Saturday, September 10, 2005

Iraqis and U.S. Troops Fight to Retake Northern City

......The announcement hinted at possible conflict in Kirkuk, a city whose oil riches and volatile ethnic mix have long made it a tinderbox. Kurds have insisted on Kurdish control of Kirkuk, but the city's other ethnic groups have grown increasingly resentful.
"What is written in the constitution is reassuring for the Kurds and marginalizing for Arabs and Turkmen, and it is the beginning of a bloody conflict," said Sheik Abdul Rahman Manshid al-Asi, the leader of the Obeid tribe. "Arabs and Turkmen have the power to deploy themselves and defend Kirkuk, and work for Iraq's unity, even if we had to use force of arms."
The leader of the Turkmen Front, Saad Edeen Arkij, said Turkmen groups were planning to start forming armed militias to defend their rights against the Kurds.
Militias are banned under Iraq's new laws, but the Kurds have been allowed to keep the pesh merga, their militia.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

UN holds presses as Iraq constitution said amended

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United Nations said it refused to start printing Iraq's draft constitution on Thursday, delaying yet again efforts to get millions of copies to voters before a referendum now fixed for October 15.
One negotiator from the Sunni Arab minority which has been lobbying for changes to the text adopted by parliament on August 28 said non-Arab Kurdish leaders agreed to an amendment to the draft to strengthen wording on Iraq's nature as an Arab state.
Others involved were not available for comment.

Iraq's New Constitution Divides Turkmen

By M. Alihan Hasanoglu Published: Thursday, September 08, 2005
Iraqi Turkmen have decided to act differently in the referendum that will be held for the newly prepared Iraqi constitution draft.
Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) indicating that the new Iraqi constitution draft disregarded Turkmen's demands announced that they would say "no" to the constitution in the referendum.

Turkey urges close attention to protection of civilians in Tal Afar

US Embassy says operation does not target any ethnic group:
A written statement from the U.S. Embassy in Ankara concerning the operation in Tal Afar coincided with Tan's remarks yesterday.

Ankara’s sensitivities concerning the operation in Tal Afar have been strongly expressed to US officials, says Foreign Ministry spokesman Tan
ANKARA - Turkish Daily News
ANKARA - Turkish Daily News
Ankara has drawn attention for the need to distinguish ordinary residents of the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar -- a predominantly Turkmen city where U.S. and Iraqi soldiers are trying to wrest control from terrorists and insurgents who have come to the city from outside.
Thousands of civilians fled Tal Afar and plumes of smoke were rising from the city, news reports said yesterday. Ambulances were seen carrying at least 10 wounded civilians toward nearby Mosul.

Turkmens say civilians killed in Tal Afar clashes

Tuesday, September 6, 2005ANKARA - Turkish Daily News
Iraqi Turkmens complained that dozens of Turkmen civilians were killed in clashes in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar and called on the United States to restore security there.Ahmet Muratlı, head of the Ankara office of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC), told the Turkish Daily News that around 30-40 Turkmen civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed in an ongoing U.S. operation in the Turkmen-populated town. “There are attacks and clashes in other parts of Iraq as well, but such forceful U.S. operations are not launched there,” Muratlı complained, emphasizing that the ITC disapproved of attacks on U.S. and Iraqi security forces in Tal Afar.

Turkmen Calls On International Community To Take Action Against Incidents In Tal Afar

ANKARA - Kasim Omer, the deputy chairman of the Iraqi Turkmen Democrat Party, has called on the international community ``to take action to stop genocide``.
Releasing a statement, Omer stated that ``the massacre launched in Tal Afar on September 3rd has turned into genocide``, and said, ``we call on all Muslim countries and neighboring countries, particularly Turkey, Russia, China, India, France, Germany and Turkish republics to take action to stop this genocide.``
``The number of women, men and children who were killed in the attacks of U.S. soldiers and peshmerges reached 213 as of last night,`` indicated Omer.
Omer said, ``uranium and napalm which had been used by the United States in Yugoslavia and during Iraq`s invasion, was also used in the recent attack on Tal Afar.``
Noting that power and water were cut in the city and no medicines or doctors could be found, Omer said that the hospital became headquarters of U.S. soldiers.
``The U.S. attack is targeting not only Shiite but also Sunni sacred places. This attack is a part of the policy of the United States to eradicate Turkism in Tel Afar,`` added Omer.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Tribal mosaic confuses counter-insurgency

Purging the town of insurgents is complicated by a complex tapestry of ethnicities and religions and tribes -- 82 of them. About 95 percent of the town is ethnically Turkmen, with about 5 percent Kurdish. 75 percent of the Turkmen are Sunni and 25 percent are Shia. The Kurds are almost entirely Sunni.

Heavy Clashes in Tal Afar

In the northern Turkmen city of Tal Afar, US troops continued their siege. Eyewitnesses said that a guerrilla ambush of a US aonvoy inflicted substantial damage. [US military sources do not acknowledge this report, which may not be well grounded.] US airstrikes on the city killed one resident and a child, and seriously wounded 11 others, including 4 children. All this according to health officias ath the al-Zahrawi Teaching Hospital at Mosul and the Qada' Hospital in Tal Afar. Local eyewitnesses alleged that dozens of persons had actually been wounded by the US airstrikes. They said local and Mosul health teams had not been able to reach the wounded. They also said that Tal Afar remains surrounded and under siege, and that US forces have made many random arrests. Details were difficult to gather given the US security shield around the city.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Guard honors Iraqi TV station (Turkmeneli Sat TV)

The 116th Brigade Combat Team presented a certificate of achievement to Turkmeneli television at an awards banquet July 30 in Kirkuk, Iraq, for having completed a successful year of broadcasting.The event was held at a garden area known as the Doctor's Club, across from the former Kirkuk Media Center.
The staff of Turkmeneli organized the event to commemorate its first anniversary of broadcasting from Kirkuk.It was attended by many local dignitaries and representatives from the 116th BCT.
"The brigade presented the station with a certificate of congratulations in a nice frame," said Col. Gordon Petrie, the 116th BCT information operations chief who attended the event. "The news manager was pleased that representatives from the brigade attended to honor their anniversary celebration."Fostering open communications and positive media relations in the province of Kirkuk is part of the mission of the 116th Brigade Combat Team while deployed in north central Iraq.
The unit's mission also includes assisting Iraq's new government, supporting economic development, and making Iraq more secure.