samedi 31 août 2013

War Crimes Are US Depleted Uranium weapons

The term "Depleted Uranium" is fundamentally Orwellian. Depleted Uranium is NOT depleted in any meaningful sense. DU is natural Uranium (more than 99% U-238) with the fissionable Uranium (less than 1% U-235) removed.

War Crimes Are US
Depleted Uranium weapons: Why shouldn’t it be a war crime to poison civilians with radiation?

By William Boardman


August 28, 2013

Depleted Uranium [DU] is a very dense, inexpensive, easy-to-shape metal which provides excellent protection against conventional munitions. The same qualities that make depleted Uranium excellent defensive armor turn lethal when used as offensive munitions." - U.S. Army training film

An anonymous phone call to the Florida Dept. of Emergency Management alerted airport officials that there was an open 55-gallon drum full of old airplane parts made with depleted Uranium near a fence in a scrap section of the Opa-locka Executive Airport near Miami, Florida. The first thing everyone did was panic.

They evacuated that part of the airport and established a 150' radius "hot zone" around the suspect drum. They called the local fire and rescue team and called the state and federal environmental protection agencies, and all that calling brought the media in for a one-day story that played on the major TV networks and other media, with headline language like "Uranium scare forces evacuation" and "found exposed" and "hazmat crews on the scene."

"It's a radioactive substance no one wants to be exposed to, radiation it's not something you want to be exposed to, it can affect your bodily functions," Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Arnold Piedrahita told CBS News.

That was July 25, and by the end of the day, the most interesting part of the news was a report, only in USA Today, that from the start the 55-gallon drum was labeled "depleted Uranium" containing U-238 (a radioactive isotope of Uranium that remains radioactive for billions of years). Properly handled and contained, DU is not all that dangerous, as the emergency teams soon concluded. And the DU in the drum was in solid form, which is the safest form - DU is a far greater threat to humans as liquid, dust, or aerosol, forms far more common in combat zones.

The Opa-locka DU turned out to be an integrated element of airplane parts decades old, dating from the time when the heavy metal (about 68% denser than lead) was commonly used in airplanes for counterweights. (Boeing and McDonnell Douglas dropped this practice in the 1980s.)

Once officials understood the problem, they reduced the "hot zone" to a five-foot radius, and pictures show firefighters chatting within arm's length of the drum. And the story dropped out of the news without further clarification.

Only one news report among those sampled, by PressTV, connected the unnecessary American panic over a DU drum in Florida with the equally unnecessary American disregard for its genocidal use of DU weapons in Iraq and elsewhere, poisoning civilian populations for generations to come.

Suppose that for more than 20 years, a nation uses weapons that it knows are not only a threat to its own soldiers, but will cause civilian casualties for at least a generation. Would such a nation be a serial war criminal?

Military experimentation with depleted Uranium began in the 1950s, with the goal of developing an effective anti-tank weapon to use against Soviet tanks. As a dense, heavy metal that sharpens itself as it penetrates a hard surface, DU had the added military virtue of igniting spontaneously and burning at temperatures of 3,000 to 6,000 Degrees C.

In 1991, the United States, the United Kingdom, and likely other allies used DU weapons in Kuwait and Iraq during the Gulf War. This was the first time these weapons had been used extensively in combat (Israeli forces had battle-tested them in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War). The weapons - DU bombs, missiles, shells, and bullets - worked to devastating effect militarily. They also poisoned the ground, water, and air around their targets, most of which were not cleaned up.

"The primary impact that [depleted Uranium] had in the Gulf War was - it's one of the reasons that the war was so short. It's one of the things that helped us win that war so quickly," Col. Eric Daxon, U.S. Army, says in the documentary "Invisible War."

DU weapons are weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), as defined by international law and the U.S. Code (18 USC, sec. 2332c).

DU weapons are arguably illegal under international law, both as low level nuclear weapons and as indiscriminate civilian-killing weapons. In a July 1996 advisory opinion, the International Court of Justice (or World Court) somewhat fudged on the question, ducking on the legality of weapons, but stating that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would likely be contrary to international law.

In June 2000, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia publicly explained its decision not to conduct a criminal investigation of alleged war crimes committed by NATO for killing civilians with depleted Uranium weapons, cluster bombs, and other weapons. There was no need to conduct "an in-depth investigation" into the whole bombing campaign or into specific incidents, the Tribunal explained, because there was "simply no evidence of the necessary crime base for charges of genocide or crimes against humanity." The Tribunal did not add that an in-depth investigation would run the risk of finding such evidence (some of which had already been provided by Amnesty International in a report titled "Collateral Damage").

DU weapons are a low-intensity form of atomic warfare, absent nuclear explosions. The weapons penetrate, explode, and burn on contact. They leave radioactivity behind to kill civilians in much the same way as Robert Oppenheimer proposed, by spreading plutonium on enemies in World War II (a proposal that was apparently not implemented). But they do it with lower intensity.

