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4/3/03 - IRAQI MOSQUES NOT TARGETED - 2003-04-07


U.S.-led coalition air forces have only one target in Iraq -- Saddam Hussein and his regime. Coalition air strikes are aimed only at the regime's leadership and their military and security forces, facilities, and assets. The coalition is using the world's most advanced technology to avoid both civilian casualties and damage to civilian areas, including Iraq's many cultural treasures, mosques, and religious shrines. Independent observers and journalists from many nations have verified this.

But some media are getting the story wrong. For example, there have been false reports that a mosque containing the tomb of the revered Muslim scholar, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jailani [ahb-dool kah-der jay-lah-nee], was bombed by coalition forces, and that the Al-Jailani mosque was in Basra. In fact, the mosque is in Baghdad and is undamaged. The nearest target struck by coalition forces is over four-kilometers away. Coalition forces have taken care to avoid this and other mosques and religious shrines.

The Iraqi regime has no such scruples, as U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld pointed out:

"What the Iraqi [government] has done is to demonstrate their lack of respect for human life, and they have put military installations near mosques and their hospitals and schools. They have put their communications systems in downtown Baghdad, and co-mingled civil activities with military activities. And they have done it in very close proximity to large numbers of innocent men, women, and children."

Iraqis will not be safe until they are rid of Saddam Hussein. That day is coming.

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