AUTHORITY OPERATIONAL UPDATE BRIEFING
BRIGADIER GENERAL MARK KIMMITT, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR OPERATIONS;
DAN SENOR, SENIOR ADVISER TO COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY
LOCATION: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
DATE: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2003
MR. SENOR: (In
progress) -- former vice chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council,
Northern Region commander, deputy secretary-general of the Ba'ath Party
Regional Command, and deputy commander of armed forces. He indicated that
the military was in aggressive pursuit because of reasons to believe that he
is behind some of the recent attacks inside Iraq. This week we will be
launching a public information campaign across Iraq to promote a $10 million
reward for information that will lead to his capture or killing.
Later this week Ambassador Bremer, in his weekly televised address to the
Iraqi people, will further promote this reward program. He will also remind
Iraqis that there is a $25 million reward available for the killing or
capture of Saddam Hussein. He will remind the Iraqi people that when Uday
and Qusay Hussein's careers were ended, it resulted in the quickest
turnaround of reward funding in the history of the program.
GEN. KIMMITT: Good evening. Let me provide you an operational update from
Today coalition forces continue offensive operations against anti-coalition
elements, and stability and support operations to enable restoration of a
free Iraq. The military situation remains stable, but the coalition focus is
on potential unrest during Ramadan.
Our forces remain offensively oriented and active in pursuit of enemy
targets. To that end, in the last 24 hours the coalition conducted 1,588
patrols, 19 raids, and captured 101 anti-coalition suspects. In the Northern
Zone, the 101st Airborne conducted 176 patrols and several cordon and search
operations, detaining 23 individuals, and confiscated numerous weapons and
ammunition. Forces conducted a search of the Al Atton (ph) Religious College
in Mosul, after receiving permission from the director of the faculty.
During the search, they seized a large amount of military equipment, and
numerous pamphlets stamped "IIP," (Iraq ?) Islamic Party.
Close coordination with Iraqi security forces continues. In Haman (ph),
Iraqi police led a coalition patrol to a weapons cache and to the home of
the responsible individual. Disposal teams destroyed the weapons. Iraqi
police identified a booby trap near the Iraq- Turkey pipeline east of Tall
Afar. Disposal teams cleared the booby trap without injuries to personnel or
damage to the pipeline. Iraqi police also turned over an individual arrested
for involvement in the 5 November ambush in Tall Afar. Additionally, Iraqi
civilians turned in 110 grenade launchers, four launchers, 110 rocket
grenades, to coalition forces.
Finally, this morning the 101st initiated an air assault operation involving
elements of two infantry battalions in remote areas of their sector,
targeting potential enemy infiltration sites and capturing a number of
weapons and individuals.
In the Northeast Zone, the 4th Infantry Division continues Operation Ivy
Cyclone II to clear enemy forces in the Tikrit-Baqubah- Kirkuk-Balad region,
and also to counter air defense threats, mortars and explosive threats in
order to establish a safe and secure environment and zone.
Extensive use of coalition aircraft targeted numerous facilities and
structures used to harbor fighters and to facilitate terrorist activities in
the Baqubah-Balad region. This board shows a number of those attacks,
centered in this region and this region and over here.
Soldiers destroyed 26 anti-coalition structures and suppressed eight
mortar-firing locations as well as 10 ambush sites. Additionally, in
separate raids, soldiers captured 25 personnel, including three individuals
directly targeted for anti-coalition activities.
Forces also conducted a cordon-and-search operation near Balad. Three
targets were detained, along with nine other conspirators. They were wanted
for supporting Fedayeen activities as well as selling and transporting
weapons. The patrol found a large sum of counterfeit money, 19 million
dinars, and explosive materials.
In Baqubah, a meeting on dislocated civilians was held with the Danish
Refugee Council. The council wants to build housing units for 70 families at
Camp Saad (sp). And if this project goes well, the council is willing to
follow up with over 100 additional units.
In Baghdad, Operation Iron Hammer continues to target enemy operating areas,
deny the enemy opportunity to stage weapons and destroy forces conducting
attacks against coalition bases. In the past 24 hours, operations within
Baghdad resulted in the capture of 20 individuals suspected of ties to
Saddam Fedayeen and other anti- coalition forces.
