Updated at 6:45 p.m. EST, Nov. 20, 2008
At least 14 Iraqis
were killed and 39 more were wounded as a second day of chaos temporarily
halted parliamentary debates
over a U.S.-Iraqi security pact. No Coalition deaths were reported, but U.S. forces
killed an al-Qaeda leader after receiving a tip to his whereabouts.
over a proposed U.S-Iraqi security agreement was halted
during a second day of disruptions in parliament. Leading the opposition are the
Sadrists, who hope to influence undecided members into voting against it. Although
the pact is expected to pass when lawmakers vote on Nov. 24, the margin by which
it passes could have significant consequences. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
will support the deal only if it passes by a wide margin. The deal would allow
U.S. forces to remain in Iraq after the U.N. mandate ends in December. David Satterfield,
senior advisor to the US secretary of state and the country's Iraq coordinator
an Iraqi newspaper that rejection could mean the immediate exit of U.S. troops
now stationed in Iraq.
Without the Ayatollah's support, the willingness
of Shi'ite Iraqis to observe its conditions could evaporate. Shi'ite cleric Moqtada
that he could end a unilaterally imposed ceasefire should the agreement pass and
that a public referendum on the pact take place instead. His ceasefire is credited
with significant reductions in violence over the last 18 months. Meanwhile, Prime
Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose continued political power is dependent on passage,
reiterated that this agreement
is Iraq's best chance to restore sovereignty. Maliki and Sadr are political rivals,
and January elections could alter the balance of power between them. Last March,
their rivalry nearly ignited a civil war that ended only when Iran brokered a
truce several weeks later.
U.S. forces killed
two suspects and detained five others on Nov. 11 during a previously unreported
raid in Baghdad's Mansour district. The military waited until the
body was positively identified as belonging to al-Qaeda leader Hajji Hammadi.
Hammadi is believed to have abducted and killed an American soldier, as well as
assassinating numerous Sunni sheikhs. He is also accused of masterminding a significant
bombing in Garma last June and of leading Iraqi fighters into the second bottle
Even though few reports of casualties have come out of Mosul
in recent days, at least 10 bombings occur
in the city on a daily basis. Late today, police were able to turn a suicide car
bomber away from their station. He
was killed but managed to injure
35 people during the incident.
bodies were discovered outside Mosul in Tal Abta. Two of them belonged
In Baghdad, three
people were wounded when a bomb attached to presidential guard vehicle in
five family members, including children, during a home invasion in Kut.
Two suspects were arrested
An Iraqi army
officer was killed and a soldier was wounded as the pair attempted to defuse
a bomb in Saidiya.
and Iraqi forces described the issues facing them at the porous Iranian
border and promised to increase security.
clashes between Turkish soldiers and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels yesterday
two soldiers dead and four more wounded. As many as four PKK rebels were killed
as well; one of the rebels deaths though may have been already been listed in
yesterday's reports. Accurate figures from this area are difficult to obtain due
to geography and a lack of third party observers. A Kurdish mayor was sentenced
to 15 months in a Turkish jail for helping PKK forces.
by Margaret Griffis