No reports of violence escaped Iraq today; however, there were other important news stories. Among them, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill promises that he is not in Arbil to encourage Kurds to make concessions to the Arab-led central government. Meanwhile, Iraq is cracking down on shops that sell military and police uniforms. Also, Amnesty International has asked for a halt the increasing passage of death sentences.
The chairman of Iraq’s Implementation and Follow-up Committee for National Reconciliation held a press conference in Baghdad to discuss the situation with the transfer of Awakening Council (Sahwa) members to other organizations. Mohammed Salman al-Saadi said about half of the 96,000 Sahwa members have been placed in other jobs, most of them in Baghdad. Outside the capital, nearly 80% of the fighters still need to be transferred. Due to the security situation, the transfer program is suspended until after March elections. The Sahwa Councils are credited with reducing violence in Iraq; however, they have had an uneasy and complicated relationship with the Shi’ite-led government since the U.S. handed authority over them to Iraq.
At the Iraq Inquiry, Former Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon testified that post-war plans for Iraq were not as "detailed and comprehensive as we would have liked" nor did the invasion "go as well as we wanted it to go."
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani met with Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi to discuss the banning of 14 lists (over 500 individuals) in upcoming elections. Former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi separately warned that the de-Ba’athification process, which was used to ban the lists, is being politicized. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki denied that the process is targeting Sunnis.
Two bombs in Mosul left no casualties.
Gunmen fired on a U.S. patrol in Shorja. No casualties were reported.
Four detainees escaped in Yathrib.
A bomb was defused in Fallujah.
A Naqshabandiya Army suspect was detained near Hawija.
Ramadi police plan to set up a camera surveillance system at sensitive locations.
The council in Tal Afar has demanded stronger security.
Thirteen suspects were detained in Basra province.