Sunday, March 25, 2007

Perspective: On This Day In Iraq -- March 25th edition

March 25, 2003: After sandstorms across Iraq cause a lull in the U.S. offensive, children come out to play in Baghdad.

March 25, 2002:

An uneasy Iraq awaits US move

Tough American rhetoric about toppling Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein, and the resolve shown by US forces in Afghanistan, is causing deep unease in Baghdad.

Iraq's military forces are now on the highest state of alert, and intelligence services and a host of pro-regime militias are strengthening their grip on the streets.

"Saddam is extremely worried," says a young businessman who escaped a southern Shiite Muslim business center a week ago, and – like all defectors interviewed for this story – could not be identified because of possible retribution. "Our people are like a time bomb. They need someone to switch it on, and it will blow."

Read the rest at the Christian Science Monitor

March 25, 2003:

Chemical Suits, Gas Masks Are Some Signs Iraq Planning Chemical Strike

Thousands of chemical suits found at Iraqi positions, gas masks abandoned in trenches.

The items, strewn across the desert road to Baghdad, could be clues that Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard may be plotting to unleash a deadly chemical strike.

Or they could be the precautionary equipment of a well-supplied army battling the world's mightiest military.

While the United States believes Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, there is no way to know whether Saddam would unleash them. He didn't during the 1991 Gulf War -- when, it is known for certain, he possessed them.

"They know very well that the coalition forces don't have chemical weapons with them so the only reason the Iraqi troops would have that kind of equipment is because they plan to use the weapons themselves," said Terence Taylor, who led U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq in the 1990s. "There is really no other reason for fighting forces to wear special equipment."

Read the rest at Fox News

March 25, 2004:

U.S.: 350 Iraqi police have been killed in past year

BAGHDAD (AP) — Some 350 U.S.-trained Iraqi police have been killed in the past year, and rebel attacks will likely increase before the coalition hands over sovereignty on June 30, the U.S. military said Thursday. The latest American casualty was a soldier who died in a bomb explosion north of Baghdad.
Insurgents have struck police north and south of the capital this week. They killed two police who were twin brothers, killed a provincial police chief and ambushed a van carrying police recruits, killing nine.

"We remain concerned at what is clearly a program of intimidation and targeting of not only the Iraqi police service, but all Iraqi government officials," said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the U.S. military's deputy director of operations. "A significant number of Iraqi police have been killed in the past year, somewhere in the order of 350."

Read the rest at USA Today

March 25, 2005:

Iran stocking high-tech arms for Iraqi insurgents, U.S. fears

Iran is quietly building a stockpile of thousands of high-tech small arms and other military equipment — from armor-piercing snipers' rifles to night-vision goggles — through legal weapons deals and a U.N. anti-drug program, according to an internal U.N. document, arms dealers and Western diplomats.

The buying spree is raising Bush administration fears the arms could end up with militants in Iraq. Tehran also is seeking approval for a U.N.-funded satellite network that Iran says it needs to fight drug smugglers, stoking U.S. worries it could be used to spy on Americans in Iraq or Afghanistan — or any U.S. reconnaissance in Iran itself.

Read the rest at USA Today

March 25, 2006:

Gen. Pace says extra troops sent to Iraq should withdraw soon

ISTANBUL, Turkey – The 700 extra U.S. troops sent to Iraq to bolster forces during a religious holiday and ethnic violence should soon be returning to Kuwait, the top U.S. military officer said Friday.

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that troop levels in Iraq may continue to fluctuate based on conditions. There are about 133,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, a figure military officials have said they hope to reduce below 100,000 this year.

Read the rest at the San Diego Tribune