Friday, March 17, 2006

So why are you still here?

As violence in Iraq continues, the United States officially proclaims it will not intervene, writes Nermeen Al-Mufti

Saadeddin Arkej, chairman of the Turkoman Front and member of the elected parliament, is concerned over the political wrangling. "The Kurds have made it clear that they don't want Ibrahim Al-Jaafari because of his position on Kirkuk. Al-Jaafari, for his part, is refusing to discuss Kirkuk until the government takes office."
The Turkomans, Iraq's third largest ethnic group, are afraid the Kurds will end up controlling Kirkuk. In a recent meeting of the Kurdistan parliament in Irbil, Turkoman parliamentarians enquired about the fate of Turkoman detainees in northern prisons. Adnan Al-Mufi, who is the Kurdistan parliamentary speaker, was rather blunt in his reply. Local authorities, he said, simply implement US orders.
Ali Hashem, leader of the Turkoman Front in Salaheddin, describes what happened following the recent murder of a Kurdish National Guard officer in Yankeja, a Turkoman village 75 kilometres south of Kirkuk. In retaliation, a National Guard unit attacked the village, destroying a power station and several water tanks. In the course of two days of collective punishment, two inhabitants were killed, 10 wounded, and dozens of houses, shops and cars wrecked. "The punishment lasted till Sunday, ending only after we got in touch with US forces and the command of the National Guard in Kirkuk."
The inhabitants of Kirkuk and other dominantly Turkoman towns were relieved to know that Al-Sadr followers said they would defend the Arab identity of Kirkuk at any cost, even if they had to "bring all the mujahideen of the Mahdi army to the city."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Iraq's Turn for the Worse Brings U.S. and Baathists Closer

TIME Baghdad Bureau Chief Michael Ware reflects on the changes he sees in Iraq after a two-month furlough.
Posted Wednesday, Mar. 15, 2006
I've spent the last three years immersed in this conflict, but after only two months away I'm amazed at how quickly this war has mutated into something even worse than it was before. We're now seeing a sectarian element nothing like we've previously seen. Even ordinary families, people who are in no way combatants are suddenly talking about fellow Iraqis in terms of "us" and "them."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bush Sets Target for Transition In Iraq

Country's Troops to Take Lead This Year

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 14, 2006; Page A01
President Bush vowed for the first time yesterday to turn over most of Iraq to newly trained Iraqi troops by the end of this year, setting a specific benchmark as he kicked off a fresh drive to reassure Americans alarmed by the recent burst of sectarian violence.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Iraqi National Guards (ING) (Kurdish Militia) attacks the Turkmen village of Yengije

Iraqi National Guards (ING) (Kurdish Militia) attacks the Turkmen village of Yengije 13.03.2006

Since the U.S Forces had handed over the security issue to the Iraqi Forces, the instability had enormously increased. Taking the advantage of the security transfer, the Iraqi National Guards (ING) forces have practiced many atrocities against the Turkmen in the northern of Iraq and particularly in the Turkmen regions of Kirkuk, Tuz Hurmatu, Taze Hurmatu, Altun Kopru and many other Turkmen regions. Hundreds of Turkmen were arrested under false allegations and they were all sent to the prisons in the northern Kurdish controlled cities of Erbil and Suleymania. Moreover, the Turkmen political parties and the Iraqi Turkmen Front offices (ITF) were raided several times. A recent example of the Kurdish atrocities committed against the Turkmen was experienced in the Turkmen village of Yengija. On March 10th, 2006 the Iraqi National Guard Forces (ING) entirely composed of the Kurdish Peshmergas (guerillas) from KDP and PUK Kurdish parties have launched an offensive attack against the Turkmen village of Yengija, located 5 km south of the district of Tuz Hurmatu. The Turkmen district of Tuz Hurmatu is located 84 km south of Kirkuk.One month prior to the attack the ING members were intimidating and threatening the Turkmen citizens in the village. They also convoyed messages to the Turkmen villagers that Yengija would be very soon the new Turkmen Falluja and soon Yengija would be annexed to the Kurdish region. Approximately 6:30 p.m. The ING imposed a curfew and at 7:00 p.m. they suddenly attacked Yengija under false allegations. A Kurdish agent who resides in the village with the Turkmen had put a bullet into his son’s leg and immediately informed the ING that a group of terrorist had entered the village and they shot his son. The sudden and well planed attacked was launched and continued until the next day. Many masked individuals from both Kurdish parties PUK and KDP have convoyed the ING forces during the raid. The following casualties were conducted during the attack:The ING raided the Turkmen houses and killed two Turkmen civilians in front of their families. A thirteen year old disabled teenager (Salman Akbar Hameed) and 35 year old (Kadir Mohammed Uryan) were both killed. Many Turkmen houses were blazed. Many Turkmen vehicles and farming equipments were destroyed and set on fire. The windows of the raided houses were smashed. Furniture and household items were all destroyed. Prior to the raid many Turkmen civilians were taken by the ING for interrogation and were badly tortured. The main water depot of the village was destroyed The main transformers and electricity suppliers were also destroyed After destroying the Turkmen houses and killing the Turkmen civilians the ING have celebrated out of the city by performing the Kurdish dances. Between 6-7 Turkmen civilians were badly injured Many livestock were killed Cash and Jewelry was stolen by the ING members during the raid. The ING members have killed a guard dog in a Turkmen house and covered it with a praying rug to mock and laugh at the dog owner. The dog owner was asked to pray for his dog after also he was badly beaten up by the ING members. Nipples of a milking cow were cut with a sharp knife in front of the owner. The owner was told that, “I will leave you to suffer with your cow”. Ten year old teenager was badly beaten and his front tooth was broken. Many women, children and elderly people were badly beaten and some were badly injured. An old woman was begging the ING member to stop beating her son by asking “please stop beating my son for the sake of God”. She was badly kicked and told by the ING member “I am the God now”. It is strongly believed that the raid is to revenge from the Turkmen in Yengija who had voted for the Iraqi Turkmen Front list (630) during the last Iraqi Elections of December 15th 2005. The Yengija village population is estimated around 15.000 people and they all are Turkmen and supporters of the ITF.The Kurdish intention is to gain control over the Turkmen cities and to force the Turkmen to displacement. The inhumane atrocities committed by the Kurds are not accepted in the new Iraq. On contrary it would create hatred and cause more bloodshed. The Turkmen will not depart their cities and they will continue demanding their legitimate rights by using democratically ways. The Turkmen are the only population which does not have militias and also they do not believe in violence. The Turkmen always were Iraq’s peacekeepers. The Turkmen population in other Turkmen cities are anticipating the same atrocities and asking the Coalition Forces led by the U.S Government to find a solution and to put an end to the Kurdish atrocities. Finally the Turkmen in the village of Yengija demand a full investigation; bring the murderers and raiders to justice and a full compensation. The Media of Iraqi Turkmen FrontUK Representation

