[Homestead] Charming, foresighted fellow

Tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Tue Sep 21 10:42:59 EDT 2004

Speaking  about Our Maximum Leader of course whose conduct is certainly 
predictable---who the hell would want to provide military security to 
truck drivers whose cargo is essential to supporting the Iraq economy?  
Not the guy adamantly opposed to boots on the ground---and aerial 
surveillance as well.

Kidnappings Halting Cargo, Fuel Deliveries in Iraq

*By Jim Krane* Associated Press Writer
Published: Sep 21, 2004


KIRKUK, Iraq (AP) - Rampant abductions of foreigners working for the 
U.S. military and its allies in Iraq have slowed cargo and fuel 
deliveries from Turkey into Iraq, with Turkish truckers refusing to 
drive south of the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk for the past two weeks, 
according to U.S. military reports.

Iraqi truckers have taken over deliveries of goods to U.S. bases and 
other shipments once handled by Turkish drivers, said Army Maj. Bob 
Peters, the intelligence officer for the 2nd Brigade of the 25th 
Infantry Division, which controls security in the Kirkuk region.

Three Iraqi Kurdish drivers kidnapped and killed on Sunday were 
replacing Turkish drivers that once handled the deliveries, Peters said 
on Monday. The three were abducted near the U.S. Army base at Balad, 
though it was not clear precisely when they disappeared.

"In the last two weeks we've seen a serious interruption in commercial 
traffic" flowing south from Turkey into Iraq, Peters said.

The main U.S. convoy route, the highway from the Turkish border that 
runs through Mosul and to Baghdad, is the focal point for kidnappings 
and other insurgent attacks on military supply convoys. Guerrillas also 
target the trucks with improvised bombs triggered by kitchen timers, 
cellular phones or walkie-talkies.

Foreigners' kidnappings have often been followed by videotapes of masked 
abductors displaying the captives, making demands, and in some cases 
killing the victims. Peters called the tactic a successful "information 
operation" that was spreading fear among travelers on the main highway, 
slowing deliveries of fuel to Baghdad and other cities and sowing 
economic instability.

Kidnapping has been a persistent problem in Iraq since the U.S.-led 
invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. Iraqis often complain that 
kidnapping of foreign workers in Iraq grabs the attention of the 
international media here, but that criminal gangs abduct far more 
Iraqis, usually for profit.

The past 20 days have seen a burst of kidnappings of all types - Iraqi 
civilians as well as foreign workers, Peters said.

On Sunday, the 25th Infantry reported that a pair of kidnapping rings 
has been operating in this multiethnic city, abducting and holding 
Turkomen and Kurdish children for ransom.

The gangs are based in Sunni Arab tribal areas west of Kirkuk, and have 
abducted 30 to 40 Kurdish or Turkomen children inside Kirkuk and held 
them captive in nearby Arab villages, said Maj. Mario Diaz, operations 
officer for a 25th Infantry battalion based in the northwestern town of 

AP-ES-09-21-04 0236EDT

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