LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES
U.S. Troops in Iraq Continue Search for Iraqi Officials
Aired June 30, 2003 - 20:43 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: And Monday was day two of a new U.S. offensive in Iraq. Operation Sidewinder is supposed to put an end to the string of ambushes and attacks on U.S. forces. Let's get a progress report now from senior international correspondent Nic Robertson in Baghdad. Nic, good evening.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Paula. Well, it is essentially the end of day two, perhaps the beginning now, daylight almost coming up here -- the beginning of day three of Operation Sidewinder. At least 60 Iraqis have been rounded up so far, a lot of weapons and ammunition confiscated.
Perhaps the key question, though, is how many of those that have been rounded up are top officials? At least one, we are told, but a senior commander, a battalion commander, I talked to said that at least one key Iraqi official whose house they've been to in these door-to-door searches -- they'd gone to his house acting on intelligence they've been given. He wasn't there. He hasn't been there for some time. And the intelligence that they're getting, that the U.S. troops are getting on the ground, some soldiers told me, is perhaps not as up-to-date as they would like it to be. They're turning up at houses where they expect to find important individuals. Those individuals aren't there.
However, they do say that they're beginning to get more cooperation from Iraqis, who are gaping confidence in the U.S. troops. When they're confident in them, they say that they will pass on more information about perhaps people who are loyal to Saddam Hussein. And these are the people that Operation Sidewinder is targeting. The areas of search -- north of Baghdad, south of Baghdad. The operation could go on, we're told, for at least another week -- Paula.
ZAHN: All right, Nic Robertson, appreciate that update. Thanks so much.
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