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05 April 2003

Central Command Briefing Transcript

(Iraq operations/Recap since March 21; Jessica Lynch/more details of
her rescue; April 4 combat operations/foray into Baghdad; Coalition
drive from Kuwait/Logistics involved; Humanitarian operations/
Delivery of wheat; Iraqi tactics/unconventional; WMD/Suspected
sites/Preparations for Iraqi use; Tikrit/Republican Guard forces;
Saddam Hussein/ TV tapes of April 4; Baghdad airport/fighting.)
(11480)

U.S. Major General Victor "Gene" Renuart briefed media April 5 at the
U.S. Central Command's forward headquarters near Doha, Qatar. The
transcript of the briefing follows.

(begin transcript)

CENTRAL COMMAND OPERATIONAL UPDATE BRIEFING

BRIEFER: MAJOR GENERAL VICTOR RENUART

APRIL 5, 2003

MAJ. GEN. VICTOR RENUART: (In progress) -- the events that have
occurred over the last number of days.

First of all, I just want to make -- continue the statement that says
-- (inaudible) -- and I don't want that to sound like it's meant to be
minimized. There has been a very concentrated effort to keep this plan
going exactly the way General Franks and the staff have built it, and
the plan goes on, on time line, and in the direction we'd like for it
to go.

As always, we take a minute just to remember those folks who have been
wounded or lost in combat. It's important for us not to forget the
cost that each of these operations exacts on the young men and women
of all of the nations of the coalition.

The focus of today's briefing is going to be a sort of an operational
summary. There will be some history here, things that you've seen
before, but my goal today is to try to put some of that in a context
for you that will hopefully allow you to understand how the operations
have flowed over time.

As you know, we began building up forces some number of weeks ago,
potentially months ago as we floated some forces in the early days of
-- or late days of last year with the 3rd Infantry Division. Those
forces continued to build over time until we began combat operations
on the 21st of March.

On the 21st, we began with an insertion of special operating forces
and a strike in Baghdad by a number of Tomahawk land attack cruise
missiles. Those targets were key leadership targets. We think the
results were very favorable, and we're not exactly sure of the result
of the leaders that were involved in that, but we continue to see
disruption in the command and control of the regime.

Shortly after that, the 1st Marine Division crossed the line of
departure, moved north out of Kuwait into the oil fields in the south,
taking control of those oilfields and begin to secure them for the
future of the Iraqi people. The key elements of those oil fields were
the gas-oil separators, the individual wellheads themselves, and the
objective was to be able to secure those before the Iraqi regime had
the opportunity to destroy them. As many of you know, there were some
wellheads that were destroyed. We have since been able to bring those
well fires under control. We're down to two wellheads remaining to be
secured and the fires put out. A joint Kuwaiti and coalition oil
firefighting team is working on those. We hope to get the last two of
those oil well fires put out within the next few days.

In addition to the oil heads that were damaged, we had a number of
breaks in pipelines. Some of those were ignited. We have had a number
of pools of oil that were let out on to the ground. Some of those were
ignited as well. And we have since brought the majority of those under
control, both securing the infrastructure in the oil fields and
repairing those to be able to bring that back into operation.

I had some maps earlier that were going to go along with this, but as
you know, sometimes computers trick you, and so I'm going to have to
go without the maps that will kind of walk you through what the ground
looked like as we moved through southern Iraq.

But during those first few days, we moved with the 1st Marine
Expeditionary Force from south to north from Kuwait, and then with the
3rd Infantry Division moving from Kuwait's western, northwestern
border to the northwest towards An Nasiriyah, As-Samawa, An Najaf, and
then continuing on. The 3rd Infantry Division attacked to seize
initially the Tallil airfield, the town of An Nasiriyah, and then to
follow -- with a follow-on objective of the town of As-Samawa. We also
seized key Highway 1 bridges in the vicinity of An Nasiriyah to allow
for the 1st Marine Division to then move forward to the north as they
made the turn coming up out of the oil fields and continuing on
towards As-Shatra (sp) and al-Kut to engage a Republican Guard
division in the vicinity of al-Kut.

I think the progress could be characterized as nothing short of
superb. A lot was made about we were out there for three or four days
-- as you know, bad weather had challenged us a bit. A lot was made of
bringing the supply lines along. I think what we've shown is that the
plan was very smoothly executed, that logistics support, humanitarian
assistance has flowed in behind the combat troops in a way that
allowed the momentum of the fight to be carried to the Iraqis in a
steady fashion with great results.

Over the five days from about the 27th of March until right at the end
of the month, 5th Corps forces pressed north to the vicinity of
Karbala, and the 1 MEF forces pressed from An Nasiriyah towards
al-Kut, As-Diwaniyah, and the town of As-Shatra (sp), in each case,
taking the time to reduce pockets of irregular forces in each of these
locations, forces that were holding the local leaders of the towns an
the populations of those towns hostage, if you will, and in some cases
terrorizing them to the point of inactivity by any of the leaders in
the town to resist.

The 1st U.K. Armor entered the battlefield also on the 27th of March,
beginning to secure the area from south to north from Umm Qasr to
As-Zubair into the town of Basra. In addition, they expanded to the
northwest to provide additional security for the southern oil fields.

And then in the north, on the 27th, the 173rd Airborne Brigade jumped
into an area near Bashur (sp) in northern Iraq to provide additional
combat power to the special operating forces that had already inserted
themselves into Kurdish-held territory.

At the same time, combat operations were ongoing. Humanitarian aid --
I mention this repeatedly because that is really one of the two great
pillars of this combat operation -- at the same time you're exerting
combat power against a very focused enemy, you want to be able to
infuse into that fight humanitarian assistance that will begin to
normalize the lives of the people in the towns that you're liberating.
And things like bringing in wheat to Umm Qasr, bringing in
humanitarian aid over land from Kuwait -- great support from the
Kuwaitis to infuse that aid into the fight was noted as early as the
second or third day after combat operations began.

The water pipeline was constructed and is completed now from Kuwait
into Umm Qasr, up to Zubair, and we now have a situation just a few
days ago, a couple days ago, where water into Basra is almost
completely restored. We have a few small areas that we're completing
that infusion.

Those operations continued until the 4th of April, just yesterday,
where we saw great operations conducted on a two-core front approach
in towards Baghdad. The 3rd Infantry Division moved north from Karbala
to the highway intersections of routes 1 and 8, just south of the
city, about seven miles from the city center. In fact, you saw some of
the forces that were at that intersection today driving through the
inner city of Baghdad.

