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Samarra

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NEWS
October 2, 2004 | By Nancy A. Youssef and Patrick Kerkstra INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
U.S. and Iraqi forces, trying to pave the way for January elections, took control yesterday of the center of the Sunni Muslim city of Samarra. One U.S. soldier and more than 100 insurgents were killed in fierce battles that underscored the precariousness of the U.S. position in Iraq just as questions about Iraq policy have taken center stage in the U.S. presidential campaign. Only nine days ago, interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi told the U.S. Congress that Samarra was an example of how his government had "tackled the insurgents who once controlled the city.
NEWS
November 7, 2004 | By Tom Lasseter and Hannah Allam INQUIRER FOREIGN STAFF
At least 29 Iraqis, many policemen, died yesterday in a series of coordinated attacks in Samarra, while a convoy attack left 20 Marines wounded in a rebel-held area where U.S. forces are poised to launch what could be the biggest battle of the year. Military officials were concerned that two car bombings and other violence in Samarra could signal that the insurgents plan to wage attacks across the region to divert U.S. forces from the approaching battle to reclaim Fallujah and Ramadi from Sunni Muslim fighters.
NEWS
September 10, 2004 | By Patrick Kerkstra INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
U.S. warplanes hit the insurgent strongholds of Fallujah and Tal Afar yesterday, while American troops cautiously reentered the rebellious city of Samarra for the first time in months with the backing of local officials. A military spokesman said at least 57 insurgents were killed in the attacks on Tal Afar, a town near the Syrian border that the U.S. says is a haven for weapons smugglers and foreign fighters. It was the third straight day of strikes against Fallujah, a city 30 miles west of Baghdad that is controlled by insurgents.
NEWS
December 2, 2003 | By Sudarsan Raghavan INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The U.S. military and Iraqis gave conflicting accounts yesterday of a firefight that ebbed and flowed for hours Sunday in this city, where the U.S. military said it killed 54 Iraqis, not the 46 reported a day earlier. The ambush, the conflicting accounts, and evidence that guerrillas were able to plan an ambitious operation in a populated area without anyone alerting the Americans all underscored the problems U.S. troops face in eradicating the insurgents without alienating more Iraqis.
NEWS
February 24, 2006
RE THE MUSLIM shrine versus the cartoons: A large explosion heavily damaged the golden dome of one of Iraq's most famous Muslim Shiite religious shrines in Samarra on Feb. 22. So can someone from the Muslim society please explain how the destruction of such a famous house of worship is less of a concern to the Muslims than a cartoon of the prophet? I'm confused. Larry Lueder Mantua, N.J.
NEWS
May 26, 2009 | By William Ecenbarger FOR THE INQUIRER
Seventy-five years ago a local boy named John O'Hara published his first novel - Appointment in Samarra - and left his former friends and neighbors fuming because it chronicled in great detail the business, brand-name, and bedroom preferences of the people in a town he called Gibbsville. O'Hara changed the names of the streets and surrounding towns, but no one here was fooled for a minute. The fictional geography fit the real map skintight. But far worse, real people - murderers, bootleggers, philistines, philanderers, promiscuous women, and unscrupulous businessmen - were given different names.
NEWS
December 18, 2003 | By Sudarsan Raghavan and Jonathan S. Landay INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
More than 2,000 U.S. soldiers, acting on information recovered during the capture of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein, swept through the city of Samarra yesterday in a hunt for anti-American resistance leaders and fighters, officials said. U.S. intelligence officials, who requested anonymity because the information is classified, said the soldiers who captured Hussein about 20 miles from Samarra on Saturday recovered a document with the names of former senior Iraqi officials who have been working with the anti-American resistance.
NEWS
February 19, 2006 | By Tom Lasseter INQUIRER FOREIGN STAFF
The gunfight by the Tigris River was over. It was time to retrieve the bodies. Staff Sgt. Cortez Powell looked at the dead man he'd shot in the face when insurgents had ambushed an American patrol. Because Powell's M4 assault rifle had jammed, he'd grabbed the pump-action shotgun slung over his shoulders and pulled the trigger. Five other soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division pulled two of the insurgents' bodies from the reeds and dragged them through the mud. "Strap [them]
NEWS
May 1, 2006 | By Leila Fadel INQUIRER FOREIGN STAFF
Zina Hassan, 22, drops her voice to a whisper when she talks about student politics at Baghdad University. "We are surrounded by spies," said Hassan, who's a Sunni Muslim. Kadhem al-Muqdadi, a Shiite Muslim, scans the campus before getting into his car. A teaching colleague was killed when a student alerted a waiting assassin with a phone call. Mohammed Jassim, a Sunni, resigned his job as a lecturer at Mustansariyah University in northeast Baghdad. Members of the Mahdi Army, the militia of militant Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, threatened twice to kill him if he stayed.
NEWS
September 10, 2004 | Daily News Wire Services _
American warplanes struck militant positions in two insurgent-controlled cities yesterday and U.S. and Iraqi troops quietly took control of a third in a sweeping crackdown following a spike in attacks against U.S. forces. More than 60 people were reported killed, most of them in Tal Afar, one of several cities which American officials acknowledged this week had fallen under insurgent control and become "no-go" zones. Nine people, including two children, were reported killed in an airstrike in Fallujah against a house which the U.S. command suspected of being used by allies of the Jordanian-born terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 26, 2009 | By William Ecenbarger FOR THE INQUIRER
Seventy-five years ago a local boy named John O'Hara published his first novel - Appointment in Samarra - and left his former friends and neighbors fuming because it chronicled in great detail the business, brand-name, and bedroom preferences of the people in a town he called Gibbsville. O'Hara changed the names of the streets and surrounding towns, but no one here was fooled for a minute. The fictional geography fit the real map skintight. But far worse, real people - murderers, bootleggers, philistines, philanderers, promiscuous women, and unscrupulous businessmen - were given different names.
