COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY BRIEFING WITH
DANIEL SENOR, CPA SENIOR ADVISOR;
BRIGADIER GENERAL MARK KIMMITT, DEPUTY
DIRECTOR FOR COALITION OPERATIONS
LOCATION: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
TIME: 8:03 A.M.
DATE: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2004
MR. SENOR: Good afternoon. I have a few announcements to make and then
General Kimmitt has an opening statement, after which we will be happy to take
A few administrative items. Tomorrow at 11:30 and then at noon there will be a
roundtable for the press at the Ministry of Health, the Iraqi Ministry of
Health, at which Dr. Khudair Abbas, who is the Iraqi minister of Health, will be
conducting the roundtable. Also in attendance will be Jim Haveman, CPA senior
advisor to the Ministry of Health. But Dr. Abbas will be leading the roundtable.
Again, it's at the Ministry of Health; 11:30 a.m. for Iraqi press in Arabic, and
then at noon for the English-speaking press.
The Iraqi Ministry of Health will be one of the first ministries that the
coalition formally hands over to the Iraqi Governing Council and cabinet. This
will be happening and we will have further announcements about this in the days
ahead, but it is the first -- one of the first on our schedule to be handed
over. And we've been saying for some time that each day we are handing over more
and more authority to the Iraqi people for the day-to-day operations of their
government. And this is -- the ministries are sort of the next set of big steps
that will be happening over the next couple of months.
The purpose of the roundtable tomorrow is to discuss Iraq's health care system,
the ministry's accomplishments and the significant events leading up to
transition relating to the ministry's agenda, not the least of which is the
formal hand-over, as I mentioned. If you would like to attend the backgrounder,
you have to get formal access to the ministry ahead of time. Please let Jared
(sp) or Susan (sp) know, preferably today right after the press briefing. They
are -- they will be around here or over in the international press center.
Secondly, on Thursday -- sorry, tomorrow as well -- at 9:00 a.m., there is a
backgrounder here at the international press center for the -- hosted by the
Ministry of Youth and Sports. This is regarding the upcoming International
Olympic Committee meeting, which is taking place in Athens between February 26th
and February 29th, and it is expected at any time during that period in Athens
the formal suspension on Iraq's participation in the international Olympics will
be lifted. And so there's going to be a backgrounder tomorrow by the experts
from our end who have been working on that issue to sort of give you the
chronology, the history of what's led up, what was the basis for the suspension,
which many of you know; what's leading up to this meeting in the days ahead; how
Iraq will be represented at the IOC meeting; and what we hope the next steps
And finally, the Iraq Foundation for Development and Democracy is hosting a
conference on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. on the role of women in the new Iraq,
focusing on the role of women during the transition period, and it will relate
in large degree to the political process. This is at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday at
the Alwiyah (ph) Club in he Firdos Square in Baghdad. It is scheduled to finish
at approximately 3:00 p.m. And if you want more details on that, please see
Jared or Susan as well, after this.
GEN. KIMMITT: Thanks. The area of operations remains relatively stable. Over the
past week there have been an average of 20 engagements against coalition
military, four attacks daily against Iraq security forces, and just under three
attacks daily against Iraqi civilians.
In the past 24 hours, the coalition conducted 1,412 patrols, 29 offensive
operations, 10 raids, and captured 36 anti-coalition suspects.
In the northern zone of operations yesterday coalition forces detained Ayed
Hameed Nouri (ph), a known associate of Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, at the Niewan
(ph) Hotel in central Mosul. A human tip led the unit to this hotel where he was
apprehended without incident. Two days ago coalition forces conducted seven
offensive operations in Mosul. All the targets were members of an organization
known as the al-Rawfa al-Watani (ph) movement. Seventeen individuals were
detained as a result of these raids, including two targets.
