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“U.S. Troops Ready to Withdraw from the Central Areas of Resistance”

“U.S. Troops Ready to Withdraw from the Central Areas of Resistance”

Posted November. 18, 2003 22:56,   


U.S. President George W. Bush, on November 17, once again said, “The U.S. forces will not retreat even after the interim government settles in Iraq by July 1 next year.”

A “Carrot Policy”?: The New York Times reported that the commander, Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr. of the 82nd Airborne Division, said in an interview last week that troops stationed in Ramadi, a capital city of the Anbar Province, might be ready to withdraw as early as January. The city will be handed over to Iraqi police, and the American troops are standing back to support them.

Ramadi, with about 250,000 residents and situated 130 km west of Baghdad, has been a center of the Sunni Arabs’ Triangle.

However, General Swannack also said, “We are not considering withdrawal of the troops in Falluja, another city in Anbar Province, since the residents there are not as cooperative as the residents in Ramadi.” The New York Times has pointed out that, if the plan outlined by General Swannack takes effect, it is reflecting the U.S. policies to speed the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq as well as representing a significant change in the pacification process in the areas dominated by the Sunni Arabs.

Violent Demonstration by the U.S. Forces: The U.S. troops have attacked 10 places in Saddam Hussein`s hometown of Tikrit, which are suspected of being the base of insurgent attacks, with mortar and tank fire on November 17. The same morning, they again used a 225 kg satellite-induced missile after first using it the day before. Around midnight, they bombed for one hour as part of the violent demonstration.

However, there were three U.S. troops killed and two injured during an ambush attack from insurgents near the city of Balad, south of Baghdad, on the same day.

Italian Official Resigned from the CPA: Foreign sources quoted Representative Marco Calamai to the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq saying, “I am not in accord (with the U.S.) as to whether the policies of CPA are setting goals for economic reconstruction in Iraq or for transfer of the democratic regime. The CPA is simply not working.”

Meanwhile, President of the Philippines Gloria Arroyo has said on November 18, “If the public peacekeeping situation gets worse in Iraq, we will withdraw our forces from Iraq.”

Sung-Kyu Kim kimsk@donga.com