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US Seizes Massive Iraqi Terrorist Camp, says Gen. Franks
30 Mar 2003, 17:12 UTC
The commander of the coalition fighting the Iraqi government
says his forces have seized what he describes as a massive terrorist
camp in northern Iraq.
General Tommy Franks did not provide details of the operation,
but indicated he expects the camp to provide evidence of the
Iraqi government's ties to terrorism.
"Coalition forces have attacked and destroyed a massive
terrorist facility in the last 48 hours in northern Iraq and
ground forces as we speak are exploiting the results of that
strike," he said.
The coalition commander added that U.S. troops parachuted into
northern Iraq several days ago in order to prevent feuding between
Kurdish factions there.
General Franks said coalition forces have made remarkable progress
since the launch of the war on Iraq 11 days ago. He noted that
Iraq's southern oil fields are under coalition control and are
mostly undamaged. And he said humanitarian aid is starting to
flow to needy populations in the south.
The general denied reports he has asked for additional troops
due to Iraqi resistance in central Iraq, indicating that the
100,000 U.S. troops ordered to Iraq several days ago were part
his original battle plan.
General Franks said the resistance encountered by coalition
forces in cities like Nasiriyah and Najaf was by paramilitary
forces, he called thugs, that have occupied the centers of the
"They have put themselves in a position to be able to
terrorize the Iraqis in these villages and in these cities,
and to be able to move out along the lines of communication
to attempt to interdict our supplies, he said.
General Franks said supplies continue to flow to coalition
troops, which he said are less than 100 kilometers from Baghdad.
General Franks responded to a senior Iraqi official's praise
for Saturday's suicide bombing that killed four U.S. soldiers
near Najaf, saying such an endorsement shows, what he called,
the connection between terrorism and the Iraqi regime.
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