April 1-15 Stories

Saddam: Sponsor of Terror
Over 300 Chemical suits, gas masks and nerve gas antidotes were found by Coalition forces after successfully taking out members of Saddam’s forces Sunday. Finds like these are being discovered throughout Iraq, even at sites where only a few Iraqi forces are firing upon troops. Embedded reporter Rick Leventhal with FoxNews gave an account where a small site that had been quickly abandoned by Iraqi forces showed up with chemical and gas protection gear, along with uniforms and civilian looking clothes.
     Reportedly, a massive terrorist facility used by Ansar al-Islam and al Qaeda to make poisons was destroyed in northeast Iraq over the weekend by Coalition forces.
     Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany and France are among the nations that have broken up and arrested terrorist suspects who had been plotting attacks on innocents using poisons. Recipes for deadly agents were found during some of the arrests, and In London recently the deadly poison ricin was found after intelligence information led officials to a popular Islamic Mosque. (Full Story)

Lynch to Rescuers: ‘I’m an American Soldier, Too’
The special operations mission to rescue Army Pfc. Jessica D. Lynch from Iraqi captivity was a triumph of joint planning and execution, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Victor Renuart.
     Renuart, operations chief at U.S. Central Command, gave more information about the Lynch rescue during a press conference in Qatar.
     Lynch was taken prisoner by Iraqi forces when the convoy she was riding in was ambushed by Iraqi irregulars near Nasiriyah March 23. (Full Story)

Interpreters Break the Silence
An Nasiriyah, IRAQ–Without the use of interpreters in this Arabic speaking country, American Forces would find it extremely hard to gather information from the local residents. The Free Iraqi Forces (FIF) is a close-knit group of individuals, many of who left Iraq after the Gulf War to live in the United States.
     In support of Task Force Tarawa these Iraqis are serving as interpreters and liaisons between the Marines and local Iraqi residents. Their role is a crucial one and aids in the accomplishment of the Task Force’s mission. (Full Story)

Coalition Destroying Regime Forces
One Iraqi Republican Guard division is destroyed and others are severely degraded, said Army Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks during a briefing in Qatar today.
     There is heavy fighting around Al Kut and Karbala, he said.
     "We will approach Baghdad," Brooks said. "The dagger is clearly pointed at the heart of the regime and will remain pointed at it until the regime is gone."
     Brooks, the deputy operations chief for U.S. Central Command, reported that the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and the Army’s 5th Corps started an attack to destroy Republican Guard forces defending the outskirts of Baghdad.
     The Marines attacked the Baghdad division near the town of Al Kut and have crossed the Tigris River. "The Baghdad division has been destroyed," Brooks said.
     Fifth Corps attacked around Karbala and hit formations of the Medina division and the Nebukadnezar division. Fifth Corps units also attacked Iraqi forces near Najaf. (Full Story)

Coalition Command ‘Investigating Reports’ of Attack on Russian Diplomats
WASHINGTON,D.C., April 6 /Arkady Orlov, RIA Novosti Correspondent/ – The command of the US-led coalition forces in Iraq is "investigating" reports of an attack on Russian diplomats in Iraq, CNN said, citing Pentagon and Administration sources.
     The network’s sources said CENTCOM leaders knew about the Russian convoy’s journey from Baghdad and of its current whereabouts. An enquiry has now been launched to find out which side attacked the convoy.

Medics – Italian Nibbio Task Force on Dangerous Mission
The Italian Nibbio Task Force has deployed into the Afghan mountains surrounding Forward Operating Base Salerno in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to execute the dangerous mission of search and seizure for the War on Terror.
     Supporting the Italian Nibbio Task Force is a formidable medical team of eight doctors, six nurses and 12 medics.
     Nibbio is equipped to support itself medically and augment the Task Force-44 Combat Support Hospital if the coalition was to sustain mass casualties. (Full Story)

Daylight Baghdad: Saddam’s Regime Crumbles
A convoy of U.S. 3rd Infantry Division troops made their first run into Baghdad two days ago, and today in broad daylight they took control of at least two of Saddam Hussein’s ornate palaces. One palace, known as the "new" palace, was shown subdued on live television with U.S. tanks parked in formidable positions in front with U.S. soldiers in control of the palace.
     Nearly 100 U.S. tanks and 60 Bradley fighting vehicles had rolled into Baghdad early Monday with A-10 Warthog planes providing close air support cover. U.S. forces on the ground are still battling fierce resistance from what may be the Fedaydeen Saddam irregular fighters inside Baghdad and on the outskirts of the city. However, coalition check points now surround the city of Baghdad. (Full Story)

