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Savage US Offensive on Al-Qaim

Muhammad Abu Nasr, Iraqwar.ru

November 6, 2005

US launches savage bombing Saturday afternoon, striking city water supply, electricity grid and communication networks. Heavy use of anti-personnel cluster bombs reported.

In a bulletin posted at 2:05pm Mecca time Saturday afternoon, the Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent in the heart of al-Qa段m, near the border with Syria, reported that fierce fighting had begun a short while earlier between the Iraqi Resistance and US occupation troops as mosques chanted "God is greatest!" to boost the morale of the Resistance fighters.

The correspondent reported that at the time of writing, the battle was concentrated in the western side of the city near the Syrian border. US forces had bombed the electric power transmission towers and the water storage and communications centers and the whole area where the Resistance forces were concentrated was under intensive anti-personnel cluster bombing by US aircraft.

Mafkarat al-Islam noted that it has two correspondents in al-Qa段m to cover the fighting. The US bombings followed an American announcement of a new offensive in al-Anbar Province dubbed "Steel Curtain."

Al-Jazeera satellite TV reported that US forces and their Iraqi puppet army allies had also closed all roads leading to the nearby town of Hasibah.

Families flee to Hospital seeking shelter from ferocious, indiscriminate US bombing of al-Qa段m

In a dispatch posted at 3:10pm Mecca time Saturday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported from al-Qa段m that a short while earlier, local residents had begun to flee their homes and head for al-Qa段m General Hospital hoping that there they would be safe from the ferocious and indiscriminate US bombing of their city in which the Americans are making heavy use of anti-personnel cluster bombs.

The Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent in the city reported a physician in al-Qa段m General Hospital as saying that dozens of families are now camping out in the corridors and hallways and in the courtyard of the hospital. He said that all of them have fled their homes in fear of the American air bombardment and hope that the hospital will be safer for them than their homes.

People of al-Qa段m issue appeal to the Arab, Islamic countries and the world for urgent intervention to save them from the savage American bombing

In a dispatch posted at 3:30pm Mecca time Saturday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the people of al-Qa段m, many of whom have now taken refuge from the on-going ferocious bombing of their city in al-Qa段m General Hospital and in vacant school buildings outside the city, had issued an appeal for help addressed to Arab and Islamic states and to the world as a whole. The call from the people of al-Qa段m asks for intervention to save them from what they cal the Crusader offensive on the Muslims of al-Qa段m.

The Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent in al-Qa段m provided the text of the appeal, which reads as follows:

"In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Mercy-giving. 'Oh Lord, adversity has come to afflict me but You are the most Merciful of those who show mercy. Qur誕n, 21:83

"To the children of the Community of Muhammad, may God痴 peace and blessings be upon him, to all the Muslims, to those whom God has called 'one body, today as we celebrate the blessed 'Eid al-Fitr we are under an infidel Crusader attack that is wiping out farm fields and people, killing children as well as children. Today, oh Community of Muhammad, the Crusaders have attacked us from everywhere. Under their claims of "fighting terror," they have attacked the defiant city of al-Qa段m, killing, destroying, and terrorizing, glorying in their tyranny and power over us powerless people. By God, there are no terrorists in this city other than they. We of that unfortunate city appeal to you in the name of Islamic brotherhood and Arab kinship to intervene to halt the shedding of our blood, which has been going on continually since dawn today.

"We ask the rulers of the Arab and Islamic countries urgently to intervene to save us. We demand that the peoples of the Islamic world community put pressure on their leaders to intervene to save us. For by God if the sun sets today and we are still under this bombing, none of us will awaken tomorrow neither women nor children.

"Remember that tomorrow you will stand before God the Almighty who takes vengeance for wrongs. If we have been killed, we shall raise our complaint to Him and He knows best who are the guilty about the wrong done by the people and rulers on earth.

"God is greatest! God is greatest! God is greatest! How sweet is Paradise which comes to embrace us!"

The Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent reported that he received the appeal in hand-written form and typed it up before it had been officially typed for printing and distribution to the news media. In any case, the correspondent noted, there are so far no reporters or journalists in al-Qa段m other than the correspondents for Mafkarat al-Islam.

Mafkarat al-Islam requested all news agencies and broadcasting stations not to allow a repeat of what took place in Tall 'Afar in which Mafkarat al-Islam news reports were taken without credit for them being given.

US-installed "Iraqi Defense Minister" threatens to kill women and children if their houses harbor or aid Resistance fighters. Women and children in homes where Resistance fighters receive medical help or protection "will not be considered civilians."

In a dispatch posted at 4:48pm Mecca time Saturday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that a short while earlier the US-installed "Iraqi Defense Minister, Sa'dun ad-Dulaymi, had issued new threats to the people of Iraq and in particular the inhabitants of al-Qa段m, currently the target of a savage American offensive. Ad-Dulaymi threatened anyone who helps or harbors Iraqi Resistance fighters as they battle the American assault on the city.

