

Si'hloute > appréhension et compréhension

Haskala >  Instruction, culture, éducation

Lessa'hlen > rationaliser, intellectualiser

Heschkel > moralité

Si'htanout > rationalisme

Si'hloul > Amélioration, perfectionnement


Gageons que ce site puisse nous apporter quelques lumières.

Aschkel pour Lessakel.



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