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US Military Officials Say Major Combat in Iraq is Over - 2003-04-14


The major fighting in Iraq appears to be over but senior defense officials are warning there are still likely to be what one general terms small, sharp engagements.

Major General Stanley McChrystal of the Pentagon's Joint Staff said Iraqi army units are no longer mounting any coherent defenses. He said the major combat in Iraq is now over.

"I would anticipate that the major combat engagements are over because the major Iraqi units on the ground ceased to show coherance," he said.

Still, General McChrystal warns there is sporadic resistance and he says a lot of work remains to be done - including the hunt for fugitive Iraqi leaders, locating Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and providing humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.

U.S. ground forces are still flowing into Iraq. But air operations are being scaled back. Two aircraft carrier battle groups in the Arabian Sea will leave later this week.

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