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News, 15-21/7/01 (2) ANTI-SANCTIONS CAMPAIGN * An Irishwoman's Diary [on meeting in Kimgslay Hall addressed by D.Halliday] * Former U.N. Inspector Decries U.S. [Scott Ritterıs film on how the Weapons Inspectors were used to provoke responses which could then be used as an excuse for US (and, for what its worth, British) military action. One interesting detail, among many: He noted that the head of Iraq's weapons programs - Saddam's son-in-law Hussein Kamal al-Majid - told Ekeus after he defected to Jordan in August 1995 that all of Iraq's banned weapons had been destroyed.ı This wasnıt one of the statements of Kamal al-Majid that got a lot of media attention] MILITARY MATTERS * U.S. to Keep Patrolling Iraq for Now * Western aircraft attack Iraq * U.S. F-16 Fighter Jet on Iraq Mission Crashes [in Turkey] * U.S. forces in Gulf on various alerts * Pentagon: Iraq Fires at US Aircraft [claim that they fired into Kuwaiti airspace] INSIDE IRAQ * Iraq denounces delay of Gulf War health study [into the effects of depleted uranium] * Iraq at Risk From Rift Valley Fever * 3,000-year-old temple found in Iraq NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * Hussein appeals to Kurds in northern Iraq * Sanctions and Iraq [another rosy view of life in Iraqi Kurdistan, this time from the Jerusalem Post, to be compared with *A No-Fly, Yes-Democracy Zone from the Washington Post last week. Contains this monstrous sentence: There are simply no starving children in Iraq as a result of sanctions; the only children dying for lack of food or medicine are those whom Saddam wants to die.ı But its also intriguing for all the strange anomalies that arise because the sanctions regime is still being applied to this area which is also being treated as part of Iraq] * PKK destabilising northern Iraq, Turkish official warns * UN Employee Questioned in N. Iraq [for carrying a bomb into the region] ANTI-SANCTIONS CAMPAIGN http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/opinion/2001/0716/opt4.htm * AN IRISHWOMAN'S DIARY by Mary Russell Irish Times, 16th July When a group of people met in London recently to discuss their concern about the effects of UN sanctions on the people of Iraq, it was no coincidence that they did so in a building where, sixty years previously, the political activist Mohandas Gandhi had stayed. Kingsley Hall is within earshot of Bow Bells and is situated in Tower Hamlets, currently the third poorest ward in the country, where 40 per cent of the population is Bangladeshi and where you can hear 50 different languages spoken. The hall was built by a couple of philanthropic sisters, Muriel and Doris Lester, who, as young women, abandoned their comfortable, middle-class lifestyle to set up a place where the people of Bow could come to pray, to get something to eat and receive medical care, and their children could learn to read. Bow - 15 stops eastwards on the Underground and a world away from London's West End - has a history of people such as the Lesters. George Lansbury MP, Labour Party leader in the 1930s, represented Bow for 20 years and Sylvia Pankhurst worked there also. In 1926, Muriel Lester, in India to meet Tagore, visited Gandhi's ashram. Four years later, receiving an invitation to London to discuss Home Rule for India, Gandhi agreed to accept on condition he did not have to go to a hotel but could stay at Kingsley Hall. His room, little more than a cell, can still be seen, bare of furniture but for a bedroll on the floor. He lived there for three months - with a goat in residence also to provide him with milk. From the window, looking southwards towards the river, the only thing different now is the silhouette of the ill-famed Millennium Dome outlined against the sky. In the workaday meeting place downstairs - parquet floor, windows too high to see out of, a wash of yellow on the walls - the keynote speech was given by Denis Halliday, UN Humanitarian Aid Co-ordinator to Iraq until his resignation in protest at the indiscriminate nature of the sanctions. Three years on, his tone was one of righteous anger. He had just returned from another visit to Iraq, and he chose not to indulge in the euphemisms of war. "We are not simply talking about children suffering," he said. "but of children being killed." Many in the audience had visited Iraq and some had engaged in their own sanctions-busting programmes, including the Italian organisation Bridge to Baghdad which had shipped into Italy, by means as ingenious as they were illegal, a consignment of the famed Iraqi dates. This exercise brought into focus one of the many side-effects of the sanctions, said Denis Halliday for, without an import/export