Since 1991, the United States and other countries have used depleted Uranium WMDs fighting in a number of other countries, reportedly including (but not limited to) Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya. American drone strikes presumably use missiles armed with DU penetrators. Israel has used DU WMDs in Gaza.

All the target countries have significant Muslim populations.

The term "Depleted Uranium" is fundamentally Orwellian. Depleted Uranium is NOT depleted in any meaningful sense. DU is natural Uranium (more than 99% U-238) with the fissionable Uranium (less than 1% U-235) removed.

Discovered in 1789, natural Uranium is widely distributed around the world (more common than silver, mercury, or gold in the Earth's crust). Uranium is the source of most of the world's radioactivity and contributes to background levels of radiation everywhere. Natural Uranium comprises three radioactive isotopes: Uranium-238 (99.27%), Uranium-235 (.72%) and Uranium-234 (.005%), all of which remain radioactive for thousands of years (U-238 has a half-life of more than 4.4 billion years). "Natural Uranium" is not "natural," it is not Uranium as found in nature. "Natural Uranium" has been mined, milled, and concentrated for enrichment - it is roughly 1,000 times more radioactive than Uranium in nature.

Natural Uranium can serve as nuclear reactor fuel, but most reactor fuel has been enriched by increasing its percentage of U-235 about five-fold (to 3-4%). To make nuclear weapons grade Uranium, U-238 is usually enriched to 85-90% U-235. The atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima in 1945 used 64 kilograms (about 141 pounds) of 80% enriched Uranium.

Enriching Uranium for reactor fuel and weapons leaves most of the U-238 behind as unenriched waste, or "depleted" Uranium. As nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors have proliferated since 1945, the nuclear nations of the world have accumulated more than a million tons radioactive waste, which seemed at first to have little or no apparent use, but have required continuous care and expense to keep it from endangering the public.

Accurate current figures are hard to get, but generally accepted estimates are that the United States and Russia each have close to 500,000 tons of depleted Uranium (although one estimate by Nukewatch in 2013 puts the U.S. total at 740,000 tons). As many as 15-18 other nations are thought to have another 100,000 tons or more of depleted Uranium, mostly held by the United Kingdom (50,000), France (30,000), Germany (16,000), Japan (10,000), and China (2,000).

Every ounce of that million-plus tons of depleted Uranium is hazardous waste that would need to be safely stored for billions of years - if someone hadn't thought to use it as a weapon. Who cares how lethal the stuff is when you're using it on your enemy?

In the 1991 Gulf War, the U.S. used up a mere 400 of its 500,000 tons of depleted Uranium on parts of Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, firing thousands of DU bullets, tank shells, and artillery shells, and dropping thousands of bombs.

The U.S. got rid of another 10-20 tons or so in the Balkans during 1994-99, and has used unmeasured amounts on target ranges in Hawaii, Okinawa, Panama, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and elsewhere.

At the same time, something unexpected was happening: Depleted Uranium was apparently dangerous to soldiers on the American side as well. Soldiers who handled the munitions got sick. Soldiers who went to depleted Uranium targets got sick. What became known as Gulf War Syndrome was apparently caused, at least in part, by exposure to the low level radioactive debris that could cover the skin or be easily inhaled or swallowed.

When UN investigators inspected depleted Uranium targets in the Balkans, they found that American DU was contaminated with other radioactive elements - including Americium, Neptunium, Technetium, and Plutonium. Americium decays into Plutonium. Plutonium is 200,000 times more radioactive than U-238.

While others countries issued warnings to their troops, the Pentagon's Lt. Col. Victor Warzinski told the Christian Science Monitor, "Residual depleted Uranium from battlefield engagements in Kosovo does not pose a significant risk to human health."

Taking a contrary view, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) studied post-war Balkan ecological conditions and recommended closing contaminated areas to public access and decontaminating the sites as quickly as possible. Noting that DU particles remained in the air two years after the war, UNEP recommended continued monitoring of air and groundwater, where DU is most likely to be ingested into the human body, where its alpha radiation is most dangerous.

"The people responsible for the spreading of 400 tons of DU there [Southern Iraq] in 1991 were conducting a very peculiar sort of experiment - one in which the 'guinea-pigs' were the soldiers and civilians present ... and in which the 'experimenters' did not want to know the results." - Peter Low, introduction "Depleted Uranium" (2003)

Officially, 679,000 American soldiers served in the 1991 Gulf War. More than a third of them, approximately 250,000, have been categorized as suffering from Gulf War Syndrome. Preferring not to use that term, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) describes the same phenomenon as " a cluster of medically unexplained chronic symptoms that can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders, and memory problems ... a chronic multisymptom illness." Symptoms identified by others also includemuscle pain, cognitive problems, rashes, diarrhea, and terminal tumors.