On 21 February, an Iraqi police officer was walking to his station in northern
Mosul when unknown persons driving a maroon Opel fired approximately 20 to 30
AK-47 rounds at him and the police officer was not injured. Two days ago, a
white Jeep Cherokee with three personnel armed with AK-47s conducted a drive-by
shooting of a northeastern Mosul police station. Two Iraqi policemen were
wounded and taken to a local hospital. Today, an Iraqi police service student
was wounded while en route to the Mosul Public Safety Academy. The student is
currently in a Mosul hospital.
In the north central zone of operations, Iraqi Civil Defense Corps forces
captured Shahab Al-Hawas (sp). He is a suspected financier of coalition attacks
and a cousin of Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri.
In Baghdad, one mortar round impacted near the Attamiyah (sp) police station on
Sunday, missing the police station but striking a house behind it, fatally
wounding two Iraqi civilians.
Two days ago, coalition forces supported an Iraqi police special combat unit
raid on Nasir Mashur (sp), a suspected murderer, who was captured without
In the western zone of operations, coalition forces and Haswa (sp) police
officers conducted a joint cordon-and-search to capture or kill members of a
criminal gang that had been impersonating coalition forces while committing
criminal activities. Eighteen enemy personnel, including the target individuals,
Two days ago, the Mahmudiyah police department and coalition forces conducted a
joint cordon-and-search against individuals suspected of using local mosques as
weapon markets and safe houses. Five targets were detained, and these
individuals are believed to have facilitated the car bomb attack in Iskandariyah
on 10 February.
In the central south zone of operations yesterday, local Iraqis reported a
possible bomb in Annan Nan (sp), a small village north of Al Hillah. A coalition
quick reaction force and explosive ordnance team were dispatched, and Iraqi
police arrested three men carrying explosives in a car.
In the southeastern zone of operations, a coalition force convoy southwest of
Abu Zubair (ph) was fired upon with small-arms fire from a white four-door
Caprice. There were no casualties. The convoy did not return fire and continued
on its mission south.
And with that, we'll be happy to take your questions.
Q Thank you very much. Mark Stone, ABC. General or Dan, can you comment on a
newspaper report in the Iraqi press this morning that Nital Arabiyat (ph), who
is apparently an associate, a close associate, of Zarqawi, was captured a few
days ago? And if true, can you also comment on how close his proximity to al
Qaeda was? The paper suggests he was very close.
GEN. KIMMITT: I'm not familiar with that report. I can give you a report of
another Zarqawi associate who we killed two nights ago. I think there might be
some confusion on those two reports.
Q I think actually the paper did say killed.
GEN. KIMMITT: Yeah. Okay. Right. On the evening of 19 February, coalition forces
received small-arms fire from a house in the Al-Jazeera area of Habbaniya,
approximately 90 kilometers west of Baghdad. Coalition forces returned fire,
resulting in one enemy killed in action. Inside the house, the unit discovered a
large quantity of bomb-making materials, explosives and electronic components,
pro-Saddam literature, pictures of Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi. The enemy killed has
been identified as Abu Muhammed Hamza (sp), an explosives expert and believed to
be one of Zarqawi's lieutenants.
While assessed as a blow to the Zarqawi network, he and his group remain a
threat to the security and stability of Iraq. And the coalition renews its offer
for a $10 million reward for information leading to Zarqawi's apprehension.
MR. SENOR: I would just add that the information that the general referred to in
the overall picture we are continuing to piece together about Mr. Zarqawi's
network and his activities inside Iraq -- obviously this is consistent with what
we have been seeing and certainly what we have been reading about in the Zarqawi
letter in which he talks about the 25 operations -- specifically bombings,
really -- that he's been involved in here in Iraq -- he has orchestrated.
We obviously have reason to believe that this individual that was killed two
evenings ago was a part of that overall network, a part of that overall effort.
And we view this as a significant step forward. Still much work to do; obviously
we are still in hot pursuit of Mr. Zarqawi. But this does fit with the overall
puzzle that we've been piecing together on the activities of the Zarqawi
network, what we believe to be the Zarqawi network, inside Iraq.
