Baghdad claims big success in marshland war

BAGHDAD (Reuter, AFP) - Iraq, its warplanes barred by Western air power from flying over Shia rebel refuges in the southern marshes, yesterday said army deserters and 'infiltrators' there were surrendering en masse.

And, referring to the policing of the skies over the marshes by Western aircraft, it said tens of thousands of people in southern Iraq had volunteered to 'confront the American, British and French . . . plan'. Iraq said it had nothing to fear from the Western allies' imposition of the no-fly zone south of the 32nd parallel.

President Saddam Hussein vowed yesterday to defeat a conspiracy to tear apart Iraq, which he said was hatched by Gulf war allies barring his aircraft from the south. In a message read on his behalf on television and radio, he said Iraqis would defeat the partitioning of the country by 'further indignation, derision and rejection' of the conspiracy.

'I realise that the young among you cannot stand this aggressive and infidel act and are burning with wrath, wanting to respond,' President Saddam said. 'I don't want to hide that we (leaders) like you have the same feelings, but we in the leadership resort to patience, which God wants.'

Al-Thawra, the ruling Baath Party's newspaper, said the Shia dissidents gave themselves up to party offices in Basra, where long queues of volunteers waited to receive arms to defend Iraq's unity. 'Large numbers of army deserters and infiltrators have surrendered to party offices, benefiting from an amnesty issued by the leadership earlier.'

Iraqi planes have not ventured south of the 32nd parallel since the exclusion zone was declared. Baghdad has said it will go to war if attempts are made to weaken its control of the ground.

In Gushtepe, in the north of the country, Iraqi forces took away Shia families and drove off their livestock. The information came from drivers ferrying goods and people between Kirkuk, a major oil city, and the Kurdish-dominated area north of it. One driver said he saw about 50 Shia families removed by truck from Kirkuk.

In Arbil, an official of a Western humanitarian organisation said that he had heard from a reliable driver that the round-up occurred after some Shias fired on officials of the Baath Party, killing one of them.

A United Nations official confirmed that a bomb was discovered under a UN car just as it crossed the Gushtepe checkpoint into the Kurdish area on Thursday. The official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the car had earlier been stopped at an Iraqi checkpoint and delayed for a long time.

Personnel of the UN and international relief organisations have been the target of a score of terrorist attacks over the past two months. Kurdish officials blame the Iraqi secret police. Iraq denies involvement.

JERUSALEM - The Israeli army, in a sign that it may be preparing for renewed Iraqi missile attacks, announced new civil defence procedures yesterday. General Ishay Dotan recommended that Israelis go to a shelter, not just an airtight room, as was the case during the Gulf war.

The army is to hand out new gasmask filters in October and new gasmasks to those who did not receive them during the Gulf war.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk