Iraq: June 13, 2003


The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK, Talabani Kurds) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP, Barzani Kurds) have agreed to merge. The PUK and KDP will run a combined Kurd administration in northern Iraq. The US has been trying to get the PUK and KDP to cooperate in a combined administration since 1998.

In raids in the north and near the Syrian border, American troops attacked camps and urban bases established by Iraqi and foreign fighters who have been attacking American troops. Since the United States began its offensive against these groups, the attacks have declined and far fewer American troops have been killed or wounded. Apparently the attacks were being organized and carried out by a few groups. Because of the large number of anti-Baath Party Iraqis, even among the generally pro-Baath Sunni Arabs, there have been plenty of informers.

The U.S. has given several airlines (World Airways, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines and freight carrier Kalitta Air) to resume service to Iraq. Regular air service is expected to begin within the next month.

The 3,000 man Italian para-military force has begun arriving in Iraq. 

Two bombs cut the oil pipeline in the north, that goes through Turkey. Baath Party documents were captured in the south revealing a Baath Party plan of sabotage and assassination of anti-Baath leaders. The purpose of this plan, which only senior Baath Party members knew about, was to create unrest and allow Baath to regain power if the coalition managed to defeat the Iraqi military.

Several dozen armed Iraqis ambushed an American units northeast of Baghdad. The U.S. troops reacted, killing at least 27 Iraqis and suffering no casualties. 




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