The VA could focus on treating soldiers' symptoms without being overly concerned about causality. The stakes are very different for the Pentagon. If depleted Uranium was debilitating a third of their troops, the military might have to give up one of its more effective weapons - one that no enemy had any defense against, and one that no enemy had in its arsenal for retaliation. Sacrificing the health of some soldiers (and maybe enemy civilians) was an easy choice for military leaders. The hard part would be to conceal the starkness of that choice, an effort now in its third decade.

As evidence continues to mount that depleted Uranium in the environment is a lifetime health threat, public awareness has risen only slowly, even among most members of Congress. Since the 1991 Gulf War, the Pentagon has taken the necessary course to defend its control of a unique weapon - always denying that there's any problem, withholding as much information as possible, stonewalling investigation as long as possible, controlling studies whenever possible, employing misdirection and confusion, and silencing truthtellers within.

At the end of the Gulf War, the Pentagon had some 4,000 Iraqi tanks and other armored vehicles that were destroyed by DU weapons. The Pentagon recognized that these radioactive wrecks represented a "substantial risk" to human health, and so they buried as many as they could in Saudi Arabia.

So far the Pentagon has been remarkably effective in burying reality. The effects of depleted Uranium are a war crime being covered up in plain sight.

"Unborn children of the region [are] being asked to pay the highest price, the integrity of their DNA." ­- Ross B. Mirkarimi, The Arms Control Research Centre, from his report: "The Environmental and Human Health Impacts of the Gulf Region with Special Reference to Iraq," May 1992.

In 1991, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, a former U.S. Army colonel, was chief of the Nuclear Sciences Division of the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, and worked at the VA hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, treating veterans, including Gulf War veterans. He had served in the Gulf War. In his new job, the government mandated him to test other veterans for radiation exposure.

Educated at the University of Zagreb (MD and PhD) and Oxford University in England, Dr. Durakovic was then 51 and a published poet, with a distinguished academic career in Canada and the U.S. By all accounts, he took his work seriously and soon discovered American veterans suffering from radiation exposure from DU weapons debris. He described his experience in a 2004 interview for
... after Gulf War I, I found that about 75 percent of the patients that were referred to me from the New Jersey veteran's hospital were contaminated with depleted Uranium isotopes. When I started this work, I sent the samples of urine of those patients who showed the symptoms, which I associated with internal contamination of isotopes, to the military radiochemistry lab in Aberdeen, Maryland. And they were never analyzed.

Furthermore, they claimed they never received those urine samples. After pressure was placed on them, after a few months, they said they analyzed them but all of them were negative. But they would not release the results. I repeated the studies of the same soldiers, and I found that many of them were positive. So it was obvious the government lied.

After that time, I received an order by the director of the military hospital, the Veterans Adminstration hospital, in Wilmington, where I was the chief of nuclear medicine. The order was to stop my work on Uranium. I refused, because I was mandated by the government of the United States to do that work.

Since I did not want to stop the work, they put pressure on me. They got my access to the computer for the patient management [files]. They harassed me on a daily basis. And ultimately, they said to me if I don't stop the work, I'll be fired and nobody will ever hire me again.

I still refused, even after calls from the highest levels of the government. They even used my colleagues from the military to call me from different parts of the country to stop the work. Since I continued, they fired me in 1997. And I was the only doctor who was a specialist in nuclear medicine for the state of Delaware, working for the government. So obviously, they had good reason to eliminate me from the health care system.

In February 1997, Durakovic wrote President Clinton on behalf of Gulf War vets asking for an inquiry into DU contamination. There is no record of a response from Clinton. Two months after writing his letter, Durakovic lost his job. A year later, two of his original 24 soldier-subjects were dead and 12 seriously ill.

Fired by the government and blacklisted, Durakovic returned to Canada, where he founded the Uranium Medical Research Centre (UMRC,, whose "mission is to conduct and publish independent, objective, and expert scientific and medical research on the effects of Uranium and transuranic elements." UMRC's current projects include Uranium exposure studies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, and Port Hope, Canada, as well as a project titled "Social Geography of Uranium Battlefields."

After tests, Dr. Durakovic found decay products of DU in 14 of the 24 patients. "I only discovered indirectly in September 1991 that depleted Uranium had been used on the battlefield. I was horrified. When scientists conduct experiments using this material, we dress like astronauts. Our soldiers had no protection. And this attack could have potentially exposed the entire population of the Gulf region. Soil samples from Iraq show radiation levels more than 17 times the acceptable level." - Felicity Arbuthnot, New Internationalist, Issue 305 (September 1998).

Mainstream media have not covered depleted Uranium to any significant extent, especially in comparison to such arguably much less dangerous killers as O.J. Simpson (1994) or George Zimmerman (2013). During that same 20-year period, CBS News' "60 Minutes" (for example) has apparently devoted 12 minutes to the issue, in December 1999, when the program focused on the contrast between the protective gear (including gloves and respirators) the Army gave clean-up crews and the absence of any protective gear for soldiers doing clean-up.