In addition, forces moved to the west, initially created a force to
attack and then secure the Baghdad International Airport. Those forces
have completed that operation and now hold the airport secure. And we
are continuing to flow forces in there to reinforce and establish a
main operating base.

At the same time, the 1st Marine forces, the 1st Marine Expeditionary
Forces were attacking from the vicinity of As-Diwaniyah and south of
al-Kut to destroy the remnants of the Baghdad Division and then turn
northwest along Highway 6 to the southeast corner of Baghdad,
attacking remnants of a regular army division and a Republican Guard
infantry division, destroying those forces as they moved forth to
establish an operating base on the southeast edge of Baghdad.

Finally, continuing the great work in Basra and then moving further to
the north, the 1st U.K. Armored Division has moved north through the
oil fields to begin to secure more and more of those vital resources
for the future, and we now have a substantial percentage of what we
call the southern oil fields, the Ramallah fields, the Khorna (sp)
fields, and some other smaller fields, Zubair, under our -- under our
safe control, and we continue to expand that U.K. lodgment position
further north along Highway 6 to complete the destruction of -- the
remnants, really, of four regular army divisions that began the fight
in the vicinity between al-Amarah and Khorna (sp) in the eastern
portion of the country.

Finally, we've alluded to special operating forces throughout the
operation, and I just want to spend a minute or two describing the
intent of these very highly capable forces, the use of those highly
capable forces around the country.

As we were beginning combat operations, special operating forces were
infiltrated into western Iraq, into northern Iraq, and some areas in
the south. The intent of these forces was to establish a relationship
with leaders in the local area, to be able to call fires on theater
ballistic missile launch sites in the west in order to protect
neighbors in the region, other neighbors that were threatened by the
Iraqi theater ballistic missile capability, to begin to set conditions
to bring follow-on forces in to take advantage of the airfields in the
west and in the north. In addition, to begin working in an
unconventional warfare manner, engaging with Iraqi forces in the north
who might be interested in laying down their arms and not continuing
to fight. Those operations have been highly successful.

In addition to the unconventional warfare operations in the north, as
many of you know, we attacked a terrorist base camp in -- near the
little town of Khourma (sp). The intent here was to eliminate an al
Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam based terrorist training camp and military
facility, and potential chemical WMD processing or manufacturing
plant. Those operations were very successful. It was a combination of
U.S. special forces and Kurdish fighters, and those operations
actually continue to eliminate small pockets of terrorist activity in
extreme northeastern Iraq.

Finally, on a -- on a note of success that was very visible to you
all, the special operating forces, in coordination with conventional
forces from the Marine Corps and the Air Force and the Army were able
to successfully rescue Private First Class Jennifer (sic) Lynch out of
a hospital and irregular military headquarters facility that was being
used by these death squads in Nasiriyah and successfully return her to
U.S. hands and on to medical care and a reunion with her family. I'll
talk a little bit about that operation in just a little bit, so if
you'll hold for that one just a second, I'll come back to it.

Finally, to continue to beat the drum of humanitarian assistance, we
have worked to secure key bridges and infrastructure to maintain those
for future use, and we begin -- have begun to really accelerate the
infusion of humanitarian assistance into the country.

Throughout all of these operations, we've encountered an enemy who has
been determined. We have encountered an enemy who has chosen to use
fear and terror and brutality as a means to push the people either to
not support a change in their own communities, or even to the extremes
to be used as shields to protect these fighters as they try to engage
our forces. We've seen forces fighting in civilian clothes from
vehicles we call technical vehicles, pick-up trucks with machine guns
loaded on to them, SUVs. We've seen them stringing wire across roads
that would be designed to decapitate people driving in trucks. We've
seen them wearing uniforms that were U.S. or U.K. or Australia based
equipment so that they might fit in. We've seen them using flags of
truth -- truce, I'm sorry -- to gain a position of advantage on the
battlefield, and on and on, from suicide bombings to other acts of
terror on the field.

This has been an unconventional enemy, but not one we have not trained
for. Through it all, we've seen prudent use of the military. We've
seen professional performance by our soldiers, and they have been able
to, in each case, defeat this enemy threat as we've moved on to each
of our objectives.

Now, all of that happens because the people behind the scenes, the
logisticians, ensure that we have the tools that we need to carry the
battle forward on the field. Some of you have had a chance to listen
to some of the logistics facts that we've used out there. And I won't
go into lots and lots of them, but I do have a few tidbits of trivia
that might be interesting for you.

The line of communication that we are maintaining open from Kuwait up
to Baghdad is about 350 miles. On any given day out there on the
battlefield, we've probably got 2,500 or more logistics
support-related vehicles traveling on that road.

So if you can sort of imagine driving from LA to San Francisco, along
the way there you'll see a whole -- it's sort of like having a big old
convoy of semi tractor-trailers running up and down that road, moving
food and fuel and water and humanitarian assistance to our forces.

We've moved something on the order of 65 million gallons of fuel into
the region in order to fill supply points around the area to allow our
forces to continue operations unencumbered. If you throw that into a
-- well, I've got a little car, so I get about 20 miles to the gallon.
If you throw that into my car, I could do an around-the-world trip
about 52,000 times.

To fly the air tasking order that we have each day, the aircraft that
are out there to support our operations, takes something on the order
of about two and a half million gallons of fuel. And in that same car
of mine, I could only make the trip around the world about 1,736
times.

So, to give you some perspective, the cost -- the support required to
keep these operations going continuously is substantial. And the work
that is being carried out by our logistics experts in the field is
nothing short of herculean. There are some real superstars out there.

In order to keep our forces properly hydrated, we use about a million
and a half liters of water a day. About 2 million tons of spare parts
and support equipment is moved around the battlefield each day.

And then, finally, soldiers, as they say -- you know, you feed the
army; you have to maintain its ability to eat. And, you know, about a
third of a million MREs are consumed each day. So for that one Marine
out there that didn't get more than one that day, we've got some more
out there coming to him and I think we've solved that problem.

We continue to have great days of supply out in the field at each of
our supply points, and I think we have continued to excel day by day
to improve that process.

I talked about a lot of humanitarian aid a minute ago, and I want to
give you just a few tidbits on what we call CMO, civil military
operations. These are some good-news stories, and they're not stories
that the military has brought to the fight. They're stories that other
non-governmental organizations and international organizations bring
in.

The World Food Program, for example, delivered a thousand metric tons
of wheat yesterday. We have had support from non-governmental
organizations to distribute kerosene to families to allow them to heat
their homes. There were not many cool nights left, but there were a
few. And we've been able to get kerosene in to some of the families in
order to run heaters.

