Centre for Research on Globalisation
Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation

Al Jazeera News Updates on Situation in Iraq

Al Jazeera 25, 26 July July 2003
www.globalresearch.ca 28  July 2003

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ALJ307B.html

"Defense Paul Wolfowitz. In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Mr Wolfowitz said stations like al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya incited hatred and violence by "slanting news incredibly" about events in Iraq. Both stations have rejected allegations of bias, saying Mr Wolfowitz has misrepresented their output.

Editor-in-chief Salah Negm said al-Arabiya's coverage "reflects the truth even if that angered some people".

Mr Wolfowitz's comments came as al-Jazeera said US troops had arrested one of its journalists in northern Iraq." (BBC, 27 July 2003


The arrest of the Al Jazeera journalist was not reported by the Western media.

We have reviewed Al Jazeera's coverage, the reports are documented and balanced. We will in future be providing news updates by Al Jazeera in English (Editor) 

Al- Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1100 gmt 27 Jul 03

Text of report by Qatari Al- Jazeera satellite TV on 27 July

The US troops have arrested a correspondent of Al- Jazeera Television and his driver in Mosul, northern Iraq, while the reporter was filming a civilian vehicle whose occupants had launched an attack on the US troops in Mosul.

The Al- Jazeera reporter, Nawfal al-Shahwani, started a hunger strike to protest against his arrest. As a result, he was taken to hospital for treatment.

Al- Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1802 gmt 26 Jul 03

Text of satellite interview with Yasir Abu-Hilalah, Al- Jazeera correspondent, in Baghdad, by anchorwoman Layla al-Shayib in the Doha studios; broadcast live by Qatari Al- Jazeera satellite TV on 26 July

Al-Shayib I have with me from Baghdad our correspondent Yasir Abu-Hilalah. Yasir how do you describe the general situation in Baghdad this evening?

Abu-Hilalah Regarding the Ba'qubah operation, eyewitnesses told us that the operation was carried out when the US soldiers were having a break and playing cards. Hand grenades were thrown at them from above, from one of the hospital's floors. Three soldiers were killed immediately. The eyewitnesses said that a fourth soldier sustained serious injuries and died later. So, the eyewitnesses said that four soldiers, not three, were killed. Up to this moment, the hospital has been besieged and the area is also cordoned. The US forces are also conducting investigation at the hospital. This is regarding the operation, but ...

Al-Shayib, interrupting But before leaving this point, Yasir, why the hospital?

Abu-Hilalah Those who carry out such operations target the US forces regardless of the place where these forces are or the purpose for which they came. The US forces say that they are in Iraq to serve the Iraqi people, to meet their needs, to maintain security and stability and to secure basic services. Those who carry out such operations target the US forces as occupation forces regardless of their mission even if these forces were providing humanitarian services, building an infrastructure, or anything else. They target them as being occupation forces. This is the logic of those who carry out such operations. Not all Iraqis believe so, but some Iraqis believe that these forces should be given a chance.

I would like to mention another important development concerning the bodies of Uday and Qusay. The Al-Bunasir tribe, to which the former president belongs, has requested, through its chief Mahmud al-Nada, who met in the Salah al-Din Governorate the commander of the US forces in Tikrit in the presence of one of Bremer's assistants, requested that he be given the bodies of Uday and Qusay. Shaykh Mahmud told me: This issue has nothing to do with politics. We have no connection with the policies of the previous regime or the former president. It is a tribal issue. We must receive the bodies of the sons of the tribe in order to bury them in accordance with the Islamic Shari'ah law. Keeping the bodies is unacceptable by any religious laws or international norms and conventions.

We have contacted the coalition authority and they told us that the issue is a political one and will be discussed with the Governing Council. They said that any solution will have to be in accordance with the Islamic law and tribal traditions.

It seems that the issue is a political one. Attitudes towards these two persons are diverse. Some are very hostile to them, especially the ones who were harmed when the two were in charge of the special security apparatus, the Saddam Fedayeen organization, or other positions that they had assumed. Some are so hostile to them that they might even attack their graves and bodies. Some others are loyal to them. They want to bury them. They want to do the minimum that the tribal traditions and what they consider religious duties require.

Al-Shayib Thank you, Yasir Abu-Hilalah, our correspondent in Baghdad.

Al- Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1130 gmt 25 Jul 03

Qatari Al- Jazeera satellite TV at 1130 gmt on 25 July broadcasts a telephone interview with its Baghdad Bureau Chief Waddah Khanfar for details on the decision by the US forces to allow journalists to examine the bodies of Uday and Qusay and allow television networks to film the bodies.

Asked by presenter Abd-al-Samad Nasir if he had managed to examine the bodies, Khanfar, speaking from Baghdad airport where the bodies of Uday and Qusay are displayed, says the US forces allowed only reporters to examine the bodies, but prevented cameramen from filming them. He adds that cameramen will be allowed to film only the faces of the bodies.

Khanfar notes that the features of the bodies indicate they belong to Uday and Qusay. He says the features of the faces have been changed by US doctors, removing scars and deep wounds on the faces. Khanfar notes that the facial reconstruction "made the faces look identical to the many pictures of Uday and Qusay we usually see."

Asked if Iraqi journalists were convinced that the two bodies are those of Uday and Qusay, Khanfar says: "We did not see any Iraqi journalist with us. Fifteen or so journalists were taken to this place, particularly those from key news agencies like Reuters, the Associated Press, and Arab television networks. So the invitation was not open to all journalists, but rather to a certain number of them. It seems the purpose was to invite Arab television networks that would air these pictures to convince the Iraqis and others that the bodies are those of Uday and Qusay . We did not see Iraqi journalists in the place. We did not see any Iraqi in the place where the bodies were examined."

Asked if displaying the bodies would change the situation in Iraq, especially with regard to "resistance" to the US forces, Khanfar says the death of Uday and Qusay will not end the suffering of the Iraqi people, who want to see tangible things on the ground to feel that a new era has begun.

In reply to a question, Khanfar says the fact that Uday and Qusay could not protect themselves falsifies the impression which the Americans wanted to impart, that the two led guerrilla operations against the US forces.

 © Copyright Al Jazeera, Translation BBC Monitoring 2003  For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .