Friday, October 24, 2008

Iraqi Air Force Supports Training Exercise

NEW AL MUTHANA AIR BASE — The Iraqi Air Force reached another milestone Oct. 22 when an all-Iraqi flight crew took to the air in the King Air Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft for the first time in support of an Iraqi special operations forces training exercise.The air crew, connected via radio link to the special operations forces on the ground, provided reconnaissance and over-watch surveillance for convoy operations as the special operations forces conducted their training.The Iraqi Air Force also provides ISR support to the Iraqi Army, intelligence services, the directorate of border enforcement and the ministries of oil and electricity.Mission sets for the Iraqi Air Force ISR include battlefield reconnaissance, urban security, support to ground forces' operations, surveillance of oil infrastructure for oil leaks and pirating, electrical infrastructure for damage and national border security.Highlighting the importance of training and working with the special forces, Iraqi Air Force pilot and mission commander, Lt. Col. A.K., said "we have great, modern equipment. This is a good opportunity to test the new ISR capability. It's being used in the right way and will benefit the whole country."Staff Sgt. Joshua Roden, a member of the Coalition Air Force Training Team, part of the Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq, trained the Iraqi crew on mission sensor operations and was there to witness the take-off of the first all-Iraqi ISR mission. The mission is important, he said, "to sustain capabilities of the Iraqi infrastructure," and to sustain the capabilities of the Iraqi Air Force as a credible Air Force.
KRG Interior Ministry unveils statue of fallen American soldier Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq ( The Interior Ministry of the Kurdistan Regional Government has honoured a fallen American soldier at the opening of a police college in Erbil. At a ceremony led by Mr Karim Sinjari, the Minister of State for the Interior, a statue of First Lieutenant Ashley Henderson of the 385th MP Battalion, Fort Stewart , Georgia , was unveiled last week. Lieutenant Henderson’s father Mr Mark Henderson attended the ceremony, alongside US Major General Jerry Cannon, Commander of the Civilian Police Assistance Training Team (CPATT), Brigadier General James Boozer, Assistant Division Commander for the Multinational Division-North, Colonel Margaret Burcham, Commander for the Gulf Region Division-North of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Several senior officials from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and federal Iraqi government also attended the ceremony. Lieutenant Henderson had worked on behalf of the Coalition Forces with the Interior Ministry in Erbil and been a strong advocate of the building of a new police academy, providing space for administration, accommodation and training of cadets, with the financial assistance of the US government. Lieutenant Henderson was killed in Mosul, outside the Kurdistan Region, in 2006, but her work helped set the project in motion and it became a joint effort by the US government and the KRG. Minister Sinjari said, “First Lieutenant Ashley Henderson was a woman of courage and determination. We are honoured to have worked with her. Her family and colleagues should be proud of what she did for her country and for the people of Iraq in the liberation of our country. Her statue will act not only as a remembrance of her but will also inspire our police cadets to live up to her standards of commitment and professionalism.” The new academy will have accommodation and facilities for up to 650 people. At the ceremony, police cadets marched carrying the Iraqi and Kurdistan flags and demonstrated some of their martial arts skills. Major General Connor and Minister Sinjari, as well as other dignitaries, spoke of the hard work that had gone into the project and that it symbolised the cooperation and friendship between Kurds and Americans.
Iraqi company produces domestic solar energy unit October 20, 2008 - 06:10:11 BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: An authorized source from the Iraqi Ministry of Industry on Monday said that Al-Iz General Company produced a domestic solar energy unit with dual-capacity, 5 and 10 amperes, which holds a duration of 10 hours during the day time and 6 at night, providing another alternative solution for the power generation problem in Iraq. “The process relied on Iraqi experiences 100 percent,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. “The unit dimensions are 1.5 x 10 meters, and can be folded,” he said. “The unit’s solar panels are guaranteed for 20 years, and are not affected by the environmental conditions in Iraq,” he added. He stressed that the company is ready to market the unit.

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Anonymous said...

Baghdad condemns 'US Syria raid'
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Video reportedly showing helicopters at the scene of the Syria attack

Iraq has denounced a raid into Syria at the weekend, saying it does not want its territory to be used as a launch-pad for US attacks on its neighbours.

Syria urged the UN Security Council to hold the US responsible for the attack, which it says killed eight civilians.

And Syria's cabinet called the attack "barbaric", ordering a US school and cultural centre in Damascus to be shut.

Unnamed US officials have said the operation killed a key figure involved in the smuggling of fighters into Iraq.

But Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem denied the US claims calling them "totally unjustified".

'War crime attempt'

He branded the attack a "war crime attempt" and said it had claimed the lives of civilians - a father and his three children, a farm guard and his wife, and a fisherman.

Speaking after a Baghdad cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh also explicitly criticised the US over the unconfirmed helicopter strike.
"The Iraqi government rejects the US helicopter strike on Syrian territory, considering that Iraq's constitution does not allow its land to be a base for launching attacks on neighbouring countries," he said.

But he urged Damascus to prevent groups using Syrian territory for "training and sending terrorists for attacks on Iraq and its people".

The White House has neither confirmed nor denied Sunday's strike near Abu Kamal, some eight kilometres (five miles) north of Iraq's border with Syria.

Syria had protested to the UN Security Council in a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the state news agency Sana said on Tuesday.

It urged the Security Council "to hold the aggressor responsible for the deaths of the innocent Syrian nationals".

'Successful operation'

An unnamed US official told Reuters news agency the raid killed Iraqi Abu Ghadiyah, a former lieutenant of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader who was killed in 2006.

HAVE YOUR SAY It's hard to believe the Syrians could not see this coming G Battista, Brazil

"It was a successful operation. [Abu Ghadiyah] is believed to be dead. This undoubtedly will have a debilitating effect on this foreign fighter smuggling network," the official said.

If confirmed, Sunday's strike would be the first US attack in Syria since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The attack reportedly took place during the afternoon rest period, with a troop assault preferred over a missile strike to reduce civilian casualties, the intelligence official said.

The US had repeatedly asked Syria to hand over Abu Ghadiyah but Damascus said it was monitoring his activities, another US military official told AP.

Meanwhile Iraq's cabinet authorised PM Nouri Maliki to put forward unspecified proposed changes to a security pact with the US.

The Status of Forces Agreement will govern US troop presence in Iraq when a UN mandate expires at the end of 2008.

The US and Iraqi governments had previously said the pact, which would authorise the presence of US troops in Iraq until 2011, was final and could not be amended.

On Tuesday, the White House said it was reluctant to accept any changes to the agreement.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/10/28 16:08:59 GMT