This isolated 12-minute segment nevertheless drew a prompt response from the Department of Defense's (DoD's) Undersecretary of the Army Bernard Rostker, head of DoD's Office of Gulf War Illnesses. In a DoD press release, Rostker didn't challenge the accuracy of CBS reporting negligent exposure of U.S. troops to depleted Uranium and other toxins. Instead he complained that CBS "did not focus on whether or not those exposures have proven to be harmful."

The press release went on to quote Rostker saying: "We had an obligation to do the training. We told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in our licensing that we would provide this training. It's something we should have done.... Yes, we didn't do what we should have, but ["60 Minutes"] chose to gloss over the fact that the lack of training did not result in any medically significant consequences for any of the people that were exposed.... The danger of being exposed was known to be so trivial - nonexistent."

According to the press release, "After years of monitoring service members exposed to DU, the VA has determined DU has had no health impact on these service members.... There is no lingering danger in the Gulf from the substance.... Service members deployed there have absolutely nothing to fear...." DU is now part of America's arsenal and it's here to stay, Rostker said, because it gives U.S. forces an important advantage both offensively and defensively.

Rostker touted a Pentagon five-year study of 33 vets who suffered depleted Uranium wounds from friendly fire (since no one else had DU weapons): "Those were the 33 that were most exposed to depleted Uranium. Sixteen of those still have depleted Uranium fragments in their bodies in ways that can't be surgically removed without destroying underlying muscle.... There were some elevated Uranium counts in those who still have fragments, as one would expect, but no radiological impact that could be noted and no impact on the kidneys, which is the organ where one would expect to see damage if there was to be damage."

Take a dim view of Pentagon testing, warned Dr. Durakovic in 2004:
... what they did, they studied only soldiers who were wounded by the shrapnel. And we know very well the shrapnel wounds are not an important contributing factor in contamination with Uranium isotopes. Not many people are wounded by DU shrapnel.

They did not select the proper population, and furthermore, they tested only total Uranium, which was not elevated, even in my patients. They did not test different isotopes of uranium, which would provide an insight into the ratio of the isotopes, which determines what kind of uranium it is. So the Pentagon, their laboratory, measured only total concentration of uranium, which is of no importance.

In 2001 the U.S. and its allies invaded Afghanistan. The U.S. denies accusations that depleted Uranium weapons have been used there. The Germans prepared a training manual for the troops they sent as part of the NATO force in Afghanistan, published in late 2005, that said: "US-aircraft used, amongst others, armour-piercing incendiary munitions with a DU-core" during the invasion and thereafter.

In the spring of 2011, Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused the U.S. and its 47 Nato and other allied countries of using weapons with chemical and nuclear components, apparently a reference to depleted Uranium weapons. A Scientific American review of Karzai's remarks took it for granted that DU weapons have been used in Afghanistan, but minimized their likely scope and danger. Perhaps tellingly, the review noted "the U.S. military's claims that it is no longer using DU weapons in Afghanistan." [emphasis added]

Last year an Afghan researcher, Dr. Mohammad Daud Miraki, said he and others were finding 62.7% o Afghanis showed signs of radiation poisoning, with Uranium isotopes in their urine at 300-2,000% above normal. Miraki criticized both U.S. and Afghan governments for failing to investigate the findings: "We forwarded [our] reports to the US three years ago to the State Department, and from US officials we have gotten only lip service unfortunately. But the Afghan government equally, since it has no control, it's an installed regime."

No such ambiguity exists in Iraq, where the U.S. admittedly used tons of depleted Uranium weapons, starting with the "shock and awe" bombardment even before the invasion of 2003.

"A decade after the night that American bombs first rained down on Baghdad, the president joked about wearing a green tie for a belated St. Patrick's Daycelebration. Congress noisily focused on whether spending cuts would force the cancellation of the White House Easter egg roll. Cable news debated whether a show about young women has too much sex in it. But on one topic, there was a conspiracy of silence: Republicans and Democrats agreed that they did not really want to talk about the Iraq war." - N.Y. Times, March 19, 2013

In Baghdad, the anniversary was marked by a dozen of so bombings that killed at least 56 and injured more than 200 Iraqis. And that was the good news.

In a different sort of commemoration of the beginning of the second war on Iraq, a Dutch peace organization funded by the Norwegian government, IKA Pax Christi, published "In a State of Uncertainty," a 52-page book that begins to do what the United States, the United Nations, and most of the rest of the world have failed to do - provide a broad assessment of the use of DU weapons, their location and quantity, their environmental and health consequences, and the means and costs of restoring a devastated country and its people.

That's the bad news: Iraq's two-decade-old health crisis. Iraq is a country that had decent, modern health conditions until the U.S. waged the 1991 Gulf War, then imposed crippling sanctions followed by the 2003 illegal war and occupation. In the 1980s, when Saddam Hussein was an American friend against Iran, the CIA judged Iraq to have health facilities that were among the best in the Middle East.

