COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY BRIEFING WITH
BRIGADIER GENERAL MARK KIMMITT,
DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR COALITION OPERATIONS;
AND DAN SENOR, SENIOR ADVISER, CPA
LOCATION: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
TIME: 10:34 A.M. EDT
DATE: TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2004
MR. SENOR: Good afternoon. I just have a couple of quick announcements. General
Kimmitt has an opening briefing and then we will be happy to take your
Today Ambassador Bremer attended a ceremony with the Iraqi minister of
transportation for the official handover of the Ministry of Transportation to
the minister and the ministry staff. This marks the 13th ministry that has been
turned over to the Iraqi people. This is a process that began several months ago
that will culminate on June 30th, by which point all Iraqi ministries will be in
control of the Iraqi people.
In addition, today Dr. Haider al-Ebadi, Iraq's minister of communication, and
Ibrahim Hussein Ali (sp), Iraq's postmaster general, announced the opening of
the International Service Center and the introduction of Iraq's new postal code
system in a ceremony at the Baghdad International Airport air cargo terminal.
Tomorrow there will be a ceremony -- tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. there will
be a ceremony marking the transition to full sovereignty of the Ministry of the
Environment. This transition has extra significance since the ministry was
created by a resolution passed by the Iraqi Governing Council. And again, this
is tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. at the ministry building. Further details will
come out on that.
Finally, as we move forward to -- closer to June 30th and the handover and the
formation of the Iraqi interim government, Ambassador Bremer continues to engage
in wide consultations with Iraqi people, with Iraqi political leaders; as has
Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. secretary-general's special representative here.
Just today Ambassador Bremer met with Dr. Adnan Pachachi from the Iraqi
Governing Council and other members -- Sheik Ghazi, the current president of the
Iraqi Governing Council, and other members of the Governing Council.
GEN. KIMMITT: Thank you.
Good afternoon. The coalition continues offensive operations to establish a
stable Iraq in order to repair infrastructure, stimulate the economy and
transfer sovereignty to the people of Iraq.
To that end, in the past 24 hours the coalition conducted 2,368 patrols, 33
offensive operations; we had 43 Air Force and Navy sorties and captured 60
The next release at Abu Ghraib will be on 28 May, and between 580 and 600
personnel will be released. And on 4 June another release will occur.
In the northern area of operations, coalition forces executed two
cordon-and-searches in western Mosul against a former regime cell leader and
weapons dealer. Two of the primary targets were detained.
And two days ago coalition forces conducted a cordon-and-search in eastern Mosul,
targeting a former regime cell leader responsible for attacks against Iraqi
security forces. That target, too, was detained.
In the north central zone of operations yesterday, the leader of the Turkoman
Union was killed in a domestic dispute in Kirkuk. Iraqi police are conducting an
investigation into the incident at this time.
In Baghdad, in the Karrada district this morning at 8:27, a suicide car bomb
exploded outside the al-Karma (sp) Hotel in central Baghdad. Two civilians
received minor injuries, and there were no injuries to other personnel or to
In the western zone of operations, the level of engagements within Al Anbar
province has remained low and steady over the past several days. Fallujah
remains quiet, and there have been no cease- fire violations since 3 May.
Yesterday 200,000 was awarded for the rebuilding of the Ar Ramadi soccer
stadium, and 43,000 for the Ar Ramadi work and training center. Coalition forces
continue to supervise Husaybah facility hardening project, the Fallujah and Ar
Ramadi cleanup contracts, and the Ar Ramadi ICDC training and small-arms range.
All of these contracts will provide some measure of infrastructure improvements
and job opportunities for the people in that area.
There was a meeting at a coalition base camp east of Fallujah yesterday, between
the coalition leadership, the Iraqi armed forces leadership and the commanders
of the Fallujah Brigade. The current state of training, equipping and capability
of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps working in that area was discussed, as well as
the familiarization with the security situation in the Al Anbar province.
