IWS - The Information Warfare Site
News Watch Make a  donation to IWS - The Information Warfare Site Use it for navigation in case java scripts are disabled

18 November 2003

Increased Military Offensive Weeding Out Iraqi Regime Loyalists

Defense Department Report, November 18: Iraq Operational Update

Coalition forces have increased offensive operations in order to defeat anti-coalition elements in Iraq and further the restoration of essential services, economic activity and democratic governance for the citizens of Iraq, says Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy director for operations at the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).

"The military situation is stable, but indicators of potential unrest during Ramadan caused the coalition to remain offensively oriented and active in pursuit of enemy targets," Kimmitt said during a televised briefing November 17 from Baghdad. He also said that in the last 24 hours the coalition "conducted 1,729 patrols, 25 raids, and ... captured 99 anti-coalition suspects."

Asked how the military views the current fighting in Iraq, Kimmitt replied "well, we certainly don't see this as a guerrilla insurgency," adding "we see it as criminal activity within the country, people laying pipe bombs, people laying booby traps, people using car bombs to go after coalition forces, because what they want to do is not fight us in a military sense, but ... to fight us and attack the will of the coalition" in an attempt to drive the coalition out of Iraq.

Asked what, if any, factors would cause him to view the situation as a guerilla insurgency, Kimmitt said "one of the indications for us would be ... some sort of competing ideology that was fighting against us." As of now, he said, we are being attacked by those who have something to lose from a free and democratic Iraq, such as former Ba'athists ... but we are at a loss to understand what competing ideology there is out there that would somehow suggest there's a rising insurgency."

He said the 4th Infantry Division had successfully used Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), artillery, mortars, attack helicopters, fighting vehicles and tanks in the northeastern zone to destroy 15 safe houses and three suspected former regime loyalist training camps. ATACMS missiles are being used where possible, Kimmitt said, "to leverage their precision capability, which minimizes the possibility of injury to civilians and collateral damage."

Other ongoing operations continue to result in more captures and confiscation of explosives, bomb-making materials and artillery rounds, Kimmitt said.

"Every one of these people that we have in detention are no longer building bombs, driving car bombs, putting bombs by the side of the road that kill, maim and injure innocent Iraqis and ... military forces here," he said. And just as important, he added, "the people of Iraq see those people being taken off the street ... so that we can do what we're really here to do, which is restore the economy, provide essential services, [and] provide governance for the people of Iraq."

Dan Senor, Senior Advisor to the CPA, who also participated in the briefing, said "we hear three things over and over: One, the Iraqis are overwhelmingly grateful for the liberation. Two, they don't want us to leave -- they want the country stabilized, and they want an independent, democratic, sovereign Iraq before we depart. And third, they want the security situation to improve.

Kimmitt also said that non-military stability operations are continuing, such as efforts by the 82nd Airborne Civil Affairs teams that have initiated projects for the renovation of four schools that will provide a learning environment for over 1,200 students.