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[casi-analysis] Iraqi press clippings on denial of water

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I've just been through the reports from the Iraqi and middle eastern press
collated by the BBC news monitoring service over the past two months, and
I've dug out a little more on water. This contains much more than we're
getting reported in the US and UK. I think we can say pretty conclusively that:

a) water went off in Tall Afar and Samarra during the recent attacks on
them. [doesn't seem to be much on Fallujah yet, despite the Washington
Post claiming the water was turned off there a couple of weeks ago]

b) this is being discussed by Iraqi politicians, and is giving yet more
ammunion to their complaints about coalition behaviour (this is useful in
lobbying: most politicians want the coalition to be seen to be liked)

The aspect I'm still uncertain about (though it seems the best
explanation) is

c) there is an intentional US policy of denying water to civilians as part
of military action.

Onto the press clippings. I've quoted large chunks, since the reports are
interesting in themselves. Iraqi reports from Iraq tend to be more damning
than 99% of what we get via the mainstream (and even the alternative)
media here. For those short of time, I've highlighted key mentions of
water with /**\


08/10/2004 Iraqi TV reports on security situation in Samarra

US forces have besieged all the roads leading to the Al-Askari shrine
in the city of Samarra after closing it down and arresting all workers
there. Al-Sharqiyah's correspondent in Samara said that the US forces
launched a large-scale campaign to defuse the explosive charges
planted before the outbreak of clashes in the area of Al-Jubayriyah
and the road leading to Al-Dulu'iyah subdistrict. He noted that the US
in the city today deployed foot patrols in the areas of Al-Qadisiyah
and Al-Armushiyah and searched houses in the area of Al-Amil.  The
correspondent saw the intensive deployment of the Iraqi police forces
in the city, who were called from the districts surrounding Samarra
  and who set up control and inspection checkpoints. He said that
loudspeakers were installed on US military Hummer vehicles to call on
the Iraqi police forces in the city to report to their centres
immediately. The correspondent said intensive efforts are being made by
the technical
teams that were brought from nearby areas to
/**\ restore the power and water supply and repair the sewage networks in
Samarra /**\.

  [Video of US army forces
     patrolling areas in the city]

Source: Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad, in  Arabic 1300 gmt 8 Oct 04


04/10/2004 Iraqi Islamic Party condemns US operations in Samarra,
Al-Fallujah, Sadr City The Iraqi Islamic Party has issued a statement
condemning the crimes being committed by the US occupation forces in
all Iraqi cities, including

Samarra, Al-Fallujah and Al-Sadr City. The statement called on the
Iraqi government to handle the security file fully and
independently. Following is the text of the statement: A statement issued
by the Iraqi Islamic
     Party on the recent events in Samarra: In the name of God, the
Merciful, the Compassionate.

     soon will the unjust assailants know what vicissitudes their
     affairs will take!" [Koranic verse] The city of Samarra was
     exposed to a military operation carried out by

the US troops in collaboration with the Iraqi military forces on

[1 October]. This operation is but an episode in the series of the
escalating military incursions into cities. The occupation forces have

our cities the direct target of this escalation, which they have
adopted as

an alternative to the peaceful solutions agreed on by representatives

Samarra and relevant official Iraqi sides. The US and Iraqi security

advanced into the city; did not allow citizens to leave it; besieged
the city, /**\ cut off water, electricity, and medical supplies /**\; and
targeted people

with heavy weapons, thus turning the densely-populated city into a
battlefield where most of the victims were civilians. The recent

of the military solution in our cities - like Al-Sadr City in Baghdad,
Al-Fallujah and Al-Najaf - will further aggravate and complicate the
security situation.  At the same time, we call on the Iraqi government
to handle the security file fully and independently, resort to
dialogue and absorb the various loyal Iraqi sides and forces. We call
on the government seriously

to seek peaceful solutions with these sides and parties, understand

demands, and not to bypass national and humanitarian considerations
and the

rights of citizens in all our valiant cities.  The success of the
     political process and the achievement of the freedom

and stability of citizens are principle demands that we all strive to

throughout our country. At a time when we support efforts to preserve

people's lives and property, taking into account their humanitarian
situation, we call on the Iraqi government to prevent the invading

from committing new idiocies of this sort, to shoulder responsibility

such actions and to fully, fairly and swiftly compensate the victims
of these tragic acts, far from governmental bureaucracy. We urge our
Iraqi people and brothers to stand firmly and as one entity in the
face of the enemy's conspiracies and to cling to Iraq's unity and
security. It is God

who grants success and leads people to the right path.  Political
     Bureau of the Iraqi Islamic Party, on 19 Sha'ban 1425 AH,
     corresponding to 3 Oct 2004.  Source: Dar al-Salam radio, Baghdad,
     in Arabic 1600 gmt 4 Oct 04


