BASRA 'NOWHERE NEAR UNDER OUR CONTROL'
Daily Mirror - March 28, 2003
The southern Iraqi city of Basra is "clearly nowhere near" under Allied
forces' control, a coalition offcier admitted today.
Colonel Chris Vernon also said the last five days of fighting had made it
impossible to get aid into the area.
"Basra (is) clearly nowhere near yet in our hands and we have no way at
the moment of getting humanitarian aid into Basra," he admitted on Sky
"But clearly, as we begin to pressurise Basra and to begin to dominate it
militarily we should move towards the day we can get humanitarian aid
The colonel said fighting had taken place on the outskirts of the city.
But allied troops had not gone into the city centre "for worry of
He said: "The key to Basra is to eradicate the Baath Party control and
the irregular forces operating under their control there."
By doing so, the "hearts and minds" relief operation could then be put in
place for the civilian people on the ground.
"Not easy, no time lines on it, but that's what we are working towards,"
The colonel said he was confident they had enough British troops based in