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U.S. warned foreigners not to interfere in Iraq (Read 6050 times)


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U.S. warned foreigners not to interfere in Iraq
Jul 22nd, 2003 at 7:42pm
MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz warned foreigners Monday not to interfere in Iraq, in remarks aimed at Iraq's neighbors and suspected foreign fighters who may have arrived in the country.

Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, told a news conference in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul that Washington would, however, welcome outside help.

"I think all foreigners should stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq," said Wolfowitz, who is touring the country to meet U.S. troops and Iraqi officials.

"Those who want to come and help are welcome," he said. "Those who come to interfere and destroy are not."

"I think our success will have a positive influence not just on Iraq but on the whole region," he said. "Some people are afraid of that influence and they are targeting us."

Washington has several times warned neighboring countries -- - in particular Iran and Syria -- to keep out of Iraq's internal affairs. Tehran hit back, saying Washington was being hypocritical, having invaded the country.

The U.S. military has also said some foreign fighters have been trying to slip into Iraq to mount attacks. During the war, foreign Muslims battled U.S. troops alongside Iraqi militiamen.

U.S. forces have faced a wave of guerrilla attacks since Saddam was deposed. Ambushes have killed 38 U.S. soldiers since May 1 -- including five since Friday.
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