04/10/2004 Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr discusses elections,
new "political plan"

...  [Al-Nasiri] A few days ago, you launched an initiative,
which you called the peace initiative in Iraq and you promised to
explain the details

of this initiative. What are the details of this initiative?
     [Al-Sadr] The peace initiative is for the Iraqi people first and
     foremost. For many years, the Iraqi people have experienced war,

and bloodshed without anyone speaking or saying a word. When an
American was killed, the whole world made an outcry and we heard
condemnation and statements. The blood of the Iraqi is shed in the
street and yet it is as

if he was not killed and as if nothing was done to him. Our cities are
being bombed. Al-Fallujah is being bombed; Al-Sadr City is being
bombed; Tall Afar is being bombed. Now, Samarra, the holy city, is
being bombed. It

is a holy city, just like Al-Najaf. But no-one has said anything and

has championed them. /**\ They say that this city is experiencing the
humanitarian situations, without water and electricity /**\, but no-one
speaks about this. If the wronged party were America, wouldn't the whole
world come to its rescue and wouldn't it denounce this? This is very

I want a peace initiative that makes the Iraqi people move from war to
peace, nothing more and nothing less and for it to get united after
that.  ...  Source: Al-Manar Television, Beirut, in Arabic 1800 gmt 4
Oct 04


02/10/2004 Iraqi Sunni body denounces US attacks on Samarra, blames

...  [Zayyani - interrupting] Will the AMS conduct contacts with the

Iraqi government to avoid the death of more innocent people,
especially since the operation in Samarra is still under way?
[Al-Kubaysi] Frankly, we hold the government responsible for failing

announce that the question was out of its hands. America wants to

its presence again in the land of Iraq as it did in the land of the
Red Indians by rooting them out. We are not blaming the government
only because

of its a role in this operation. We want the government to publicly
say that it has no sovereignty or authority. It must admit that it is
on the margin. This is why we hold it responsible. We do not hold it

only because of its role. This is because no-one can believe that an

who is born from Iraqi parents or even belongs to Iraq can tolerate
the current situation.  The bodies are in the streets. A short while
ago, the AMS representative, Shaykh Zayn Nahid, informed us that the
bodies were in the

streets and that children were being killed in parks. He said that
/**\there was no water and that children were starving/**\. For the
it is now

a question of the opposition voices. America does not want any voices

reject its occupation of Iraq. America wants all the Iraqis to say:

American, America is our friend, America is a liberator. Even the

who had a truce with the Americans in the beginning are now pelting
them with stones. Those who trusted the Americans are resisting them
now.  Whenever an explosion occurs, the Iraqis now blame the Americans
for it.  The Iraqis no longer trust the Americans. It is not a
question of military

manifestations. It is now a question of popular rejection for the
Americans, not for the military manifestations. All Iraqis are ready
to go

to the street to fight the Americans.  [Zayyani] Thank you.  Source:
     Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1615 gmt 2 Oct 04

02/10/2004 Samarra police head says US imposed curfew on city's
Iraqi police

[Kurayshan] We have with us from Samarra Colonel Ra'd
Zanzal, commander

of the Samarra Police. Colonel Zanzal, how is the situation in the
city now?  [Zanzal] Regarding the security situation in the city of
Samarra, on Thursday night [30 September], the city came under US
attack. They entered

the city from all sides after surrounding it, supported by US
planes. They

bombarded the city in a concentrated manner, which caused the
martyrdom of

dozens of people and the wounding of many others. Currently, the city
is under siege and the US forces are deployed. A curfew has been
imposed on the city. This even applies to the Iraqi police.
/**\There is no electricity and no water/**\.  Source: Al-Jazeera TV,
Doha, in Arabic
1810 gmt 2 Oct 04