Forces conducted a raid based on a tip from an Iraqi citizen, detaining one
individual captured with multiple grenade rocket launchers and rifles. The
weapons were secured and the detainee held for interrogation.
An arms supplier for an anti-coalition cell was detained. This target had
helped supply enemy elements conducting anti-coalition attacks in the
southern portion of Baghdad and is also suspected of driving a
reconnaissance vehicle to pave the way for the attack on the Al-Rashid
Coalition aircraft last night targeted four known areas used by enemy
elements to stage and conduct attacks against coalition forces. Those
locations are shown on the board. We primarily used AC-130s for those
In Al Anbar Province, the 82nd Airborne Division conducted five offensive
operations, 160 patrols, and 17 joint patrols with the Iraqi border police
and Iraqi border service. Fifteen enemy personnel were captured, and one
weapons cache was destroyed.
Near Iskandariyah, in a joint operation with the Iraqi Facilities Protection
Service, two looters were shot at the Hadim (sp) Munition Factory, killing
one. The wounded looter was captured and taken to a coalition medical
facility for medical care.
Along the Syrian, Jordanian and Saudi borders, denial operations continue. A
total of 188 personnel were denied access into Iraq over the past 24 hours.
Civil Affair teams continued working with the Scientific Council for
Development in Fallujah. They have established various committees for
engineering, economy, health, politics, law, religion and education.
Additionally, the 82nd held an open forum with students from Al Anbar
University, to open dialogues on rebuilding efforts, along with other areas
of mutual interest.
In the central south zone, coalition forces conducted 132 mounted and
dismounted patrols, 11 joint patrols, and executed 87 checkpoints and
deported 77 illegal immigrants back to Iran.
Special Forces teams with two doctors provided medical assistance to Iraqi
families in Al Hillah.
In the southeast division, Iraqi police detained a woman with surveillance
equipment in Basra. She was arrested while attempting to gain entry to the
Basra old port house. She was found to be wearing a vest with suspected
listening devices, and documentation, including maps, was found underneath
As part of ongoing development of Iraqi security forces, the number of
coalition-trained Iraqi Civilian Defense Corps members in multinational
southeast reached 1,277 personnel, and 696 other members are in training.
Yesterday Task Force De Minios (sp) carried out Operation Bolt to block and
deny enemy operations, and to target smuggling in illegal weapons in An
Nasiriyah. Two personnel were detained and handed over to the local police.
Thank you. We'd be happy to take your questions at this point.
MR. SENOR: Jane?
Q Thank you. General Kimmitt, about Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, he's known to be
-- have been very ill for some years. I wonder if you have any idea what
sort of shape he's in and also what specific role he's had in directing the
About the poster, it says information should be given six days a week, 8:00
to 4:00, I believe. What sort of infrastructure do you have for following up
GEN. KIMMITT: Yeah. First of all, we have understanding that he may be ill
as well. However, it is clear that we have persuasive evidence linking him
to anti-coalition activities, as well as his position as number six on the
coalition target list, for his activities prior to the end of major combat
In terms of the infrastructure, as you see, there are some telephone numbers
on here that concerned citizens with information could call. And there will
be persons and Arab translators that will be able to translate any
information that is given.
Q Is the fact that those hours are limited an indication you don't have the
resources to deal with those calls all the time?
GEN. KIMMITT: It is an -- it is not an indication of anything other than
we're trying to get the resources to put this together.
Q Peter Biles, BBC. On Monday you said you were getting closer to Izzat
Ibrahim. Have you any idea which part of the country he is in? And can be
quite clear about the terms of this reward poster? Is it $10 million for his
capture and/or killing, or just his capture?
MR. SENOR: It is the maximum reward, which will be based on the quality and
credibility and the usefulness of the information provided, which is the
standard criteria. When Uday and Qusay Hussein were killed, a full $30
million was provided to the informant.
GEN. KIMMITT: With regards to his location, we're not prepared at this point
in -- over television, to announce where we think he is, what we think he's
doing, or what we think his plans are going to be.
Q Lisa Barron, CBS. How much is the growing fear among the Iraqis of working
with the coalition hampering the work that the coalition is doing here?