The World Food Program's warehouse in Basra has built up substantial
stockpiles of cooking oil, coffee, flour and miscellaneous items, and
those continue to be packaged for distribution.

We talked about DART teams before, and these are designed to respond
to a disaster, really. But this is also an element that gives us
command and control for distribution of humanitarian aid. We've formed
the largest DART team ever in history.

It's a three-phrase front from Kuwait to Jordan to Turkey to enable us
to move humanitarian assistance very rapidly in. And I'm pleased to
say that today we moved a number of trucks of humanitarian assistance
in from Turkey as well as we are continuing to grow the size of
assistance that we're able to move in from Jordan over time.

So the successes are there. We continue to have need for more. We're
far from perfect in that regard, but we are making a stronger attempt
every day to increase and improve our ability to move those kinds of
supplies and support to the Iraqi people at the same time we prosecute
combat operations against the Iraqi regime.

Now, I told you I'd spend a minute or two talking about the rescue of
Private Lynch. And I'd like to -- you'll forgive me for referring to
notes a little bit more, but the facts of this are important and I'd
like to go through those with you to try to give you a sense of what
is really one of the characteristics of this operation.

There is nothing done on this battlefield that is not a joint and
integrated operation. It's a combined operation. It takes the
capabilities of each of our components -- and I know I've talked about
this a couple of times from the podium here, but I can't overstress
this -- each nation contributing.

Each force on the battlefield brings a capability that has to be
integrated in order to be successful out there. And this is but one
example, this one very localized to a very unique problem, but across
the battlefield we have the same kinds of circumstances. And I'll
cover those in questions, if you like.

In the situation that we're talking about here with Private Lynch, as
you know, on about the 23rd of March, her 507th Maintenance Company
was ambushed in the vicinity of An Nasiriyah. A number of the members
of that maintenance company were killed, a number of captured, and a
number were unaccounted for, she being one of them.

As the situation developed over time, we began to get some indications
from local contacts in the community. And as we have used Special
Forces to develop intelligence on the battlefield, as we do everywhere
on the battlefield, we got an indication that there may be an injured
U.S. military member held in this hospital, the Saddam Hospital in An
Nasiriyah.

Any time we have a situation like that, we put together a planning
team that investigates the intelligence and decides, is this credible,
and if so, do we have the capability to respond to recover our service
member?

In this case, after some detailed planning and study, it was felt that
we not only had good intelligence information and had good access and
had the potential for good access, but we, in fact, also felt that we
had a feasible plan.

On the night of the first of April, a coalition Special Forces
operation was put together that included the U.S. Army Rangers,
Special Forces, and aviators from the Army, U.S. Navy SEALs, Air Force
pilots, combat controllers and United States Marines.

The team was designed in a way to very rapidly get into the area of
the hospital, to determine the location of Private Lynch, and then to
bring her out, and at the same time exploit some areas of the hospital
where we had reports of enemy headquarters, command-and-control
facilities and the like.

As the night unfolded, the Marine task force was given two missions.
Task Force Charlie was asked to create a diversionary tack, to focus
what small elements of Iraqi irregulars there might be in the
surrounding part of the town away from the hospital, in order to draw
them into a fight in another part of the town.

At the same time, elements of the Marines, using helicopters, moved
the recovery force rapidly into the hospital area with both ground
transport and helicopter infiltration, with the principal priority
being to recover Private Lynch and very rapidly move her out of the
hospital area.

Upon entering the hospital, the assault force actually persuaded a
local physician to lead them to Private Lynch's location, and this
local physician claimed at the same time that there were potentially
remnants -- I'm sorry, were remains of other U.S. military, either in
the morgue or possibly buried close by.

As the team entered the hospital room, they found Private Lynch in a
hospital bed. The first man approached the door and came in and called
her name. She had been scared, had the sheet up over her head because
she didn't know what was happening. She lowered the sheet from her
head. She didn't really respond yet because I think she was probably
pretty scared.

The soldier again said, "Jessica Lynch, we're the United States
soldiers and we're here to protect you and take you home." She seemed
to understand that. And as he walked over and took his helmet off, she
looked up to him and said, "I'm an American soldier, too."

As they prepared to evacuate her, a team member made a preliminary
assessment of her medical condition. The physician who had accompanied
them -- this is our physician who accompanied the assault -- took the
opportunity to further evaluate her condition, stabilized her for
evacuation. She had injuries both to her legs, her arm, a head injury,
and seemed to be in a fair amount of pain.

After she was prepared for movement and secured to the stretcher, the
team members carried her down the stairwell out to the front door to
the waiting helicopter. While the helicopter transported her to a
nearby aircraft, who was then going to move her on to a field
hospital, Jessica held up her hand and grabbed the Ranger doctor's
hand, held on to it for the entire time and said, "Please don't let
anybody leave me." It was clear she knew where she was and she didn't
want to be left anywhere in the hands of the enemy.

After a short period of time, the hospital (sic) departed and she was
moved back to the field hospital and her condition -- I'm sorry, her
evaluation, her treatment was expanded.

After Private Lynch was removed from the hospital, the team continued
with the rest of its mission. Searching through the hospital they
found a weapons cache. They found a terrain model.

And, in fact, what this was was a planning -- it was like a sandbox
model done on the floor of the basement of the hospital, and it was a
model of the town of An Nasiriyah, and it had blue and red markers on
there just like we would use for a war game, and depicted with
relative accuracy the general positions of U.S. forces and also enemy
forces in the town. So it allowed our Special Forces to gain a bit of
intelligence as well from that activity.

At the same time, the team was led to a burial site, where, in fact,
they did find a number of bodies that they believed could be Americans
missing in action. They, in fact, did not have shovels in order to dig
those graves up, so they dug them up with their hands. And they wanted
to do that very rapidly so that they could race the sun and be off the
site before the sun came up; a great testament to the will and desire
of coalition forces to bring their own home.

After completing the excavation and ensuring there were none left
behind, the force recovered all bodies and transported them back to
the staging location and moved those back with the rest of the assault
force. And as you know, we've since returned those bodies to the
States, and we have identified nine of those sets of remains.

Eight of them, in fact, were from the 507th Maintenance Company and
one from the -- a soldier from the Third Forward Support Group of the
Third Infantry Division. And those next of kin now know -- have been
notified and they know the status of their loved ones.

