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News, March  2008



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3 US Soldiers, 55 Iraqis KIlled, Admiral Fallon Resigns, Talks About US Long-Term Military Presence in Iraq, According to March 11, 2008 News Reports

Aljazeera tv reported at 7:00 pm ET that Admiral William Fallon resigned following his criticism of the Bush administration's beating the drums of war on Iran.

He announced this criticism during an interview with Aljazeera tv and in a published article.

It's another evidence about the Bush administration's policy of silencing opposition to its permanent war policy.

U.S. Centcom head resigns amid "misperceived policy difference" 2008-03-12 03:35:27  

    WASHINGTON, March 11 (Xinhua) --

William J. Fallon, head of the U.S. Central Command (Centcom) that oversees war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, is resigning because his policy difference with top policy-makers (in the Bush administration) was "misperceived" by media.

    Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made the announcement Tuesday, saying Fallon asked for permission to retire and was accepted by the secretary.

    Gate said Fallon wanted to leave because he felt that the "ongoing misperceptions" about differences between his ideas and policy-makers on Iran are making it too difficult for him to operate.

    He added that the differences are not extreme, but the misperception had become "too great."

    "I don't know whether he was misinterpreted or whether people attributed views to him that were not his views, but clearly there was a concern," Gates added.

    The development is linked to an article published last week in Esquire magazine that portrayed Fallon as opposed to President George W. Bush's Iran policy.

    It described Fallon as "a lone voice against taking military action to stop the Iranian nuclear program."

    Fallon, 63, has had a 41-year Navy career.

    He took the Centcom post on March 16, 2007, succeeding John Abizaid, who retired.

    Fallon previously served as commander of U.S. Pacific Command.

    It was often reported that he and Gen. David Petraeus butt heads about troop levels in Iraq, which the two denied, but was an ongoing dispute that simmered below the surface within the Pentagon.

    Fallon is responsible for not only Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The article noted that the troop numbers were so taxed in Iraq that it was hurting operations in Afghanistan.

    Centcom's second-in-command Martin Dempsey now temporarily takes over Fallon's post but a permanent successor is yet to be selected by Gates.

Editor: Yan Liang

Three U.S. soldiers, interpreter killed in Diala- army
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 1:54:23
Baghdad, Mar 11, (VOI)-

The U.S. army said on Tuesday three service members along with an Iraqi interpreter were killed in a roadside bomb blast in Diala.

"Three Coalition Force Soldiers and an interpreter were killed by an improvised explosive device attack in eastern Diyala province, March 10," the U.S. army said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq- (VOI).

The statement also added that another Soldier was wounded and transported to a Coalition medical facility for treatment.

The U.S. army announcement comes only a day after five U.S. soldiers were killed and four others were injured in a roadside bomb blast in western Baghdad.

The deaths bring the number of the U.S. troops killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003 to 3,983 according to statistics released by the U.S. army.

Of this number, ten U.S. soldiers have been killed so far in March 2008.

November 2004, which witnessed fierce battles between U.S. forces and armed groups in Falluja city, Anbar province, remains the month that saw the highest U.S. death toll with 137.
April 2004 comes second with 135, followed by May 2007 during which 126 U.S. soldiers were killed.

9 killed in Mosul clashes
Ninewa - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 1:54:23
Ninewa, Mar 11, (VOI) –

Nine people, including one civilian, was killed in clashes that erupted on Tuesday morning between policemen and unidentified gunmen near a checkpoint in the eastern part of Mosul, police said.

"Unidentified gunmen clashed with Iraqi police near a checkpoint in the neighborhood of al-Mithaq, eastern Mosul, on Tuesday. Four policemen, four gunmen and one civilian near the scene were killed in the crossfire," the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

"Policemen also seized a vehicle belonging to the gunmen," the source added.
Mosul, the capital of Ninewa province, lies 402 km north of Baghdad.


