Coalition Following Fallujah Agreement, Enemy Not Complying
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 24, 2004 The coalition has fulfilled almost all aspects of the agreement in Fallujah while anti-coalition forces there have fulfilled almost none, coalition officials in Baghdad said today.
Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt went over each of the aspects on the signed agreement during a news conference. Kimmitt is the deputy operations director for Combined Joint Task Force 7.
Kimmitt said 1,000 to 3,000 enemy personnel are inside the city. He said they consist mostly of former regime loyalists, and he estimated that foreign fighters make up about 10 to 15 percent of the hostile forces in the city.
Kimmitt said these enemy forces have taken the city "hostage," and that it is up to city leaders to rescue Fallujah from the anti-coalition forces' grip.
Kimmitt went through a list agreed to by representatives in Fallujah. First and foremost, he said, was that the representatives agreed to a cease-fire.
"The people inside Fallujah have not delivered a cease-fire," the general said. "As recently as yesterday, the cease-fire report that we have indicated nine small-arms attacks and six indirect fire attacks inside Fallujah alone."
Beginning April 18, the Fallujans were supposed to collect and deliver illegal heavy weapons to the Marines and Iraqi security forces ringing the city. Some weapons have been delivered, but they are unserviceable weapons and old, corroded ammunition. The numbers of weapons turned in are a small proportion of those being used against coalition forces, Kimmitt said.
The Fallujans were supposed to allow the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps and the Iraqi Police Service back into the city. "There are small numbers of ICDC and IPS inside the city," the general said, "but it is hard to say that they have restored order in that city or if they even are a credible organization inside that city."
Kimmitt listed the results so far from other aspects of the agreement: routine coalition patrols inside the city, "Not happening," he said. Eliminating remaining foreign fighters and criminals "Not happening." Fallujan leaders condemning foreign fighters "It was our expectation that the leadership would stand up and condemn those responsible for the violence inside Fallujah," the general said. "It has not happened."
The leaders inside Fallujah said they would issue "positive public statements and positive mosque statements." Kimmitt said there have been one or two statements supporting the coalition, "but certainly not the volume and quality that one would expect if the heart was in it."
Kimmitt said the coalition can use force at any time, but has chosen not to yet. The coalition has honored all aspects of the agreement under its control. Marines have stopped offensive operations. They only fire if fired upon. Kimmitt called that their "inherent right."
Coalition forces have allowed humanitarian access to the city and have adjusted the curfew, according to the agreement. Coalition forces allowed families back into the city according to the agreement, but had to stop because the danger from anti-coalition forces became too great.
Access to the hospital has been allowed. Coalition forces have facilitated passage of official ambulances throughout the city. They have also allowed engineers to fix the problems at the Fallujah dam. They have allowed tribal sheiks to enter the city. Finally, when fuel tankers arrive in Fallujah, coalition forces will allow them in.
"By any measure, it would appear to us that the coalition is demonstrating a full- faith effort to achieve a peaceful resolution in the town of Fallujah," Kimmitt said. "We would ask the people of Fallujah to do the same."