Saddam Statues Fall ‘Like Seeing Berlin Wall Come Down’
Seeing televised images of larger-than- life statues of Saddam Hussein tumbling all over Iraq is like "seeing the Berlin Wall come down all over again," America’s No. 2 defense official told the foreign media.
      "Lovers of freedom everywhere can understand the joy of the Iraqi people and their hopes for the future," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz said at the Foreign Press Center here. "But the best spokesman for the Iraqis are the Iraqis themselves." (Full Story)

Kuwait Delivering Aid to Iraqis, Hoping to Find POWs
Kuwait is providing "significant humanitarian assistance" to Iraq while still hoping to recover its prisoners of war from Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion.
      U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the government of Kuwait has worked with the United Kingdom to build a pipeline into Iraq that is now delivering 2 million liters of fresh water a day.
      Kuwaiti relief organizations are providing food and medicine to several Iraqi cities, and that country has set up a humanitarian operations center "to serve as a focal point for funneling aid into Iraq," the secretary told reporters outside the Pentagon. (Full Story)


April 16-30 Stories

Moscow’s Stance on Iraq Finds Understanding in Washington, it is Believed in the Upper Chamber of Russian Parlaiment
NEW YORK. April 17–(RIA Novosti)–Russia’s stance on Iraq finds understanding in the U.S. quarters where foreign policy is shaped, Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee at Russia’s Federation Council, told a RIA Novosti correspondent.
     Commenting on the results of his U.S. visit, during which he attended the conference on Russian-American relations sponsored by the Harriman Institute and the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University and conducted a number of bilateral meetings, Margelov described this understanding as "absolute." The Americans understand that for a number of reasons – first, because geographically we are neighbors; second, because of September 11, and because there was a meeting /between the Russian and U.S. presidents/ in Ljubljana – there is an absolutely new reality, which makes the present-day reality different from the 1991 situation," he said. (Full Story)

Chief of Saddam’s Palestinian Terror Arm Caught
(Debkafile)–Mahmoud al Abbas, who embodies a hidden chapter in Yasser Arafat’s career as terror mastermind, was captured in Iraq by American troops in a hideout near Baghdad.
     He was turned back from the Syrian border after the Damascus authorities had let most of the Iraqi leadership through.
     Abu al Abbas became internationally notorious after he hijacked the Italian Achille Lauro cruise-ship in 1985 on Arafat’s orders, shooting a disabled American Jewish passenger, Leon Klinghoffer, and throwing him overboard. A life sentence is outstanding against him in Italy. The Palestinian Liberation Front, the PLF, which he heads, is officially designated by Washington a terrorist organization. In Israel, he is best known for a thirty-year old terrorist atrocity in Nahariya, when he personally murdered members of a family, of which only the mother, Yael Haran, survived. (Full Story)

Two More USS Battle Groups Heading Home
The USS Abraham Lincoln started it’s journey home to Everett, Washington last week after the San Diego-based 1,100-foot, nuclear-powered Nimitz carrier relieved the Lincoln of duty in Iraqi Freedom.
      It will be the first homecoming for a large unit involved in the war in Operation Iraq Freedom. The Lincoln and its seven-ship battle group have been at sea nearly nine months, longer than any U.S. carrier group now on duty. (Full Story)

Russian Scientific Expedition Vessel "Akademik Fyodorov" Leaves Antarctic Waters
St Petersburg, April 21, 2003. /From RIA Novosti correspondent Tatiana Yakovleva/ — The Russian scientific expedition vessel Akademik Fyodorov has left Antarctic.
      The Akademik Fyodorov has already crossed the 60th degree of south latitude, which according to the "Agreement on Antarctic" is the border of the Antarctic waters, Deputy Head of the Russian Antarctic Expedition Vladimir Kuchin told RIA Novosti.
      The Akademik Fyodorov heads now towards Cape Town and is planned to be there on Aril 25th. The Akademik Fyodorov will replenish there its reserves of fuel and food and will also set ashore several polar explorers, who will then leave for St Petersburg. The other participants in the 47th Russian Antarctic expedition will remain on board the vessel, which will arrive in St Petersburg in May 2003. On their way, they will conduct ocean and ornithology researches.
      The Akademik Fyodorov will be docked in St Petersburg for inspection and technical maintenance. In the summer of 2003 the vessel will sail to Antarctic to conduct a series of scientific researches if the maintenance terms permit, Kuchin said.
      At the end of summer the vessel will undergo new preparations for another voyage to Antarctic. In accordance with the project "Investigation and Exploration of Antarctic" within the framework of the Russian Federal program "World Ocean", the Akademik Fyodorov will head to the Antarctic shores in the end of October or the beginning of November 2003.

