Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, March 21, 2003

Well, they have no shortage of chutzpah (or they are very high on something), you have to give them that.

Defence Minister Sultan Hashem Ahmad said the U.S. and British military lied about the number of casualties sustained during land attacks into southern Iraq on Thursday and Friday.

"They (the U.S. and Britain) don't tell the truth (about the number of casualties)," Ahmad told a news conference, aired on Arabic television channels as the Iraqi capital came under a massive bombardment by U.S. warplanes and missiles.

As Ahmad spoke, the sound of explosions in Baghdad could clearly be heard. A large map of Iraq which Ahmad was pointing to also visibly shook.

"Until this moment, our 45th Brigade (in Umm Qasr) is standing in its positions, and the enemy has not been able to dislodge them," he said.

"We expect the battle to continue into the night. Right now, our sections in Faw are defending the city."

Ahmad said Iraqi troops had hit five armoured cars around Faw, and had also hit armoured vehicles in Rutba, some 370 km west of Baghdad near the Iraqi border with Jordan.

He said U.S. forces had initially deployed close to the Jordanian border, trying to knock out missile launchers that could have threatened Israel.

"Their aim was to look for missile launching pads to ensure that Israel would not be hit by missiles that they claim to be still in existence, and with which they said we might attack Israel," Ahmad said.

Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, standing next to Ahmad, said at the end of the news conference at the Monsour Media Hotel: "We defied the bombings and held this news conference."

Ahmad added: "You can hear the bombings. We will certainly smash them, God willing. God will make us victorious over them and God save the leader (President Saddam Hussein)."

< email | 3/21/2003 04:18:00 PM | link

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