In the central south zone of operations, conditions on the ground would indicate
that Muqtada's militia members are decreasing or ending their activities in
Karbala. They are avoiding contact with coalition forces but are still
conducting harassing attacks outside the city.
They continue to attack coalition forces, however -- vicinity: Najaf and Kufa.
Yesterday 24 mortar rounds landed near coalition forces patrolling along the
east side of the Euphrates River near the Kufa bridge. Coalition forces
identified and killed the forward observer for that mortar unit.
Later, coalition forces on the west side of the Euphrates River near the Kufa
bridge were attacked by small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. The
attackers were firing from the technical college of Kufa, and a coalition patrol
vicinity of the Saddam palace was attacked with small arms and RPG from the
palace. There were no coalition injuries or damage to equipment.
In Najaf at midnight, five mortar rounds impacted near a coalition base camp.
Between 0545 and 0615, an additional 20 mortar rounds impacted in and around the
same coalition base camp. Later that morning, three to four individuals attacked
a coalition patrol with small-arms and RPG fire near the governor's building.
And at 9:30, 20 mortar rounds impacted near the Najaf main Iraqi police station.
Again, no injuries or damage to coalition personnel, civilians or buildings.
In the southeastern zone of operations, coalition forces received sporadic
mortar and small-arms fire in al-Amarah. Enemy forces continue to target the al-Amarah
Cimic House, patrols and the base camp near the town. There were no casualties
as a result of these attacks.
MR. SENOR: And with that, we are happy to take your questions.
Q (Through interpreter.) Salah Rahman al-Rahim (ph), Al- Zawra newspaper. I have
two questions. The first is for Mr. Senor and the second for General Kimmitt.
Mr. Senor, what if your comment about the comments of President Bush that the
U.S. forces will stay in Iraq with no predetermined date for their departure?
Second question, for General Kimmitt. There are rumors that the terrorist
activities will increase during this period as we approach the sovereignty
handover. So have you put down a specific plan to secure the security situation
during this period?
MR. SENOR: On your first question, what President Bush has been saying for some
time, as has Ambassador Bremer -- has said numerous times on the ground here in
Baghdad -- is that coalition forces, American forces will be on the ground here
until we achieve our goal, which is to hand over to the Iraqi people a
sovereign, democratic Iraq that is stable, that is at peace with itself, at
peace with its own citizens, at peace with its neighbors, at peace with the
United States of America and at peace with the world.
We recognize that there is still a significant terror threat in Iraq, and we
also recognize that the Iraqi security forces are not in a position to defend
against that terror threat on their own right now. So it may take some time to
achieve the totality of the goal I just outlined. But the president has been
clear: we will stay till the job is done, but we will not stay a day longer.
GEN. KIMMITT: And I think the president's comments were reflective of the fact
that as we build the Iraqi security forces, we want to take the time to do it
right. But I'm not sure you've got a time on a calendar when we can say it's
ready. So it will still take some time to train up the Iraqi security forces to
where they are capable of operating independently and operating with the full
capability to defend from the external threats and whatever internal threats
remain in the country. So as Mr. Senor said, we are committed to staying here
long enough to complete the task, to let the Iraqi security forces have the
sufficiency to stand on their own two feet.
On your second question you asked, do we have a specific plan to address the
potential for an increasing terrorist threat as we get closer and closer to
sovereignty and possibly beyond that, the answer is yes. That was one of the
reasons and those are some of the factors which led to us keeping the force
levels at about 135,000 American soldiers. The units that are now operating
vicinity Najaf, Kufa, Karbala, Iskandariyah were forces that were already
supposed to be back at their home bases in Germany, seeing their families,
seeing their friends. Those forces were kept on the ground because of the events
of April as we saw the fights in Baghdad, we saw the fights in Najaf and Karbala.
