Wednesday, May 07, 2008

War-crimes update: Hospital closing was part of the attack on another Baghdad district

Reuters affiliate AlertNet reported yesterday that (1) the Iraqi army arrested 42 members of the Iraqi police on Monday, apparently in the Shiite district of Sho'ala (one of various spellings), where (2) the Iraqi forces also stormed a major hospital, the Mohammed-Bakr Hakim hospital in the same area, beat some employees and arrested others, forcing the closure of the hospital, as part of a military attack on the district.

For an explanation of the background to this phenomenon of some Iraqi security people arresting others, you have to go back to the April 8 statement of Sadr:
But I am convinced that our genuine Iraqi army and police, [people] who have God and love of their country in their hearts, and treat the Iraqi people as their brothers, have not, and will not, raise their hand to kill or to arrest their sons and brothers--indeed, their fathers and mothers--and have not, and will not, stain their hands with the blood of their people, or torture them in the pits of the American prisons or elsewhere, as the occupiers have done to us, and before them the Haddam.
The Iraqi police who were arrested were possibly among the people that Sadr was talking about.

AlertNet, by contrast, puts the Maliki/US sectarian spin on this, writing: "The soldiers detained 42 policemen suspected of collaborating with "outlaws" on Tuesday, an officer of Baghdad's security spokesman Major-General Qassim Moussawi's office said. Iraq's police are seen being as infiltrated by Shi'ite militiamen, using the cover of their uniforms to mount attacks."

The storming and closure of the Sho'ala hospital on Monday morning wasn't widely reported. There is only this very brief piece in AlertNet yestereday, and the following contemporaneous account from the resistance-oriented website. Yaqen reported:
[Hospital director Rikabi said] government forces stormed the Sho'ala hospital, ordered the expulsion of all the sick and the wounded, and prevented the reception of any [new] wounded people.

Witnesses said the Husseiniya mosques controlled by the Mahdi Army issued exhortations to the people of Sho'ala to continue to confront the joint government-American forces. Sources in the local Sadr office said the joint Iraqi-American forces launched an attack on the district from four directions...on Monday morning (May 5). [Adding] that the attack focused on districts 11, 12 and 13 of Sho'ala, and that the blockade of the area continues.
The Yaqen reporter says there was fighting in the area between the joint forces and the Mahdi Army. He quotes the hospital director as having said "early this morning" (probably meaning before the hospital was closed) that the hospital was seeing "a large number of dead and wounded, but he didn't give specific numbers".

And that is the hospital that the Iraqi/American forces closed.

Because, says AlertNet, the hospital was "suspected of treating Shiite militiamen."


Blogger dancewater said...

reports today that there is a mass exodus from eastern Baghdad, meaning Sadr City (I am assuming) but I would like to know where district of Sho'ala is exactly - also Sadr City?

the bushies and the criminals in congress intend to completely destroy Iraq

10:39 AM  
Blogger badger said...

Shoala is not part of Sadr City, but just to the west of it, I believe. Part of that general area.

11:07 AM  
Blogger dancewater said...

Shoala is still part of eastern Baghdad, then?

11:10 AM  
Blogger badger said...

It's actually a little further west than I thought, and a little hard to call it eastern Baghdad, although they might be just using that expression to mean Sadr City and other north-Baghdad Shiite areas. There is a BBC set of maps here

Just click on "key locations" and on "ethnic areas", and it gives you the general geographical picture. (They spell it "Shula")

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Pvt. Keepout said...

Re: US Occupation of Iraq
Subject: US Pre-Election Murder Campaign

Dear US Representatives & Senators,

The US intentionally kills, injures and starves Sadr City civilians to punish and deter their support for the Sadrist trend and the Mahdi Army.

The US/GZG puppet military offensive against Sadrist/Mahdi Army nationalists in Sadr City has killed 1000 civilians and injured 2600 in April ‘08 and three times that number in southern Iraq since May 25, 2008.

Overwhelming firepower savagely applied in occupied cities foreseeably and inevitably causes high civilian casualties. Such results, both foreseeable and inevitable, are therefore intentional and intentionally killing civilians is a grossly repulsive criminal violation of the US Code (18 USC 2441).

Battering Iraqi civilians will only increase Sadrist and Mahdi Army supporters and attract the uncommitted. At the same time, such abhorrent crimes diminish US moral authority, weaken support, alienate allies and corrode national security. They increase the probability of retaliatory defensive attacks on Americans like those of 9/11.

I object to using my taxes to murder Iraqis resisting the theft of their oil, water and public works.
Please include time in your busy schedule to end this primitively brutal, shameful and counterproductive practice. Thank you.

Very truly yours,

6:59 PM  

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