01/10/2004 Iraqi medical source says over 60 killed in
Al-Samarra [Taha] Mus'ab, how would you describe the situation in
Al-Samarra?  [Al-Samarra'i] Following the fierce clashes that erupted
last night and

continued until 1300 [local time] today, the city is relatively calm

Right now, the US forces are deployed atop the high government
buildings that are under their control. The snipers use the buildings
to monitor any

movement made by gunmen or even civilians. Many civilian casualties,
including children, were shot by those snipers. There are many dead
and wounded people who cannot be reached by ambulances because of the

who open fire on anyone who moves near the positions of the US troops
in the northern and southern parts of the city.  [Taha, interrupting]
Is the fighting still raging in the city?  [Al-Samarra'i] Since this
afternoon, a relatively limited and sporadic

fighting has been taking place compared to the clashes which erupted
yesterday.  [Taha] Some reports spoke about a large number of
residents leaving the

city. How accurate are these reports?  [Al-Samarra'i] Yes, the
     residents of the city have started leaving the

city since the afternoon. Hundreds of families are trying to leave the

of Al-Samarra via the southern entrances. However, the US forces
prevent all these families from leaving the city. /**\At the moment, the
city is experiencing a crisis in which power and water are cut
off /**\. The whole city

is in a state of fear. A possible humanitarian crisis is feared to be
looming ahead as a result of the bombardment.  [Taha] Some reports
said that more than 100 people were killed, while

medical sources reported only 30 or 40 were killed. What is the actual
death toll?  [Al-Samarra'i] Regarding the death toll, a medical source
told us that

no more than 60 people were killed and 80 others wounded, including
children and the elderly.  [Taha] Mus'ab al-Samarra'i, Iraqi
journalist in Al-Samarra, thank you.

     Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1505 gmt 1 Oct 04


"Ninawa governor denies responsibility for cutting water" - headline
  inAl-Mada [Baghdad, daily, independent newspaper published by Al-Mada
  Media, Culture and Arts Corporation] 20 September. The full article
  isn't listed or translated.


[bear in mind that the following discusses lack of water in
refugee camps, apparently not in Tall Afar itself. Compare the
comments in the Washington Post, 18/09 by a US soldier: " "You had
pregnant women and children, and we have all this food and water
stockpiled. We could have easily gotten it to them." -

14/09/2004 Refugees slam "indiscriminate" US bombing in Iraq's Tall

     [Presenter] [Passage omitted] Over the past few days, the
[northern] city of Tall Afar has witnessed military clashes and
intensive bombing, which claimed the lives of scores of citizens and
led to the displacement

of many people from there areas. On the tragedy of Tall Afar, here is
a report by our correspondent Ahmad Fathallah.  [Fathallah] Children,
women and old people live in the open to escape

the hell of the US forces, who turned the district of Tall Afar into

The residents stressed that the US forces shelled their houses
indiscriminately and forced them to flee out of the district and
reside in

camps set up by humanitarian organizations and the residents of Mosul
     City.  [Unidentified Iraqi man] I am a citizen from Tall Afar. One
     hour before

the strike, they asked us to leave the city early because there would
be strikes on specific targets. The bombing was indiscriminate. They
said there could be artillery shelling from the airport. So the
families left,

and some of them are still on the roads.  [Unidentified Iraqi woman]
     Where is the Iraqi government? Let them come

and see people. There is no water, no electricity, no [appropriate]

conditions. They took us out of our homes and put us in tents, and so
we became a spectacle for others. Let them see the tents. They took us
out of

our homes, and so we became a spectacle for others. Is this the US
democracy? [Is this] the democracy of Bush? Where is the Iraqi

Let them look at the health situation of people. Let them see the

/**\There is no electricity, no water, no [appropriate] health
There is nothing. [Passage omitted] [Fathallah] These camps lack the
minimum needs; namely, food, medical

supplies and drinking water. A human disaster is likely to happen if
the situation remains as it is now.  [Unidentified Red Crescent
employee] The camps lack water. There is a

water shortage here. The number of families in each camp is around
150.  Some of the houses are big in these areas, each of which
received 14 to 15

families. Many charity and other national societies made donations to

Iraqi Red Crescent, which we distributed among the families.
     [Fathallah] Is there a spread of some diseases?  [Red Crescent
     employee] There are diseases such as diarrhoea, which is

caused by unhealthy water. It is likely that all diseases will spread
if the camps continue to exist as such.  [Fathallah] A year and a half
after the US occupation of Iraq, the US

Administration has proved that its promises of prosperity for Iraqis
are not credible. The pictures of the refugee camps, the refugees, and
the displaced are the best proof of that. This is Ahmad Fathallah
reporting for

