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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Iraq War News
Allawi Relatives Kidnapped: "A cousin and at least one other relative of Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi have been kidnapped in Baghdad and may be threatened with beheading. In Fallujah, the battle continues; so far the dead includes ten GIs, two Iraqi soldiers, and 71 rebels."

In CBS News: Iraq Crisis

U.S. Forces Hold 70 Percent of Fallujah: "
American forces battled through boobytrapped lanes and alleys Wednesday in a stunningly swift advance, taking control of 70 percent of Fallujah and bottling up enemy fighters along a strip of territory flanking the main east-west highway that bisects the rebel bastion.

The military said at least 71 militants had been killed as of the beginning of the third day of intense urban combat, with the casualty figure expected to rise sharply once U.S. forces account for insurgents killed in airstrikes.


Good analysis here. Scroll down to previous entries as well.


In Command Post: Irak

Top Islamic Cleric at Arafat's bedside: "A top Islamic cleric rushed from the West Bank to Yasser Arafat's hospital bedside Wednesday in what an aide to the Palestinian leader called the "final phase" of his life."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Palestinian leadership holds meeting: "The Palestinian leadership met Wednesday to discuss arrangements for the funeral of Yasser Arafat, who remained in a deep coma in a Paris hospital, officials said."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Attacks continue elsewhere in Iraq in Katu.com: Iraq & Terror

Battle rages in centre of Falluja: "Rebel losses in Falluja are said to be in the hundreds as US marines fight their way into a city in ruins."

In BBC: Conflict with Iraq (UK Edition)

Rebels fight from mosques as US says 70 percent Fallujah taken (AFP): "AFP - Crouching in mosques, rebels traded fire with US troops in the heart of Fallujah as the military pushed south after seizing 70 percent of the Iraqi city on the second full day of battle."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

US marines expect to control Fallujah within 48 hours: "US marines expect to take complete control of the Iraqi rebel bastion of Fallujah within 48 hours if their assault continues on course, a US military officer said. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

The perpetual gloom of Fallujah not easily forgotten by Marines: "Marine Staff Sgt. Robert Talley has a term for the sniper fire his platoon encountered in Fallujah this year: "Spray and pray.""

In San Diego Union-Tribune: In Iraq

Black Watch soldiers remain defiant: "Black Watch soldiers in Iraq are continuing their mission to stop insurgents escaping from the under-siege city of Fallujah."

In Ananova: War In Iraq


Army regiments to be saved, says MP: "Scotland's historic Army regiments will "almost definitely" be saved from the axe under new proposals which the Government is set to adopt, an MP said."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Baghdad under Curfew: "

From the AFP via The Australian :

IRAQâ??S interim government set a night curfew on Baghdad and its surrounding areas today following the bombings of churches and a city hospital that killed at least 16 people.

The measure was introduced after US-led troops fought their way into reached central Fallujah, the main stronghold of Sunni resistance west of the capital, on the orders of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

The curfew was in force from 10.30pm until 4am and will remain in place until further notice, Allawiâ??s office said.

(Iraqi Government)

In Command Post: Irak

Islamist Website Urges Iraqis to Stay Home: "

From The Australian :

A posting on an Islamist website has warned Iraqis to stay at home today in Baghdad and other cities or they would be â??putting their lives in dangerâ??.

The statement, in the name of eight known militant groups, said the unified â??Islamic resistanceâ?? would step up operations against the â??American enemyâ?? in retaliation for the US-led attack on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.

The statement urged Iraqis to stay at home today â??to avoid putting their lives in dangerâ??.

In Tikrit, Saddam Husseinâ??s hometown, insurgents distributed leaflets warning shopkeepers to close their stores indefinitely starting today to protest about the attack on Fallujah.


In Command Post: Irak

Resistance Still Co-Ordinated, but Not Strong: "

From Reuters via the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) :

US tanks pushing into central Fallujah have met fierce resistance from well-organised insurgents who show no signs of giving up, US Marines said today.
US infantry and tanks have punched deep into the city, and their Iraqi allies have made gains, but there are no signs Fallujah will come under their full control soon.

After a relative overnight lull, fierce fighting erupted again today.

A tank platoon that moved along Fallujahâ??s main street saw fighters who had just come under mortar fire climb onto rooftops and fire rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and machineguns.

â??There are lots of them. We took heavy fire,â?? Gunnery Sergeant Ishmail Castillo told Reuters.

â??They opened up on my tank. They donâ??t look like they are going to cave in.â??

Sergeant Castillo said his tank had killed six guerrillas and two Marines were wounded in fighting.

â??One of the Marines was hit in the head by RPG shrapnel,â?? he said.

Artillery barrages and machinegun fire echoed across the city as plumes of black smoke rose.

Tank platoon commander Lieutenant Joe Cash said the guerrillas were unleashing coordinated attacks.

â??They hit us from one area and then another right afterwards. There is in-depth organisation. There were small-arms attacks all night,â?? he said.

Running along Fallujahâ??s streets in groups of four or five, the guerrillas appeared in black clothes and headscarves or dressed in uniforms worn by Iraqi government forces, said Lieutenant Cash.

â??Some take off their fighting clothes, walk to a weapons cache and next thing you know they are shooting at you,â?? he said.

â??You see a guy walking in the street with normal clothes and he gives you a hard look and you just know he is one of them.â??

Lieutenant Cash said Marines found many weapons caches around Fallujah, including in mosques.

â??Weâ??ve reached the heart of Jolan,â?? Major Clark Watson said of a northwestern district of the Iraqi city where insurgents have long had a strong presence.

â??We have pushed through four square kilometres, but itâ??s too early to say we are controlling it,â?? he told Reuters.

â??That will take time because there will always be pockets of resistance.â??

Maj Watson, of the 1st Battalion of Marine infantry, said guerrillas were fighting back, but not as hard as expected.

â??It wasnâ??t as much as we thought it would be, but they have put up resistance,â?? he said.

(Tactical Reports)

In Command Post: Irak

7 Coalition Troops Killed in Roadside Blasts: "

From the AFP via the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) :

Six Iraqi national guards were killed when two roadside bombs exploded minutes apart in northern Iraq, an Iraqi official said.

â??A roadside bomb exploded at 7:45 am in the path of a national guard patrol in Tuz, destroying a vehicle and killing four of its occupants,â?? said national guard general, Anuar Mohammad, noting that a commander was among the victims.

Twenty minutes later, a second bomb exploded near a patrol that had been dispatched to the scene of the first blast, killing two, Mr Mohammad said.

One US soldier was killed and another injured when their armoured patrol struck a roadside bomb north of Baghdad, the US military said.

â??A 1st Infantry Division soldier was killed and one injured after their combat patrol was struck by an improvised explosive device near Balad at about 4:20 am,â?? it said in a statement.


In Command Post: Irak

Another Church Bombed: "

From Reuters via the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) :

An explosion outside a Catholic church in south-western Baghdad has wounded at least 35 people, police and hospital sources said.

The blast destroyed the outer wall of St Bahnamâ??s Church and set the house next door ablaze, witnesses said.

A doctor at Yarmouk Hospital said 35 people had been brought in from the blast in the capitalâ??s Dora district.

Police said a car bomb had detonated outside the church but witnesses said it appeared explosives were planted nearby.

Five churches were hit in a string of bomb attacks in October that seemed designed to intimidate the countryâ??s small but deep-rooted Christian community, already shaken by a series of church bombings that killed 11 people in August.

Iraqâ??s 650,000 Christians, mostly Chaldeans, Assyrians and Catholics, comprise about 3 per cent of the population.


In Command Post: Irak

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