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Allawi Expects Continued Efforts to Disrupt Elections

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 15, 2004 – Insurgents and terrorists will inflict all the damage they can and will continue to try to frighten and intimidate Iraqi citizens and security forces as they try to stop the country's upcoming elections, Iraq's interim prime minister said here today.

Ayad Allawi, members of his cabinet and other Iraqi officials met with Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, and Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., commander of Multinational Force Iraq. He later talked with reporters traveling with the chairman and said that while regaining control of Fallujah was an important victory, it doesn't mean the fight is over.

"I think the Fallujah incident does show that there is going to be a significant extreme, but it's not decisive," he said. "It's not going to decide the future of the conflict but it was a significant victory, and I am sure that other victories will follow elsewhere in the country."

One factor working against future insurgent success is that more and more Iraqi people are cooperating with coalition forces and the Iraqi government, Allawi said. Another is more pressure being put on Iraq's neighbors not to provide safe haven for insurgents and terrorists.

The prime minister drew a distinction between terrorists and insurgents. He said terrorists are trying to disrupt and hurt multinational forces and Iraqi security forces, while insurgents are trying to intimidate and to control large areas. "They have tried in Mosul (and) they have failed," he said. They are trying to control other areas of the country, he added.

Allawi said he expects more of the same from both terrorists and insurgents. "I don't know what shape and form it will take," he said, "but definitely the conflict goes on, and unfortunately we have some unfriendly neighbors."

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