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Archive for February, 2009

Iraqi Police

BAGHDAD (AFP) – Iraqi policemen shot dead four US soldiers and their local interpreter in the main northern city of Mosul, an interior ministry official said on Tuesday.

“Four US soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter were killed by two Iraqi policemen who opened fire at them in the Dawasa district of (central) Mosul and then fled,” the official told AFP, declining to be named.

The incident took place during a US army visit to the Mosul headquarters of the Iraqi police in charge of protecting the city’s bridges, police said. The bullet-riddled body of the interpreter was taken to the local mortuary.

It was the third such fatal shooting involving US soldiers in just over a year in Mosul, one of the country’s most restive cities.

On November 12, an Iraqi soldier shot dead two US soldiers in the city before being shot dead himself, but US and Iraqi officials differed sharply on what actually happened.

Iraqi officials said the soldier opened fire after an altercation with the Americans during a joint patrol in the city, but the US military insisted it was an unprovoked shooting inside an Iraqi Army compound.

Mohammed al-Askari, Iraq’s defence ministry spokesman, said at the time that the shooting took place during a joint patrol to inspect security procedures in Mosul, which the US army says is Al-Qaeda’s last urban bastion in Iraq.

An official in the Iraqi interior ministry said “a US soldier slapped an Iraqi soldier during the patrol.”

A similar incident took place in Mosul in January 2007 when an Iraqi soldier opened fire on American troops during the erection of a combat outpost in the city, killing two US soldiers, according to Iraqi officials.

US and Iraqi forces operate together throughout the country, and the United States has long said that the training of Iraqi troops and police is a central part of its military strategy.

 

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Blood and Cross

Source: www.Ankawa.com

On Monday evening, February 16, 2009 unknown gunmen opened fire on Karam Mowafaq (15 years old) and his colleague as they were working at al Midan area (al-Najareen- Carpenters) Karam died of his wounds Tuesday morning while his colleague remains in a critical condition at Ibn Sina Hospital. According to a Church source funeral services were held for the victim Tuesday at noon.

 

May he rest in peace and may his family be consoled

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Refugees

Ottawa,  Citizenship and Immagration – Canada

Canada will more than double the number of privately sponsored Iraqi refugees it accepts from the Middle East, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has announced. “Taken together with government-assisted refugees, this means that the number of Iraqi refugees coming to Canada will have more than quadrupled since 2005,” Minister Kenney said while speaking before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

“Last year our government, at the behest of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, committed to increasing by more than 50 percent the number of resettled refugees from the Middle East in response to the Iraqi refugee crisis,” he said. “I am happy to announce further increases. Canada had planned to raise its private sponsorship program levels for Damascus to 1,200 people in 2009. I have instructed my officials to increase that number by an additional 1,300 people per year for the next three years. The number of government-assisted refugees will also increase by 230 people.”

 “We chose Damascus because that is where the majority of Iraqi refugees apply. Canada will resettle approximately 2,500 refugees under its private sponsorship program each year for the next three years, in addition to its government-assisted refugees program which this year will resettle 1,400 refugees through the Damascus mission. This represents a fourfold increase over 2005, when approximately 800 refugees were accepted from that mission. It also means that Canada will continue to play a leading role in easing the plight of Iraqi refugees through resettlement.”

 Abraham Abraham, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in Canada, highly appreciated the response of the Government of Canada to the UNHCR’s call to find solutions for refugees in Middle East countries, where over two million Iraqi refugees are hosted. “Canada should be commended for continuing to uphold its humanitarian commitment to finding permanent solutions for refugees in one of the most pressing refugee situations in the world,” Mr. Abraham said.

 Noting the Committee’s own concern for the desperate circumstances affecting Iraqi refugees, the Minister said he had always been a passionate supporter of the humanitarian dimension of our immigration system and he was keen to make it stronger. Each year, 19 countries from around the world resettle about 100,000 refugees. From that number, Canada resettles 10,000 to 12,000 each year from 70 different nationalities, or one out of every ten refugees resettled globally.

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Dead Translator

By: Fa Me

 

A suicide bomber detonated his car bomb near a U.S. Army patrol Monday in the northern city of Mosul, killing four soldiers and their Iraqi Translator.
They were the first American military deaths blamed on hostile action since Jan. 18, and the attack was the worst since May, when four troops also died in a single incident.