GEN. KIMMITT: I'm not aware of a growing fear among those Iraqis working
with us. In fact, those Iraqis that are working with us in the Iraqi
security services are quite happy to be working alongside of us. We're
training them. We're equipping them. They understand that they are the
future here in Iraq for a future security force, whether it's in the
Facilities Protection Service, the border service, the Civil Defense Corps
or the new Iraqi army. That is the future for the security for this country,
and those Iraqis that are participating in those activities are looking
forward to more training, more equipping, so that they can take over that
responsibility one day.
MR. SENOR: And whether they are -- I'd add that whether they are
participating with us on the front lines or just generally -- general
support for us across the country, as I said before, all the polling data
and anecdotal information we have indicates three things:
The overwhelming majority of Iraqis are grateful for the liberation.
The overwhelming majority of Iraqis are -- don't want us to leave, because
they know if we depart, the situation could be destabilized here.
And the third thing they tell us over and over and over is we need you to
improve the security. That's what these most recent operations are about,
and we are sensing a great deal of support for getting tough on the
terrorists and the former regime loyalists.
Q Susan Sachs (sp) from the New York Times. General, you mentioned this raid
on the religious college in Mosul, where you said there were weapons found,
as well as pamphlets from the Iraq Islamic Party. Are you or the 101st
suggesting that there's a link between the Iraq Islamic Party and
coordination or planning of any attacks on the coalition?
GEN. KIMMITT: We haven't determined those linkages. I did not say "weapons"
I said "military equipment." In fact, most of what was found were optical
equipment -- binoculars, so on and so forth. I'm not aware of any weapons
that were actually picked up in that raid.
Q Well, do you find the cache of optical equipment suggestive that that
college was used for coordination, planning or launching of any operation?
GEN. KIMMITT: I think what that tells us is that we need to get the
intelligence analysts to take a hard look at that college to see if there's
any further evidence of that.
Q Do you think you need to do the same thing to the Iraq Islamic Party,
which I believe is on the Governing Council. No?
MR. SENOR: I'm sorry?
Q The Iraq Islamic Party, is that not members of the Governing Council?
MR. SENOR: Yeah. But we do not believe there's any member of the Iraqi
Governing Council that's been involved in terrorist attacks or any sort of
attacks against the coalition.
Q I'm not suggesting the council member. But you mentioned the Iraq Islamic
Party in connection with suspicious materials found in this college. What
connection are you looking at, possibly?
GEN. KIMMITT: We are looking at any intelligence source that would suggest
that anybody is a threat to the coalition here in Iraq. We do not exclude
any organization, and we include -- we do not exclude any persons. If there
is evidence and intelligence suggesting any organization or any person is a
threat to the coalition, we will take appropriate action.
Q Thank you. My name is Tanaka (sp), Japanese NHK TV correspondent. I'd like
to go back to the question of Izzat Ibrahim. Do you believe that he's
masterminding anti-coalition activities with Saddam Hussein? And is this
first time you prepare award to capture or kill Izzat Ibrahim? And do you
confirm U.S. forces attacked last night his house or his home or his
building, last night?
GEN. KIMMITT: Let me take those from the last one to the first one. Yes, I
can confirm that one of the targets that was attacked last night was a home
that was being built by Izzat Ibrahim.
With regard to do we believe he is the mastermind, we don't have that puzzle
completely put together yet. We are continuing to make that puzzle, but I'm
not certain at this point we can stand up and say that he is the mastermind
behind a centralized program for attacks against coalition forces here in
MR. SENOR: As for the reward program, the two most widely publicized reward
programs we've had thus far are for information leading to the killing or
capture of Saddam Hussein, Uday Hussein, and Qusay Hussein. The Izzat
Ibrahim reward program is just being unveiled this week for the first time.
Q Andrew (Gray ?) from Reuters. General, can you give us some statistics on
attacks against coalition forces in the last 24 hours; how many there have
been, and also whether there has been a reduction or an increase during the
time that you've stepped up operations with Ivy Cyclone, Iron Hammer, et
GEN. KIMMITT: Well, as we showed on the first slide, the number of
engagements we had today I believe was 30 -- over the last 24 hours; 26 or
so the last 24 hours prior to that.
