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 Home > News & Policies > April 2003

Operation Iraqi Freedom

For Immediate Release
April 16, 2003

Global Message

Future of Iraq

A meeting of free Iraqis took place on Tuesday in Ur, near An Nasiriyah. The meeting had broad representation among Iraqis, including:

  • Iraqis from inside Iraq, from the major religious and ethnic groups.
  • Iraqis who came from abroad.
  • A senior local Shaykh and Iraqi women.

The meeting was an opportunity for free Iraqis to discuss the vision of the Iraqi people for a post-Saddam Iraq and to share their views with representatives of the coalition countries.

Speakers thanked the Coalition for liberating their country. Participants called for a democratic Iraq that respects the rule of law and acknowledged the hard work that lies ahead.

This was the first of several meetings, which we believe will be the start of a dialogue among free Iraqi people about the future of a free Iraq.


Our focus is increasingly shifting to security, relief, and reconstruction.

25 years of rule by a brutal dictator who did not have the interest of the Iraqi people at heart did far more damage to Iraq than the war.

Rebuilding is a major task because Iraq was neglected and devastated by the rule of Saddam Hussein and his henchmen.

Military Update

Major combat operations are over. There is no longer any significant organized resistance from the Iraqi military, but the security situation remains dangerous and lives are still at risk. Some regime irregulars and foreign fighters continue to fight.

Coalition forces in Baghdad continue to secure key infrastructure and are increasing their patrols of the city to provide security.

British forces continue to patrol Basra and other areas of southern Iraq, and are now conducting joint patrols with Iraqi citizens.