At 10:19 PM -1000 4/9/04, viviane wrote: http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2004-04/09/article06.shtml
U.S. Forces Want Al-Jazeera Out Of Fallujah
By Mustafa Abdel-Halim, IOL Correspondent CAIRO, April 9 - The United States asked al-Jazeera team to leave Fallujah as one of conditions for reaching a settlement to the bloody stand-off in the besieged western Baghdad town Friday, April 9. As Brig Gen Mark Kimmitt, the deputy director of U.S. military
operations in Iraq, was speaking by phone on al-Jazeera and insisting that American forces declared a unilateral ceasefire in Fallujah, the channel was airing live images of continued air raids by F-16 fighter jets
on residential neighborhoods of the town.
Aljazeera targeted in Falluja
It is risky to broadcast from inside the besieged town
Aljazeera journalists have come under fire in the flashpoint Iraqi town, Falluja. The only television crew reporting from inside the besieged town, Aljazeera crew members on Friday complained they had been fired at twice during the day.
Aljazeera correspondent in Falluja, Ahmad Mansur said US F16 planes also bombed places disconcertingly close to the news channel's office.
Sadr tells Bush to withdraw troops or face revolution
Fri Apr 9,12:07 PM ET
KUFA, Iraq (AFP) - Outlawed Shiite Muslim radical leader Moqtada Sadr branded US President George W. Bush an "enemy" and told
him to withdraw his troops from Iraq or face a revolution.
Posted on Fri, Apr. 09, 2004
Iraq Council Demands Immediate Cease-Fire
BAGHDAD, Iraq - In a split between U.S.-picked Iraqi leaders and American administrators, the Governing Council demanded an immediate
cease-fire across the country Friday and a halt to military operations that
A Shiite member of the council also met with radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose militia is battling U.S.-led forces in the south, and announced he was suspending his membership in the Iraqi Governing
Council until the "bleeding in all Iraq" ends.
Another member, Ghazi al-Yawer, threatened to quit the council over the Marines' bloody siege of the city of Fallujah, aimed at uprooting Sunni insurgents.
U.S. forces have been fighting a two-front battle this week - against Sunni militants in Fallujah and al-Sadr's militia in the south - that has killed more than 460 Iraqis and 45 Americans.
Friday's halt in the Fallujah assault was requested by the council to allow for talks on reducing the violence, U.S. coalition spokesman
Dan Senor said.
But a top commander, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, insisted the talks "are not negotiations."
Al-Yawer, a Sunni member of the council, and the representative of another Sunni member met Friday with city leaders in talks at a Marine base outside
Fallujah, council member Mahmoud Othman told The Associated Press.
Al-Yawer said that while he has not taken any formal steps, "I will quit (the council) if the problem is not solved peacefully, because God will not bless a position of power that does not benefit its people."
"If negotiations fail because of the stubbornness of the American side or the failure to adhere to a cease-fire, I will quit 100 percent," he told
The council's request for negotiations pointed to the eagerness of the Iraqi leaders to distance themselves from the assault, which has angered many
Iraqis and become for some a symbol of resistance against the Americans.
In a statement issued early Saturday, the council demanded "an immediate cease fire" and political solutions for the "situations around the country, particularly in Fallujah."
It also called for an end to the "military solution" and "collective punishment that falls on innocent civilians" - a reference to the Fallujah
It denounced terrorism and noted that "no one is above the law" - a reference to activitied by both Sunni and Shiite insurgents
Shiite council member Abdul-Karim Mahoud al-Mohammedawi met
Friday with al-Sadr, the cleric U.S. commanders have vowed to capture.
"I will not go back to the council until we enter a constructive discussion
about Iraq ... to achieve what the Iraqi people really want and to stop the bleeding in all Iraq," he told reporters outside al-Sadr's office in Najaf.
"I call on everybody to use the voice of wisdom and avoid violence," he said.
One of the strongest pro-U.S. voices on the council, Adnan Pachachi, denounced the U.S. siege, launched after Sunni insurgents killed four U.S.
contract workers and a mob dragged their burned and mutilated bodies through
the streets and hung two of them from a bridge.
"These (U.S.) operations were a mass punishment for the people of Fallujah," Pachachi told Al-Arabiya TV. "It was not right to punish all the people of
Fallujah and we consider these operations by the Americans unacceptable and illegal."
Added al-Yawer: "We all agree that those who did that (killed the four Americans) were criminals who deserve to be arrested. But the result was the
mass punishment of a city. ... And that we refuse."
Asked about the council members' criticism, Senor said U.S.. forces have "a responsibility to address a situation that is hostile."
He said the coalition cannot "just turn our heads and look the other way" when Americans are killed in Fallujah.