But I think that the determination was also made, from the president all the way
down to the commanders on the ground, that the situation is such that we
probably need to have those additional troops stay for some time longer, so
instead of the 105,000 American troops that we expected to have on the ground
right now, because of that chance for an enhanced threat, increased threat
between now and sovereignty and possibly for some time after that, that's why
we've kept our force levels about 20,000 higher than that, to about 135,000
MR. SENOR: Yes, ma'am?
Q I'm Deborah Horan from the Chicago Tribune. First, I have a colleague down in
Najaf who tells me that the Imam Ali Mosque was somehow damaged in fighting
today. And he was speaking to some of the U.S. forces that he is with down
there, he's embedded, who told him that the damage came when two Iraqi factions
were fighting each other. And I'm wondering if you might know who was fighting,
how this mosque might have been damaged, whether it's true.
GEN. KIMMITT: Well, the first point, the coalition forces had no involvement in
the damage to the Imam Ali Mosque. We have heard different reports of what
caused it, whether it was fighting between two different factions inside the
city or whether it was, as reported elsewhere, Muqtada's militia firing from the
cemetery onto the area at the mosque to try to provoke outrage so they could
blame it on the coalition forces.
I know that we've got troops on the ground that are trying to handle the
situation right now, but we saw and heard some reports of the damage that was
done and we would -- on behalf of the entire coalition, we just can't tell you
how much we decry the attempts by Muqtada's militia, Muqtada possibly himself,
to violate the sacred holy shrines of the Shi'a religion for his own personal
gain, for his own personal advancement. We don't want to see that. We'll do what
we can to prevent it. And we certainly will not allow that to go unanswered. But
nor will we be provoked into an incident near those shrines which might have the
Q (Off mike) -- sorry, if I could just ask a different question. I've been
looking into the formation of the 36th Battalion of the ICDC and some people
that I'm speaking to were telling me that they were provided by political groups
and that they volunteered and that the formation of this battalion was somehow
different from other battalions of the ICDC. And I'm wondering if you can tell
me a little bit about how it was formed and who's in it? Who makes up the 36th
GEN. KIMMITT: Yeah, we can certainly do that after the press conference. That
was an event that happened back in December, reported widely, talked about
thoroughly in here. But that is -- but you have the fundamentals of the story
correct and we'd be glad to sort of take you through it after the press
MR. SENOR: Yes, ma'am?
Q (Through interpreter.) Two questions; first one for Mr. Senor and the second
for General Kimmitt.
First question, let's go back to the issue of electricity. You have previously
said that the power sources have been improved, but I tell you that they are
deteriorating. If it is provided for 10 minutes, it is cut off for four hours.
Is this an improvement?
Second question, let's turn to the Baghdad International Airport. Will it be
turned over for the Iraqi sovereignty or will it still be under the control of
the U.S. forces?
MR. SENOR: Well, it's a fact that we are generating more electricity and have
been over the past few months -- on average generating more electricity than was
generated before the war, at least; where at a minimum, we're at prewar levels
and on most days are generating more. And we are on track to generating --
meeting the country's demands by this summer, sometime this summer, which is
Prewar levels were about 4,2(00) to 4,400 megawatts per day, which was really
only two-thirds of the country's electricity power needs. Saddam had a shortfall
of a third. And even among the power that he was generating, it was distributed
in a way that was consistent with his overall manipulation of essential
services, using essential services as a tool of oppression. Some parts of the
country got a lot of electricity, particularly areas within Baghdad and north
and west of the -- of Baghdad, and some parts of the country got very little
electricity. Areas like Basra some days got two, three, four five hours, I
understand from people who live down there.
So we're trying to equalize the distribution and then also get distribution up,
all in a system that is very brittle, that is suffering from 35 years of chronic
underinvestment in the basic infrastructure and therefore creates a secondary
problem, which -- it makes it very susceptible to attacks or just general
maintenance needs. And when there's a problem, there's no redundancy built into
the system. It takes that much longer to get it up and running again and get it
For instance, right now, which is what you may be speaking to, we're doing part
of the maintenance on the electrical infrastructure. And at any given point
we'll pull down a thousand, 1,200 megawatts -- pull down power lines that equals
a thousand, 1,200 megawatts, just to do the basic maintenance, the sort of
maintenance that Saddam Hussein never did, which partly creates the problem of
this susceptibility to attack or just a general breakdown.