So while we grieve at the loss of those soldiers, we are pleased that
we were able to make a determination of their fate and bring that back
to their families.

Well, that completes the comments that I wanted to make. Let me open
up for questions for you today. This gentleman was eager to get in
early, so I'll start off right here.

Q: Jonathan Marcus, BBC. General, could you give us some
characterization of the events in southwestern Baghdad earlier today?
And could I ask that -- they've been using a lot of precision-guided
munitions. Some of the statements from press officers here today have
been very vague -- talk about downtown Baghdad, U.S. forces in the
center of the city.

We have people who are in the center of the city, and they clearly
haven't been actually in the center. So could I ask for a little bit
greater precision from some of the statements, but also some
indication from you as to what has been going on?

GEN. RENUART: Well, I think the very first clarity of what was going
on was riding in one of those tanks in the Second Brigade Combat Team,
and it was one of the embedded reporters. So you probably can't see a
better up-to-date report than what you saw there.

But I will try to put some context to what you saw. This was an
operation conducted by two task forces of the Third Infantry Division.
They, in fact, had been south of the city and conducted a raid through
the city, proceeding north to the Tigris River and then continuing out
to the west in the direction of the airport.

As to why your colleagues were not able to see that from the center of
the city, I'm not sure. But I'm pretty comfortable that in some parts
of downtown London you can't see what's going on in other parts of
downtown London. So I can't give you any better answer than that.

I'm pretty comfortable I know where those guys were, and I'm pretty
comfortable the reporters gave you an accurate picture of the scenes
on the road.

It was, I think, a clear statement of the ability of the coalition
forces to move into Baghdad at times and places of their choosing and
to establish their presence really wherever they need to in the city.
And those kinds of operations, I believe, will continue.

Yes, sir.

Q: General, Jeff Reed (sp) from Sky News. At times, sir, your review
sounded almost like a victory speech. Was it? Have you now reached the
tipping point? And can I ask the daily weapons-of-mass-destruction
question? They haven't been deployed. They haven't been discovered. Is
this war going to make history by being ended before you've found its
cause?

(Laughter.)

GEN. RENUART: That's a great question. Let me first say that in no way
should any of the comments I made be taken as a victory speech.
Victory will come, of that there is no doubt. But this fight is far
from over. As we have said, we've been about to move into the area of
Baghdad city. As you look at the map of Iraq, you'll note that there
are many other parts of the country where we have not yet taken
control of enemy forces in that region. And so the fight will
continue. The fight is far from finished in Baghdad.

As to weapons of mass destruction, I think we continue to look at
sites around the country. But I think as I mentioned last week as I
was up here, many of the sites that we believe were most likely were
in areas that we had not yet put troops. We're beginning to close down
some of these areas and put troops into there, and we will in fact,
over time, go through each of the sites where we believe to be -- that
they may have stored, hidden or in some way cached any kind of weapon
of mass destruction.

Tom?

Q: (Inaudible) -- with CNN. You talked about setting up a base of
operations at the Baghdad International Airport. Is the security such
that that can be done now? And what about the runways? They were
disabled for normal use, but will they suffice for your use?

GEN. RENUART: It's a good question. And I guess what I'd say in terms
of a base of operation, as you know, you can create a base of
operation in the middle of the desert where you secure a particular
area and bring in your logistics forces. The airport gives us a fairly
substantial area to operate from, and I believe we will continue to
operate from the field. Whether we make it a main base of operation or
not, time will tell.

With respect to security on the airfield, the 3rd ID folks, elements
of the 101st have, I think, secured the airfield to a fairly good
degree. That does not mean that there's not a threat from artillery
from enemy forces who have continued to attack throughout the course
of today to varying degrees and in varying sizes, but with no success.
There are a number of sites on the airfield that we want to make sure
we spend extra time to ensure there's not booby traps and those kinds
of things. But we feel like we can operate on the airfield with ease.

In terms of, is the airfield functional, we believe that at least one
of the runways is -- will be functioning very rapidly. Most of the
obstructions there were dirt, so they can be cleaned off very quickly,
and I think we will have that capability very rapidly. It appears the
rest of the infrastructure on the airport was intact, and I think the
-- well, the Iraqi government still today says we're not there, so
clearly they weren't expecting us, so they left the airfield in a
fairly operable condition.

Q: Who disabled the runways, coalition forces, or did they put -- did
they put obstacles in your way?

GEN. RENUART: Well, I think  -- 

Q: Yesterday it sounded like that you took out portions of the runway
so they couldn't be used, and I don't think you could have put dirt in
yesterday.

GEN. RENUART: (Laughs.) Even we're not that fast. No, we had --
Baghdad International Airport has two runways, two sides of the
airfield. One of them is the military side, and we -- because there
were some military-capable aircraft over there that we were concerned
about, obstructed that one ourselves. On the other airfield, our
intent was to leave that intact. The Iraqis, in fact, covered -- put
dirt mounds in a number of places. I think they may have been worried
that we were going to do some sort of an air landing or something, and
they wanted to ensure that maybe that was not possible. I think they
underestimate our capabilities. However, we will be about clearing
those dirt mounds, et cetera, to get that runway functional very
rapidly. And at the appropriate point, we'll start using it as we need
to to bring in supplies or other items.

Yes, ma'am.

Q: Jane Seck (ph) of Sky News. Can I just ask you, firstly, about the
discovery of these bodies in Al Zubair? Do you have any information
about that?

And secondly, were you surprised by the levels of resistance that
you've faced so far going into Baghdad? Do you really think the
Republican Guard is gone, or do you think they're waiting for you
somewhere else?

GEN. RENUART: First, the question on reports in Zubair, I heard those
really just coming over today. I can't give you any more specifics --
one, if the reports are accurate, or two, what the -- you know, what
type of people these might be if they are accurate reports. So I'm
afraid I can't give you too much more than that.

However, we have asked our -- in coordination with the land-component
commander, to take these kinds of reports and try to run them to
ground so that we can come up with some sense of truth. As you know,
on the battlefield, many times, first reports are in some way
inaccurate, and so we physically need to go there and find out, and
we'll know more once we are on the ground.

Your second question was the Republican Guard. I think sometimes it's
very difficult for people to understand the power of air power. I
don't want to sound like I'm an airman beating the air power horn, but
the integration of fires from both land and air --

STAFF (?): (Off mike.)

GEN. RENUART: I think it went off.

