An Iraqi military official on Sunday shrugged off a warning from US secretary of state-designate Colin Powell that President Saddam Hussein's rule was coming to an end.
"Powell's threats do not frighten us and they will not make us bow," the commander of Iraq's air defenses, General Shahin Mohammad Yassin, said at a news conference in Baghdad.
"Let him make threats. Others have done the same before him," Yassin said, referring to the outgoing administration of US President Bill Clinton. Such threats only "make us (Iraq) more determined."
On Saturday, president-elect George W. Bush, who is to take office in January, nominated Gulf War hero and former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, retired General Colin Powell, as his secretary of state.
Powell, joining a team that also includes vice president-elect Dick Cheney, who was defense secretary during the 1991 war against Iraq, promptly delivered a blunt warning to Iraq's leadership.
"Saddam Hussein is sitting on a failed regime that is not going to be around in a few years' time," he said. "The world is going to leave him behind, and that regime behind", Powell added.
"I don't know what it will take to bring him (Saddam) to his senses, but we are in the strong position, he is in the weak position," Powell said -- BAGHDAD (AFP)
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