The wars were destructive, but a decade of sanctions, mostly under the Clinton administration, may have been worse. In May 1996, then UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright appeared on "60 Minutes." Correspondent Leslie Stahl asked: "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And - and you know, is the price worth it?"

"I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it," Albright replied. 

She later said she regretted the remark, but she never spoke out for a more humane policy. "Half a million dead children," that's when American policy crystallized - half a million dead children, the price is worth it, when it's not our children.

"I have worked in Fallujah as a Pediatrician since 1997 but began to notice something was wrong in 2006 and began logging the cases; we have determined that 144 babies are now born with a deformity for every 1000 live births. We believe it has to be related to contamination caused by the fighting in our city, even now, nearly 10 years later. It is not unique to Fallujah; hospitals throughout the Anbar Governorate and many other regions of Iraq are recording increases. Every day I see the strain this fear puts on expectant mothers and their families. The first question I am asked when a child is born is not 'is it a boy or a girl?' but 'is my child healthy?'" - Dr. Samira Alaani, petition on

Now the country that the U.S. destroyed and abandoned struggles with an epidemic of epidemics - an epidemic of miscarriages, an epidemic of stillbirths, an epidemic of birth deformities, an epidemic of cancers, an epidemic of death and deformity of biblical proportions, largely brought on by attacks by one of the world's newer nations against the Cradle of Civilization.

The catalogue of sufferings is framed this way by Project Censored:
America's Gulf War, intermittent bombings in the 1990s, the 2003 war, and aftermath left a toxic legacy.

vendredi 30 août 2013

Report: BP 'nearing' Kirkuk deal

Report: BP 'nearing' Kirkuk deal

Kirkuk deal: British supermajor working towards redevelopment contract

A deal at Kirkuk would allow the British major - already at work at Iraq's biggest producer, Rumaila, in southern Iraq - to negotiate access to significant reserves in the north. Baghdad would get a trusted, experienced partner to help arrest a huge decline in output from Kirkuk, Reuters reported.
"It's an initial 18-month deal to offer support, which will provide an opportunity for BP to negotiate a longer-term development contract," a source familiar with the negotiations told the news wire.
BP declined to comment to Reuters.
The company would work on the Baghdad-administered side of the border on the Baba and Avana geological formations. Kirkuk's third formation, Khurmala, is controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and being developed by the Iraqi Kurdish KAR group.
BP's involvement at Kirkuk has been under negotiation for more than a year. When Baghdad first revealed the preliminary arrangement in January, the KRG rejected the pact as illegal, because it had not been consulted.
The UK major is comfortable with its decision to proceed, the source said.
"BP expects some noise from the KRG, but it's confident the government in Baghdad has a sensible way forward over Kirkuk."
Among the world's international oil companies, BP could have the best relationship with Baghdad through its contract at the huge, $30 billion Rumaila oilfield project.
Baghdad hopes BP will eventually sign a technical service contract at Kirkuk like the one for Rumaila, an Iraqi oil source said. The company expects, however, to negotiate better commercial terms for this contract, the industry source said.
Iraq awarded a series of service contracts in late 2009 to the likes of BP, Eni and Exxon Mobil, which receive slim margins on Iraq's fee-based development contracts.
"The terms will have to reflect the complexity of the field and the need for intervention to arrest the decline," said the source, who requested anonymity.
At the start, BP will spend up to $100 million to help stop Kirkuk's decline and carry out surveys to get a clear picture of the field.
A small team of up to 30 people from the company will visit and work in Kirkuk once the final contract is signed.
Output at this 78-year-old field has slumped to around 280,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 900,000 bpd in 2001 after years of injecting water and dumping unwanted crude and products into the field.
Iraqi officials have said they would like BP to raise production capacity to around 600,000 bpd in five years.
But the pace of development at Kirkuk will be slower than at the giant southern fields of Rumaila, Zubair and West Qurna-1 where BP, Eni and Exxon have helped to raise output by 600,000 bpd in just two years.
"There will be no radical development," said the industry source. "This is an old, big field that's in decline and needs a lot of attention."
Kirkuk's oil riches are at the centre of a crisis within the national government of Sunni, Shi'ite and Kurdish parties over how to share power. But that has not deterred the UK major.
"BP's sense is that everyone in Kirkuk is highly dependent on the resources there, so the development of the oilfield is extremely important," the industry source said.
Exxon, Chevron and Total, among other companies, have angered and alienated Baghdad by signing lucrative production-sharing contracts with the KRG on better operating conditions than in the south.
The KRG's oil exports and contracts are at the heart of a wider dispute with Baghdad's Arab-led government over territory, oilfields and political autonomy.
Iraq's government insists it alone has the sole authority to sign deals and export crude oil, but Kurdistan says the constitution allows it to agree to contracts and ship oil independently of Baghdad.
BP has no interest in pursuing upstream opportunities in Kurdistan, although Air BP is taking part in a tender to supply fuelling services at an airport in the Kurdish capital of Arbil, industry sources said.