And so the summer months, combined with some lines down for maintenance, may be
why you are experiencing -- you, your neighborhood, your area may be
experiencing some electricity shortfall right now. But you should rest assured
that overall we are generating nationwide, at a minimum, the same amount of
electricity that was generated before the war. We are on track to generating far
more than that, by a third, by the end of the summer.
And the U.S. taxpayer has dedicated billions of dollars, literally billions of
dollars, on this electricity infrastructure reconstruction priority.
GEN. KIMMITT: But I think it's also important to state categorically that there
are terrorists out there who are attacking the infrastructure. They recognize
that the coalition has stood up here ever since we've been here and we promised
that we will increase the benzene, we will increase the propane, we will
increase the oil, we'll increase the electricity. And they recognize that the
combination of the brittle infrastructure and the promises we've made that what
they want to do to demonstrate to the Iraqi people that the coalition doesn't
live up to their promises is they will go out and attack the infrastructure.
They will attack the pipelines. They will attack the electrical lines and knock
I think it's important for people to understand that that is happening. It
happens routinely. The coalition responds quickly and tries to get those lines
back up, those wires back up, those pipelines working again, but it goes to show
what the terrorists and the enemy of the Iraqi people are doing to advance their
attempts at derailing this process.
Without going into too much rhetoric, if the electricity is not running
completely, much of it has to do with the infrastructure attacks. If sometimes
you are standing in line for gas, it is because of the attempts on the part of
the terrorists to stop the oil and the gas flowing. That is the promise of the
terrorists: they will deprive you of what we are trying to provide for you. That
is the promise of the terrorists as they try to push you off the track to
sovereignty. And it is the attempt on the part of the terrorists to drive a
wedge between the people of Iraq and the coalition, who has spent much of their
fortune, much of their treasure, much of their national taxpayers' fortune to
try to bring these infrastructure online so that your country can truly achieve
its economic potential.
Q (Through interpreter.) About the airport?
MR. SENOR: Well, look, our goal is to ensure that Baghdad International Airport
ultimately becomes the great world-class civilian and commercial international
airport it has the potential to be. I know international visitors who are
experts in the area of civil aviation have visited the facilities there and
commented that some of the facilities are among the most advanced in this part
of the world. So once we get to a situation where we are comfortable with both
the logistical issues and the implementation of further equipment and ensuring
that certain of the runway monitoring systems and equipment are more
sophisticated and on par with other parts of the area -- of the airport that are
more modernized, once we feel comfortable with the security situation, the
airport will be reopened. And it will be in control of the Iraqi people.
Q Thanks, Dan. Charlie Mayer from NPR News. General, can you comment on news
reports today that General Sanchez will rotate out of here, be reassigned in the
GEN. KIMMITT: Yeah. We all will rotate out of here and be reassigned in the
coming months. General --
MR. SENOR: Including me.
GEN. KIMMITT: Including Dan and including me. But in the case of General
Sanchez, yeah, I saw some of those reports. And I think they've got the story
We typically keep our combat commanders in theater for a year. General Sanchez
has been here since last April. He took over the command of CJTF-7 in June, and
his headquarters, the Fifth Corps headquarters, left in February. General
Sanchez and a small number of his staff, a very close, small number of his
staff, were asked to stay on beyond February when the Fifth Corps headquarters
departed, for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is to take advantage of
his experience and his institutional knowledge during this period of time, the
transfer of sovereignty as the CPA goes away.
We have always expected General Sanchez to depart sometime after sovereignty,
transfer of sovereignty. Our expectations -- my personal expectation was, like
me, he would be departing sometime in the July time period.