 

 

This is not the first time when blood of an Iraqi translator mixes with blood of US soldiers, they both have shared the same destiny when they decided to work with each other, in the past few years, Mosul city witnessed the biggest number of Translators’ death in Iraq, and the first Iraqi Translator ever decapitated by terrorist was in Mosul City!

 

This is evident indicator that Iraqi translators are not far from danger, and they’re putting their soul at stake when they help US troops achieving their mission in Iraq. Inside the bases and compounds they are exposured to mortors’ attacks, and when they are outside patrolling, then they are in much danger and fear that their life is in severe danger because they are targeted by insurgency, as if they were alone in streets, and they were identified, then they are being chased and hunted down with their families and friends!

 

May God have Mercy on your Soul, Dear Partner! Along with your Friends!

 

 

 

 

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Iraqi Translators

By Spencer Ackerman / Washington Independent

In the United States, it would be a mundane tax form, with standard provisions for cataloging an employee’s tax obligations. Full name. Citizen ID number. Address. Phone. Specifications about any children. But Form D/4a from the Iraqi Ministry of Finance is sending waves of anxiety through the community of Iraqis who work as linguists, translators and interpreters for the U.S. military in Iraq. For the “terps,” as many U.S. troops and diplomats call them, the form is a prelude to a disaster. Unless their identities are kept a closely guarded secret, they fear, they and their families will be hunted by insurgents, militias and death squads — many of whom are tied to or work for the Iraqi government — for collaborating with the U.S. military. Several weeks ago, Global Linguist Solutions (GLS), the company that holds the contract with the U.S. military to provide translators, entered into negotiations with the Iraqi government about what their new obligations are for withholding employee taxes once the U.S.-Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) — which, among other things, gives the Iraqi government increased authority over U.S. contractors — goes into effect. The company said emphatically that it has no intention of turning over identifying information for its roughly 7,000 Iraqi employees. “We’re not providing any personal identification information,” said company spokesman Douglas Ebner. “We have not done so up to now, and we’re not going to change.” But many of these contractors don’t trust GLS to keep its word. Some are considering fleeing Iraq entirely, raising the prospect of U.S. service members losing their ability to talk and listen to Iraqis. “We either quit,” said Garrison, the pseudonym of an Iraqi interpreter, in an email, “or sign our own death warrants by turning the information [over] to the ministry.” Terps go to extremes to safeguard their identities. Many are known to soldiers and marines by Anglicized names like Moe and Tommy and Big King Paul. When leaving U.S. bases to accompany troops on missions, it’s common for them to wear ski masks and wraparound sunglasses in the burning Iraqi heat, their hands covered in flame-retardant gloves so as not to leave behind so much as a fingerprint. Some don’t tell their families how they earn a living; others actually live on U.S. bases. And for good reason: those who help the U.S. in Iraq are targets for insurgents, as are their families. While there aren’t available figures on how many Iraqis employed by the U.S. have been kidnapped or murdered, a well-received play, “Betrayed,” by the New Yorker’s George Packer, has chronicled the anxiety of collaborating with the U.S. in Iraq. “There’s no future for us here,” a translator calling himself Big King Paul told me in Baghdad’s Khadimiya neighborhood in March 2007. “The terrorists know us. We can’t live in this country.” In several cases, the terrorists are within the Iraqi government itself. Insurgents and militia members have infiltrated the ranks of the Iraqi police, and to a lesser extent, the Iraqi army — a systemic problem that retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones, now President Obama’s national security adviser, identified in an influential 2007 report. Many political parties in Iraq, including aspects of the Shiite-dominated governing coalition, possess their own militias. And there remains a thriving kidnapping market in Iraq, creating a temptation among Finance Ministry bureaucrats to earn extra money by turning over case files on GLS employees to terrorists and criminals.

“Everyone knows the Iraqi police and all Iraqi security forces are either corrupt or [have] got something to do with militias or terrorist or insurgents,” said another Iraqi interpreter in an email.

Indeed, the very finance ministry that seeks employee identification information is run by a man named Bayan Jabr, who has ties to the Badr Corps militia affiliated with one of the major Shiite political parties, the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council. In fall 2005, Jabr served as interior minister when U.S. forces discovered that the basement of the interior ministry was used as a torture chamber for Sunnis by Iraqi police officers. At the time, Jabr defended himself by saying, “Nobody was beheaded or killed.”

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