trade, there is no foreign currency coming into the country and without imports, the government is deprived of an income from import duties. Taking the stage alongside Halliday was Kathy Kelly, Chicago-based founder of Voices in the Wilderness, an organisation which campaigns to end the UN sanctions. A former high school teacher - she had no need to use the microphone - she emulated Gandhi by dossing down on the parquet floor for the night. As someone who has spent a year in prison for her principles, she probably found it superior to a prison cell. Strangely, the conference - dedicated to conflict resolution - provoked its very own area of conflict. When people divided into groups to discuss different aspects of concern, two men were excluded from the women's group. One of them was Halliday. It was a moment of supreme irony as the keynote speaker was told he was not welcome. Halliday, however, is an experienced negotiator, a veteran Aldermaston marcher and a Quaker; though clearly discountenanced by the rejection, he accepted it with grace. In the 1960s, Kingsley Hall was used by the psychiatrist R.D. Laing in his experiment in living for people suffering from schizophrenia. Laing's philosophy of total tolerance resulted in so much damage being done to the building that it was rendered almost inhabitable, something that shocked the working-class, God-fearing people of Tower Hamlets. It wasn't until Richard Attenborough used Kingsley Hall as a set for his film Gandhi and subsequently raised the money to pay for its rebuilding that it was once again restored to its former self. A bust of Gandhi was donated to the hall and throughout the conference it stood on the stage as a reminder of the principle that the impossible is possible, a theme used by Denis Halliday: "We need dialogue and an end to alienation and maybe even we need to listen. We should develop a strategy of friendship towards the Arab world," he said, calling on Arab countries to use their influence and their potential for power to deal with the 11-year impasse and calling also on Iraqis themselves to initiate change. "What is needed," he said, "is the courage to take on the impossible." At the end of the conference, Kathy Kelly sang a song for the children of Iraq and someone read a poem declaring that "compassion is a spiritual tool". It was a thought that could have come from Gandhi himself. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010719/wl/un_iraq_documentary_3.html * FORMER U.N. INSPECTOR DECRIES U.S. by EDITH M. LEDERER Yahoo, 19th July UNITED NATIONS (Associated Press) - In a new documentary film, a former U.N. weapons inspector accuses the United States of manipulating the United Nations to provoke a confrontation with Saddam Hussein as a pretext for U.S. airstrikes on Iraq. Scott Ritter, a former U.S. Marine intelligence officer, says in the 90-minute documentary that he did not provoke the confrontation the Americans wanted in March 1998, but fellow inspector Roger Hill - an Australian - did have a confrontation in December of that year. Days later, chief U.N. inspector Richard Butler declared that Iraq was not cooperating with weapons inspectors and the United States and Britain launched airstrikes against Iraq in punishment. U.N. inspectors pulled out of the country ahead of the bombing raids, and Iraq has barred them from returning for more than 21/2 years. Butler, who was Ritter's boss, called the allegations ``completely false'' and accused Ritter of making ``a propaganda film.'' The U.S. Mission to the United Nations said in a statement Thursday that allegations of collusion were ``baseless and false.'' The documentary traces the history of the U.N. Special Commission, known as UNSCOM, which was created by the U.N. Security Council after the 1991 Persian Gulf War to oversee the destruction of Iraq's biological and chemical weapons and the missiles used to deliver them. The council replaced it in December 1999 with a new agency, the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission. By 1995, Ritter said both he and former chief weapons inspector Rolf Ekeus believed Iraq was ``fundamentally disarmed.'' He noted that the head of Iraq's weapons programs - Saddam's son-in-law Hussein Kamal al-Majid - told Ekeus after he defected to Jordan in August 1995 that all of Iraq's banned weapons had been destroyed. Butler said Ritter had always claimed to him that Iraq's banned weapons had not been destroyed. ``Either he was misleading me when on the job or he is now misleading the public in his role as a film producer,'' Butler told the AP. But Ritter said the Security Council is now focused on better targeting sanctions imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait - not on returning U.N. inspectors so they can resume monitoring and prevent any rebuilding of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. ``This film will hopefully compel people to start ... taking a harder look at Iraq's disarmament'' and then confronting the issue of lifting sanctions, he said. Ritter resigned from UNSCOM in August 1998, denouncing the Clinton administration for having withdrawn support for the U.N. agency and undermining weapons inspection. He has since said Washington used UNSCOM to spy on Iraq - a longtime charge by Baghdad. In the documentary, he repeated the spying charge and made new allegations. On either Feb. 28 or March 1, 1998, Ritter said he and Butler attended a meeting with then U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, hours before he left for Baghdad to lead an inspection mission. Ritter said Butler drew a line on a blackboard with the UNSCOM timeline for the inspection on one side and the U.S. timeline for military action on the other side, and then told him: ``You have to provoke a confrontation ... so the U.S. can start bombing'' before March 15, a Muslim holy period. In Baghdad, Ritter said the Iraqis at first refused to allow his team to carry out orders to search the Ministry of Defense. At that moment, then U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was attending a meeting in Paris, prepared to tell the French why the United States was undertaking military action, he told reporters later. But the military strikes were called off when the Iraqis later allowed the inspectors in, he said. MILITARY MATTERS http://www.iht.com/articles/26367.html * U.S. to Keep Patrolling Iraq for Now by Thom Shanker New York Times Service International Herald Tribune (from New York Times), 17th July WASHINGTON: The Pentagon has assured Iraqi opposition leaders that it will not let Saddam Hussein use Iraqi airspace to attack the Kurds or to threaten Baghdad's neighbors, according to a Defense Department official. But a review of the Iraq policy is still under way, officials said, and the administration may decide that the two no-flight zones over southern and northern Iraq could be enforced with fewer jet-fighter patrols. President George W. Bush ordered the review of U.S. strategy to isolate and disarm Iraq, a strategy that includes economic sanctions and support of opposition groups. The review of the no-flight zone policy was driven by escalating dangers to American and British pilots. Iraqi air defense stations are increasingly effective in targeting the patrols, and Pentagon officials wanted to measure the threat against the benefits of continuing the low grade war. Senior Pentagon officials, including Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, met Friday with four members of the Iraqi National Congress, an opposition group based in London, to discuss the no-flight policy. "We regard the no-fly policy as extremely important," said Sharif Ali ibn Hussein, a member of the leadership council of the Iraqi National Congress. Mr. Ali and a Pentagon official said that the Iraqis were reassured that the policy would be maintained. But the methods may be revised. "The principle of maintaining the no-flight zones is not in question," said an administration official. "The question is how you do that." Military commanders have listed four options. One is to leave the operation unchanged, and another is to eliminate enforcement of the no-flight zones entirely - which is not under consideration. Another proposal is for American and British pilots to step up their attacks on Iraqi radar and anti-aircraft positions. The fourth proposal would sharply reduce patrols, instead relying on satellite and high-altitude reconnaissance to monitor Iraqi use of the no-flight zones. http://www.dawn.com/2001/07/18/int9.htm * WESTERN AIRCRAFT ATTACK IRAQ Dawn, July 18th WASHINGTON, July 17: Aircraft belonging to a US-British coalition monitoring the "no-fly zone" in southern Iraq struck an anti-aircraft artillery site on Tuesday, US Central Command said in a statement. "In response to recent Iraqi hostile acts against coalition aircraft monitoring the southern no fly zone, Operation Southern Watch coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to strike an anti-aircraft artillery site in southern Iraq at approximately 2.45am EDT (0645 GMT)," the statement said.-Reuters http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la 000058935jul19.