-- was substantial. And we were able to take advantage of superiority
in the skies to prepare the battlefield. And as the forces moved
through, they still found substantial Republican Guard capability, and
in many cases those forces fought hard. But they were more isolated.
They were not well organized. And I think you can -- that is a direct
result of the combine-arms team that prepared that battlefield before
the forces actually moved into the area.

Let me go over here. I'll come back in a minute. Kelly.

Q: Hi, General. We have reports today of another suicide bombing at
Baghdad airport. If you could address that. And secondly, do you have
any indications there are substantial Republican Guard in Tikrit?

GEN. RENUART: I heard the reports about a potential suicide bomb at
the airport. We've had a couple of reports of those activities that
have been true over the last few days. The one today I tried to check
just before I walked in. That has not come up on anybody's radar
scope. Obviously, I think it was a media report. There have been a
number of attacks out there. I would say some of them I'd term as
suicidal in that very lightly armed forces trying to attack more
heavily armored forces on the airfield. But I don't have what we would
-- what, at least, I would refer to as a suicide bomb attack that I'm
aware of.

And I'm sorry, your second question?

Q: Do you have of Republican Guard still substantial -- 

GEN. RENUART: In Tikrit?

Q: Yes.

GEN. RENUART: Certainly through the conflict, we've seen a number of
Republican Guard units in an around Tikrit. We continue to look in
that area very carefully because certainly that's one of the key
leadership nodes, we think, that tie to the Ba'ath Party.

As our forces drew closer to Baghdad, many of the Republican Guard
units were sort of thrown into the fight, literally. And there
certainly are some remnants of Republican Guard in that area. As to
how large a force that is, we're still trying to get a little better
intelligence on that.

Yes, sir.

Q: Hi, General. Jeff Schaeffer, Associated Press Television News. Can
you elaborate on your definition of favorable with regard to the
strike on the leadership of the 21st? What exactly does that mean? And
on the same track, can you talk -- can you give us your assessment of
the Saddam Hussein video that was put out yesterday?

GEN. RENUART: Favorable means really good. (Laughter.) We hit exactly
where we wanted to go, and we're pretty sure that one of the targets
we were aiming at we got. Now, beyond that, I'm going to let it --
leave it there. Good try though.

And I think that goes to really your second question: Was this Saddam
on the tapes yesterday? You know, I can't tell you. They are tapes,
clearly. We know from intelligence that in the months preceding combat
operations, a number of tapes were made to be used, some to be
released locally; some to be released from other places in the world.
I don't know. I truly don't know. But the fact of the matter is, it
really doesn't matter. This -- the operation is to end the regime in
Iraq, and we'll continue with that one. So whether that was or was not
Saddam is truly not relevant to the plan. We'll continue until we
complete the operations.

Yes, sir, back here. The gentleman from, I think, Qatari TV?

Q: (Inaudible) -- from Kuwait TV.

GEN. RENUART: I'm sorry, Kuwait TV. I'm sorry.

Q: Yes. Okay, I have a question, General. What is the problem which is
the American army's -- (inaudible) -- in Baghdad now exactly?

GEN. RENUART: I'm sorry, could -- 

Q: What is the problem which is the American army's -- (inaudible) --
in Baghdad now?

GEN. RENUART: Okay, so you're asking are we having difficulties with
our Americans --

Q: Difficulty now exactly at the south of Baghdad. Thank you.

GEN. RENUART: I think -- I think our operations from -- that I
described early that moved from the south through the center of
Baghdad and out to the west are -- were very successful for us. The
challenge with that were pockets of very intense fighting. As I
mentioned, we had a task force that moved through the city made up of
both Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and Abrams tanks. The fight
through there was characterized by a number of irregular forces mixed
with Republican Guard or Special Republican Guard infantry fighting
positions, rocket-propelled grenades, nests of irregular forces and
the technical vehicles that I described earlier and air-to-air
artillery weapons that were used in a direct-fire mode against our
forces, so 23 mm, 57 mm anti-aircraft cannons that were used in a
direct-fire mode against our forces.

It was, as was reported, intense fighting in areas. On the other hand,
in some areas, people were standing on the sidewalks waving to us. So
clearly there is confusion in Baghdad. Clearly there is -- there is
some chaos in terms of the command and control and ability of the
military defending Baghdad. On the other hand, there are people who
appear to acknowledge the presence of coalition forces favorably in
that area.

Does that answer your question for you?

Q: Yes.

GEN. RENUART: Okay, good.

Yes, sir.

Q: I'm Matt Harrison with AFP. Can you confirm that the 3rd ID reached
the center or the heart or the middle of the city today? And can you
tell us where those troops are now?

GEN. RENUART: Moving wherever they need to. You know, I'm not sure I
can tell you -- define to you what the center of Baghdad is. But I
think someone described the Tigris River makes a pretty narrow bend at
Highway 1 comes into what I would call pretty near the center of
Baghdad and then turns out to the west. So our forces moved up into
that area and then continued out to the west. And it's about as close
to the center as I know how to define.

Yes, ma'am.

Q: Thank you, General. I'm Martha Brant with Newsweek magazine. First
of all, thank you very much for giving us that level of detail about
Jessica Lynch. I had a couple of follow-up questions about her. We had
been told that possibly "Chemical Ali," as he is called, may have been
in that hospital. Do you know anything about that? Did you get him?

And secondly, the injuries she has, did she sustain them during the
ambush, or did her captors inflict them on her?

GEN. RENUART: Let me go to your second question first, because I guess
the answer to the first is, we think that he was there. He had used
that area. But on the evening of the attack, he was not located in the
hospital. That's not to say that we haven't been tracking him down at
some other locations and will continue to do so until we're pretty
confident that he's been eliminated.

As to her injuries, as I mentioned, arm injuries, leg injuries, she's
undergone some back surgery as well. I don't have any way to determine
if those were inflicted on her after her capture, and so it would be
unfair of me to try to speculate on that. I just really can't say.

Q: (Off mike.)

GEN. RENUART: No, I don't know of any other information to be more
clear than that for you.

Yes, sir.

Q: Adi Rival (ph), ABC News. The situation in Baghdad is such where
the residents are getting mixed messages -- one message from the Iraqi
leadership, the Information Ministry, that everything is fine; don't
worry about it; they haven't taken over any of our command and control
facilities; the coalition forces obviously presenting a different
message. Now it seem the message, your message, the coalition forces'
message is more important than ever. How are you getting through the
Iraqi propaganda and talking directly to the people of Baghdad saying
whatever you want to say in terms of issuing admonitions about, this
is where we'll be, et cetera, et cetera? And why is the Information
Ministry still broadcasting its propaganda?

