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Dec 20th, 2008

Iraq Lawmakers Reject Law on British Troops

U.N. mandate expires Dec. 31, future of foreign troops uncertain

British forces will likely be needed in Iraq until at least 2006, an influential parliamentary committee said on March 24, 2005 in a report that pointed to a series of post-war 'mistakes and misjudgments.' British soldiers stand in formation in the southern Iraqi city of Samawa March 7. [Reuters/file]
British soldiers stand in formation in the southern Iraqi city of Samawa, March 7, 2005. (Photo credit: Reuters)

Dec. 20, 2008

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s parliament voted on Saturday to reject a draft law that allows troops from Britain, Australia and several other countries to remain beyond the end of this year, Iraqi parliamentarians said.

The draft law, under which those troops would withdraw by the end of July, was rejected because lawmakers objected to it being in the form of legislation, rather than an agreement as was the deal Iraq signed with the United States, said Hussein al-Falluji, a member of the Sunni Accordance Front. …

Both the law governing the British presence and the security pact allowing the 140,000 U.S. soldiers in the country to remain three more years replace a U.N. mandate that expires on Dec. 31.

“What the parliament did today, rejecting the bill, was a great national achievement,” said Nassir al-Issawi, a lawmaker loyal to anti-American Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who wants an immediate end to what he sees as a foreign occupation.

“We believe that British forces and all other forces should pack their things,” said Issawi. …

The rejected law covered the future of troops from Britain, Australia, Romania, Estonia, El Salvador and NATO in Iraq, where violence is dropping sharply and foreign troops are increasingly handing over security to local forces. …


Iraq Preachers Demand Release of Bush Shoe Attacker

Support for journalist has bridged Iraq’s sectarian divide

A protester displays a shoe and a picture of U.S. President George W. Bush during a protest in Amman, Dec. 20, 2008. Protesters on Saturday showed their support for detained Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who hurled his shoes at President Bush during a recent news conference in Iraq. (Photo credit: Reuters / Muhammad Hamed)

Dec. 19, 2008

BAGHDAD – Muslim preachers from both sides of Iraq’s once-bloody Sunni-Shi’ite divide appealed to the government on Friday to release the journalist who threw his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush.

The family of TV reporter Muntazer al-Zaidi, meanwhile, protested at an entrance to the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad where they believe he is being held in a hospital after being badly injured during his arrest.

At Baghdad’s main Shi’ite mosque, al-Kadhum, preacher Mohammed al-Shami leading Friday prayers demanded that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki free Zaidi. …

At Baghdad’s main Sunni Arab mosque, preacher Abu-Hanifa asked Maliki for an explanation.

“From this place we call on the prime minister and ask him, ‘Tell us why you have detained a person who made such a heroic and fair act? A stand that all of us should have taken a long time ago’,” Uthman Raheem said in his sermon. “Why do you detain a man who stood up in the face of injustice?”

Fighting between minority Sunni Arabs who dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein and the majority Shi’ite Arabs now in ascendancy killed thousands of people during the bloodshed unleashed by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

The violence has finally begun to die down even though suicide and car bomb blasts, many attributed to Sunni Islamist al Qaeda, remain routine.

The cause of the journalist who also called Bush a “dog” at the news conference in Baghdad where he threw his shoes, narrowly missing the president, has bridged Iraq’s divides.

Many Iraqis, whether Sunni or Shi’ite, blame Bush personally for the tens of thousands who died in the years of warfare.

In the western city of Falluja, a Sunni preacher praised Zaidi on Friday and called him a courageous man who honored all Iraqis with his action. …


Security Developments in Iraq

Following are security developments in Iraq on Dec. 18 and 19, 2008, as reported by Reuters.

BAGHDAD – A bomb wounded six people, including three policemen, when it exploded near a police patrol in eastern Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – Iraqi police discovered seven decomposing, severed heads and two decomposing bodies in a half-built house in the Ur district of eastern Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – U.S. forces on Thursday and Friday detained 11 suspected militants with links to Sunni Islamist al Qaeda in central Iraq, the military said in a statement.

MOSUL – Iraqi soldiers killed three gunmen in clashes in eastern Mosul, police said.

MOSUL – An off-duty policeman was wounded during a shoot-out with a gunman, police said. The gunman was killed.

MOSUL – Gunmen killed an off-duty traffic cop in western Mosul, police said.

KIRKUK – Police reported the discovery of the slain body of Jelawish Hussein, a member of the Communist party in Kirkuk, who was stabbed in her home. Kirkuk is 155 miles north of Baghdad.

BAQUBA – Six civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near an army patrol in the city of Baquba, 40 miles northeast of Baghdad, police said.

One Response to “Iraq: Coalition Troops Forced Out”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Outside the Box in Afghanistan Says:

    […] Iraq: Coalition Troops Forced Out […]

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