THE BLOG
11/27/2007 10:30 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

NSN Iraq Daily Update 11/27/07


PRESIDENT BUSH TAKES STEPS TO ENSURE LONG TERM U.S. PRESENCE IN IRAQ

President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have signed a pact on Iraq's future. Bush and al-Maliki signed a declaration of principles during a secure videoconference on Monday. The declaration calls for the current U.N. mandate to be extended one year, then replaced at the end of 2008 by a bilateral pact governing the economic, political and security aspects of the relationship. However, the deal left unsettled the question of how many and how long U.S. forces would remain. The nonbinding statement sets the parameters for talks on a formal pact, which would address issues such as what mission U.S. forces in Iraq will pursue. [Washington Post, 11/27/07]

ETHNIC CLEANSING HAS BROUGHT A DEGREE OF PEACE TO MANY BAGHDAD NEIGHBORHOODS

"Ultimately, it will be, 'you live alone and we live alone and no more fighting.'" Residents of Amel, a once integrated Baghdad neighborhood, now live under the protection of US sponsored Sunni "Amel Guard." Separation, not reconciliation has restored peace to Amel, but a main point of contention for Shi'a is the Sunni guards now on the US military's payroll. Currently, Amel is cut in two by Seven Nissan, a once bustling thoroughfare of stores and businesses, which has become the demarcation line between Sunnis and Shi'a in Amel. As for the Mahdi Army, many residents on the Shi'a in Amel suggest they have simply put away their weapons for now and are streamlining their ranks as they get ready for another battle. [CS Monitor, 11/27/07]

"I find the US military's solution foolish and simplistic... they are putting fuel next to fire," said one resident. In the western neighborhood of Jihad, knee-high concrete barriers have been erected by the US military at the entrances of several neighborhood blocks. Sunni guards from the US-funded program could be seen manning a barricaded position on the rooftop of one Sunni building. Directly opposite from them, across the highway, Shi'a guards in the same program stand on another rooftop. [CS Monitor, 11/27/07]

POLAND COULD PULL TROOPS BY SUMMER '08

Poland could leave Iraq in 2008. Amidst growing domestic disproval with the Iraq war - 81% of Poles are opposed to it - the new defense minister said Poland could pull its troops out of Iraq in summer 2008. According to Defense Minister Bogdan Klich, the Prime Minister's government will seek the president's approval to send a final rotation of troops to Iraq in the first half of 2008 as part of a closing mission to prepare for the final pull out of troops. Poland has authorized 900 troops leading an international force of 2,000 soldiers in southeastern Iraq until Dec. 31. [AP, 11/27/07]

U.S. GENERAL: IRAQ SECURITY FORCES STILL NOT READY

Iraq's security forces improving but will not be ready to take control of as many provinces by the end of the year as the U.S. military had hoped. The speed of a U.S. withdrawal has been tied to improvements in Iraq's security forces, which Lieutenant-General James Dubik, the U.S. general in charge of training the nation's soldiers, described as good but mixed. His predecessor, Lieutenant-General Martin Dempsey, had said in June that Iraqi forces should be ready to be in control of 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces by the end of the year. "I don't think we'll make that," Dubik told Reuters in an interview late on Sunday. "We're not on a timeline at all. The conditions in each province will dictate when we do that." He said Iraq's 490,000-strong security forces - 160,000 soldiers and about 330,000 police - had shown great improvements in the past six months but lack of leadership, sectarian infiltration and logistics remained key problems.
[Washington Post, 11/27/07]

REFUGEE CRISIS CONTINUES

Iraq is to offer Jordan eight million dollars for refugees. According to the ambassador to Amman, Iraq is to give Jordan the sum in order to pay the costs of sheltering hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees. According to the UN High Commissioner of Refugees, an estimated 750,000 Iraqis have fled to Jordan. Iraq announced last week it was giving Syria 15 million dollars to help pay the costs of sheltering an estimated 1.4 million Iraqi refugees. [AFP, 11/27/07]

VIOLENCE CONTINUES TO RAGE IN IRAQ

U.S. roadblock shootings kill five. In two separate incidents on Tuesday, American troops fired on vehicles at roadblocks, killing at least five. One shooting in Baghdad took place as the driver of a minibus with local Rasheed bank employees tried to drive through a U.S. roadblock. According to Iraqi police, as many as four passengers were killed, including three women. However, the U.S. military reported two people killed and four wounded. During a U.S. operation Monday in Beiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad, American troops shot at a vehicle speeding toward a roadblock after firing warning shots, the U.S. military said in a separate statement. Three were killed in the attack. [AP, 11/27/07]

Nine killed when "shepherd" bomber attacks police. Nine people were killed when a suicide bomber posing as a shepherd attacked police in Diyala province, north of Baghdad. According to officials, four police and two civilian men were killed in the blast. Another three women were killed when random gunfire broke out in the chaos after the blast. [AP, 11/27/07]