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Saddam Hussein's Regime is 'Never Coming Back,' Vows Bremer - 2003-08-02

As Saddam Hussein's sons were buried Saturday, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, Paul Bremer, vowed that the regime of the deposed leader is never coming back.

The head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, Paul Bremer, told reporters in Baghdad that ongoing attacks against coalition troops were being carried out by desperate people - Baath party loyalists, members of the Saddam Fedayeen, former intelligence operatives and foreign mercenaries.

Mr. Bremer says that once Saddam Hussein himself is captured, he expects that attacks may rise for a few days but plummet afterward. He adds that perhaps the only group that will try to battle on is what he called foreign terrorists.

He says officials are concerned that regime loyalists may have links with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network.

He also says it is believed that the militant Ansar al-Islam group, uprooted from the north of the country, may now be reconstituted. Earlier this year, U.S. special forces working with Kurdish fighters overran the main strongholds of the group, which the State Department says has close ties to al-Qaida and has designated a terrorist group.

Mr. Bremer says Iraq is in the process of being rebuilt. He says 30,000 police are on the job and there are 7,000 soldiers in the civil defense forces.

Mr. Bremer says there are now 240 hospitals and 22 universities open countrywide and 90 percent of the schools are operating.

He also says the Iraqi Governing Council is expected to nominate interim Cabinet ministers next week.