- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 10, 2003

BAGHDAD — U.S.-trained Iraqi police in Fallujah held a demonstration yesterday, demanding that the troops leave town, saying their presence endangers the lives of the Iraqis associated with coalition forces.

Their police station and a municipal building came under attack overnight by guerrillas firing rocket-propelled grenades — the latest sign that Iraqis associated with U.S. forces are increasingly being targeted by forces loyal to ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.

“The presence of Americans endangers us. We asked the Americans more than a month and a half ago to leave Fallujah,” Riyadh Abdel-Latif, the town’s police chief, told Reuters news agency. He said his men, believed to number about 100, have threatened to resign within 48 hours.

The danger of association with U.S. forces was highlighted recently in Ramadi, when a bomb killed seven police recruits as they marched in a graduation ceremony.

A “List of Traitors” has been issued anonymously in the Azamiyah sector of Baghdad, dominated by Ba’ath Party supporters and Sunni Muslims. It incites people to kill Iraqis for collaborating with the occupying forces.

In an apparent response, the Azamiyah central mosque’s notice board now displays an unsigned proclamation condemning the list.

Efforts to intimidate Iraqis into avoiding contact with coalition forces have been launched on several fronts. But the anticoalition campaign is no more than a partial success.

The List of Traitors names 13 suspected collaborators and maintains that religious leaders have issued a fatwa, or ruling, that such people should be put to death. It refers only to people in the Azamiyah area, but adds that similar lists for other parts of Baghdad will be issued soon.

The response tells worshippers at the mosque: “Do not believe such lists, which have no authority or justification.” But subversives have been intimidating and inflicting violence on Iraqis who work with the coalition in restoring the two most vital public sectors — electricity and the huge public health service.

“We know our Ba’athist enemies see health as the soft underbelly,” said Jim Haveman, a U.S. mental health expert recently installed as the Health Ministry’s senior adviser. “They simply don’t want the public to see an improvement in their living conditions — they want the public to hate us.”

The house of Youbert Samuel, a senior doctor running a Health Ministry department, was attacked recently by machine-gun and grenade fire from a Health Ministry vehicle, said Stephen Browning, a former adviser to the ministry.

The next day, a letter was thrown into Mr. Samuel’s garden warning that he and his family would be killed if they continued working for the ministry.

He has since resigned and moved.

Dr. Hussein Nazar heard his name called out from the street as he slept on his roof on June 13. Four men fired handguns at the house. When the doctor’s son used an assault rifle to repel the attackers, they withdrew — in a highly professional leapfrogging format familiar to trained soldiers, Mr. Browning recalled.

Four members of a Health Ministry advisory team were injured and a physician wounded in an ambush, he said. Also, violence has been inflicted on those working in the electric-power sector.

Haifa Aziz Dawud was a 45-year-old mother of four, and in charge of the Al Kharkh power station in western Baghdad. She was gunned down last month by assailants who came to her home in an official electric power department van.

It is not clear why she was killed. Some say she was close to Saddam Hussein. Others suggest she may have failed to be coerced into cutting or redirecting the electricity.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide