Iraqi defence minister says 18 arms caches found in Tall Afar


Text of recorded statement by Iraqi Defence Minister Sa'dun al-Dulaymi on developments in the northern Iraqi town of Tall Afar, broadcast by Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV on 11 September


(10.09.2005)

There is a focus on operations in Tall Afar. This is something
unfamiliar to previous operations. We have found that it is useful to
give you a daily briefing on what is happening in Tall Afar because we
consider that what is going on there is an example and a model to be
followed in other areas or in unstable areas in Iraq, which is what was
mentioned yesterday.

I have said that operations in Tall Afar are considered to be going very
well from a military point of view. Proof of this is that we started
yesterday, and entered most of the areas that were occupied by
terrorists who had taken residents of those areas hostage. We lost a
very small number of those [not further identified] in this operation.
Yesterday, I mentioned that we lost five people whereas there were no
casualties today, thank God. In addition to the 141 terrorists, 15
others were killed [today]. For your information, even those whose
houses the forces enter - the operation in Tall Afar goes from house to
house - if they hear them calling for help and not resisting, they would
be considered to be Iraqis protected by the law and would face no
problems. This is assuming that such a person would still be in areas
that have been surrounded.

The first of these areas is Al-Saray area and a small part of Al-Ba'th
district and another small part of Al-Qadisiyah area. So, I believe that
Al-Saray area, according to accurate information, has almost been
completely searched. Some 18 arms caches have been discovered, which
could, regretfully, destroy an area 10 times the size of Tall Afar.
Eighteen caches. It is as if Tall Afar was a huge store from which
weapons and terrorists were sent to other areas in Iraq. In other words,
they [arms and terrorists] come from the border because Tall Afar is an
area close to the border. These quantities are stored there and then
distributed to kill women and children, as you know.

The other issue worth noting is that we found a plant for manufacturing
explosives, specifically explosive charges. This is something strange
for a small and safe city. Very high technology was used in this plant,
meaning that alien hands had played a role in setting it up. It seems
that many of the bombs and booby-traps that we hear about were being
manufactured there and then taken to other areas in Iraq.

Furthermore, a booby-trapped house was discovered in this area, which is
a crowded area more than 200 years old, with narrow streets. Its
residents, except for a few, have left of course. When this house was
blown up, we discovered eight other houses that were booby-trapped in
the same way. In other words, wherever our forces entered, the adjacent
houses would blow up. When one of these houses was blown up, all the
similarly booby-trapped adjacent houses, which were uninhabited, blew
up.

Tunnels were also discovered in this city, used to move from one side to
the other. I have spoken about this qualitative operation from a
military perspective and would like to point out the humanitarian aspect
of this operation. We have taken into consideration all the needs of all
those who were displaced. We provided them with 3,260 tents.

Three meals [per day] will be served to the displaced, including hot
Iraqi-cooked meals and bottles of mineral water. There is also health
supervision and protection, in addition to doctors who are touring the
camps of the displaced so as to avoid any medical crisis or problem the
people might suffer from.

Some areas have been completely liberated. The first thing we took care
of in these areas was building hospitals and setting up the police
stations again. Yes, we will lay emphasis on [reconstructing] schools
and work on restoring public services in the areas from which the
terrorists were driven out; namely, Al-Mu'allimin district, Al-Qal'ah
area and other many areas which were liberated from the
terrorists.[video footage of Al-Dulaymi speaking]

Von: 11 September 2005 (BBC)

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