So the fact is there was a story that came out today, we haven't heard anything
official from Army sources, but what you heard today was not inconsistent with
the timeline that we had been working on.
Q (Through interpreter.) Al-Mashraq (sp) newspaper. The minister of Interior
said that the coalition might have provoked the problem with Mr. Chalabi which
led to the raid on his house, especially that it coincides with stopping the
U.S. aid for Mr. Chalabi's party. So how do you comment on that? Thank you very
MR. SENOR: Well, let's take the two issues you raised one by one. I'll start
with the second one.
It is my understanding that the U.S. Department of Defense made a decision to
cease funding for the Iraqi National Congress based on a memorandum that was
issued by the deputy secretary of Defense, Mr. Wolfowitz, because is not
appropriate for the United States government to be funding individual political
parties once Iraq has a sovereign democratic government.
It was one thing for the United States government to be funding political
parties, and particularly opposition organizations to Saddam Hussein, before
Iraq had a sovereign democratic government, but after June 30th, the United
Sates government will have a direct bilateral relationship with the Iraqi
government and will not be dealing with individual parties anymore. It will be
president to prime minister, president to president, Congress to cabinet. I
mean, the various officials of the United States government will have
relationships with the various officials of the Iraqi government. So that was
the basis of the ceasing of the -- cessation of the funding for the INC.
A completely separate issue was an investigation that was initiated by Iraqi
authorities, by an Iraqi investigative judge, in coordination with Iraqi police,
to pursue some charges related to individuals who -- my understanding -- have
ties to Dr. Chalabi but not related to Dr. Chalabi himself. And they pursued
this process; they pursued an investigation. They presented the investigation to
Ambassador Bremer because he is the administrator, has the authority to refer
cases to the Central Criminal Court.
It is a matter of procedure and only procedure. He is the one who has to sign
when these cases are forwarded into the Central Criminal Court. He only does it
after the investigations have reached a culmination point, if you will; not a
beginning point. And he doesn't make a judgment on the individual investigation;
he just makes a judgment about whether or not the investigation is sufficiently
thorough and sufficiently robust and at a sufficiently complete or near complete
stage to move into the Central Criminal Court. He's made that decision on over
100 hundred occasions and this was not an exception. And then once he makes that
-- exercises that forwarding to the Central Criminal Court, it still continues
to be in the hands of the Iraqis.
You know, these charges that are flying around about abuse of law, one would
think it would be an abuse of law and abuse of the rule of law if Ambassador
Bremer elected to make an exception simply because some of the individuals being
charged had political connections to an Iraqi political figure. That would be
inappropriate. That's abuse of law. But applying the same legal standard to
everybody is, we believe, the way the new Iraq should have respect for law; and
that is, if there is a case that has been developed by the Iraqi authorities and
it is ready to go to the Iraqi Central Criminal Court, then it should go there
and there shouldn't be exceptions made allowing standards that are different
from the standards applied to other cases.
Q General Kimmitt, were there -- besides the suicide bombing today in Baghdad,
were there any other attacks in Baghdad? And when you say suicide bomber, there
was a body found in or near the car?
GEN. KIMMITT: It is typical on these types of explosions you don't recover a
body, but the reports from on the ground were that this vehicle was -- had just
stopped when it detonated.
There was another attack this afternoon, I believe about 16:15. Two or three RPG
rounds were fired near Sadoon (sp) Square down by where Saddam was pulled down,
the old Saddam statue. Those rounds were fired at the Iraqi police station down
there. I believe two landed near the station, one landed inside the compound. We
had one American soldier who was training with the Iraqi police who was lightly
wounded and medevaced from that location, and we believe that he'll be fine,
return to duty quite soon.
MR. SENOR: Yes.
Q Khalid (ph), NHK. General Kimmitt, what about al Qaim? Have you finished the
investigation which you start?
GEN. KIMMITT: What about --
Q About al Qaim. Al Qaim.