Al-Diyar Channel from the refugee camps on the outskirts of Tall Afar
District.  [Video showing the camp, citizens speaking to a reporter.]
Source: Al-Diyar TV, Baghdad, in Arabic 1530 gmt 14 Sep 04


15/09/2004 Campaign starts in Iraq's Tall Afar to recover bodies,
remove rubble

Civil Defence, health, and public services teams have
begun a large-scale campaign in the city of Tall Afar in northwestern
Iraq to recover dead bodies and remove the rubble left by the
confrontations that

the city has seen for the past five days. The displaced families began

return to the city gradually after the US troops had lifted their
siege of

the city yesterday, Tuesday, afternoon.  The residents of the city
     whose houses were not demolished run the risk

of being hurt by the bombs, missiles and bullets that did not explode,

to mention the piles of garbage and rubble and the absence of
electrical power, communications services and fuel, as well as the
dangers of contamination by the decomposed bodies trapped under the
rubble, /**\unsterilized water/**\, and the scarcity of food supplies. The
Iraqi Red Crescent Society had set up a makeshift camp outside the
city consisting of

300 camps which lacked the necessary services.  The attacks on Tall
     Afar, whose population is mostly Turkomans, provoked the Turkish
     government's anger. As a result, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah
     Gul threatened that his government will stop its cooperation with
     the United States if the latter does not halt its operations
     there. Gul added that his government will match its words with

deeds if the attacks continue.  Source: Al-Sharqiyah, Baghdad, in
     Arabic 1200 gmt 15 Sep 04


...  [Al-Zaydi] On the other hand, humanitarian aid groups urged all
     international organizations and bodies to intervene rapidly to
     render necessary services to the people of Tall Afar who were
     forced by the US aircraft to leave their houses and move to
     adjacent villages.  [Tariq Tariq, aid worker] We call for
     providing the people of Tall Afar

with assistance by whoever, be they our people and officials in Mosul
or others, or anyone who can help.
/**\The main problem facing the people of Tall Afar and adjacent areas is
shortage of water. /**\

There are efforts by the
humanitarian organizations and the Muslim Ulema Council in Mosul to

foodstuffs to them. But these humble and simple efforts cannot meet
the requirements of thousands of displaced people.  ...  Source:
Al-Manar Television, Beirut, in Arabic 0440 gmt 14 Sep 04


12/09/2004 Iraqi Turkoman Front says some 250,000 "displaced" from
north Iraq's Tall Afar Faruq Abdallah Abd-al-Rahman, leader of the
Iraqi Turkoman Front [ITC],

told the TRT team in Baghdad of his views on the developments in Tall

and on the planned census.  [Abd-al-Rahman] At the moment, Tall Afar
     is completely surrounded.  Entries and exits are banned. /**\ The
     shortage is very serious. There is no electricity /**\. At least
250,000 of the 300,000 people are now
displaced in

the desert and villages between Tall Afar and Mosul. For a census to
be held, the general situation should be stable. I do not think that a

and later, elections, can be properly held in an unstable situation.
Therefore, the ITC and the Turkomans believe that the census and the
elections should be held under international observation. These things
should not be done in haste because later they lead to problems.
Source: TRT 2 television, Ankara, in Turkish 1600 gmt 12 Sep 04


And I'd like to sneak in a quick snippet on the water situation

04/10/2004 Baghdad official reports hepatitis epidemic, warns of
cholera spread The director of the department of epidemic diseases in
Al-Rassafah branch at Baghdad health department, Dr Muhammad Khawif,
has warned of the

spread of epidemic diseases, especially hepatitis, because of the

water in some areas [in Baghdad] such as Al-Thawarah [Al-Sadr City],
Al-Kamaliyah and Al-Ubaydi.  The source added that the infection rate
among citizens stood at 40 per

cent, due to broken water pipelines and the use of water pumps pumping
sewage water. He added that the most common symptoms of the disease
were fever, anaemia, paleness that could lead to death, the rate of
which stood

at 20 per cent, particularly among pregnant women.  In his exclusive
     statement to Al-Ta'akhi, Dr Muhammad Khawif warned of

the spread of cholera in those areas.  Source: Al-Ta'akhi, Baghdad in
     Arabic 4 Oct 04

Daniel O'Huiginn
07745 192426
24, Priory Road, Cambridge

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