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dworld * U.S. F-16 FIGHTER JET ON IRAQ MISSION CRASHES Los Angeles Times, 19th July A U.S. F-16 fighter jet heading for a patrol over northern Iraq crashed in Turkey apparently due to engine problems. It was the first U.S. warplane to go down in more than 200,000 flights over the "no-fly" zones. The pilot, Lt. Michael A. Nelson Jr., parachuted from the plane safely and was in good health at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, said Maj. Scott Vadnais, spokesman for the allied patrols over northern Iraq. The F-16 went down near the town of Diyarbakir, 60 miles from the Iraqi border, and U.S. officials said there was no hostile fire directed at it. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=22623 * U.S. FORCES IN GULF ON VARIOUS ALERTS Washington, Reuters, 20th July U.S. military forces in the Gulf region are on various states of alert following recent "terrorist" threats, U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said yesterday. "There have been some threats in recent weeks, and different forces in different areas and different circumstances have different threat alert situations," Rumsfeld told reporters on Capitol Hill after meeting members of Congress. The State Department on Wednesday said there were "strong indications" that "imminent terrorist actions" may be planned against U.S. interests on the Arabian Peninsula. That region includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen. "As always, we take this information seriously. U.S. government facilities remain at a heightened state of alert," State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said on Thursday. U.S. embassies in the Gulf were already on high alert and have not beefed up security after the latest warning, U.S. diplomats said. "While I don't have any further information on specific targets, timing or method of attack, we felt it necessary to share this information with the public so that people can be reminded of their security and take precautions as necessary," Reeker said. Last month U.S. forces in the Gulf were put on the highest alert based on a nonspecific but credible threat that U.S. officials said was linked to Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden. U.S. officials said they believed the latest threat warning was linked to associates of bin Laden. The United States has accused bin Laden of masterminding the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa. The latest threats appeared to be focused on Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity. "We pay attention to threats to our forces every day, around the world," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. Craig Quigley said. As to whether the military was taking extra precautions in the Gulf region, Quigley said: "We always take a look every day at what is appropriate." The United States has more than 11,700 military personnel on the Arabian peninsula. Saudi Arabia has about 5,200, the largest number, and Kuwait about 4,500, the Pentagon said. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/bw-exec/2001/jul/20/072008682.html * PENTAGON: IRAQ FIRES AT US AIRCRAFT Las Vegas Sun. 20th July WASHINGTON (AP) - Iraq apparently fired a surface-to-air missile at a U.S. surveillance plane in Kuwaiti airspace, Pentagon officials said Friday. The U.S. plane was not hit. The crew of a Navy E2-C surveillance aircraft flying in Kuwaiti airspace on Thursday reported seeing the plume of a surface-to-air missile apparently fired from inside Iraqi territory, according to a senior defense official who discussed the matter on condition of anonymity. The official said the sighting could not be immediately confirmed through other means. He said it was possible the missile was fired ballistically, meaning it was not guided by radar and in which case could not be tracked by its electronic emissions. The E2-C was not hit by the missile, he said, and there were no other reported incidents. If early reports of the incident are correct, it would be the first known instance of Iraq firing a missile into Kuwaiti airspace since the 1991 Persian Gulf War. [.....] INSIDE IRAQ http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=22334 * Iraq denounces delay of Gulf War health study Baghdad, Reuters, 16th July Iraq denounced yesterday the delay of a World Health Organisation visit to investigate the health effects of depleted uranium used during the 1991 Gulf War, the official Iraqi news agency INA said. INA quoted Health Minister Umeed Madhat Mubarak as saying postponement of the WHO team "reflects the United States' hegemony over the international body...and a continuation of its hostile policy against Iraq". "This strange stand comes after the failure of the United States and Britain to pass their wicked plan to impose stupid sanctions (on Iraq)," Mubarak said. [.....] Mubarak blamed a rise in cancers and cases of mental