Thank you, sir.

GEN. RENUART: It's a good question. As you know, the technology for
broadcast is pretty sophisticated. And you can purchase satellite time
on a variety of corporation satellites. And so as to how they're still
being able to broadcast, while I'm not technically proficient to tell
you how that happens, I can say that it appears that there are a
number of satellite companies who have sold broadcast time to Iraqi
National Television, and so we're trying to work in some way to
encourage that not to happen.

But I think more importantly is the question really of how do we get
our message to the Iraqi people. We have a capability to broadcast on
the Iraqi Channel 3, and we are continuing to do that. We're trying to
expand our ability for Iraqis to broadcast on satellite television.
And as we try to improve that capability and expand that capability,
we will do so. We're beginning to see many more leaders in the
communities of Basra and An Nasiriyah, As-Samawa, Najaf, even now
towards Karbala, become much more supportive, openly supportive of the
coalition forces as they see the threat from these other irregular
troops go away. And some have expressed interest in helping to get
that message out.

You have to be careful though. You have to be careful because it has
to be an honest message from the Iraqis. And so we're sensitive to try
to create the opportunity for Iraqis to broadcast on their network.

Q: You said that you want to broadcast on Iraqi TV, but there are
reports that the electricity in Baghdad was off. Do you know if the
electricity is back on? Obviously that causes some problems in terms
of wanting the coalition forces to broadcast their message.

GEN. RENUART: You know, I can't tell you throughout Baghdad if it's
on. I know we have reports in certain areas that there is electricity.
Certainly Iraqi TV has electricity. So they've taken it away from
their people, but they save it for themselves. But we are seeing
reports that it is on in certain areas, and we are trying to develop
that a little bit more. We are looking for ways to try to get that
power back on as rapidly as we can.

Yes, ma'am, right here.

Q: My name is Nora Garbi (ph) from Abu Dhabi TV. I'm just wondering
about the coalition troops, they've been like sending messages through
these notes -- asking, you know, people not to fight or to surrender.
Do we have any reports about the Iraqi in the Republican troops or the
Iraqi people have been surrendering yet, or --

GEN. RENUART: Yes, ma'am. Actually that's a very good question,
because one of our real desires was to pass the message that it would
-- for the future of the country it was -- it would be important for
them to preserve their ability to be part of the future. We have now
in custody some six and a half thousand Iraqi military members, many
of whom surrendered without a fight. We also have reports of a number
of units in the country who are -- who have expressed interest in
that. But as we move through the country, we haven't been able to get
to some of those yet to determine whether they will choose to fight or
not. We will continue to work through step by step, continuing on our
plan, and we hope that many of these units will make that decision.

I will tell you that many units that we have seen in some areas just
left their equipment and went home. So they didn't surrender -- they
just chose not to fight, and left and returned to their homes.

Let me see -- back in the back, sir.

Q: (Off mike.) Sir, what was the purpose of the raid today? And,
second question: If the troops move from the south towards the center
and then back out west, does that mean that they are no longer in the
area of the center of the city?

GEN. RENUART: Well, I'm really not going to speculate on where we
physically have troops sitting at any one time. I will just -- I gave
you the characteristics of this particular movement. Whether -- when
and where and whether there will be similar movements, whether we have
let troops behind -- I am just not going to speculate on that.

I think that the message though really is to in a way put a bit of an
exclamation point on the fact that coalition troops are in fact in the
vicinity of Baghdad, do in fact have the ability to come into the city
at places of their choosing, and demonstrate to the Iraqi leadership
that they do not have control in a fashion that they continue to say
they do on their television. And I think we made that point.

Q: Kind of testing the -- (inaudible) -- sir?

GEN. RENUART: I have a great mood. Over here.

Q: General -- (inaudible) -- from the Independent in London. You said
that there'd been some intense fighting in parts of Baghdad. Do you
want to put a figure on what you estimate the casualties to have been
on both sides in those engagements?

GEN. RENUART: I'd really not like to put a figure on it, and it's
mostly because the reports of all of those operations are still being
finalized. As you can imagine, taking a force like that and driving 20
or 25 miles at, you know, 30 or 40 kilometers an hour in those
vehicles, there probably weren't a lot of people collecting their
thoughts to put real numbers to that. The adrenaline was high, and the
battle was raging. However, at the completion of those operations, the
forces then began to put together what they believed to be the facts
of all of that. And from that we'll get a better -- I think a better
feel for what their estimates were of numbers and that sort of thing.

Yes, sir?

Q: (Off mike.)

GEN. RENUART: I didn't give you a chance already, did I?

Q: No.

GEN. RENUART: I got yelled at last time for letting somebody have two
questions. (Laughter.)

Q: No, no, I've had my hand up since the beginning. You've given us an
idea obviously of how this mission was conducted this morning. But
beyond saying that it was to send a message, you haven't really
identified any strategic purpose. Had any ground been taken? Is any
ground being held? Or are you just back at the airport, having sent a
robust message?

GEN. RENUART: Well, I think on the battlefield, messages are critical
to your strategy. I also said that I'm not going to tell you what we
still have or don't have in terms of forces that are in the city. And
I think it's probably fair to leave it at that. The point we continue
to make is we are moving very, very well along the plan that we have
laid out, and in due time and in due course, I think the message and
the plan will be more clear.

Let me come back over here. Yes, sir, right here.

Q: Yes, general, I'm Craig Gordon (sp) from Newsday. Along the line of
messages, General Myers at the Pentagon I think a couple of days ago
sort of painted this notion of you folks taking control of water
plants, electrical plants, essentially sending the message to the
Iraqi people that we sort of run the city now, not Saddam Hussein. Can
you -- can you match that up with some of the military moves that you
are making and put the two together for us, so we can understand how
some of the military maneuvers fit into the strategic picture, but
also into almost the psychological picture of sending the message that
the United States is in charge, not Saddam Hussein?

GEN. RENUART: Again, a really good question. I think it's important to
understand that it goes back to those two pillars I talked about. It's
as important to demonstrate control of the battlefield as it is to
demonstrate support for the people. A lot of speculation a couple days
ago -- I think the power went out in Baghdad -- I'm just guessing -- I
think it was, say, 5:30 or six o'clock in the evening. Within about
four minutes I had 12 phone calls wanting to know what we had done.
And in fact our intent was not to take the power out, and we did not
take the power out in Baghdad. The Iraqi regime took that from its own
people. Our intent is to try to put the power back on. And do we know
where the power generation plants are? Yes. Is it our intent to get to
those and get the power back on as we are able to? For sure. Is it our
intent to ensure that water flows and there are utilities and normal
services for the city of Iraq, or for the city of Baghdad, excuse me?
Absolutely. But this is also a very complicated battlefield, and it
will take time to make all of those happen. You'll recall that it --
48 hours ago General Brooks was standing up here and we were still
moving. So in a very short period of time we have moved very rapidly
into the vicinity of Baghdad, continue to move forces to a number of
areas around the city, continue to engage Republican Guard units
outside the city to prevent them from moving into the city. And as we
are able to create more stability, we will very rapidly try to return
normal services to the people of Baghdad.

