This category contains 7 posts

Saddam’s Baghdad bunker become a tourist attraction

BAGHDAD, Dec 8,  2005 (AFP) – Saddam Hussein’s underground bunker, surprisingly undamaged despite heavy US bombing in 2003, has become an informal tourist attraction for visitors and residents of Baghdad’s downtown Green Zone area. US forces hurled two 900kg (2000 pound) GBU-28 bunker-busting bombs at the building on the opening night of the US-led offensive … Continue reading

Iraq’s air force being rebuilt from the ground up

ALI BASE, Iraq Aug 19, 2005 (AFP) –  Iraq’s new air force is being rebuilt from the ground up at this sprawling desert base outside Nasiriyah, once Saddam Hussein’s center of air operations against Iran during the 1980-1988 war. Now the site, 375 kilometers (235 miles) southeast of Baghdad, is home to Air Force Squadron … Continue reading

Robert Gates, the Anti-Rumsfeld

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2007 (AFP) – US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates took his soft-spoken approach to the troubled Middle East last week as he addressed the harsh realities facing Iraq’s beleaguered government. Unlike his more strident predecessor Donald Rumsfeld, the gray-haired, mild-mannered former CIA chief discussed Iraq in humble tones, acknowledging the serious problems … Continue reading

Third-generation Iraqi looks after Abraham’s birthplace

by Carlos Hamann UR, Iraq Aug 20, 2005 (AFP) –   Dhia Mhesen rattles off fact after fact about this ancient mud brick city, the site of a giant ziggurat and the reputed birthplace of Abraham — the prophet revered by Judaism, Christianity and Islam alike. “The ziggurat was the temple of the moon god,” said … Continue reading

US, Iraqi soldiers work to secure Baghdad’s deadly aiport road

BAGHDAD, Nov 16, 2005  (AFP) – Cars roll to a stop under the bright half moon as Iraqi soldiers stretch rolls of razor wire across the road in a neighborhood near Baghdad’s airport. “Turn on your passenger lights and open your trunks,” a soldier shouts as the line of cars begins to lengthen. “Be ready … Continue reading

Saddam trial threatened by murder of defense lawyer

BAGHDAD, Nov 10, 2005 (AFP) – The murder of a second defense lawyer in the Saddam Hussein trial has threatened to unravel the proceedings of the US-supported court and raises questions about the legitimacy of the process, experts say. Lawyers representing Saddam and his co-defendants issued a call Wednesday for the Iraqi High Tribunal, the … Continue reading

Mixed signals in early days of Iraq surge

by Carlos Hamann BAGHDAD, April 21, 2007 (AFP) – The clock is ticking. Politically, the US military “surge” in Iraq has to start showing positive results soon — and up to now the outcome is mixed. US officials say that time is running out for Iraqi politicians to overcome their differences and pass key legislation … Continue reading