News and opinions on situation in Iraq
23/10/04 Terrorists in Falluja
Who are the terrorists in Falluja and how are they terrorising the civilian population? Nermeen Al-Mufti finds out

Relatives of Ateka Abdel Hamid, 24, did not know that this seven-month pregnant woman was a terrorist until the day she died. As the family collected the mutilated bodies of Ateka and her family, a United States spokesman boasted that the “multinational forces” killed a number of terrorists and Al-Zarqawi supporters during an offensive in Falluja. The terrorists, it turned out, were Ateka, her three-year-old son Omar, her husband Tamer and six other members of her family.

Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Hamid, Ateka's brother, said that the only survivor of his sister's family was her nine month-old daughter, whose picture has already been flashed across television screens worldwide. Ateka and her children had fled their home in the military district in Falluja to her parents' house. On the day she died, her mother-in- law had taken her home to the “relatively-safe” Al- Jumhuriya district. At midnight, US planes bombed the area and Ateka, her family and her husband's family were killed. Ateka's parents did not know of the tragedy until the morning of the next day. Relatives buried the nine bodies. Like many others in Falluja, their former home was now but a smouldering shell. This is a charred testimony to dashed hope — Ateka and her family did not reach safety.

Today, Abdul-Rahman is taking his family to Al- Taji, a neighbourhood of Baghdad where they have a relative. It is not an entirely safe area but it beats Falluja. Falluja inhabitants have been running away since mid-April 2003, when the first US attacks were mounted against the city. The Iraqi government has even asked the inhabitants of Falluja to evacuate the city, and yet US forces have laid siege to it, cutting it off from the highway— the only route linking Falluja to other Iraqi cities.

Despite the government instruction to leave, the people of Falluja are finding it hard to do so. There are also those who cannot leave the city, those who are not fortunate enough to have relatives to house them elsewhere. They have stayed, alongside those who simply won't leave their homes.

Falluja was once called the city of minarets. It once echoed the Euphrates in its beauty and calm. It had plentiful water and lush greenery. It was a summer resort for Iraqis. People went there for leisure, for a swim at the nearby Habbaniya lake, for a kebab meal. The Abu Hussein restaurant was one of Falluja's best Kebab houses. But US forces, acting on an Iraqi intelligence tip, decided that Abu Hussein was a terrorist den. They destroyed the establishment, killing its two guards. The bodies of the guards were never found, only the traces of blood.

On both sides of the highway scenes of destruction abound. Mansions and tiny houses have become equal — all were destroyed. Sometimes curiosity would bring a visitor, an adult or a child who used to know the owners, to stare at the rubble. The air is thick with tragedy. I wonder, with a lump in my throat, where are the Arab brothers? Where are the Muslim kinfolk? Where is the civilised world? What do they make of the orgy of blood in Iraq? Today, I know how the Palestinians feel, when they are slaughtered while the Arabs and the world look the other way.

Are there Arab fighters in Falluja? “Some Arab brothers were among us, but when the shelling intensified, we asked them to leave and they did,” says Ahmed Al-Deleimi. He added, “Why has America given itself the right to call on UK and Australian and other armies for help and we don't have the same right? We can't call on others for help.”

Kamel Mohamed, who was getting ready to leave Falluja, said that he had heard that there were Arab fighters in the city, but he never saw any of them. Then he had heard that they had left. “Regardless of the motives of those fighters, they have provided a pretext for the city to be slaughtered, exactly as the mass destruction weapons gimmick provided a pretext for Iraq to be slaughtered. It is our right to resist and it is the opponent's right to be honest, but is there such a thing as an honest occupier?”

The suffering spreads along with the destruction. This is the second Ramadan under occupation, and bloodshed is everywhere. Iyad Allawi has visited Sadr City, which has laid down its arms, and said that he is determined to uproot terror. No Iraqi or US official has yet told the Iraqis, who live in constant danger, exactly what terror is. Does the US warning people to stay away because a force with a licence to kill operates, not qualify as terror? Does murder by “friendly” fire not qualify as terror? Does occupation by a foreign force not qualify as terror?



  Video Of Recent Iraqi Resistance attack on American's troop

  Video 1,

  Video 2,

  Video 3 ,

  Video 4 ,

  Video 5 ,

  Video 6

Back to Main Index >> Iraq Index >> Middle East Index >> Palestine/Israel Index