As General Sanchez said during his press conference last week, we have seen
those attacks rise, but they have stabilized from the 10 to 15 that we had
perhaps a few months ago, to about the 25-to-30 region right now. It's
flattened out for about the last two weeks. Do we expect them to rise? We
stay vigilant in case they do rise. We believe that there is a connection
with some of the holy days, some of the feast days in Ramadan. We remain
vigilant and we remain prepared.
Q General, I just want to make sure I understood this correctly. You said
one of the targets was the home that was being built by Izzat Ibrahim. Are
you suggesting that he's building homes while he's on the run?
And the second question is, the code name "Iron Hammer" apparently, it was
reported on the wires, that was also a code name that was used during Nazi
Germany. Do you have any idea who came up with this name and whether you
intend to change it?
GEN. KIMMITT: To answer the second question, the 1st Armored Division calls
themselves the "Iron Soldiers." Their patch on the side says Ironside --
"Old Ironsides," replicating the Old Ironsides ship of our history. If in
fact there is a linkage to a notorious operation run in the past, I would
suspect that the division commander will review that and make a decision.
But there certainly is no linkage. It would have been accidental at best.
Q I'm sorry, the home, Izzat Ibrahim's home.
GEN. KIMMITT: What I know about -- as I mentioned earlier, we were made
aware that this was a home that Ibrahim -- Izzat Ibrahim had been building.
And that's all the information that I have.
Q Hi. John Hendrin (sp) with the LA Times. You had mentioned 26
anti-coalition structures were destroyed by 4th ID in the Baqubah-Balad
region. Did this include some that were empty farm houses and empty
structures? And if so, what are you trying to do, deny the attackers
territory, or is it a show of force? What's the goal?
GEN. KIMMITT: Well, let's be very clear about the structures that we
attacked. In every one of those structures that we attacked, we had strong
intelligence suggesting that that facility had been used to harbor
terrorists, used as a mortar-firing point, used for the construction of IEDs,
used as a former-regime loyalist observation post, any number of reasons
which caused us to be concerned about that structure's ongoing opportunity
to be used by the terrorists.
Q Lourdes Navarro (sp), AP. You just mentioned that a lot of these
structures were used or you believe they were used by people launching
attacks. How effective, really, is it to drop 2,000-pound bombs on
structures in areas where there might be civilian damage? And isn't part of
intelligence-gathering perhaps looking at these places and trying to figure
out who is using them, instead of just destroying them point blank?
GEN. KIMMITT: Agreed. And when we use ordnance against a military target, as
we've shown time after time again during major combat operations, and we
have continued to show since the end of combat operations, we strike
precisely and surgically, minimize collateral damage, minimize the chance of
injury to civilian personnel.
Q (Name inaudible), Romanian Radio. Sir, you said that 198 people were
denied entrance to Iraq. Can you tell us on what grounds or suspicion? And
my second question, can you be more specific on last night's operation in
GEN. KIMMITT: Sure. In terms of what we do on the borders, we facilitate
with the border police service the checking of ID cards, the checking of
passports, the checking of other documentation that is expected any time you
cross a national boundary. Those people without the proper credentials were
not allowed to pass.
As regards Operation Iron Hammer last night, the noise that most people
probably heard in Baghdad was the noise of coalition aircraft going after
four targets in Baghdad, all structures that we had persuasive evidence and
intelligence that they had been used by anti- coalition forces to launch
rockets, to launch mortars, to make IEDs, all sorts of activities that were
directed against anti-coalition forces.
Q May I follow up on that?
GEN. KIMMITT: Please.
Q Isn't it much more cost-effective to send out a patrol and raid the places
with explosives and blow them up, rather than having airstrikes in the
middle of a densely packed city which you control?
GEN. KIMMITT: The weapon systems that we use to attack these targets are the
choices of the commanders involved. They weigh all those considerations
about the best way to attack that target. They have a wide range of options
to draw from. And it's the judgment of the commander that if he wants to
attack that target, the best method for which uses -- attacks that target.
We give him tremendous flexibility in that matter.