disturbances, miscarriages and congenital defects in Iraq to the use of depleted uranium munitions by the United States and Britain in the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait. A WHO letter to the Iraqi government said the visit had been delayed "by the lack of necessary United Nations security clearances to visit Baghdad". A UN official said he had no details on what the security clearances entailed. "As soon as this problem is resolved we can establish the dates for the mission," the letter said. UN officials blamed administrative and procedural delays and said they hoped the mission could take place in August or September. Baghdad has insisted for years that there was a link between depleted uranium used in armour-piercing weapons during the Gulf War and growing incidence of leukaemia and other cancers in Iraq. Baghdad's health ministry says cancer cases increased from 6,555 in 1989 to 10,931 in 1997, especially in areas bombed by U.S.-led forces during the war. NATO's use of ammunition containing depleted uranium in the Balkans has sparked a parallel furore across Europe over allegations that some allied peacekeepers in Bosnia and Kosovo contracted leukaemia from exposure to uranium. WHO and the 19-nation alliance have insisted there is no evidence that depleted uranium munitions cause cancer. http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Living/reuters20010717_388.html * IRAQ AT RISK FROM RIFT VALLEY FEVER by David Brough ROME (Reuters): Deadly Rift Valley Fever is threatening livestock and even people in Iraq, the United Nations world food body said on Tuesday. "The disease is usually found in Africa, but it has recently been diagnosed in the Middle East," Roger Paskin, animal health officer of the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), said in a statement. "There is a real danger that the virus could spread into Iraq," Paskin said. "There is a need to monitor the situation very closely in order to control a possible outbreak." Yemen and Saudi Arabia are already battling an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever, which was first identified in the Rift Valley of Kenya in the early 1930s. About 120 people in Saudi Arabia and at least 97 people in neighbouring Yemen have died from the disease. Rift Valley Fever is a highly contagious disease spread mainly by mosquitoes and the movement of animals. It causes abortion and mortality in sheep, goats, cattle, buffalo and camels. In humans, it can cause flu-like symptoms, which can sometimes lead to death. Peter Roeder, another FAO animal health officer, told Reuters that if Rift Valley Fever infected livestock in Iraq, the country could face many thousands of livestock abortions and risked human fatalities. All the animals at the Western borders of Iraq with Saudi Arabia are at risk, FAO said. That is slightly more than 4 million sheep and goats in addition to about 200,000 cattle. FAO is starting an emergency project in Iraq to find out if Rift Valley Fever has spread to Iraq or not. Iraq's government has sent four teams of veterinarians to the Saudi border zone. FAO will help the government and send a laboratory specialist as well as materials for blood sample collection and laboratory analysis. The Iraqi veterinary services currently lack the necessary laboratory supplies to carry out effective monitoring and diagnosis, according to FAO. "By the end of the 6-month project, we expect the collection of around 14,000 blood samples from animals that give us a clear idea if the Rift Valley Fever virus has spread to Iraq or not," Paskin said. "We strongly urge other countries in the region to take similar precautionary measures." Roeder said that vaccines for eradicating Rift Valley Fever were not very effective. Another way of tackling the disease was to restrict animal movement. "You should not move infected animals into areas where they could spread the disease," he said. He also said it was vital to raise awareness of Rift Valley Fever among people. Saudi Arabia and Yemen have cooperated in using planes to spray mosquito-infected areas across border zones. Roeder said FAO hoped to work with Saudi Arabia and Yemen to help develop longer term plans to combat the disease. http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_353311.html * 3,000-YEAR-OLD TEMPLE FOUND IN IRAQ Ananova, 17th July Archaeologists in Iraq have discovered an Assyrian temple and statues of two winged lions dating back nearly 3,000 years. The monuments were uncovered during excavations at Nimrud, an ancient city north of Baghdad. Text on the lions indicates they date from the time of Ashurnasirpal II, a famous Assyrian conqueror who ruled from 884 to 860 BC. Iraq's Antiquities and Heritage Department say the temple is still being unearthed and was designed for worshipping Ishtar, the goddess of love and war. The lions are three metres high and five metres long and stand at the entrance to a temple. The site's chief archaeologist, Mizahm Mahmoud Hassan, said the heads had been destroyed, perhaps by ancient invaders or because they were near the surface. The Assyrian empire was the major power in the ancient Middle East from about 900 to about 600 BC and its capitals were Nimrud and Nineveh. NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN http://europe.