in Iraq Aren’t Iraqis
By Gerry J. Gilmore, AFPS
April 16, 2003 – Many snipers, suicide bombers and other
diehards attacking U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq are non-Iraqis
waging holy war, the U.S. military’s senior officer said April
large portion … they’re actually foreigners," Air Force
Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
said on CNN’s "Larry King Live."
some of the so-called jihadists that have infiltrated into Iraq"
to fight for Saddam Hussein’s now- defunct regime, Myers remarked
to the television talk show host.
The four-star general told King that although major combat is
over in Iraq, there’s still military work to be done, as U.S.
and coalition troops conduct presence patrols and assist humanitarian
there are "some pockets of resistance that we still need
to deal with that can be very deadly," Myers pointed out.
He said he was sure there are U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq
"dodging bullets, that are worried about suicide bombers
coming up to the checkpoints."
of that resistance, he noted, seems to be composed of fanatical
foreigners devoted to jihad, or holy war, against perceived enemies
lot of the Saddam-regime diehards still battling U.S. and coalition
troops in Iraq are not Iraqis, Myers pointed out, "but they’ve
come there for jihad, and are fighting for that."
But where could the jihadists be coming from? Pentagon and State
Department officials have commented on the actions by the Syrian
government during Operation Iraqi Freedom, noting war supplies
like night-vision goggles were being sent from Syria to Iraqi
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell noted yesterday that coalition
officials have been watchful of cross-border goods — and people
— traffic between Iraq and Syria.
of those individuals went from Syria into Iraq to oppose coalition
forces," Powell said. He added that the United States is
also concerned about Syria’s weapons of mass destruction programs
and its continuing support of terrorist groups.
officials have also warned the Syrian government against harboring
any Saddam-regime escapees, criminals or terrorists.
also the oil pipeline between Iraq and Syria that was operating
in violation of U.N. sanctions. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald
H. Rumsfeld said April 15 that U.S. forces in Iraq had shut it
also told King that U.S. and coalition troops must still round
up the remnants of Saddam’s Special Republican Guard and violent
Baathist Party operatives.
"we still have a lot of work to do in finding and securing
weapons of mass destruction sites, and making sure that those
biological and chemical weapons don’t fall into the hands of terrorists,"
the Joint Chiefs chairman said.