Q I was just wondering, there were some people captured in that raid as well. I
was wondering what you could tell us about them.
GEN. KIMMITT: What I can tell you is that those personnel are providing
information that are leading to further operations in the region.
Q And how many people were captured?
GEN. KIMMITT: That's all I'm prepared to say at this time.
MR. SENOR: Yes?
Q (Through interpreter.) (Name and affiliation inaudible) -- my first question
to Mr. Dan Senor. Yesterday the secretary-general of the U.N. has made a
statement regarding conducting the election at the end of this -- by the end of
this year. How do the coalition forces view these operations and is there a
possibility for conducting this operation for the election?
The second question is for General Kimmitt. Today there has been an accident at
the front gate in the convention palace. Can you give us detailed information
about this accident?
MR. SENOR: On the first question, we have obviously received word and have
received a report from the secretary-general. It highlights a number of issues,
one of which we believe is very important is the importance of keeping June 30th
sacrosanct; that the June 30th sovereignty handover date must remain fully
intact. We feel quite strongly about that. Clearly the U.N. does as well, based
on its meetings and fact finding here.
It also talks about the importance of direct elections as soon as possible. We
share that view. At the same time, however, we believe that direct elections
must be as credible and legitimate as possible in the eyes of the Iraqi people,
and in order to accomplish that in a country with no electoral infrastructure,
with no political party laws, no voter roles, no constituent boundaries in a
country that hasn't had a census in some 20 years, it will take some time. Now,
the secretary-general, as you said, estimates sometimes toward the end of this
year or the beginning of next. That seems to be consistent with the independent
analysis we've received from others. We've consulted other NGOs in the recent
months as we are wrestling with the issue of how to implement direct elections
in this country as soon as possible.
So we are now going to look closer at it now that the U.N. has made a formal
recommendation. There is a number of issues that this report raises that we need
to look at, and we are hoping that the U.N. will now come back and spend more --
continue to spend meaningful time here. We thought that Mr. Brahimi's visit was
a very good start as we can get -- take a closer look at how to implement some
of the recommendations in the report.
GEN. KIMMITT: With regards to the convention center at the palace site, we had
heard some minor reports that there was some activity going on, but it would
certainly not appear that there was any activity significant enough either to
close the convention center -- obviously, we're here -- nor impact operations
going on inside the palace. But for the specific details, we'll have them for
you right after this.
MR. SENOR: Okay.
(Gen. Kimmitt and Mr. Senor confer off mike with each other.)
MR. SENOR: Yes?
Q Thanks. Larry Kaplow with Cox Newspapers. On the census, is there any
infrastructure being put together for that? I guess that would be important no
matter what kind of plan is being looked at. Is there anything in place, or one
of the ministries that's got people ready who could hire people to do that, or
any sort of plan for getting that going?
MR. SENOR: A census can certainly -- is an invaluable tool in any environment in
which you want to hold direct elections. But it is not the only tool or is not a
required tool in order to lay the groundwork for the legitimacy of the
And we have questions about whether or not Iraq should jump into a census with
the hope of getting to direct elections quickly, because to do a full,
comprehensive census takes time. And in the process of compiling a census, you
gather a lot of information that actually you don't need in order to hold direct
elections. Remember that a census can collect information on every citizen,
effectively, in the country. For purposes of direct elections, you only need
information on those citizens that are eligible to vote.
So therefore the census can be time-consuming -- the census process. If there
was already a legitimate census here in place, it could -- we could use it. It
would be a great fallback tool for us. But to launch a census now in order to
get us to direct elections -- we have questions about whether or not that's the
way to go. There are other steps we want to look at in how we can get the
information we need to make sure nobody is disenfranchised.
Q Ivan Watson, NPR. I wanted to ask about the status of forces agreement. Do you
think it's going to be completed by the end of March, as per the original
deadline, or -- some of the Governing Council members are saying that that's not
even on the table right now, and they don't think that they have the authority
or the mandate to negotiate that.
