Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for July 3, 2014

Newsline: Apache attack helicopters deployed to protect U.S. Embassy in Iraq

The Obama administration plans on having a U.S. presence in Iraq of roughly 1,000 troops and advisers to protect its embassy in Baghdad, but deployed personnel won’t lack firepower – Apache helicopters will be at their disposal. Rear Adm. John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, announced that in addition to the Apaches, unarmed surveillance drones will help U.S. personnel and Iraqis gather intelligence on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Apache helicopters are capable of firing Hellfire missiles and 70 mm rockets. The aircraft includes a 30mm automatic cannon with up to 1,200 high-explosive, dual-purpose ammunition rounds. Currently there are about 475 U.S. military personnel deployed to Iraq for security purposes, AFP reported. Adm. Kirby said that the Obama administration has approved sending up to 300 more military advisers to augment the 180 currently in Iraq


Newsline: Police in Czech Republic halt investigation into Palestinian Embassy blast

Czech police have shelved the investigation into a Semtex explosion at the Palestinian Embassy in Prague in January that killed Ambassador Jamal al Jamal, because the police did not uncover any crime. Detectives were investigating the case as a killing out of negligence and also because of unauthorized armaments, because 12 weapons originating in the 1980s were found in the building after the accident. The police shelved the investigation into the death because no crime was involved. The same applies to the suspicion of armaments. Allegedly, it has not been proved that anyone else but the ambassador could be suspected of causing the death. Since he has died, the respective law rules out his criminal prosecution. The blast shattered the embassy in Prague-Suchdol on New Year’s Day. Jamal al Jamal succumbed to his serious injuries sustained in the explosion. Representatives of the embassy said in February the death was caused by an unintentional error, and the same applies to the possession of unregistered weapons. Palestinian authorities later apologized to the Czech government. According to investigators, Jamal al Jamal was killed by Semtex hidden in a book. His daughter spoke about a possible murder.


Newsline: Indian embassy helpline flooded with rescue calls in Iraq

The helpline set up by the Indian embassy in Baghdad has been receiving many calls for rescue. Travel documents of more than 800 people have been readied so that they can be brought back to India from different parts of Iraq. The ministry of external affairs issued a travel advisory for Indian nationals in Iraq and the Indian Embassy in Baghdad has opened six camp offices at Najaf, Karbala and Basra for assisting Indians with travel documents and paper work. Instructions to the workers have been issued in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Urdu and Hindi. Two officials from Hyderabad have been posted at Basra and Najaf to assist in Telugu. Srinivas Rao, a Telugu-speaking official assisting people in Najaf, Iraq, said that there are over 200 Telugu speaking people in Najaf. “The city so far has been peaceful. We have already issued a total of 800 to 1,000 documents for Indians to return to the country. Most of the men are construction workers and most of the women are nurses,” he said adding “We get over 100 calls every day. Some call for help, some call to enquire about their family.”