29th August 2013

The Police Emergency Intervention Unit organized a raid in the 1 Haziran area of Kirkuk yesterday morning and apprehended 15 people.

Law enforcement forces acted on intelligence and information and searched houses one by one under the leadership of Police Emergency Intervention Unit Colonel Hattap Ömer. During the 15 people without residence permits for Kirkuk were detained and an enquiry was started. Identity checks were also carried out during the raid the objective of which was to apprehend and arrest those whose names had been identified with the attacks and acts of violence in Kirkuk.

Numerous law enforcement and police officers participated in the raid.

Police requested that the local community inform any suspicious activity.

mercredi 28 août 2013

UN Envoy strongly condemns relentless violence in Iraq

United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)

نائبة الممثل الأممي تدين بأشد العبارات استمرار العنف في العراق

بغداد، 28 آب/أغسطس 2013 – أدانت نائبة الممثل الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة في العراق، السيدة جاكلين بادكوك، بشدة سلسلة التفجيرات الأخيرة التي أسفرت عن مقتل وجرح العشرات من الأبرياء في عدة مناطق من بغداد.

وقالت السيدة بادكوك، "لقد خلفت هذه الموجة المستمرة من أعمال القتل الخرقاء والتي تعكس وحشية مرتكبيها آلاف القتلى منذ نيسان/أبريل، ولا يمكن لأي اهداف سياسية أو ضغائن أن تكون مبررا لسفك الدماء اليومي الذي يستهدف المدنيين الأبرياء،" وحثت السلطات العراقية على بذل قصارى جهدها لحماية شعب العراق من مواجهة المزيد من الألم والحزن.

وأعربت مبعوثة الأمم المتحدة عن تعاطفها العميق مع أسر الضحايا متمنية الشفاء العاجل للجرحى.


UN Envoy strongly condemns relentless violence in Iraq

Baghdad, 28 August 2013 – The Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (DSRSG), Ms. Jacqueline Badcock, strongly condemns the latest series of bombings which has killed and injured dozens more blameless people in several areas of Baghdad.

“This relentless wave of senseless killing has left thousands dead since April, and reflects the merciless nature of its authors. No political goal or grievance can possibly justify this daily bloodshed of innocent civilians,” Ms. Badcock said, urging Iraqi authorities to do their utmost to protect the people of Iraq from more pain and sorrow.

The UN Envoy expresses her profound compassion for the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to the wounded.

United Nations Security Council Urged To Intervene On The Rapidly Deteriorating Situation Of The Turkmen In Northern Iraq


July 29, 2013

United Nations Security Council Urged To Intervene On The Rapidly Deteriorating Situation Of The Turkmen In Northern Iraq

Following a series of rapidly increasing attacks against ethnic Turkmen in Iraq, including the recent suicide attacks of 25 June 2013 in Tuz Khurmato, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and The Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) urge the United Nations to intervene against the violent terrorist activities which continue to target the Turkmen and other ethnic communities in the northern region of Iraq.

URGENT APPEAL                                                                                            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Brussels, 29 July 2013

Further to the previous appeals to the European Parliament of February 2013 and July 8th 2013, and following a seriesof rapidly increasing attacks against ethnic Turkmen in Iraq, including the recent suicide attacks of 25 June 2013 inTuz Khurmato, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and The Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF)urge the United Nations to intervene against the violent terrorist activities which continue to target the Turkmenand other ethnic communities in the northern region of Iraq.

On 23 July 2013, at least 60 Iraqi civilians were killed or wounded in two bomb attacks targeting two mosques in
Wahid Athar, a Turkmen neighbourhood of Kirkuk. Police sources report that a first bomb exploded inside Omar bin Abdulaziz Mosque, to be followed by a second explosion in another mosque in Wahid Athar. The incidents resulted in the death of 18 worshippers and wounded at least 42 others. The innocent victims of the attacks belonged to the Turkmen community and were performing Taraweeh prayers. According to recent reports of the Iraqi Turkmen Front Human Rights Office in Kirkuk, there have been over 68 targeted attacks that have been aimed at Turkmen individuals and assemblies in the last 6 months, and violence against this ethnic community is escalating dangerously.

UNPO wishes to call on the United Nations to take immediate action in regards to this urgent situation through a peacekeeping intervention. The Iraqi government, not withholding to the principles of the Iraqi Constitution, is repeatedly failing to provide protection and safety to these communities. Terror is spreading amongst Turkmen civilians as the threat of a potential disintegration of their ethnicity becomes more and more imminent. If no action is taken, as violence continues to persist, the looming threat of a greater civil conflict is soon to become a tangible reality. It is the international community’s responsibility to therefore intervene by providing protection to these innocent civilians, in order to prevent the situation from taking an unwished and irreversible turn.