Q Namir (sp) from (Spanish News ?) Agency. Please, you mentioned to target
Izzat Ibrahim house. Is the location of the house in Tikrit or here on --
GEN. KIMMITT: Which house was it?
Q From Izzat Ibrahim house.
GEN. KIMMITT: It was part of Operation Ivy Cyclone. It was actually this
target right here, structure under construction by Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri
and used as an observation post by former regime loyalists. So this one --
Q Tom Poppak (sp), ABC News. I understand Iraq will be attending upcoming
OPEC meetings. Could you give us an update on the state of oil production in
the country? And specifically, can you give us an idea what kind of production is being exported? And are you meeting domestic oil needs right
MR. SENOR: Right now Iraq is producing approximately 2.2 million barrels per
day. Iraq is exporting over 1 million barrels per day. This exceeds the
levels projected for this period. December production projected -- projected
production levels were 2 million for December 2004, and we are already at
that level. And we are quite near the export numbers for December '04. So we
are moving here right according to plan. We still have to import the sort of
by-products -- natural gas, LPG, kerosene -- because we are not generating a
sufficient capacity right now to generate those by-products. Once we get to
that point, we'll be able to reduce the imports.
Q Charles Klover (sp) from the Financial Times. There's been a fair amount
of talk about increasing -- or attracting more Sunni Arabs into the
political process as part of the new political strategy. I was just
wondering what sort of -- is there a a specific plan for how to do that? And
is there any contradiction with the de- Ba'athification issue in terms of
finding popular representatives for Sunni Arabs in the political process?
MR. SENOR: We do not believe that being a Sunni Iraqi -- Sunni Muslim Iraqi
automatically equates with being a senior-level Ba'athist, who are the
Ba'athists that are singled out, if you will, by the de-Ba'athification
policy. So Sunnis that don't fall into that category within our de-Ba'athification
policy will have a role in the new Iraq. Many of them are embracing it. The
Governing Council in the weeks ahead, as they work to establishing a basic
law and work towards the interim government, will be reaching out more and
more to Sunni Muslims to demonstrate that every Iraqi who is not a former
regime loyalist and is not part of the destruction, is not part of the
torture chambers and wasn't part of the rape rooms and chemical attacks and
mass graves, every single Iraqi who believes in a new, free, democratic Iraq
has a stake in this new system.
Q Christine Spolar, Chicago Tribune. Operation Iron Hammer -- is there a
point where you say, yes, this is the person we wanted to get, or this is
the cache we wanted to get? Is there a natural life to Operation Iron
GEN. KIMMITT: The answer to that question is Operation Iron Hammer,
Operation Ivy Cyclone, and like operations, quite simply, will continue as
long as there are people out there that will attack the coalition and Iraqi
citizens. Our mission is to provide a safe and secure environment to the
citizens of Iraq so they can get on with the primary purpose of what we're
here for, which is to restore essential services, restore the economy, and
pass the governance of this country over to the people.
So, the answer to that question is the conditions on the ground will always
form our basis for whether these operations need to continue or not.
Q Could I follow up? But when do those -- now you're saying there were 10 to
15 attacks before two weeks ago, now they're up to 25. Is there a tipping
point, when it gets down to 20, then you're okay with it? What's your gauge?
GEN. KIMMITT: Well, the other gauge is how quickly the Iraqi security
services can be stood up, how quickly can we form the border police, CDC,
the Iraqi police, to be able to take charge of their own destiny, take
charge of their own security. That probably is the tipping point, when we
can start pulling back and letting the Iraqis take responsibility for their
Q Steve Covey (sp) from AFP. You said that it's really down to the local
commanders what sort of weaponry you use. But the fact is that six weeks
ago, two months ago, you weren't using the sort of aerial platforms you've
been using in recent operations. So clearly, there's been some much higher
policy decision to open that up.
Is it really the case that using that sort of aerial bombardment in the
heart of the capital city is going to boost the sense of security? Doesn't
it make people in Baghdad think they're still in the midst of a war zone --
what are we now? -- seven months after the entry of U.S. troops?
