British DM says most parts of Iraq ''very calm'' as Syria urges US to end occupation
Britain's Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said Wednesday that the security situation in Iraq remains a concern, but he insisted most parts of the occupied country and Baghdad were "very calm."
The British Defense Ministry announced Tuesday that a British marine was killed in attack by Iraqis last week, bringing the British death toll during the war and its aftermath to 52.
"In most parts of Iraq and in most parts of Baghdad the security situation is very calm," Hoon told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. But he said the "security situation ... in and around Baghdad continues to be a cause for concern."
"We have to continue to bear down on those who are continuing to attack coalition forces," he added.
Meanwhile, Syria urged Washington to end the occupation of Iraq, noting the problem of attacks had arisen only since American troops occupied the country.
In comments published Wednesday by the pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat daily, Syrian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Bushra Kanfani stated that "The problem is America, not Syria. America must be more objective, because when it moved into Iraq there was no problem of terrorism in this country and now there is the problem of terrorism and of al Qaeda. Now from the issue of WMD and regime change there is the problem of terrorism," she conveyed.
"They (Americans) must hand over power to other parties whose behavior is more acceptable to Iraqis and bring Iraq closer to regaining its sovereignty and holding free elections and then the problems will end," she said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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