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/07/16/iraq.kurds/index.html * HUSSEIN APPEALS TO KURDS IN NORTHERN IRAQ BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN, 16th July) -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein called on Kurds in their northern Iraq autonomous region to kick out ''spies'' and to engage in dialogue with Baghdad. Speaking on Iraqi Television, Hussein said his government has so far left the northern area alone to let the Kurds solve their own problems. Hussein told Kurds that when they are ready, they should sit down with the Baghdad government and prevent what he called ''foreigners and spies'' from dividing Iraq. Northern Iraq has been outside Baghdad's control since the end of the 1991 Gulf war. U.S. and British jets enforce a no-fly zone over the area, to keep Iraqi forces out. http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2001/07/17/Opinion/Opinion.30553.html * SANCTIONS AND IRAQ By Michael Rubin Jerusalem Post, 17th July The supermarket in Dahuk was apologetic: the shipment of Coca-Cola had not yet arrived, but would Pepsi be okay? There was plenty of fruit and vegetables, several different cuts of meat and many brands of breakfast cereal. There was no shortage of cheeses or ice cream. There were also over 30 choices of shampoos, and a similar selection of toothpaste. Infrared scanners made checkout quick and efficient. None of this is remarkable, except that Dahuk is in Iraq, and has been under international sanctions since 1990. So why is Dahuk so different from images of Iraq broadcast by BBC and other Western news outlets? Iraq's President Saddam Hussein's media handlers cannot operate in Dahuk, since Dahuk is not under Saddam's control. Neither is Qaladiza, a small town with stacks of baby formula in the market. Nor is Halabja suffering from food shortages, though people exposed to the 1988 Iraqi chemical bombardment of the town are still developing strange cancers. There are simply no starving children in Iraq as a result of sanctions; the only children dying for lack of food or medicine are those whom Saddam wants to die. The Iraqi governorates of Dahuk, Irbil, Sulaymaniyah and portions of Kirkuk have been free from Saddam's control since the Kurdish uprising in 1991. The same area that suffered the destruction of 4,000 villages, chemical-weapons attacks and the murder or disappearance of 182,000 Kurds and Turkmans, is actually flourishing. Since the implementation of United Nations Security Resolution 986, the so-called "oil-for-food program," the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq has rebuilt 20,000 houses, 800 water systems, 600 schools, and 2,300 kilometers of new access roads. While the oil-for-food program allocated northern Iraq 13 percent of revenue generated from Iraq's legal oil sales, an amount proportional to the north's population, only half the money has been spent. According to a 1999 UNICEF report, infant mortality in northern Iraq has actually dropped since the imposition of sanctions. A doctor in a maternity hospital reported that fertility has skyrocketed; fewer babies are being born underweight, and fewer mothers are dying in pregnancy. The United Nations program does not work perfectly. While everyone in theory has ration cards, some people do go hungry. Families fleeing Saddam's Iraq into the northern safe haven told me that Iraqi security had confiscated their UN ration cards after accusing family members of disloyalty to the Ba'ath party; Egyptian employees of the UN's World Food Program regularly refuse to intercede. There are also occasional shortages in medical supplies. Children's vaccines sometimes run dangerously low, often because the Iraqi authorities in Baghdad forget to order them on time. (Under terms of the 1995 Memorandum of Understanding which governs relations between Iraq and the United Nations, all contracts must be issued through Baghdad, which then distributes materials to the provinces). Some medicines are in short supply for other reasons. A pharmacist in Sulaymaniyah said that 20% of his medicines come from the portion of Iraq