GEN. KIMMITT: I would say that if I was an Iraqi citizen in Baghdad and I
knew I had terrorists living across the street, and I knew that those
terrorists were making bombs, shooting Iraqi forces, shooting Iraqi
civilians, shooting coalition forces, I would feel less secure. And if I saw
that house go away, if I saw those soldiers -- those anti-coalition forces
being taken off, put into jail, I'd feel more secure.
Q Steve Komarow with USA Today. A lot of these targets have been
show-of-force sort of things, empty buildings, that sort of thing. Can you
give me a historical precedent where such shows of force have resulted in an
insurrection like this being ended?
GEN. KIMMITT: Again, these are not all show of forces. These in fact are
locations for people to wage war against the coalition.
I can show you plenty of historical examples that when you have defeated an
enemy, and you've taken away his resources and you've taken away his will to
fight, that insurgency has collapsed. That fight has collapsed.
MR. SENOR: Let me also just add that the military operation is just one
dimension of our security strategy. Security strategy also includes a
political dimension, which reached a historic moment this weekend, with the
deal that was reached between the Governing Council and the coalition for
the path to sovereignty that was accelerated to this summer, transfer of
authority, the unprecedented rate, to the Iraqi people.
It also includes our continued reconstruction efforts, even in the areas
that are affected by Operation Ivy Cyclone and Iron Hammer.
Let me just tell you, in the last few days, projects ongoing in the affected
areas include the Rashid district, where three repairs to sewer lines were
implemented. In the Mansour district, we rehabilitated two sewer pumping
stations. In areas covered by Operation Ivy Cyclone, assistance to the Al
Ramadi General Hospital was executed. We opened Ramadi Women and Children
Center. We rehabilitated the west Fallujah water treatment facility. We
established the Fallujah cultural house. Internet nodes were installed at
the public libraries and university in Diyala Province. Work on Ramadi's
drainage system is ongoing.
So we continue with the reconstruction efforts in these areas while the
military operations continue. The military component is not the only element
within our security strategy.
Q Jeff Wilkinson, Knight Ridder Newspapers. Do you believe that al-Douri is
in consultation with Saddam Hussein? And can you talk more about how the
command structure works?
GEN. KIMMITT: We can't answer that question, because we don't know.
Q Gregor Meyer (sp) from German Press Agency, DPA. General, up to now, as it
seems, your operations are against empty buildings in quiet areas, not very
densely populated. But aren't you concerned that the enemy forces could move
into more densely populated areas? And then how can you bomb them?
GEN. KIMMITT: Well, first of all, I would challenge that the only thing that
we are accomplishing is knocking over warehouses. The last time I briefed,
we said that day we had brought 99 soldiers, former regime loyalists who had
been striking against coalition forces, today we brought in 101.
So, I think the longer we continue an operation to get these people off the
street, in detention, take away their sources of supply, take away their
sources of sanctuary, and take away their weapons, the sooner we will be
able to restore Iraq to a safe and secure environment.
MR. SENOR: Jane?
Q Thank you. General, we're hearing what seem to be increasing military
statements that there are not a lot of foreign fighters who have been
identified or detained. Does that, indeed, mean what it seems to suggest,
that these attacks, including the suicide bombs, are being done by Iraqis?
GEN. KIMMITT: The overwhelming number of attacks are done by Iraqis. We have
a significant number of people, who hold foreign passports, suspected of
attacks against coalition forces; somewhere on the order of 300 currently
MR. SENOR: And I would add that if you look at September 11th, it was a
sterling -- unfortunately, sterling, tragic example of the fact that less
than 20 individuals can carry out a major terrorist attack; less than 20
people with limited funding can carry out a destructive terrorist attack
that results in the loss of life in the thousands.
So, we have to take very seriously, regardless of the size of the numbers,
those terrorists and foreign fighters that are coming in.
We've got time for one more question.
Q Colin Freeman (sp), London Evening Standard. Given the amount of derelict
buildings in this city, are you just going to keep on squashing every single
derelict building until there's nowhere else for the terrorists to launch
their strikes from?
GEN. KIMMITT: We will continue to attack terrorists where they operate from,
where they store their weapons, where they store their bombs, where they
conduct their activities from.
MR. SENOR: Thank you, everybody.