Death toll of Kut clashes rises to 11

Wassit - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 12:44:03
Wassit, March 11, (VOI)-

The death toll of clashes the broke out in Kut rose to eleven deaths along with 40 others wounded, a medic source said on Tuesday.

“Three hospitals in Kut received eleven killed individuals and 40 others till Tuesday’s afternoon”, a medic source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq (VOI).

The source did not provide details whether the casualties were gunmen or civilians, but said “a number of children and women coincided to be near the clashes areas were among the wounded”.

Earlier, Wassit police said clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and unknown gunmen in the morning and went on for five hours in seven of Kut neighbourhoods. The clashes left eight individuals killed and 28 others wounded.

The security source did not identify the affiliation of the gunmen groups, but described them as “outlaw groups”.

Another security source said clashes were renewed between police forces and gunmen in Ezza and Jihad neighbourhood, west Kut, for over an hour.

The province’s Security imposed a curfew on people and vehicle from Tuesday 8PM till Wednesday 6 am.

Kut, the capital city of Wassit province, lies 180 km south-east Baghdad

Fires swallow six fuel tankers in Mosul

Ninewa - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 12:44:03
Ninewa, Mar 11, (VOI) –

Spokesperson for Ninewa Police Command said on Tuesday that six fuel tankers have been totally devastated in an explosion in the province.

"An explosive device, cohered by unknowns on one of the fuel tankers, exploded on Tuesday evening at Al-Gayiara intersection, south of Mosul city," Khalid Abdul-Sattar told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

"Six fuel tankers have been totally devastated in the engendered fires, and three drivers were wounded," he added.

Abdul-Sattar did not reveal any further details. Mosul, capital city of Ninewa province, is 405 km north of Baghdad.

Iraq as an "Occupied State" in APU Conference

Arbil - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 12:44:03
Arbil, Mar 11, (VOI) –

Iraqi and Kuwaiti delegations to Arab Parliamentary Conference objected on Tuesday to describing Iraq as an "occupied state" by the head of the Arab League (AL) delegation, demanding an immediate apology, and not to repeat this frame during the conference's sessions embraced by Arbil – capital city of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

During the evening session, conference rooms' witnessed a debate between Ali Al-Jarosh – head of the AL delegation, on one side, and Sheikh Khalid Al-Attiya – Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament and Jassim Al-Khrafi – head of the Kuwaiti delegation, on the other side.
Al-Attiya and Al-Khrafi condemned describing Iraq as (occupied), "Iraq is not an occupied state. If Iraq is occupied, it could not receive this conference without any limitations," Al-Attiya said, adding, "Iraq is an independent state that enjoys full sovereignty, and the presence of foreign forces is due to security agreements."

From his side, Al-Khrafi seemed surprised that the AL delegation's head described Iraq as an occupied state. "On what basis has this stance been built, is there any decision issued by the AL that describes the situation in Iraq as occupation?"

He continued, "I demand that the AL delegation's head publicly apologize for this stance, and not use this frame again."

Katyusha missile hits the Green Zone

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 12:44:03
Baghdad, Mar. 11, (VOI) –

Katyusha missile has fallen on Tuesday evening on the Green Zone in Baghdad – capital city of Iraq.

"The highly secured Green Zone, at the center of Baghdad, has been subjected to an attack on Tuesday evening by a Katyusha missile," a security source at the Iraqi Ministry of Interior (MOI) told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

He added, "There is no information about the casualties, due to the tight security bond imposed by the U.S. forces on the Green Zone."

The Green Zone, which embraces the U.S. and the British embassies in Baghdad, was attacked with 4 mortars earlier, on Tuesday afternoon, without knowing the casualties or the source of the attack.

Police impose curfew on Kut following armed clashes

Wassit - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 12:44:03
Wassit, Mar 11, (VOI) -

Wassit police chief on Tuesday announced imposing a curfew in Kut, southern Iraq, following ongoing clashes that erupted between security forces and unknown gunmen.
"Police leadership on Tuesday decided to impose a curfew on civilians and vehicles from Tuesday 08 PM till Wednesday 06 Am," Brig.Gen. Abdul Hannan al-Emara, Wassit police chief, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).