Iraqi Turkmen complain of Kurdish attacks

Tuesday, March 14, 2006
ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

The Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC) representative office in Ankara, in a written statement released on Monday, protested attacks in a Turkmen village near the disputed northern Iraqi province of Kirkuk that they said were committed by a unit of the Iraqi National Guard (ING), which was “entirely composed of the Kurdish peshmergas from the PUK [Patriotic Union of Kurdistan] and the KDP [Kurdistan Democratic Party].”
The ITC said that the attack took place in the Turkmen village of Yengija, approximately 90 kilometers south of Kirkuk, last Friday.
“The ING raided the Turkmen houses and killed two Turkmen civilians in front of their families. A 13-year-old disabled teenager [Salman Akbar Hameed] and a 35-year-old [Kadir Mohammed Uryan] were both killed,” the statement said.
“It is strongly believed that the raid was revenge on the Turkmen in Yengija who had voted for the ITC list [630 votes] during the last Iraqi elections of Dec. 15, 2005. The Yengija village population is estimated at around 15,000 people and they are all Turkmen and supporters of the ITC,” the statement said.
The ITC, an umbrella group for various Iraqi Turkmen groups, was actually not able to achieve success in the Dec. 15 polls in Iraq and managed to win only one seat in Iraq's 275-member National Assembly.
The ITC emphasized in the statement, in which the casualties of the attack in Yengija were explained in detail, that the Yengija attack was a one of “many atrocities against the Turkmen in northern Iraq and particularly in the Turkmen regions of Kirkuk, Tuz Hurmatu, Taze Hurmatu, Altun Kopru and many other Turkmen regions,” that were carried out by the ING.
“Since the U.S. forces handed over the security issue to the Iraqi forces, the instability has increased enormously. Taking advantage of the security transfer, the Iraqi National Guard [ING] forces have carried out many atrocities against Turkmen,” the statement said, and called on the U.S. led-coalition forces “to find a solution and put an end to the Kurdish atrocities.”
PUK representative in Ankara Bahros Galali speaking to the Turkish Daily News, avoided commenting on the ITC statement, saying that he had no information on the existence of such an attack. He, however, strongly rejected the expression of “Kurdish peshmergas” used by the ITC, emphasizing that: “Now all Iraqis, including Kurds and Turkmen, are members of the Iraqi army, they are Iraqi soldiers, but are not separate armed groups based on ethnic origins.”

The Coming Resource Wars

By Michael Klare,
Posted on March 11, 2006, Printed on March 11, 2006

It's official: the era of resource wars is upon us. In a major London address, British Defense Secretary John Reid warned that global climate change and dwindling natural resources are combining to increase the likelihood of violent conflict over land, water and energy. Climate change, he indicated, "will make scarce resources, clean water, viable agricultural land even scarcer" -- and this will "make the emergence of violent conflict more rather than less likely."