controlled by Saddam. Ba'ath party guards at warehouses in Baghdad simply sell the supplies to smugglers. Iraqis living in the northern safe haven do not enjoy living under sanctions. They would like to trade freely and regain normality. Nevertheless, they acknowledge that they have flourished under sanctions because their local governments spend the money to develop schools and agriculture, rather than Scuds and amusement parks for Ba'ath Party officials. Iraqis, living in both the safe haven and in Baghdad-controlled portions of Iraq, know Saddam. They insist Saddam will interpret loosening sanctions as a reward for obstructionism. Rather than tighten the grip on Saddam, any revisions in the sanctions regime will simply encourage Saddam to further flout international law. The lesson is clear. Sanctions do not harm Iraqis; Saddam does. (The writer, a Carnegie Council Fellow, is currently a visiting scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He recently returned from nine months in northern Iraq.) http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=22622 * PKK DESTABILISING NORTHERN IRAQ, TURKISH OFFICIAL WARNS Tunceli, Turkey, Reuters, 20th July Expansion by separatist Turkish Kurds in northern Iraq could spark renewed fighting in the enclave protected by U.S. air patrols, a senior Turkish security official said yesterday. The United States has pushed for peace among feuding Kurdish factions in northern Iraq in order to unite the region against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who has not controlled the north of his country since just after the 1991 Gulf War. The official warned that expansion by rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) into areas controlled by Jalal Talabani, head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), could spark new fighting. "The PKK has taken over 46 villages in northern Iraq that had been aligned with Talabani's forces," the official told Reuters. "Fighting between the PKK and PUK could break out at any time in the region because of this." PUK officials in Ankara declined to comment. Turkey has said it provides Talabani and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) "technical assistance" to fight the PKK, which has fought an armed campaign for self rule in Turkey's southeast. Turkish soldiers regularly pursue PKK fighters across the border into northern Iraq. U.S. air patrols protect the region from Iraqi forces. The PKK has largely withdrawn from Turkey to bases in northern Iraq, straining the fragile balance of power between the PUK and KDP. The parties have jointly administered a regional government in the breakaway enclave since 1992, but have not yet fully implemented a U.S.-brokered ceasefire signed in 1998. Meanwhile, the Europe-based Ozgur Politika newspaper, often used by the PKK leadership to make statements, said yesterday the guerrillas had begun efforts to rebuild their forces. The high council of the PKK's People's Defence Forces (HPG) held talks in northern Iraq this month, it said on its website. "One of the important decisions made (during talks) was to enlarge the HPG to meet the criteria of a professional and modern army," it said. The PKK's 16-year-long armed struggle for autonomy in Turkey's mainly-Kurdish southeast has killed more than 30,000 people, but fighting has largely dropped off since rebel commander Abdullah Ocalan was sentenced to death in 1999. "If our leader suffers any kind of physical harm, every HPG member will fight at the highest level with his entire heart and soul," the council said in a statement. Ocalan, the lone inmate on a Turkish island prison, now awaits a European Court of Human Rights ruling on his death sentence. He has called on followers to leave Turkey and instead seek cultural rights through political means for the country's 12 million Kurds. Turkish authorities dismiss Ocalan's peace overture as a ruse to escape the gallows. http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=CD4EE324-7D29-11D5 842100508BF9712A&Title=UN%20Employee%20Questioned%20in%20N%2E%20Iraq&db=curr ent * UN EMPLOYEE QUESTIONED IN N. IRAQ VOA News, 20 Jul 2001 Security officials in the Kurdish-controlled area of northern Iraq are questioning a United Nations employee after finding a bomb in a vehicle he drove into the region. Kurdish authorities, in the area controlled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party, are trying to determine the origin of the bomb and why it was in the vehicle. Sources told a reporter for VOA that the UN worker is Tunisian and that he entered the Kurdish-controlled region from areas under control of the Iraqi government. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk