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Iraq: U.S. Commander Says Better Intelligence Needed, Not More Troops

Baghdad, 28 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, said today that there is no need for more U.S. troops to be deployed in Iraq. Speaking in Baghdad, Sanchez said that instead of more troops, the U.S.-led coalition needs better intelligence, greater cooperation with the Iraqi people, and the establishment of Iraqi security bodies including a civil defense force.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin today called for a UN-run international force to be deployed in Iraq. De Villepin said only deploying more troops to assist U.S.-led forces is not enough to establish security.

In the latest violence, a British soldier was killed and another was injured in a clash in southern Iraq today, when troops exchanged fire with a group of Iraqis blocking their convoy.