Britain “apologizes” for terrorist act in Basra
Rescue of SAS men who were planning to place bombs in Basra City Square
In earlier reports, we focussed on the operation of two undercover British SAS operatives, dressed in traditonal Arab clothing, who were planning to set of bombs in the main square in Basra, coinciding with a religous event.
They were arrested by Iraqi police and subsequently “liberated” by British forces in a major military assault, directed against the Iraqi police authorities with tanks and armed cars.
(See Were British Special Forces Soldiers Planting Bombs in Basra? by Michael Keefer, See also British “Undercover Soldiers” Caught driving Booby Trapped Car)
The matter of what the SAS operatives were doing was hushed up.
No investiigation was carried out.
This and other incidents suggest that the bomb attacks on civlians including suicide attacks are in fact covert intelligence operations to trigger divisions within Iraqi society, while at the same time weakening the resistance movement.
There is, however, a growing awareness among the Iraqi populaiton that the occupation forces rather than Al Qaeda are behind the attacks on civilians.
In a recent report (October 12):
“A number of Iraqis apprehended two Americans disguised in Arab dress as they tried to blow up a booby-trapped car in the middle of a residential area in western Baghdad on Tuesday.
Residents of western Baghdad’s al-Ghazaliyah district told Quds Press that the people had apprehended the Americans as they left their Caprice car near a residential neighborhood in al-Ghazaliyah on Tuesday afternoon (11 October 2005). Local people found they looked suspicious so they detained the men before they could get away. That was when they discovered that they were Americans and called the Iraqi puppet police.”
Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 15 Oct 2005
Text of report by Iranian Arabic language television news channel Al-Alam on 15 October
The British government has officially apologized to Iraq over the recent Basra events.
A statement issued by the British consulate in Basra has said that London apologizes to the Iraqi people and government, Basra residents, city and province councils and the police force over mistakes made by the British
This comes after a British [army] unit stormed Basra police station and used force to release two British soldiers arrested by Iraqi police for the charge of seeking to carry out sabotage acts and stirring sedition among the residents of the city.
Source: Al-Alam TV, Tehran, in Arabic 1100 gmt 15 Oct 05
Copyrigth Al-Alam and BBC Monitoring 2005
Britain to pay out over Basra rescue
BRITAIN will pay compensation for injuries and damage caused during the storming by the army of a police station in Basra in the operation to release two SAS soldiers held by local Iraqi militia, it was announced yesterday.
In a joint statement, the British Consulate General, representing the army, and the Provincial Council of Basra expressed “regret” for the incidents on 19 September.
“We also regret the casualties on both sides and the material damage to public facilities,” the statement said.
“The British government is prepared to pay valid claims for compensation for casualties and material damage.”
The carefully worded statement expressed full support for the “dignity of the institutions and people of the governorate of Basra and the sovereignty of Iraq”.
It said the British government would deal with “those connected to the events” in accordance with the legislation of the former Coalition Provisional Authority.
The statement will be seen as an attempt to rebuild relations between the army and the authorities in Basra ahead of Saturday’s referendum on a new Iraq constitution and elections in December.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Mohammed al-Waili, the governor, attacked the British action as “barbaric” and warned that he would end co-operation with UK forces unless he received an apology.
An Iraqi judge also issued an arrest warrant for the two undercover SAS men following allegations by Iraqi officials that they opened fire after being stopped by a police patrol.
In the Commons yesterday, John Reid, the Defence Secretary, stressed he still “fully supported” the operation to rescue the two SAS men after it emerged that they had been handed over by the police to local militia.
Copyright The Scotsman 2005