The American-installed "Defense Minister" asserted that America痴 latest so-called "Operation Steel Curtain" is aimed at what he called "terrorists" (meaning Iraqi Resistance fighters). Ad-Dulaymi said however that any house or any family that provides refuge or cover for any of the Resistance fighters will only be dealt with by American warplanes, as they will be regarded as "links in the chain of terror" in the American-occupied country.

Ad-Dulaymi said that any family in al-Qa段m or any neighboring city who gives help or aid or treats the wounds of wounded Resistance fighters whether Iraqi or from other Arab countries, whether in az-Zarqawi痴 al-Qa'idah group or any other will be treated as supporters of "terror." The American installed "Minister" added that any women or children who might be killed in houses harboring what he called "terrorists" would not be considered civilians.

Ad-Dulaymi delivered his threats before an audience of journalists. He added that, "as we said before, the houses in al-Qa段m will be demolished over the heads of women and children if it is apparent that they are helping the terrorists, or giving them medical aid after we have established our control over the hospitals of the city and the hospitals of neighboring towns."

US forces reported to be three times larger than officially announced. Iraqi Resistance in al-Qa段m unites under single command in preparation for long, hard battle

In a dispatch posted at 7:20pm Mecca time Saturday evening, the correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam in al-Qa段m reported that the number of US occupation troops and Iraqi puppet soldiers massed on all four sides of the besieged city is much greater than figure officially announced by the American occupation authorities and the US-installed puppet regime.

The Mafkarat al-Islam correspondents to the east and north of al-Qa段m and the another towards the western side of the city reported that according to Iraqi Resistance observers and intelligence operatives the true number of attacking troops is three times the officially announced figure.

Three formations have been observed massed around the city, the sources said. These aer the 72nd Marines, a commando force and the American stormtroop division in their well-known uniforms. There are also three units of the Iraqi puppet army outside the city. A force of this nature and dimension has given the people of al-Qa段m and the Iraqi Resistance the impression that the battle is to be a long and hard one.

The Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent in the city reported that all the Resistance groups gathered now in the city have united under a single command for the duration of the battle.

The correspondent reported that a number of Resistance field commanders in al-Qa段m said that the unification of their forces was a practical measure for the purpose of repulsing the American offensive. The commanders said that as is known responsibility for Resistance activity in different cities of Iraq is shared out among different Resistance groups during normal military operations, but these forces unite under a single command for major battles. Thus it is normal for the different Resistance forces to united under the command of the biggest and most active Resistance group in a given city in major engagements. This is what took place in al-Fallujah, in Jurf as-Sakhr, and in Tall 'Afar.

Accordingly, Resistance command is now accordingly united under the biggest and most active resistance group in the city of al-Qa段m, reportedly the al-Qa'idah organization

In a dispatch posted at 7:40pm Mecca time Saturday evening, Mafkarat al-Islam reported from al-Qa段m that the American attackers had begun a violent rocket bombardment of the western and northern parts of the city a short while before. US F-16 and F-18 warplanes were indiscriminately pounding the city with cluster bombs and guided missiles.

Following heavy air strikes, US forces storm into three neighborhoods of al-Qa段m Saturday night. Resistance fortifies itself in eastern parts of the city

In a dispatch posted at 8:20pm Mecca time Saturday night, Mafkarat al-Islam reported from al-Qa段m that US forces with Iraqi puppet army units in tow had stormed into and seized complete control of three neighborhoods of al-Qa段m following intensive aerial bombardment.

The al-Qa段m correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported that more than 11 US military vehicles had been set on fire or disabled as the Resistance stood up to the oncoming Americans. At least 20 US troops were killed or wounded in the 7 April neighborhood of the city alone.

Nevertheless, the Resistance withdrew to the east and was concentrating its forces there at the time of writing. Residents of the city believe that the Resistance had the intention of withdrawing in order to try to draw American troops into parts of the town where the streets are narrow and where urban guerrilla tactics and close-quarter fighting could be employed with high effectiveness against the US attackers, while minimizing he Americans ability to mount air strikes on the Resistance defenders.

Savage American air strikes on the city of al-Qa段m have not stopped since they began hours earlier on Saturday, the correspondent noted.

In a dispatch posted at 8:50pm Mecca time Saturday evening, Mafkarat al-Islam reported from al-Qa段m that preliminary reports that the correspondents in that city had been able to compile a short while earlier reveal that 31 local civilians had been killed and 44 wounded in the American assault on the city. Women, children, and elderly men are among the dead, according to a Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent who reported from the City Hospital and from the Field Hospital in the besieged city.