MR. SENOR: When we negotiated the November 15th political agreement with the
Governing Council, they obviously felt strongly about establishing some sort of
agreement by the end of March that would address the role of U.S. forces
post-June 30th. They are now saying, as many of you know and it was recently
reported in the press, that, as you said, they don't think they should do it
before March -- the end of March; in fact, they shouldn't do it before the end
of June; they should do it once there's a sovereign Iraq.
We're open to -- I mean, if the governing Council, which was a strong advocate
of addressing the role of U.S. forces by the end of March, now says -- they're
taking the lead on this -- they're now saying they would prefer to have it done
by a sovereign government, we respect that and are open to it.
I think the important point here is that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis
recognize that there is a role for U.S. forces after June 30th. In fact, this
viewpoint is consistent with the polling we've seen. And I preface that by
saying that most of the polling in this country is primitive.
But that said, as you've often heard me say from this podium before, there are
three themes we see over and over in all the polling that we conduct. One is,
the overwhelming majority of Iraqis are grateful for the liberation -- 95
percent, 96 percent, 98 percent, in those ranges. Those numbers tend to be the
foil, if you will, to the election results Saddam used to get. They're glad
Saddam is gone, in large numbers.
The second theme we see over and over is that the majority of Iraqis don't like
to be occupied. And that's understandable. We don't like to be occupiers.
But the third theme we hear over and over, which is sort of paradoxical, given
the second, is they don't want us to go. When I say "us," I think they mean the
U.S. security forces. At least that's what the data indicates. That they believe
there's a role for U.S. forces in the long run going forward; they're worried
about the security situation destabilizing if we depart.
And so whether it comes out in the polling, whether it comes out in discussions
with Iraqis on the street or whether it comes out in discussions with the
Governing Council or political leaders or religious leaders across the country,
most of those individuals indicate that they want U.S. forces here. How it
manifests itself, whether it's an agreement at the end of March, whether it's a
discussion that we have with the new sovereign government, that can be worked
out. But the important point is the U.S. security forces will be here, assuming
the viewpoint we've heard from a majority of Iraqis continues to hold.
Q This Saturday February 28th is supposed to be the deadline for the approval of
the basic law, the interim constitution. Can you tell us how things stand,
whether you think the deadline will be met and what are the standing issues --
that maybe there is no agreement yet? And what do you expect to happen?
MR. SENOR: I would refer you to the Governing Council on that. They have been
working pretty hard to meet this deadline. They have indicated to us that they
think they will meet the deadline. Dr. Pachachi, who's the chairman of the
committee within the Governing Council in charge of drafting the transitional
administrative law, the interim constitution, has indicated that they're making
a lot of progress. So we're hopeful that the deadline will be met. The Governing
Council has given us every indication that it will. But in terms of
minute-to-minute progress, I would refer you to the Governing Council.
Q Hi, I'm Patrick McDonald (sp) with the Los Angeles Times. This Zarqawi
associate who was killed, can you tell us, number one, what nationality he was?
Number two, if he was affiliated at all with Ansar? And number three, there were
also some reports, I think, of a Zarqawi passport being found up there.
GEN. KIMMITT: I think that was a bad report about the passport. I believe what
was actually being reported was the passport that we had found on him,
identifying him as under a different alias. However, we believe, because of his
passport -- well, the passport was Jordanian; we believe he has some association
with Ansar, not as a member. But as we've seen with Zarqawi and some of his
associates, they have an affiliation with different terrorist groups, but I
don't think we would consider Abu Mohammed Hamza a card-carrying member of Ansar
al-Islam. And I believe the third question about the passport being Zarqawi's --
and I believe it was actually Hamza's and the alias that he was using when he
was shot and killed.
Q So do we believe Hamza was Jordanian then?
GEN. KIMMITT: We believe -- he was found carrying a Jordanian passport.