Yes, sir? I'll get you both here.

Q: General, Chas Henry from WTOP Radio. It's unusual for a senior
military leader to be relieved of command in the course of conducting
combat operations. So a number of questions have been raised with the
decision to do that with a Marine Corps regimental commander operating
in Iraq. At the Pentagon they've said this is a question to be
addressed by his chain of command. So I put the question here. Can you
tell us why he was relieved?

GEN. RENUART: Really, I am not going to discuss it. At every level of
command, commanders have to make tough decisions about the nature of
the leaders that they have under their chain. And, in this case this
was a decision made by the commander in the field. I don't think it's
fair for me to go into why or what his rationale may be. He made a
decision he felt was right, and that's his decision.

Yes, sir?

Q: Frederic Gastelle (ph), BBC French Service. Sir, first could you
tell us the number of air sorties? Two, perhaps a naive question, but
why this bold and dangerous move inside a city during daytime instead
of nighttime where you have more night vision capability? And, third,
any contacts with Iraqi military officials defecting or giving you
insurance that you could move around the city with less fighting?

GEN. RENUART: First, to your last question, I'd say it probably would
not be a good thing for me to discuss how much or how little contact
we have with any Iraqi officials. That's critical battlefield
information, and I think that's better left in that category.

In terms of day or night, I think that it was very clear to the people
of Baghdad that coalition forces were in the city. That image is
important, and so I think being in the daytime was a very clear -- it
was a very clear statement to the Iraqi regime as well that we can
move at times and places of our choosing, even into their capital
city.

And your first question was the number of air sorties for today?

Q: (Off mike)?

GEN. RENUART: Oh, I think I'll be wrong, because I'm going to give you
an estimate, but I think overall around the theater we flew something
close to 3,000 total sorties. I think within the Iraqi, immediate
Iraqi area probably about 1,500, and actual combat missions something
under a thousand inside the country itself. That's a rough order of
magnitude, but -- and that's a relatively typical day.

Way in the back, sir?

Q: General -- (inaudible) -- International. General, you have told us
in great detail about the rescue of Jessica Lynch. I'm just wondering
can you give us a copy of this story, Saving Private Lynch, because
CENTCOM posts the transcript of today's briefing? Because, you know,
in order to report on this rescue.

GEN. RENUART: I'll just defer that to Jim Wilkinson (ph), and he'll do
whatever he does in magic, because I -- I'm just a humble operations
guy.

Q: Another question. And there are reports from today there's U.S. --
I mean military commander Joe Dowdy sacked. Can you explain that and
confirm that, please?

GEN. RENUART: Yeah, I think that was similar to Chas's question up
here a moment ago. Yes, the reports are there that a military
commander was relieved, but I am not going to speculate on the way. I
truly don't know the reasons for that. That is a decision made by a
commander on the battlefield, and I have to respect his judgment to do
what is right for his situation on the battlefield.

Yes, sir, right on the out line back here.

Q: General, Michael Kearns (ph), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Will the coalition invite any independent analysis of suspected
weapons of mass destruction?

GEN. RENUART: I really -- I am probably not able to tell you one way
or the other. The battlefield is a pretty dangerous place out there
right now, and so it's important for us to gain control of the country
and to gain control of sites that might have weapons of mass
destruction or evidence of those. And I think that once those are
complete those will be, you know, made available in due course. And I
am sure there will be thousands of independent people who will do
analysis of that information. But right now I can't speculate on when
or how that might occur.

Yes, ma'am, over here.

Q: I am Mariel (ph) from Independent Television, Finland. General, I
am sure you have some timing, some goals for the timing. How many more
days do you think this war is going to take?

GEN. RENUART: (Laughs.) You know, General Franks has been up on a
number of occasions, and I think we have all been consistent to say
that the plan is very well put together, and it will take as long as
it takes. Now, that's not an answer. We in our society want to know --
well, that must be four days or eight days or a hundred days. And I
think it's just not fair to try to put a time to it. It's important
that we are -- that we actually achieve all of the objectives that we
have laid out in the operation, and to try to put a time to that would
-- is really unfair. It's unfair to the military members on the
battlefield to put them under a time constraint, and it's unfair to
create an expectation that may or may not be realistic in public.

Yes, ma'am.

Q: Hi, Nicole Enfield (ph), Associated Press. You've spoken a lot
about the south of Baghdad. We know some coalition troops control the
roads to the north. Can you tell us what you are seeing up there? We
have reports that some residents are fleeing. Are you seeing that? Are
you able to control that? Are you able to control or see if any
reinforcements are coming down possibly?

And, second question: One of our embeds has reported some very kind of
hand-to-hand combat in the southeast of Baghdad, including some
foreign fighters -- Jordanian, Sudanese, Egyptians that were engaging
the Marines. Can you speak about that? Is that the first time you've
seen a significant number of foreign fighters who have come in to
support the regime?

GEN. RENUART: Okay, two good questions, Nicole. Let me go to the
second one first, and I'll come back to sort of the status of refugee
-- potential refugee movements.

The southeast of the city and the east side of the city is the Marine
zone, the first mech is operating in that area. They did have some
challenging areas of combat over the last 36 hours, some of it what we
would call dismounted combat, which some might call hand-to-hand, but
that's basically infantry moving through positions on the battlefield.
So I am certain that they probably had some very difficult engagements
in that area.

I've seen the reports also of other nationalities fighting on the
battlefield. I have no way to confirm that specifically. We certainly
would like to get more of that information, and would continue to try
to pursue that.

As to does that surprise me, well, we saw in Afghanistan Chechens and
members of other countries fighting on the side of al Qaeda. So
nothing would surprise me on a battlefield.

Q: Back to the first part?

GEN. RENUART: And back to the first part, over the -- have we seen
refugees moving out of the --

Q: Reinforcements.

