RealNews

U.S. holds Saudi, Arab fighters in Iraq

The United States said Wednesday it is holding Saudi nationals in Iraq who had entered the country to attack U.S. forces there, but Saudi officials retorted that if extremists were getting into Iraq, it was America’s own fault. “We have Saudi Arabian jihadists in detention in Iraq and in Baghdad,” Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told Abu Dhabi TV in an interview. “We’ve got a relatively few number of Saudis,” he went on, “but we have Yemenis and Sudanese, Syrians.” He added that there was no evidence as to how they had got into Iraq, and no suggestion that the Saudi government had assisted them. He contrasted the attitude of the Saudis with that of Iran and Syria, whose borders he said were “particularly porous,” and whose governments he accused of “not stopping fighters (crossing).” Armitage did not comment on the circumstances of the fighters’ detention or say how many were in U.S. custody. A State Department official who asked not to be named told United Press International, “Obviously we’re in a situation of trying to verify identities, people may have false passports. … I’ve heard the ball park figure of 15 and we’re pretty sure some of them are Saudis.” Saudi officials say extremists may be getting across their 475-mile-long frontier with Iraq, but if so it is the responsibility of U.S. forces. Full Story

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