12/13/2004, 00.00
IRAQ
Send to a friend

The good and the bad of US intervention according to president al-Yawar

A year after Saddam's capture, Iraq's interim president says US made many mistakes, but stresses elections will be done on schedule. He accuses Syria and Iran of fanning terrorism.

Baghdad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The US made a huge mistake dismantling the Iraqi army after toppling Saddam, but without the US Iraqis could never have done it alone, this according to Iraq's interim President, Ghazi al-Yawar who spoke to the BBC a year after the capture of Saddam Hussein by coalition forces on the evening of December 13, 2003, whilst on patrol in Aghwar, near Tikrit.

President al-Yawar said that dismantling the Iraqi army created a security vacuum but insisted next month's elections will take place as scheduled. Mr Yawar also said he believes "the election will be representative with voters from Sunni areas".

"The country's present security situation is terrible," he said, because "of the decision to dissolve the army, the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior. Many men with a clean record were forced out of the security forces along with the villains. It left a vacuum which is proving hard to fill as new forces are slowly assembled. But the security situation will only be solved once Iraq has "100 per cent efficient Iraqi forces", the President said.

Despite criticism of US military operations, for Mr al-Yawar US troops played a fundamental role. "On their own," he said, "Iraqis could never have toppled Saddam".

Never the less, he was confident that the country's own security forces will gain a sufficient grip "to allow British and American troops to start pulling out within a year".

Iraq's interim president also accused Iran and Syria, of condoning or actively supporting insurgents crossing their borders into Iraq. Their actions, he said, "are posing another threat to the elections scheduled for 30 January".

Send to a friend
Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
Synod for the Amazon: Card Stella hails the ‘great beauty’ of celibacy in a priest’s life
24/10/2019 17:56
Pope talks about the Middle East, the Holy Land and the food crisis with Bush
13/06/2008
Violence escalates as elections approach
04/01/2005
Baathists go home from Italy to vote
28/01/2005
On the eve of the United Nation’s vote, Iran causes tension by seizing 15 British marines
24/03/2007