Marino Busdachin
UNPO Secretary General

Full PDF of Appeal

- See more at:

samedi 24 août 2013

Question Of Whether Iraq Will Ever Stop Using Fake Bomb Detectors And Start Using Dogs Instead

Question Of Whether Iraq Will Ever Stop Using Fake Bomb Detectors And Start Using Dogs Instead

In the wake of the conviction of the English businessman who sold fake bomb detectors very little has changed in Iraq, which purchased several thousand of them. Baghdad said that it would start using dogs instead, but no timeline was given for when that would happen. Instead the fake devices are still seen throughout the country. So far only two provinces have announced that they would buy dogs on their own. Those two are in the south where there is very little violence. When and if the central government ever takes action on this issue is an open question, and the problem of corruption will hang over any deal that is made.

These fake bomb detectors continue to be used throughout Iraq even though the authorities know they don’t work (AP)

The Iraqi government has tried to downplay the bomb detector case since the verdict was announced. In May 2013, Jim McCormick, the owner of ATSC who produced the fake devices was found guilty of fraud in a British court. In Iraq, the story was widely reported, but the authorities did very little. Deputy Interior Minister Adnan Asadi told the press that the detectors would be replaced, but didn’t say when that would happen. Worse were the comments of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who said that some of the detectors actually worked. This despite the fact that they have no working parts. The premier went on to say that the government would start using dogs instead. That showed that Baghdad did not want to admit to its wrong. The trial revealed that ATSC paid huge bribes to Iraqi officials to buy the devices for instance. To acknowledge this wrongdoing would be to accede to the rampant corruption throughout the government. Not only that, but in this case it cost the lives of thousands of lives who were killed in insurgent explosions. To add to that Maliki is up for re-election in 2014, while violence is increasing, so the bomb detectors could be used against him. The result is that Baghdad has dropped the case.

Since then two provinces have moved towards buying dogs, but corruption will always be an issue. In August, Governor Abdul Rida Talal of Wasit said that it would be buying 70 bomb sniffing canines. Dhi Qar was actually the first governorate to announce the move back in May. It acted as soon as the McCormick case was closed. The problem is if the correct dogs will be bought, if Iraqi forces will be properly trained on their use, and the money isn’t scammed like what happened with the bomb detectors. For example, Niqash reported on the small number of dogs that the Interior Ministry already uses in the capital’s Green Zone. It consulted with a police dog trainer who said that the ministry was mishandling the dogs, and not caring for them properly. The paper then talked with a member of parliament’s security committee who told it that 20 new dogs had recently been bought, but they were not trained to detect explosives. That pointed to another case of fraud or incompetence. There was evidence of that before, when in July 2011, a State of Law legislator commented that he knew of 27 cases of financial and administrative corruption in attempts to purchase police dogs. (1) Bribes and theft is the reason why Iraq is considering getting bomb dogs today. If the Interior Ministry never bought the fake explosive detectors it might have had dogs years ago, and prevented hundreds of bombings. Another issue is that Dhi Qar and Wasit are in the south where there is hardly any violence. They might suffer one bombing between them a month if that. Where canines are really needed are in Baghdad and the surrounding governorates where the insurgency is based.

Iraq is suffering through a wave of bombings as militants are making a comeback. Effective counter measures are needed more than ever. The country already suffered from spending millions on false detectors. Rather than pulling them off the streets, and moving towards dogs and other devices, the central government looks to be doing little. Only in two provinces have officials said they would purchase dogs for checkpoints. If Baghdad ever took interest in this issue there would have to be stringent oversight to make sure that the money wasn’t wasted. With no urgency being shown, that likely means that the bomb detectors will be used for the foreseeable future. Rather than rising to the occasion the country’s leadership is failing like usual, and trying to ignore the entire matter while Iraqis are dying.


1. Al-Rafidayn, “Corruption of one million dollars in a deal that police dogs,” 7/3/11


Agence France Presse, “Iraq PM insists some fake bomb detectors work,” 5/20/13
- “Iraq province to ditch fake bomb detectors,” 5/14/13

Habib, Mustafa, “who let the dogs out? iraqi govt. calls in man’s best friend as violence rises,” Niqash, 7/4/13

Al-Rafidayn, “Corruption of one million dollars in a deal that police dogs,” 7/3/11

Al Rayy, “Wasit decide to buy sniffer dogs and rescue vehicles for the development of the performance of the police,” 8/12/13

Family of Turkmen leader struggle to get used to his absence

 23 August 2013 Friday
Family of Turkmen leader struggle to get used to his absence

Family of Turkmen leader struggle to get used to his absence
The family of Ali Hasim Muhtaroglu are struggling to get used to his absence. 