The Patriot Game
It was a memorable, symbolic night at the MCI Center here April 14 as Michael Jordan played the last home game of his legendary and illustrious basketball career. But it would be more than about a game between two NBA teams.
     Michael Jordan and the Wizards played the New York Knicks on Monday night, April 14, 2003. This was Michael’s last home game at the MCI center before his retirement as an NBA player. Left: Michael Jordan is on the basketball court during pregame warmups. (Full Story)

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Indonesia Cites International Common Goals and Fight Against Terror
MOSCOW, April 21.RIA Novosti by Natalia Gorbunova. — Russia and Indonesia advocate "the improvement of the UN system and increasing the efficiency of the organisation’s mechanisms," Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists after talks in the Kremlin with his Indonesian counterpart Megawati Sukarnoputri.
At the meeting the parties noted their common approach to the UN role in settling international crises, the Russian leader pointed out.
     Russia and Indonesia "favour the formation of a fair international democratic system of relations based on universally accepted principles of international law, on political and diplomatic methods of crisis management", Putin emphasised. "Today’s talks confirmed that we have close approaches to the key problems of the agenda," he said.
     Apart from this, the interlocutors "paid special attention to joint work aimed at fighting the international terrorism," the President added.

"If You’re An American, Stand Up!"
U.S. Marines mounted the successful rescue of seven American prisoners of war in central Iraq Sunday after receiving a tip from Iraqis as to where they were being held captive. After locating the building in Tikrit, the Marines kicked the door in and shouted,"If you’re an American, stand up!"
      In that instant "We stood up and they hustled us out of there," said Pfc. Patrick Miller, father of two, from Park City, Kansas.
      The rescue ended a horrible three week ordeal for the soldiers. They were transported under heavy cover to a C130 plane then flown to Kuwait for medical treatment and debriefing.
      Two of the seven POWs were Apache pilots: Chief Warrant Officers David S. Williams and Ronald D. Young, are members of the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation at Fort Hood, Texas. Their families today said that they had been in constant prayer for their safe return.The pilots had been captured near Karbala on March 23.
(Full Story)

Acts of Terror Disrupted
MOSCOW–The Ingushetian police arrested a group of terrorists preparing a big terrorist attack in Russia’s North Caucasus region.
     Officials said Tuesday, they were found to be in possession of dangerous explosive materials; 50 kilograms of hexogen and aluminum powder.
     Reportedly, police officers had noticed something suspicious about a car traveling through an intersection and stopped the vehicle for further inspection. During the routine check of documents, one of the terrorists in the car produced a grenade and attacked the officers with it and another terrorist, also posing as a passenger, opened gun fire. Three of the police officers were wounded in the exchange. One terrorist escaped and is currently being pursued, however, four of the terrorists were arrested, and the materials were confiscated and are being further investigated. (Full Story)

Israel Leads the Way in Detecting SARS and Deadly Biological Agents
As concern over Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) grows worldwide, Israeli technology is leading the way in the race to develop a method of quickly detecting the presence of viruses that cause such illnesses. Integrated Nano-Technologies, a leading U.S. company, is now using Israeli technology developed at the Haifa Technion as the backbone of a new DNA based testing system called BioDetect that will rapidly and accurately test for the presence of biological pathogens, such as the virus that causes SARS as well as anthrax, and smallpox. (Full Story)

Many Fighters in Iraq Aren’t Iraqis
Many snipers, suicide bombers and other diehards attacking U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq are non-Iraqis waging holy war, said U.S. military officials.
      "A large portion … they’re actually foreigners," Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on CNN’s "Larry King Live."
      "They’re some of the so-called jihadists that have infiltrated into Iraq" to fight for Saddam Hussein’s now- defunct regime, Myers remarked to the television talk show host.
      The four-star general told King that although major combat is over in Iraq, there’s still military work to be done, as U.S. and coalition troops conduct presence patrols and assist humanitarian relief efforts. (Full Story)

