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US Distributes Millions of 'Surrender' Leaflets Across Iraq - 2003-03-24


U.S. forces in Iraq are distributing millions of leaflets around the country in an unprecidented effort to get Iraqi forces to surrender without a fight. The leaflets also contain messages for ordinary civilians.

To date, U.S. military authorities say they have dropped 28 million leaflets over Iraq. First and foremost, many carry graphic descriptions showing Iraqi soldiers how they should surrender to U.S. troops.

Commander Tommy Franks described the effect so far, saying "a great many people simply laid down their weapons and walked away from their positions."

General Franks said he hopes even more Iraqi troops will surrender in the coming days. "A great many, because of confusion or being undecided, have not done that. I think our enemy prisoner of war count is somewhere in the vicinity of 3,000. And so we will continue to find and take prisoners," he said.

Brigadier General Vincent Brooks added that some of the leaflets were directed at the general Iraqi population. "We also emphasized to them that their future is tied to their economy and they should not do things like dump oil, with the anticipation that some of the oil fields and also oil terminals might be damaged," he said.

U.S. officials say the number of leaflets dropped into Iraq is far greater that the amount dropped during the first Gulf War in 1991.

Thousands of Iraqi soldiers have voluntarily turned themselves in to coalition forces since the fighting began, but there have been fierce holdouts, suggesting some Iraqi resistance will continue, despite efforts to convince them to throw down their weapons.

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