Q But his actual nationality?
GEN. KIMMITT: That's yet to be determined. That's the only indication we have
right now of what nationality he was.
Q (Through interpreter.) Thank you. Hasimil Abaty (ph). There is a question for
Mr. Dan. There is actually the authority is going to be handed over to the
Iraqis and starting from the ministries, so there are some of the operations or
some of the procedures that are so slow regarding handing over the authority to
the ministries, and besides there isn't so much legitimacy and credibility in
handing over the authority to the ministries. So how are you going to -- how
will be the situation in case that you leave the country?
The second question -- so the second question is for General Kimmitt. He says
that the number of attacks are increasing day by day, so we are just confronting
with every day's attacks and every day accidents. So how will be the situation
in case that you leave the country and we have put so much hope on you and the
Iraqi forces? So how do you view the situation and the future for Iraq after you
leave the country?
GEN. KIMMITT: Well, first of all, I don't want to speculate about the coalition
forces leaving. I can tell you right now that the coalition forces are not
preparing to leave, and we are prepared to continue the partnership that we have
with the Iraqi security forces, the Iraqi army, the Iraqi police service, the
Iraqi Civil Defense Corps for the future. And it is our intent to stay here as
long as we're needed, as long as we're wanted, and that when we do depart in the
future it will be because we have left behind a fully-functioning, robust Iraqi
security forces that is capable of self-defense and public security.
MR. SENOR: As far as on the governance side, the handover of authority to
ministries, we are doing it at a very progressive and rapid pace compared to
other similar reconstruction efforts in history. Certainly it took the U.S. some
-- almost a decade to handover authority to the German government, to a
sovereign German government. We will be accomplishing that in approximately a
year, actually almost less than a year.
But it's also important to keep in mind that June 30th is not this magical date
which the coalition just sort of, on the civilian side, just disappears. That's
not the case at all. June 30th is the date at which we hand over sovereignty, we
hand over political authority to the Iraqis to run their own country, to govern
their own country; but we will -- while Ambassador Bremer will leave on June
30th, much of the operation that we've built up here will be in place as part of
a U.S. mission. It'll be the largest U.S. embassy in the world. And it will be
tasked with many things -- working with USAID and other American organizations,
for instance, in the deployment of approximately 18.8 -- exactly $18.6 billion
in U.S. taxpayer funds, which is not going to be spent in a matter of months;
it's going to be spent in a matter of years. And that's going to require a lot
of U.S. personnel.
So the U.S. presence here will still be significant, even though the Iraqis will
be in charge of their own authority. So any Iraqis that have concerns that the
expertise that Americans bring to the table and could help as Iraqis take the
reins of their government -- any concerns that Iraqis may have that that all may
disappear -- they should not be concerned at all. We will still have a large
presence here. We will still continue to work hand in hand with the Iraqi people
and the Iraqi government on the reconstruction of their country. They will be
making the political decisions, but we will still be here, in a very strong
support mechanism, on the civilian side.
GEN. KIMMITT: Yes?
Q Lee Keath from the Associated Press. The list that the military put out last
week of the suspected members of the cells, with the rewards for the members of
the insurgency cells -- that seems to be mostly old Saddam or former Saddam
figures, Saddam regime figures. Are there any suspected Zarqawi associates on
that list or foreign fighters in general?
And do you have a sense of -- just as a second part, do you have a sense of who
Zarqawi's associates are?
GEN. KIMMITT: Well, if you take a look at the third tier of the people that we
have on that list, the 50,000 group, there are some that we suspect of having
foreign affiliation and internal affiliation as well, people that we suspect of
carrying on operations.
With regards to Zarqawi and his associates, we said very many times that we
believe that Zarqawi has come to this country and that not only does he have a
group of associates around him, but he also is reaching out to other
disenfranchised organizations, extremist organizations, terrorist organizations.
We don't believe that he came into this country with a huge infrastructure, but
is trying to develop that infrastructure here.
MR. SENOR: Christine?
Q Hi. Christine Spolar, Chicago Tribune. I actually just want to go back to the
specifics about the arrest -- rather the killing February 19th. You say a large
amount of bomb-making equipment? Be specific, what are we talking about here?
What was taken? Can you give --
GEN. KIMMITT: I don't have the specifics, but I can find that out for you.
Q Okay. And also, were you specifically searching for him --
GEN. KIMMITT: No.
Q -- or was this part of a raid that somehow you happened upon this?
GEN. KIMMITT: It was more the latter. The report that we received was that this
was a group of civil affairs soldiers that were in fact conducting a different
mission, handing out leaflets and such. Came to the door, knocked on the door.
The -- Hamza (ph), for whatever reason, felt himself in danger, started firing
on the soldiers, the soldiers returned fire, and in the process, lost his life.
And it was in the subsequent follow-up on who this guy was, why would he be
firing at soldiers, so on and so forth, that we somewhat discovered who he was
and his associations.
Q What was he firing? I mean, what kind of weapon was he firing and --
GEN. KIMMITT: I understand it was either a pistol or a rifle.
MR. SENOR: Yes?
Q (Through interpreter.) Yes, Late (ph) from Japanese newspaper. The question is
regarding the election. We know that Iraq is composed of 18 governates and that
most of the operations that are conducted against the coalition, most of it is
concentrated in two or three areas. Can you cancel or hold up the elections in
those governates or the areas where the attacks and the operations are condensed
in it so Baghdad -- can the election take place in 15 governates and be
cancelled in three governates because of the security reasons? And this is also
one of the suggestions that has been given by Sistani. So is it possible to
conduct an election in 15 governates rather than the three governates where the
operations are taking place every day over there? Thank you.
MR. SENOR: This is a proposal that was recently reported on, however we don't
believe has much traction. It was raised several months ago and then it's
started, I think, to come up again recently, the idea of holding elections in
certain parts of the country that are more stable than others, those in the
south and the north, and in other parts of the country, in the central part of
the country or some areas north of Baghdad not hold elections.
And we just don't understand mechanically how that would work. And we don't
think from an issue of fairness and credibility and legitimacy that would work
either. It doesn't seem appropriate the post-liberation Iraq to be holding
elections in which you institutionally disenfranchise whole regions of the
country, in the populations within those regions. When there is a political
process in this country, which is under way now, and when there are elections in
this country, whether they are indirect elections or direct elections, they will
be designed to ensure that every citizen in Iraq, every eligible voter in Iraq
is somehow represented. We are not going to single out certain areas and say you
can participate in elections and say to others you cannot.
Q (Through interpreter.) The time has come to proclaim the law of
administration. You are discussing this with the Governing Council. How will the
power be transferred? Is it going to be transferred to the council or to an
individual? And will Islam be the fundamental source of legislation? Mr. Brahimi
just has said that Islam will be the main source of legislation. What's your
opinion about this issue?
MR. SENOR: The transitional administrative law -- I guess you have two separate
issues. The primary document or the primary body of language within the
transitional administrative law will address governmental structures. It will
address a sort of -- a bill of rights, if you will, for the Iraqi people; issues
like equality of rights, individual rights, equality under the law regardless of
gender, ethnicity. It will -- as I said, some governmental structures and
principles like separation of powers, civilian control of the military,
The actual body to which we will hand over sovereignty on June 30th, that's
still being worked out, as you know from the U.N.'s visit here -- from Mr.
Brahimi's visit. He said that the -- determining the caretaker government, the
interim body, the post-June 30th government, the provisional government if you
will, to which we will hand over sovereignty is a complicated issue because it
looks like it will have to be done through indirect elections. And having --
organizing elections that are both indirect but legitimate and credible in the
eyes of the Iraqi people is a challenge. It's a complicated process if you want
the Iraqis to view those elections as representative -- not just view them, if
you actually want them to be representative. And so that's something we're
Mr. Brahimi was here. He didn't have a quick answer for that. We have the caucus
system. We recognize, we acknowledge that it's complex because the issue is
complex. No, there's no solution that won't be complex. But we're open-minded
and we're going to be talking to the U.N. about that in the weeks ahead.