GEN. RENUART: And reinforcements. I think we really focus on two
aspects both. We want to create a situation where reinforcements don't
get into the city, so essentially isolation, if you will, and we will
continue to operate with our forces around the city to prevent forces
from coming into the city and challenging us.

I think with respect to refugees, we have had some reports of people
leaving the city to the north and to the northwest. Again, sort of
contrary to the information minister's comment about there's nobody
about there -- it's all a virtual war. I think many of the people in
Baghdad are concerned, because they know there are coalition forces,
and we see reflections of that in some intelligence, that people are
saying, 'Hey, the Americans and the coalition are coming.' I think
there is some concern that they will be caught in a cross-fire. So
it's understandable that people will try to leave to move out. We have
not seen large numbers -- you know, hundreds of thousands of refugees
moving. We have seen in some cases numbers of cars, trucks, et cetera,
household goods. In fact, in the Marine zone yesterday we showed --
there was a picture of an elderly gentleman with his car and all of
his household goods on the roof trying to leave the city to the
southeast. The Marines took very good action to ensure that he was who
he was, and that he was not threatening in any way, and allowed him to
continue on. Many people in the Baghdad area have family in other
parts of the country, and our intent would be to, obviously, to have
folks stay in their homes primarily, and as if there is a number of
folks that are displacing themselves to get away from the city, we'll
try to accommodate that in a manner that doesn't endanger anybody on
the battlefield.

Let's see, the gentleman back there in the blue shirt.

Q: (Off mike) -- Finnish News Broadcasting Company. Do you have any
signs that the Iraqi regime will use human shields to defend Baghdad?
And what are the instructions in case a huge amount of civilian people
are approaching the airport?

GEN. RENUART: I have not seen any indications in Baghdad that that has
occurred. We have seen a number of cases well documented on the
battlefield where women and children have been used as shields for
some of these Iraqi forces.

Our forces are -- I mean, continue to train to deal with that kind of
a situation, and I am confident that the commanders on the battlefield
are able, if in fact they see something like that, to make the right
decisions to preserve life and yet allow them to defend themselves if
there is a need.

You got a question already I think. No? Okay, go ahead.

Q: (Off mike) -- of Reuters. I wanted to ask you about Tikrit. We have
heard that you sealed the road between there and Baghdad. Have there
been indications that people have been moving up there, important
people? What is the situation in the city itself, and are you still
targeting things there?

GEN. RENUART: In the city of Tikrit? I don't know what the situation
is in the city. And as to whether we have closed the road or not, I
can't really tell --

Q: -- have special forces -- 

GEN. RENUART: We have had special forces up in that area. I don't
think I said we closed the road. I -- but we certainly are monitoring
the traffic in the roads throughout the country, and so we will
continue to do that.

In terms of have we had forces in Tikrit, I am really not going to
talk about where we are moving forces, other than those I have already
talked about today.

Q: (Off mike) -- leaders moving up there?

GEN. RENUART: I -- in terms of leadership moving out of the city, I'd
like to not speculate, and I think I'll leave it at that one.

Yes, ma'am, third row back here.

Q: Thanks, general. Anne Barnard from the Boston Globe. Just to follow
up on the situation inside Baghdad and the civilians there, more
broadly than just the specific use of human shields, what's the
situation when the forces entered Baghdad? Were people mostly staying
inside their homes? Were civilians in the way in the cross-fire? And
what do you know about the situation with water supply, sanitation and
other problems affecting civilians?

GEN. RENUART: I don't have any information that would indicate the
water supply has been turned off, or the sanitation system is not
functioning. So I can't give you more than that. I do know -- we do
know there power has been shut down. That will have some effect --
although most facilities have some backup power to continue to operate
those.

In terms of what have the civilians been doing in the city, I think
you saw a good characterization of that with the movement through the
city. In some places the sidewalks are quiet. In some places there
were people that appeared to be trying to have some normalcy in their
lives. And I think that's probably a fair characterization of what we
have seen in the city itself. So I -- I think we'll have to -- there
will be just as the gentleman behind you asked, there's parts of the
city that may not know we're there yet, and so their life probably
continues about as normal as they can make it.

I think I have time for one more. The whole row over here is standing
up to tell me that I'm about done. (Laughter.) Yes, ma'am?

Q: (Off mike) -- USA Today. The conventional wisdom has been that if
the regime felt cornered that it would use weapons of mass
destruction. At this point the U.S. military seems to be sending the
message that, You are indeed cornered. So could you give me your
assessment of what the likelihood is that you think the weapons of
mass destruction will be used? And, also, what's the situation with
these unconventional attacks? How does that affect the way you will
respond in Baghdad?

GEN. RENUART: Well, I hope you are saying that the Iraqi regime is
cornered, not we are cornered.

Q: Right. The message from the U.S. military is -- 

GEN. RENUART: Okay, I got that.

Q: -- the Iraqi regime is cornered.

GEN. RENUART: There you go. I -- as with any desperate regime -- I
don't have a lot of experience in many desperate regimes, but I think
any person that feels threatened is likely to lash out in a way that
might be unpredictable. So we would not in any way expect that this
regime might not take the opportunity to do something desperate and to
use a weapon like that, even in the area of its own city where its own
people were.

So how does that affect what we do? We continue to have our forces
prepared, and clearly they are well trained to operate under the most
diverse and difficult situations, to include chemical or biological
attacks. And I think that's probably a fair depiction of what I see
there.

And then, I'm sorry, I forgot what your first part of it was.

Q: The second part was the Iraqi minister has said that there would be
these unconventional attacks --

GEN. RENUART: Oh, okay, yeah -- 

Q: Maybe suicide bombing.

GEN. RENUART: Well, he said yesterday that there would be this amazing
new attack last night, and I don't know what that was -- unless it was
the videos. (Laughter.) You know, we really do prepare our forces for
any kind of unusual or unconventional attack. We have seen a number of
these technical vehicles, irregular forces assaulting our positions.
We had a number of these forces take one of the fire trucks on the
airfield in the early days and try to attack an Abrams tank. For those
of you who have been out in the road in LA if you get in the way of,
you know, a really big, heavy vehicle, you probably lose, and
unfortunately this guy took a gamble that was not good for him, and
the vehicle was destroyed.

So we will continue to see I think those kinds of tactics. But it does
not affect the ability on the battlefield for us to continue to
accomplish the mission. The forces that we have train against those
unconventional kinds of enemies, just like we train against a
conventional enemy. So I am really not -- I don't feel that will be a
distracter for us.

Folks, thank you very much. I really appreciate your time today.

(end transcript)

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