Covert-Ops in Iraq?
by Philip Askew
On 17th September*, 2005, an Iraqi prison in Basra, southern Iraq, was assaulted by several armoured vehicles belonging to the British armed forces stationed in Basra at the time. The aim was to free two men - who identified themselves as British soldiers - who had earlier been arrested by Iraqi police after being stopped at a checkpoint in the city and firing at two Iraqi officers (one of whom later died of his injuries).
There are differing descriptions of the two men's clothes at the time of their detention: according to some witnesses they were wearing plain clothes, according to others they were dressed in traditional Arab clothes, possibly wearing wigs. It seems to be clear, however, that they were not wearing uniforms.
The question remains to this day what their mission was and why their arrest created such concern among the British military command, as evidenced by the fact that the assault to the Police Station of Basra in which they were imprisoned, involved 6 or 8 armoured vehicles and helicopter air-support. The operation culminated in smashing down one of the walls of the prison and. the release of the two men, which was later described by the British Ministry of Defence as the result of a "negotiation".
According to Mr. Fattah al-Shayk, then a member of the National Assembly and deputy for Basra, during an interview on Al-Jazeera TV (19/09/05) the two men "seem to be Britons and were in a car of the Cressida type. It was a booby-trapped car laden with ammunition and was meant to explode in the centre of the city of Basra in the popular market."
*some reports date the incident to 19th September, 2005
“Insurgent Iraq” (The Mith of al-Zarqawi) Lorettta Napoleoni
Declaraciones a prensa italiana de la periodista secuestrada por la guerrilla sunní. Convivió con los guerrilleros y de ellos obtuvo información sensible. Fue liberada en 2006 y entregada a agentes secretos italianos, uno de los cuales murió, cubriendo el cuerpo de ella, cuando en el coche que les llevaba al aeropuerto de Bagdad, para abandonar el país. Dicho coche fue intencionadamente ametrallados por soldados americanos. Las autoridades americanas alegaron despúes que se había tratado de un error. El propio Primer Mionistro italiano, Silvio Berlusconi, pidió explicaciones a George Bush, de quien era aliado en la guerra contra Iraq.