GEN. KIMMITT: Al Qaim?
GEN. KIMMITT: Yeah, no, we have not finished the investigation. We have started
the investigation just yesterday. We've appointed the investigating team and
they're going to go out there.
The location of that was not al Qaim as we understand. In fact, it was about 85
kilometers southwest of al Qaim in the open desert, down by the Syrian border.
So we're going to let that investigation start in the next couple of days and
try to get as much information as we can.
MR. SENOR: Yes. Go ahead.
Q Jackie Spinner with The Washington Post. Dan, this question is for you.
The Iraqi governing president said today that the U.N. transition plan was,
quote, "less than expected." The council also issued a statement raising some
concerns over who would ultimately control the armed forces after the
transition. How are these issues going to be addressed?
MR. SENOR: Well, I think it's premature, Jackie, to have a discussion or a
speculative discussion about the U.N. process before we know what it looks like.
I mean, the Security Council members have just begun discussions and proposing
drafts or proposing provisions for drafts for possible Security Council
resolutions. So until we see something that is in much more final form, I'd
rather hold off on commenting. But obviously, the Iraqi Governing Council should
speak out if they have concerns, but I just think it's a little premature.
Q (Through interpreter.) Hassam Mohammed (sp), War and Peace Newspaper. Islamic
clerics are very respected within the Iraqi population. They lately have held a
meeting and announced that they do not have any connections with those who
commit hijacking and kidnapping operations, and they informed after that they
have received threaten from U.S. forces, after that meeting, that they paid them
a visit and told them to give them any information they have with those
kidnappers and they threatened them. So how can you comment on this subject?
GEN. KIMMITT: Well, my comment on that subject would be that I certainly hope
that didn't happen. We certainly have a tremendous amount of respect for Islamic
clerics as well, and we welcome the fact that they are distancing themselves
from those that would hijack, those that would kidnap. And if there was a
situation where we had coalition forces talk to them and possibly threaten them,
given the facts that you laid out, that would seem to be inappropriate. I'd be
very interested in getting that information, to see if we could follow up on
that, to find out precisely the circumstances that you're referring to.
We welcome greatly Islamic clerics who will stand up to the kidnappers, who will
stand up to the beheaders, who will stand up to the hijackers, because we need
more people in this country standing up to the terrorists and those that would
commit such acts not only on coalition forces but on your fellow Iraqis as well.
MR. SENOR: Yes?
Q (Through interpreter.) Al-Zaman (sp), al-An (sp) newspaper. General Kimmitt
and Mr. Dan Senor, good evening. Have you reached positive results these days
regarding your discussions with the people of Karbala and Najaf and with Mr.
Muqtada al-Sadr? And is there a peaceful resolution to be reached with Mr. al-Sadr?
Thank you very much.
MR. SENOR: We would hope that there's peaceful resolution to be reached. To this
point, we have seen no progress. A number of Iraqi notables have stepped forward
and indicated a willingness and an interest to minimize bloodshed and bring this
to a peaceful conclusion. But we've seen no progress. We see good intentions. We
see no progress.
Our conditions remain the same: that Muqtada al-Sadr must disband and disarm his
militia, and he must submit himself to justice. That has not changed. And no
matter where any discussions go, those two conditions will not change. We want
those conditions met, but we also want to minimize bloodshed.
GEN. KIMMITT: We also are optimistic about the direction that Karbala is taking.
Over the last couple of days we've seen reports that Muqtada's militia has moved
out, that some of the Iraqi police are starting to move back in. It's been quite
quiet in Karbala over the last few days.
In the next couple of days, if there is a significant Iraqi police presence
inside the city, we would recommend you go down to Karbala, talk to the people
of Karbala, ask them how they were treated by the coalition forces, ask them how
they were treated by Muqtada's militia, ask for yourself, report for yourself
what happened inside that city. I think most will come back with the conclusion
that the coalition forces showed great respect for the holy shrines, where
Muqtada's militia did not; showed great respect for the people of Karbala, where
Muqtada and his people did not. And when they left, Muqtada's militia left some
very messages for the people, and it would be interesting for you to hear those
MR. SENOR: Najim?
