Thursday, July 17, 2003

It's official: It's a guerrilla war:
The US chief of military operations in Iraq has admitted that attacks against American troops in the country bear the hallmarks of a "classic guerrilla-type campaign".
His comments - on a day that saw one soldier killed and a missile fired at a US cargo plane - represent a remarkable acknowledgement, the BBC's Nick Childs at the Pentagon says.

Pentagon officials have been reluctant until now to admit to a guerrilla campaign, describing the attacks as uncoordinated violence by remnants of the Baathist regime.

"I think describing it as guerrilla tactics is a proper way to describe it in strictly military terms," US Central Command head General John Abizaid said at the first briefing in his new job.

"It's low intensity but it's war however you describe it."

General Abizaid's comments came as US soldiers posted in Iraq spoke out in the media expressing frustration and fear about the growing number of attacks on US targets.

Public anxiety about events on the ground in Iraq is growing in the US and beginning to present real political problems for the Bush administration, our correspondent says.