Despite a heavy Allied bombing raid on the as-Zab As- Saghir (Little Zab River) valley in northern Iraq, UFOs appeared in the night skies of that embattled Middle East nation last week.

During the early hours of Wednesday, April 2, 2003, Allied B-52 bombers "hit targets outside Kirkuk in the heaviest and most frequent bombing around the strategic oil center since the war began." Two-thousand-pound "steerable" bombs came raining down on Zarzi and other sites in the Little Zab valley, which is alleged to be "Saddam's Area 51" because of the reputed presence of aliens there.

"The bombers flew so high they could not be seen," said Ayesha al-Khatabi, one of UFO Roundup's correspondents in the Middle East. "My Iraqi sources told me that people in the valley heard the loud whistle of the falling bombs, then a series of explosions. Zarzi and Qala Dizeh were bombed. But not the citadel at Qalaat-e- Julundi, which is seven kilometers (4 miles) down the (Little Zab) river from Zarzi. The Ishkut-i-Kurh-i-Kish (famous imam's tomb in nearby Shornakh--J.T.) also escaped damage, as did the ziqqurat (pyramid) of the sorcerer Gimil-ishbi in Altun Kopru (formerly the ancient Sumerian city of Shimurru back in 3000 B.C.--J.T.)."

According to stories making the rounds in the Middle Eastern UFO community, a saucer was shot down in Iraq either during Gulf War 1 in 1991 or during Operation Desert Fox in 1998. Saddam Hussein reportedly granted the aliens sanctuary, allowing them to remain in Iraq if they would help him neutralize the technological military advantages enjoyed by his enemies, the USA, UK and Israel. The aliens were reportedly staying at either the underground base at Zarzi or at the centuries-old citadel of Qalaat-e-Julundi on the Little Zab River.

Zarzi is about 72 kilometers (45 miles) west of Kirkuk.

Kirkuk is the main objective of the Peshmirga (Kurdish militia--J.T.) and 2,200 paratroopers of the U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade. After taking Chamchamal, the Peshmirga (Kurdish for Those who are ready to die -- J.T.) forced Iraqi troops of the 1st and 5th Mechanized Divisions out of Taqtaq on Monday, March 31, 2003, and then pushed on to Kalak on Wednesday, April 2, 2003.

By Saturday, April 5, 2003, the Allied forces grabbed the bridge over the Khazer River and halted at Bahra, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Mosul. A furious artillery duel took place in Mankubah, 19 kilometers (12 miles) east of Mosul.

"The Peshmirga and their Green Berets (U.S. Army Special Forces advisors--J.T.) are arrayed in a horseshoe around the valley, but they have not yet entered it in force," Ayesha added, "The Iraqis are dug in west of Bahra and are hitting the Anglo-American coalition forces with artillery fire."

Despite the Allied pressure on Zarzi, UFOs made their first appearance of the war last week.

On Thursday, March 27, 2003, an oblong luminous UFO hovered over the holy city of Najaf (population 560,000), located about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Baghdad. A photo showing the unknown object, with a G.I. of the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division pointing at it with his forefinger, appeared in the newspaper Euronews, according to French ufologist Thierry Garnier.

"The journalist of Euronews does not mention anything about the object and attributed the destruction of the (Allied) tank to 'an accidental implosion,' Thierry reported.

French ufologist Franck Marie said the image first appeared on the Euronews website at 1:30 a.m. on Friday, March 28, 2003, "but it was gone by 2 a.m."

UFO Roundup correspondent Mohammed Hajj al-Amdar stated,

"The UFO's appearance caused great excitement among the Shiites who saw it. They said it had come from Allah's Gardens of Bliss to protect the Tomb of Ali."

(Editor's Note: Najaf is a holy city to Shiite Muslims because of the golden-domed mosque that stands over the grave of Ali, the son-in-law of the prophet Mohammed. The mosque miraculously escaped damage last week from the 101st Airborne's howitzer barrage.)

At 11:57 p.m. Baghdad time on Thursday, April 3, 2003, "tiny UFOs that are shaped like a tube with a rotating spiral around them" appeared over Baghdad. The small probes drifted over the midtown area between the Abu Ghrab Expressway and Qadisiya Street, around Zawra Park.

Eagle-eyed UFO Roundup correspondent Grady Croy spotted the UFOs during a live broadcast from Baghdad "while watching FOX News Studio B with Shepard Smith, we saw very plain some of these tiny UFOs... I called FOX News but they wouldn't talk to me." He estimated that the objects hovered for five minutes over Baghdad before vanishing.


(See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for Monday, March 31, 2003, "U.S. and British warplanes control the skies over battlefield," page 4A; USA Today for Tuesday, April 1, 2003, "Iraq reinforces Baghdad as U.S. troops advance," page 3A; for Wednesday, April 2, 2003, "New offensive toward Baghdad," page 3A; for Thursday, April 3, 2003, "Coalition forces in sight of Baghdad," page 3A; and for Friday, April 4, 2003, "U.S. troops fight in outskirts of Baghdad," page 3A and "The Battle of Baghdad," pages 10A and 11A. Many thanks to Thierry Garnier, Franck Marie, Grady Croy, Ayesha al- Khatabi and Mohammed Hajj al-Amdar for these reports.)

(Editor's Comment: What's up for Zarzi next? Your guess is as good as mine, readers. Hopefully, we won't see a repeat of the bloodbath in Dulce, New Mexico that reportedly took place in September 1969, when then- President Richard M. Nixon sent a brigade of U.S. Marines to destroy a group of aliens that took over an underground U.S. laboratory.)

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