Cameraman Killed by Sniper in Israel;
Secret Tunnel to Egypt Destroyed

19 year old cameraman with the Israel Defense Forces, Cpl. Lior Ziv, was killed early Sunday and three other soldiers were wounded during an operation to destroy a Hamas smuggling tunnel in Rafah. Ziv, a still photographer from the IDF Spokesman’s Office, was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper as he was filming the tunnels the army had discovered and destroyed.
      A video photographer with the IDF was working alongside Ziv when he was killed, Durel Gillerman was wounded during the Palestinian sniper attack. Two medics who rushed to save them were also fired at and wounded, one was seriously hurt. The wounded were quickly evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva. (Full Story)

U.S. Marines: Task to Rebuild Iraq
AL KUT, Iraq – In the aftermath of the war, Iraqi people are left without any kind of a police force or community assistance programs. Forced to rely solely on themselves for simple things like water, food, fuel and civil peace, the future of most communities, like Al Kut, is unsure. Elements of Task Force Tarawa, based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., are taking the first steps in restoring safety to the community and helping the locals step out of the shadow of Saddam Hussein’s former regime. (Full Story)

"4" of Clubs Out of Play – Another Regime Leader Captured; Coalition Forces Transition
Iraqi Kurds handed over the Ba’ath Party regional command chairman for East Baghdad to coalition special operations forces, U.S. Central Command officials said.
      Samir abd al-Aziz al-Najim was the "4" of clubs in the deck of cards issued to coalition troops to identify the 55 "most wanted" members of Saddam Hussein’s regime. (Full Story)

Nations Say ‘No Nukes’ to North Koreans
According to officials the North Korean government shouldn’t feel threatened because the United States, China and other nations want the Korean peninsula to be nuclear- weapon-free.
      North Korea, which is suspected of having one or two nuclear weapons, has "nothing to fear from de- nuclearization," Secretary of State Colin L. Powell remarked at the U.S. Asia-Pacific Council Symposium. (Full Story)

Coalition Arrests Self Appointed Mayor Al-Zubaidi in Baghdad
BAGHDAD, IRAQ – As Coalition forces were working to help the people of Iraq, in Baghdad Al-Zubaidi had been constantly causing obstruction and chaos behind the scenes. He used his power as a leader in Baghdad to pressure the Iraqi people to work against the Coalition’s efforts to get the city running independently for the many families and businesses. Coalition forces took action to solve the problem and arrested Mohammed Mushin Al Zubaidi Sunday at approximately 4 pm (Kuwaiti Time) while he was in the vicinity of the Coalition Civil Military Coordination Center in Baghdad. Centcom officials report that Al Zubaidi obstructed Coalition efforts to get Iraqis back to work and exercised authority he did not have. (Full Story)

U.S. Special Ops — War on Terror
WASHINGTON — Fighting global terrorism and transforming were atop the message list from a top combatant command official to a Senate subcommittee recently.
      Since the terrorist attacks against the U.S. on September 11th, "we have seen great change in our nation, as America takes action against terrorism," said Army Lt. Gen. Bryan D. Brown, deputy head of U.S. Special Operations Command in early April before the Senate Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. "As you know, USSOCOM has been a key player in that response."
      Brown said the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks "clearly demonstrated" that determined terrorists will go to any lengths to inflict catastrophic losses on Americans, whether civilian or military personnel. (Full Story)

Madrid Declaration: Road to Democratic Iraq
Iraqis "will build their own future, choose their own leaders and enjoy their own bounty," said Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar during Spain’s sponsored conference held for prominent Iraqis from at least 9 varying political groups. Together in Madrid, the Iraqis continue to work through the tough political process in order to establish a democratic post-Saddam government.
      Spain’s Foreign Minister Ana Palacio took part in the opening dialogue, and official Jorge Moragas told reporters, "Our role is really to facilitate dialogue..we realize that dialogue among Iraqi groups is complicated."
      The meetings in Spain with over 100 Iraqi delegates usher in the Madrid Declaration which paves the way for more high level talks in Baghdad this week. The declaration carries with it an advancing banner of basic human rights and equality for all in Iraq. In Baghdad, the Iraqi leaders will work out more details of their government with interim government facilitator General Garner. (Full Story)

Asylum Granted to Iraqi Who Aided Jessica Lynch Rescue
The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services has granted asylum to Mohammed Odeh Al Rehaief, the Iraqi citizen who provided information to the U.S. Marines that led to the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch from a hospital in Nassiriyah, Iraq. Al Rehaief’s wife and five-year-old daughter were also granted asylum in a meeting last Friday at the Arlington, Virginia asylum office. (Full Story)