Washington, D.C., Dec. 23, 2004 - Iraqi Army General Babekir Zebari told the Voice of America that the new Iraqi Army has "managed to take control in many areas but it is difficult to deal with this new form of terrorism that does not fight a frontal war. Our hope is that we will be able to be in control all over Iraq and establish security before the general elections at the end of January 30, 2005."
In an exclusive interview with VOA's Kurdish Service, Gen. Zebari, Chief of the General Staff of the Iraqi Army, said there had been a large recruitment by the current Iraqi Army. Although he acknowledged insufficient training periods, armaments, and salaries had led to some desertions and half-hearted efforts, he added, "We are getting training from some NATO officers now to improve that situation."
Asked about criticism that the old Iraqi Army was prematurely dissolved by the coalition administration, Gen. Zebari said: "In all countries where the organs of security disappear, the situation deteriorates and cannot be controlled. The Iraqi Army dissolved itself when the coalition forces entered Iraq in 2003."
VOA broadcasts in Kurdish 4 hours of radio daily. The programs are transmitted on shortwave, as well as through AM and FM stations. All are available live and on demand at their web page www.VOANews.com/Kurdish.
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