Q (Through interpreter.) Distor newspaper. Two questions. Mr. Senor, the speech
of President Bush said that the sovereignty of -- to be handed over to Iraqis
will be complete. And Mr. Colin Powell said that the Iraqi army and the ICDC
will be under the control of the multinational forces. There is a contradiction
between these two statements. How can the sovereignty be complete and how can
the forces be controlled by you?
Second question: The draft of the U.S. and U.K. project to the U.N. demanded the
help of the international society and Iraq. So what form of help do you demand?
Is it financial aid or is sending forces to Iraq? Thank you.
MR. SENOR: On your first question -- and I didn't see Secretary Powell's
comments, but based on other statements from the administration, I think what he
was saying was that there will be a multinational force here, of which the Iraq
armed forces will be a member. And it has been raised that if individual members
or forces -- Iraqi security forces do not want to serve as part of that at a
given moment, in a given operation, they can take issue with that. General
Kimmitt can elaborate.
But before that, let me just say that if you read President Bush's speech
carefully, you'll see that he talked about sovereignty for the Iraqi people
three times. He mentioned sovereignty three times. He feels quite strongly that
on June 30th Iraqis take control. They will have their sovereignty. It means
control of their natural resources, including oil. It means control of their
foreign policy. It means control of their national security policy. It means
control of their economy and any revenues they generate as a nation.
It doesn't mean that they won't need help from time to time, particularly in the
initial period after they gain sovereignty, as other sovereign nations need help
from other countries in a bilateral relationship that the United States has
participated in assisting. But the nature of the relationship is a bilateral
relationship, not one of occupation. It's one of government-to-government
agreeing that there's a real partnership to be formed, there's a real
partnership of security forces to move forward with, not -- no longer an
GEN. KIMMITT: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. What you will see as we work out the
command and control arrangements over the next couple of weeks, as we look
beyond 1 July, I suspect you will be less concerned about control, command and
those sort of military details, and what you'll see is a partnership, a joint
partnership; as we have been working together for the past months, we will
continue that partnership with the mutual effort of trying to achieve a safe and
secure environment here for the people of Iraq.
How that works itself out, that's for the technical experts to work out. But I
have no doubt that when those agreements finally come about, that there will be
a satisfactory resolution between the coalition forces and the Iraqi forces so
that we truly form multinational forces here in Iraq working together as a
partnership side by side to make this place safe for the people of Iraq and for
the children of Iraq.
MR. SENOR: Yes? Last question. Go ahead.
Q (Through interpreter.) Al-Hurriyah (sp) newspaper. Mr. Senor, there are
questions about the trial to be held for the previous president of Iraq, Saddam
Hussein, and members of his regime. Are there any details about these trials?
MR. SENOR: I would refer any questions about the trials to the Iraqi Special
Tribunal, which is a body formed by the Iraqi Governing Council. In fact, it was
the Governing Council's first act, the formation of the Iraqi Special Tribunal
to handle those cases. There are international advisers involved with the Iraqi
Special Tribunal, including some advisers from the United States Department of
Justice. But it is the Iraqi Special Tribunal that would be handling the
specifics on that.
And finally I would just say, for those of you who have worked here, been in
Baghdad for a number of months know one of our distinguished -- one of the
distinguished members of our press office team, Jared Young, who has been
staffing this International Press Center for you all for a long time. He has
been a shoulder that I'm sure many of you have cried on or punched at any given
time when you were seeking information or expressing your various frustrations.
And it is his last evening in Baghdad, having been here for about nine months.
So I hope, for those of you who haven't had a chance, take a moment to say thank
you to Jared, who is over at the side.
Thank you everybody. Good night.