The police official added "the procedures were precautionary security measures to impose the rule of law and to prevent outlaws from destabilizing the city's security."

Iraqi police vehicle's announcing the start of the curfew were heard across the city.
Earlier, a police source said armed clashes erupted in seven of Kut's neighbourhoods, leaving eight individuals, including three children, and 28 others wounded.
Kut, the capital city of Wassit, lies 189 south-east of Baghdad

36 casualties as clashes renew in Kut

Wassit - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 12:44:03
Kut, Mar 11, (VOI) -

Clashes renewed on Tuesday between policemen and Iraqi army forces from one side and armed groups from the other in the city of Kut, leaving 36 casualties, a police source said.
"Armed confrontations flared up between police and army forces from one side and unknown gunmen from the other for more than five years in seven different areas in Kut," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).

"The clashes killed eight individuals, including three children, and wounded 28," he explained.
He did not add further details.

Kut, the capital of Wassit, is 180 km southeast of Baghdad.


U.S. choppers kill 3 civilians, gunman in Mosul

Ninewa - cairo
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 12:44:03
Mosul, Mar 11, (VOI) -

Three civilians and a gunman were killed and another one was injured on Tuesday in two separate incidents in the city of Mosul, the official spokesman for the Ninewa operations command said.

"A U.S. helicopter shelled a vehicle carrying gas cylinders in the main street in Wana district, north of Mosul, killing three civilians," Brig. Khaled Abdul Sattar Sa'adon told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).

"Another chopper spotted two gunmen while planting a bomb in al-Iqtessadeyeen region in western Mosul, killing one and injuring the other," the officer noted.
"The body was sent to the forensic medicine department, while the wounded was placed under custody," he also said.

No word was immediately available from the U.S. army on the incident.
Mosul, the capital of Ninewa, is 405 km north of Baghdad.


Mortar attack wounds 3 civilians in Ninewa

Ninewa - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 12:44:03
Ninewa-Voices of Iraq
Ninewa, March 11, (VOI)-

Three civilians were wounded when a mortar round landed in a residential neighbourhood in Mosul, north Iraq, on Tuesday, Ninewa security spokesman said.

“A mortar round fell on al-Sada neighbourhood located in Bawaiza, north Mosul, leaving three civilians wounded”, Brig. Khalid Abdel Sattar, spokesman for Ninewa operations command, told Aswat al-Iraq-Voices of Iraq(VOI).

Elsewhere in Mosul, Iraqi army 2nd division discovered amounts of weapons and ammunition while searching al-Tanak, Yarmouk and Islah Ziraai neighbourds, west Mosul
“The army forces found two explosive devices, four oxygen cylinders, rockets launchingpad, explosive devices in addition Kalashnikov rifles” , Abdel Sattar pointed out.
Mosul, the capital city of Ninewa province, lies 405 km north Baghdad

Bomber kills, injures 13 in Dalou'iya

Salah al-Din - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 12:44:03
Dalouiya, Mar 11, (VOI) -

At least five people were killed and eight others were wounded in a car bomb explosion targeting a checkpoint in Dalou'iya, a police source said on Tuesday.

"A suicide bomber blew up a car bomb this afternoon targeting a checkpoint of police and Awakening Council fighters in al-Jubur neighborhood in central Dalou'iya, killing five, including three fighters and two civilians, and injuring eight," Major Ibrahim Abdullah, from the Dalou'iya police, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).

"The blast damaged three nearby houses," he also said, noting the forces imposed a curfew on the city until further notice.

Dalouiya, Salah el-Din, is 90 km north of Baghdad.