According to those preliminary statistics prepared by Mafkarat al-Islam correspondents, 22 houses have been destroyed by the American attacks in various parts of the city. One mosque in the west of the city has been razed to the ground. Two schools, one water pumping station, an electric power station and two massive hotels were also destroyed in the course of the American attacks on Saturday.


Terrified Residents Flee Iraq Fighting

POSTED: 3:19 pm EST November 6, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq Scores of terrified Iraqis fled a besieged town Sunday, waving white flags and hauling their belongings to escape a second day of fighting between U.S. Marines and al-Qaida militants along the Syrian border. U.S. and Iraqi troops battled insurgents house-to-house, the U.S. military said.

Brig. Gen. Donald Alston, a U.S. military spokesman, told reporters in Baghdad that none of the 3,500 U.S. and Iraqi troops had been killed since the assault on Husaybah, 200 miles northwest of the capital, began Saturday.

"We are having contact with the enemy, but we are not meeting stiff resistance," Alston said Sunday. "They are using small-arms fire."

In a statement late Sunday, the U.S. Marines said American jets struck at least 10 targets Sunday in Husaybah, a market town along the Euphrates River valley that used to have a population of about 30,000.

At least 17 insurgents had been confirmed killed since the assault began but "many more are suspected of being killed," according to the statement.

The Marines added that the U.S.-Iraqi force was "clearing the city, house by house" and had been taking fire from insurgents holed up in homes, mosques and schools.

Residents of the area said by satellite phone that sounds of explosions diminished somewhat Sunday, although bursts of automatic weapons fire could be heard throughout the day. The residents said coalition forces warned people by loudspeakers to leave on foot because troops would fire on vehicles.

"I left everything behind _ my car, my house," said Ahmed Mukhlef, 35, a teacher who fled Husaybah early Sunday with his wife and two children while carrying a white bed sheet tied to a stick. "I don't care if my house is bombed or looted, as long as I have my kids and wife safe with me."

Marines said about 450 people had taken refuge in a vacant housing area in Husaybah under the control of Iraqi forces. Others were believed to have fled to relatives in nearby towns and villages in the predominantly Sunni Arab area of Anbar province.

U.S. officials have described Husaybah as a stronghold of al-Qaida in Iraq, led by Jordanian extremist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and a major way station used to smuggle foreign fighters, weapons and ammunition from Syria down the Euphrates River valley to Baghdad and other cities.

Several people identified as key al-Qaida in Iraq officials have been killed in recent airstrikes in the Husaybah area, the U.S. military has said. Most were described as "facilitators" who helped smuggle would-be suicide bombers from Syria.

Syria has denied helping militants sneak into Iraq, and witnesses said Syrian border guards had stepped up surveillance on their side of the border since the assault on Husaybah began.

The Americans hope the Husaybah operation will help restore enough security in the area so the Sunni Arab population can take part in Dec. 15 national parliamentary elections. If the Sunnis win a significant number of seats in the new parliament, the Americans hope that will persuade more members of the minority to lay down their arms and join the political process, enabling U.S. and other international troops to begin withdrawing next year.

"The insurgents are throwing everything they have at the Iraqi people and coalition forces in an effort to derail Iraq's democratic reforms," Alston said.

He said the offensive is aimed at interrupting the supply lines that al-Qaida in Iraq uses to launch some of the deadliest suicide attacks hitting Baghdad and other Iraqi cities.

However, a protracted battle in Husaybah with civilian casualties risks a backlash in the Sunni Arab community, which provides most of the insurgents.

In Baghdad, Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, head of the largest Sunni Arab political party, sharply criticized "all military operations directed against civilian targets" because they "lead to the killing of innocent people and the destruction of towns and cities."

Saleh al-Mutlaq, head of another Sunni faction and a member of the committee that drafted the new constitution, accused the Americans and their Iraqi allies of mounting "a destructive and killing operation of secure cities and villages" on the "pretext that they hide and secure terrorists."

The U.S.-led assault, codenamed "Operation Steel Curtain," includes about 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and will serve as a major test of the fledgling army's capability to battle insurgents _ seen as essential to enabling Washington to draw down its 157,000-strong military presence.

Elsewhere, U.S. Army snipers killed eight insurgents Sunday in separate incidents in Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, the U.S. command said. One of the insurgents was shot dead when he was found planting a roadside bomb, the U.S. statement said.

Three others were killed when they drove to the site of the first shooting and began firing "sporadically in all directions," the statement added. The other four were killed after trying to plant roadside bombs in other parts of the city, the statement said.

In Baghdad, two people were killed and nine wounded when a car bomb exploded near a tunnel, police Capt. Qassim Hussein said. Gunmen firing from two speeding cars also fired on civilians near a bus stop in the capital, killing a policeman and wounding five other people, police said.


:: Article nr. 17530 sent on 07-nov-2005 03:00 ECT


Link: iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/article/69255

:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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