Baghdad is occupied
Iraq-USA, Military, 4/10/2003
On April 9th, 2003 Baghdad fell under the American occupation, after the regime of President Saddam Hussein, whose fate is still unknown, had deprived it throughout 21 days and along 30 years of resistance in the face of the American and British invaders.
The US administration expressed its "happiness" over having control on Baghdad after the collapse of the Iraqi regime, but warned that "the war has not finished yet." It directed its sight towards Tikrit, the birthplace of Hussein, which has been for the past hours exposed to strong air and missile raids that indicated that the Americans suspect that Saddam and leaders of his rule fled to that city.
Meantime, the American administration increased its threats to Syria and accused it this time of sheltering and facilitating the escape of senior Iraqi officials abroad and called on Syria to take a lesson of what had happened in Iraq, and repeated warning Syria of owning mass destruction weapons.
The invading troops entered the Iraqi capital in the morning, walking on their feet, and they found it empty from the regime's elements who pulled out during night time, except Saddam's statues which were destroyed jointly by the invading forces with some Iraqis. Yesterday, no Iraqi official appeared publicly except the Iraqi ambassador at the UN Muhammad al-Douri who stressed that "the game is over and I hope the Iraqi people will enjoy peace." The spokesman for the White House said that the US President George Bush is pleased for seeing the Iraqis expressing their desire to be free -- at a time when the US TV stations were broadcasting scenes of the people of Baghdad while destroying with the support of an American machine a large statue for the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the capital Baghdad..
The US Vice President Dick Cheney said yesterday that the American and British forces might face difficult battles in Iraq despite the indicators on the collapse of the Iraqi regime. He stressed that the pro Iraqi president regime forces are still controlling several cities in north Iraq. But he indicated that the US forces saw in the heart of Baghdad "clear indications on the collpase of the regime's authority." Cheney considered that the UN is not equipped to play a pivotal role in rebuilding Iraq. But he added that the UN will play an important and basic role, but that the pivotal role should be by the US until times come when the US will be able to transfer this role to the Iraqi people, hoping to start this operation in the coming days.
Cheney announced that the UN organization "is carrying out numerous tasks related to helping the refugees and coordinating works of the non governmental or charity organizations. He announced that American and Iraqi officials will meet on Saturday in al-Nasereyah to the south of Iraq to start planning for forming a provisional Iraqi government.
He said the US will bring together representatives for all groups in all parts on Iraq to sit and start talks about planning for the future of this provisional Iraqi authorities and to prepare it for work. He added that the meeting will be held in al-Nasereyah to the South of Iraq.
The leading figure at the Iraqi National Congress Ahmad al-Jalabi said that the USA has chosen some 43 Iraqi politicians including 14 former exiled and 29 from inside Iraq in order to take part in al-Nasereyah meeting. He added that three American officials who are the envoy of the White House Zalmai Khalil Zada, the deputy assistant for the US secretary of state Rayan Crocker and a special envoy for the US defense secretary, whose name was not mentioned, will preside over the meeting which will last for one day.
The spokesman for the Higher Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq Hamid al-Bayati said that the council will not take part in this meeting. He explained that "we believe that this is part of Gen. Garner's rule of Iraq and we will not be absolutely any part of this project." However, a high ranking official at the US Department Of State, said that the US is preparing for organizing a meeting for Iraqis in exile and local officials that might be held in Iraq as from next week to draw the first foundations to run a provisional Iraqi administration. He added that the date and venue of this meeting were not decided yet despite that preliminary works are underway for that.
However, al-Jalabi returned back to Iraq with the help of the Pentagon, but the CIA and the US Department Of State have concerns about him.
Meanwhile, the US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday accused Syria of its continued support of Iraq, including the facilitation of Iraqi leading figures resorting to Syria or facilitating their escape from Iraq to other countries through the Syrian territories. Rumsfeld repeated Damascus' accusation of ignoring the American threats not to provide Iraq with equipment used in fighting and permitting volunteers to enter Iraq from Syria.
What is remarkable is that these accusations are contradictory to what was stated by the US under secretary of state Richard Armitaj on Washington's having information that Syria had stopped these activities and its closure of the border with Iraq.
Meantime, a spokesman for the British prime minister Tony Blair said that the prime minister talked to the French President Jacques Chirac and to the Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday to discuss the future of Iraq. The spokesman said that Blair talked by phone with the French and Russian leaders and briefed them on the content of his talks with Bush in Belfast this week.
On the other hand, one of the Kurdish leaders Gen. Rustoum in Jamjamal announced yesterday that the Kurds will on Thursday ( today) or tomorrow ( Friday) and without any fighting will enter the city of Karkouk, their declared capital, which is still under the control of the Iraqi forces. Rustoum said "everything will be ended in the two coming days, I think we will enter Karkouk peacefully without a fighting."
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