Roadside bombing against bus leaves 38 casualties in Dhi-Qar

Dhi-Qar - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 1:54:23
Dhi-Qar, Mar 11, (VOI) -

Roadside bomb explosion targeting a bus in southern Iraq highway killed 16 people and wounded 22 including children and women, Dhi-Qar police said on Tuesday.

"An improvised explosive device (IED) went off targeting a coach bus driving from Najaf to Basra in a highway near Um Uneech and Haql Saba villages, 60 km south of Nassiriya," Maj.Nasser al-Majidi, spokesman for Dhi-Qar police, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).

The spokesman pointed out "the explosion killed 16 individuals and wounded 22 others including women and children."

The police official added "the IED detonation coincided with a U.S. army convoy passing by the area," but did not provide further details.

Nassirya, the capital city of Dhi-Qar province, lies 390 km south-west of Baghdad
2 Sahwa fighters killed, 3 wounded in suicide blast near Falluja

Anbar - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 1:54:23
Anbar, Mar 11, (VOI) –

Two Sahwa (Awakening) tribal fighters were killed and three others wounded when a suicide bomber crashed his explosive-rigged vehicle into a Sahwa checkpoint north of the city of Falluja on Tuesday, police said.

"A suicide bomber detonated his explosive vehicle near a checkpoint of the Sahwa forces in al-Tharthar, (25 km) north of Falluja, killing two and wounding three," a security source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

Iraqi soldier wounded by IED blast in Baghdad

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 1:54:23
Baghdad, Mar 11, (VOI) –

An Iraqi soldier was wounded by an improvised explosive device blast that targeted an army patrol in al-Mansour neighborhood, western Baghdad, on Tuesday, the Iraqi police said.
"An IED planted by unidentified gunmen on the main road in al-Mansour neighborhood went off near an Iraqi army patrol on Tuesday, wounding one soldier," the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

"The blast did not result in any material losses," the source said, adding security forces "sealed off the area and rushed the wounded serviceman to a nearby hospital for treatment."


Car bomb south of Baghdad leaves casualties

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 1:54:23
Baghdad, Mar 11, (VOI) –

A car bomb went off near the building of al-Mahmoudiya local council, south of Baghdad, on Tuesday, leaving an unidentified number of civilians killed or wounded, a security source said.
"A car bomb went off near a local council building in the district of al-Mahmoudiya, leaving unidentified number of civilian casualties," the source, who declined to have his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

"No count of casualties so far but ambulances rushed to the scene of the explosion to rush the wounded to a nearby hospital," said the source, noting the blast caused damage to public property.


U.S.-Iraqi talks on friendship agreement

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 12 /03 /2008  Time 1:54:23
Baghdad, Mar 11, (VOI)-

Iraqi-U.S. talks started on Tuesday in Baghdad to reach into an agreement and arrangements for a long-term friendship agreement between the two countries, including an agreement on the temporary presence of U.S forces in Iraq, the foreign ministry said.

"Iraq and United States started today at the Iraqi Ministry of foreign affairs in Baghdad the negotiations between the two delegations representing full sovereignty and independence of both countries for the purpose of reaching agreement and arrangements on long term of cooperation and friendship between the two countries. Including an agreement on the temporary presence of U.S forces, on the basis of mutual interests and respect for the sovereignty of both countries," the ministry said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).

U.S. President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed a declaration of mutual cooperation and friendship, dated on 26 Nov.2007 and for the purpose of organizing the friendly relation between the two countries on sound ground after expiration of the term of application of the council resolution (No.1790,2007) at the end of the this year and relieving Iraq from chapter (7)of the United Nations charter.

They issued a joint letter a " Declaration of Principles" appears as a mutual "expression of friendship."

According to this declaration the United States will help get Iraq into the World Trade Organization. The two countries will engage in scientific and cultural exchanges.
It also includes a provision that promises to maintain security assurances and commitments to Iraq to deter foreign aggression against the country that violates its sovereignty and integrity of its territories, waters, or airspace.





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