NEWS
September 14, 2007 | By Charles Krauthammer
As always, the inadvertent slip is the most telling. Discussing the performance of British troops, Gen. David Petraeus told Sen. Joe Biden (D., Del.) of the Foreign Relations Committee that he'd be consulting with British colleagues in London on his way back "home. " He had meant to say "Iraq," where he is now on his third tour of duty. Is there any other actor in Washington's Iraq War drama - from Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) to the Joint Chiefs - who could have made such a substitution?
ENTERTAINMENT
April 6, 2007 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
The high desert of New Mexico resembles a Georgia O'Keeffe landscape with the color leached out. "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes," locals joke about the sudden hot and cold fronts that blow through, frequently defoliating plant and human life. This is the unpredictable setting for First Snow , a haunting neo-noir about a man told by a palmist that his karma is about to run over his dogma. The film marks the feature debut of Mark Fergus, who collaborated on its twisty script with his Children of Men writing partner, Hawk Ostby.
NEWS
May 1, 2006 | By Leila Fadel INQUIRER FOREIGN STAFF
Zina Hassan, 22, drops her voice to a whisper when she talks about student politics at Baghdad University. "We are surrounded by spies," said Hassan, who's a Sunni Muslim. Kadhem al-Muqdadi, a Shiite Muslim, scans the campus before getting into his car. A teaching colleague was killed when a student alerted a waiting assassin with a phone call. Mohammed Jassim, a Sunni, resigned his job as a lecturer at Mustansariyah University in northeast Baghdad. Members of the Mahdi Army, the militia of militant Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, threatened twice to kill him if he stayed.
NEWS
March 26, 2006 | By Charles Krauthammer
Today's big debate over Iraq seems to be: Is there or is there not a civil war? Yes, say defeatists, citing former prime minister Ayad Allawi, a man with an ax to grind against the current (elected) government that excluded him. No, not really, not yet, not quite, say U.S. officials and commanders, as well as Iraq's president, also hardly the most neutral of observers. This debate appears to be important because the perception that there has been an outbreak of civil war following the Samarra bombing pushed some waverers to jump ship on their support for the war. Most famous of these is William F. Buckley, who after Samarra declared that it is time for "the acknowledgment of defeat.
NEWS
March 10, 2006 | By Max Boot
Are we winning or losing in Iraq? Liberals and conservatives safe at home have no trouble formulating glib answers to that fundamental question. The former can always point to setbacks, the latter to successes. The picture becomes blurrier, the future murkier, when you spend time in Iraq, as I did the last week of February. After traveling from Qatar to Baghdad on a C-17 transport aircraft, I jumped off a Blackhawk helicopter on Feb. 22 at Forward Operating Base Warhorse near the city of Baqubah, 30 miles north of the capital.
NEWS
March 10, 2006 | By Drew Brown INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
U.S. military commanders do not intend to allow a civil war in Iraq to occur, but if it happens, they will let Iraqi security forces handle it, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday. "The plan is to prevent a civil war," Rumsfeld told the Senate Appropriations Committee. "And to the extent that one were to occur, to have the - from a security standpoint - have the Iraqi security forces deal with it, to the extent that they're able to. " Rumsfeld testified before the committee along with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and top generals during hearings on President Bush's roughly $70 billion supplemental spending request to cover the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
NEWS
February 26, 2006 | By Tom Lasseter INQUIRER FOREIGN STAFF
Fear of full-scale civil war here continued to mount yesterday as Iraq's minority Sunni Muslim population lashed back in a bloody campaign of retaliation after three days of Shiite Muslim militiamen and mobs killing Sunnis and attacking their mosques. Officials worked throughout the day to calm the situation, triggered by Wednesday's bombing in Samarra of one of Shiite Islam's most important shrines, and thousands of Iraqi and American troops fanned out across Baghdad to impose a curfew aimed at shutting down the capital.
NEWS
February 25, 2006 | By Nancy A. Youssef INQUIRER FOREIGN STAFF
Fighting erupted in several western Baghdad neighborhoods last night after the expiration of a curfew that had been imposed throughout central Iraq following widespread religious and ethnic killings. While U.S. and Iraqi leaders continued to call for calm, there was broad uncertainty about the next steps to prevent Iraq from sliding into civil war. Hours after Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said in a televised address that the government had secured religious shrines throughout the country, two rockets struck the tomb of Salman Pak, also known as Salman al-Farisi.
NEWS
February 25, 2006 | By Tom Lasseter INQUIRER FOREIGN STAFF
This week's surge in sectarian violence in Iraq - shootings, mosque burnings and mob attacks - is a chilling indicator of how successful the Sunni Muslim insurgency and foreign fighters have been in fomenting unrest. While U.S. combat deaths have declined sharply in recent months - from 70 in November to 42 in January and 38 in February as of yesterday - insurgents are still staging hundreds of attacks a week. Last week, they struck 555 times, according to American military officials.
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