The family of Turkmen leader Ali Hasim Muhtaroglu, 47, who was assassinated in a bomb attack in Iraq’s Tuzkurmatu province are struggling to get used to his absence, as if the case of many Turkmens in the country.
After his assassination, the Muhtaroglu family could no longer live in Tuzkhurmatu and moved to Kirkuk.
Decorated by her husband’s photos, his wife Nedva Muhtaroglu is trying to adapt to her new life. “The Turkmen cause was his first priority. He gave more importance to his nation than to his family. He always said if I am martyred one day, wrap my body with the Turkmen flag. He devoted his life to the Turkmen cause. He was a good man, good father and good husband. He was everything for me, not only a husband but also my father, my brother…everything."
Due to his intensive schedule, Muhtaroglu hardly found time for his family. His son, who is the last family member who saw Muhtaroğlu before the attack said “He came to Baghdad one week before he was martyred. We were together. Later we talked on the phone just one day before the attack. He informed me he would appear on a live show. “I will go to Tuzkhurmatu tomorrow” he said, but I objected. He went.” Muhtaroğlu’s son explained.
Haşimoğlu’s uncle Imad Rıza, who was heavily injured in the same attack, returned to Tuzkhurmatu after his medical treatment in Ankara. “We were sitting when the bomb attack happened just five minutes after the first explosion. I swear to God, Tuzkhurmatu is abandoned. After Ali Haşim there is no one left in this city to defend the rights of the people in Tuzkhurmatu. We can only pray for a better situation.” he said.
The atmosphere in the late Turkmen leader’s home was one of distress and loss. One may feel as if time is standing still in the hall filled with Muhtaroğlu’s photos, awards and plaques.

Kuzey News Agency

lundi 5 août 2013



Iraqi Turkmen Front Turkey Representative Dr. Hicran Kazancı participated in a program broadcast by TRT Türk to commemorate martyr Ali Haşim Muhtaroğlu.
Kazancı who defined Muhtaroğlu as ‘a person who had dedicated his whole life to the Turkmen cause’ on the program explained that Muhtaroğlu was a person who diagnosed problems most correctly and delivered the best resolution alternatives. Kazancı emphasized that Muhtaroğlu was a person who was for solidarity, unity, integrity and fraternity and said, “The way to fan the flames of ethnic-sectoral conflict is to remove such people”. Kazancı reminded that Muhtaroğlu has broadcast messages of solidarity-unity on Turkmeneli Television the day before he was martyred.
Kazancı pointed out that after 2003 various forces of evel had tried to stir ethnic-sectoral conflict within the Turkmen community and said, “They all failed. These efforts will fail also. Of course our sorrow, our loss is great. Someone like Ali Haşim is hard to replace. His shoes cannot be filled. However, this cause will go on. Because the ongoing process will generate many Ali Haşims”.
Kazancı said that during the past year Muhtaroğlu had been a target many times and continued by saying: “The intention of these attacks is to tear away the traditional support to the Turkmen cause and channel it into a different course. These attacks did not only target the deceased Ali Haşim. In addition to the armed attacks there is evidence of black propaganda. We were faced with black propaganda which was aimed at changing the strategy of the Iraqi Turkmen Front via the press. But just like in the past, we have the cadres to overcome all this.”
Kazancı indicated that the state was supported by three basic pillars which are delivering security, justice and work to the people and said, “When the state loses one of these pillars the state loses its legitimacy. Unfortunately in Iraq no pillars are left standing’. Kazancı indicated that people were afraid to hold public ceremonies for fear of terror attacks which was why the memorial ceremony for Ali Haşim Muhtaroğlu had been kept very modest. Kazancı also emphasized that the commission which was established to investigate the attack could not go to the area due to lack of security.
Kazancı explained that a sectoral based militia force was in the process of being established in order to ensure the security of Turkmen and commented, “We oppose this. A force based on a single sect will escalate tension. If an armed force comprising of Turkmen is established then it should be commanded by the Iraqi Turkmen Front. That is the right thing to do. Otherwise the endeavor will have no consequences except for increasing tension there”.
Kazancı explained that it has not been possible to enact the decisions made in Parliament regarding the Turkmen and the reason was because the government was at odds with everyone.
Kazancı emphasized that the problem in Kirkuk was political and that the Kurdi-Turkmen struggle which has been the aim did not realize because of the culture of co-existence which dates back to the Ottoman era. Kazancı said there were efforts to stir an ethnic fight in parallel with the sect fight among Turkmen and said, “I believe all these efforts will prove to be useless”. Kazancı indicated  that the best solution for Kirkuk was to share the administrative and political issues.
When asked about his expectations from Turkey Kazancı said, “Turkey is taking necessary action. If it were not for Turkey the Turkmen would probably face extinction. It is with the moral support of Turkey that the Turkmen stand upright today. It is through Turkey that the Turkmen have international and regional recognizance”.