We are still, however, going to move forward with the transitional
administrative law and the interim constitution. And the Governing Council staid
they still hope to get it passed by February 28th.
To your question about Islam, we have said -- Ambassador Bremer has been clear
on this -- that Islam, Shari'a law, these should be inspirations for the
transitional administrative law, for the interim constitution, but they should
not be the only source, they should not be the only inspiration.
And in fact, the Governing Council has been quite clear on this. If you look at
the November 15th agreement and the principles enshrined in the November 15th
agreement, one of them recognizes the Islamic identity of a majority of Iraqis
and makes that point central to lawmaking as it is organized and recognized in a
However, at the same time, it also recognizes the religious freedom of all
Iraqis and the freedom to practice the religion they pursue. And it outlines
almost a clear commitment to both, to both respect and recognition of the
Islamic identity of a majority of Iraqis, yet also recognizing freedom of
religious worship for all Iraqis. And that's our approach. I think the Governing
Council has been clear on this.
Q (Through interpreter.) From the BBC. You said that you respect Islam and the
Islamic legislation. The Governing Council, through what has been said, from
what -- of the draft of law of administration of the state, stipulated that
Islam should be the main source for legislation and the constitution -- that the
Governing Council will be based on the -- this means that the Governing Council
has given up its promises for federalism and Islam?
MR. SENOR: I'm not going to respond to individual statements by individual
members of the Governing Council. I can tell you what the Governing Council has
a body has signed. The Governing Council as a body, as a collective, has signed
the November 15th agreement, which outlines what I said before in terms of the
role of Islam in the state. And rather than comment on individual drafts of the
Governing Council as they work to a final document, let's just wait till the
final document is complete and then we will, obviously, have an opportunity to
comment on that. But I'm not going to start commenting on individual drafts that
may be leaking out and speculating on whether or not that will wind up being the
Q (In English.) Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. (Through interpreter.) The final draft that
will be issued to the world or to the eyewitness as the law of the Iraqi
administration stipulates that Islam should be the main source of legislation.
So what will be your comment if this statement has been clearly done or
conducted by members from the Governing Council, what will be your comment? This
is something for sure; we have heard that it was really in the statement of one
of the members of the Governing Council.
MR. SENOR: The transitional administrative law could take many directions. I'm
not going to begin responding to questions, hypothetical questions about all the
different directions the transitional administrative law could take. Let's wait.
In a matter of days I think we'll actually have a document, we'll actually see
what direction it takes, and then we can comment on that and we can talk about
how the coalition reacts to it. But in terms of the possible ways it could go,
there's many possible ways it could go. I'm not going to get into the habit of
commenting on each one.
I've got time for -- we've got time for one more question. Someone who hasn't
Q I'm Li (sp) from NBC TV, Korea. Yesterday in Kirkuk a car bombing occurred.
From early in April, the Korean troops will deploy there. What's your
perspective on Kirkuk situation? Isn't it too dangerous for the Korean troops to
GEN. KIMMITT: That will be a decision that has to be determined by the Korean
military and by the Korean government in terms of what specific rules of
engagement they are going to permit their soldiers to use and in what
environment they're prepared to commit their soldiers. At present we have
coalition soldiers operating in Kirkuk, operating through Kirkuk. And while the
situation throughout the country is relatively stable, there will be times when
there are individual acts of terrorism. There will be individual attacks on
The Korean forces have a large and long history of working side by side with the
coalition. And if that is the choice of the Korean military and the decision of
the Korean government to operate in that environment, we anticipate that those
soldiers will perform quite well.
MR. SENOR: Thanks everybody.