Rebels’ fliers have message for Iraqis, GIs
December 27, 2003
BAGHDAD, Iraq — The flier left behind by insurgents who launched rocket-propelled grenades at the Ishtar Sheraton Hotel here early Christmas morning carried a message for both Iraqis and Americans.
U.S. troops who rushed to the launch site found the calling card of sorts — a message from the insurgents printed on 8½-by-11 white paper, written in English on one side, Arabic on the other.
It called on Iraqis to stay away from their jobs and on American forces to leave Iraq, saying, “Don’t let your mother weep in death.”
Stars and Stripes examined a copy of the flier. In part, it said:
“Final notice to the honest Iraqis:
“Beside our latest notice, we invite all the officials in the ministries and other administration not to go to their jobs unless our country will be liberated. We avoid attacking your offices during the time of your being there for not bleeding your blood... .
“To the whole Iraqi policemen:
“Don’t be an armor to the American forces and not be an instrument to be used against your honest brothers under what they called terrorism. You know the real terrorists are those who conquered your country… .
“To the whole foreigners and American forces:
“Get out of our country soon. Don’t let your mother weep in death.”
“We think they left it at the launch site,” said 1st Lt. Kurt Muniz, a platoon leader with the 1st Armored Division’s Company B, 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, a tank unit that was manning a set of security strong points outside the Sheraton and Palestine hotels when insurgents attacked.
“There was a bunch of them,” Muniz said of the fliers.
In the attack on the Sheraton, a 19-story building on the east bank of the Tigris River, a rocket-propelled grenade crashed through the atrium.
A woman sleeping in an apartment near the hotel was injured, but no one in the hotel was hurt. Insurgents also fired a mortar round at the Sheraton on Wednesday night but caused no injuries.
Besides the predawn attack on the Sheraton on Christmas Day, guerrillas also launched grenade, rocket and mortar attacks on other targets in Baghdad on Thursday.
They struck the Iranian and Turkish embassies and the gates of a U.S. Army compound.
The Christmas Day attacks followed the deadliest attacks since Saddam Hussein’s capture Dec. 13, with insurgents setting off a series of bombs Wednesday that killed four U.S. soldiers and six civilians. A suicide bomber also died.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.