Arab TV Stations Filmed Attacks in Iraq, Rumsfeld
Arab TV Stations Filmed Attacks in Iraq, Rumsfeld Says
Defense Department Report, November 25: Iraq, Afghanistan Update
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Richard Myers said November 25 during a Pentagon news briefing that there is evidence two Arab cable news television stations have cooperated with terrorists in Iraq by filming attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces and Iraqi civilians.
"They've called al-Jazeera to come and watch them do it, and al-Arabiya. 'Come and see us. Watch us ... Here's what we're going to do'," Rumsfeld said. The terrorists are trying to call attention to what they are doing "and take pride in that," he said. While they might not do it often, he said, "they are [doing it] from time to time."
"I opined, accurately, that from time to time, each of those stations have found themselves in very close proximity to things that were happening against coalition forces," Rumsfeld said.
IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN OPERATIONAL UPDATE
Rumsfeld said during the briefing that the work being done by coalition forces in Iraq illustrates the commitment to restore security to the country.
"Consider what they've accomplished in just the week ending November 23rd. In that very short period, coalition forces conducted nearly 12,000 patrols and more than 230 targeted raids. They captured some 1,200 enemy forces and killed 40 to 50 enemy fighters, and wounded some 25 to 30," he said. "That's a one-week snapshot, but it provides a sense of the determined offensive pressure which the coalition is applying against the enemy."
On the coalition progress to help Iraqis rebuild the country, Rumsfeld said that:
-- To date, the coalition has helped in the reopening of all 240 Iraqi hospitals and 95 percent of the country's 1,200 medical clinics;
-- By October 6, electric power production reached 4,518 megawatts, surpassing prewar levels;
-- Iraq is producing 2.1 million barrels of oil a day for its own use and for world markets;
-- Some 400 Iraqi courts are back in operation;
-- By October 16, the new Iraqi dinar currency began circulation;
-- Some 170 newspapers are being published across the country;
-- 5.1 million Iraqi students are back in schools, and 51 million new textbooks have been issued; and
-- 97,000 Iraqis applied to attend college for the 2003 fall semester.
Myers said that while the number of attacks on coalition forces has declined, the number of attacks on Iraqi civilians has risen.
"Make no mistake; former regime loyalists are intensifying their efforts and increasing the lethality of their attacks," he said. "These attacks against the coalition and Iraqi citizens demonstrate the utter disregard for life these former regime loyalists hold in their efforts to create instability."
Myers said operations in Afghanistan are continuing throughout that country. And he added that an operation in the northeast region near the Pakistani border area of Asadabad -- dubbed Operation Mountain Resolve -- is being conducted to interdict and capture enemy forces and to deny them sanctuary.