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Arab voices: News and views of Arab world

Iraqi Gen. Walid Hamid Tawfic said coalition forces are confused.
Iraqi Gen. Walid Hamid Tawfic said coalition forces are confused.

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(CNN) -- The following is a sampling of media reports and interviews expressing views of Operation Iraqi Freedom from newsmakers, officials and journalists in the Middle East.

Iraqi TV

A television anchor announced an honor Saddam Hussein bestowed on a taxi-driving suicide bomber who killed four U.S. soldiers. on Saturday.

Ali Jaafar Musa Hammadi al-Numani, "who went and killed the enemies, killing a number of them and destroying few of their tanks and armored carriers, this great martyr was blessed by our leader, President Saddam Hussein. God gives him victory. The president has ordered to have Numani promoted to colonel, with the award of two medals of honor. Numani was an ideal example for the thousands of Arab volunteers our Baghdad has welcomed to fight the invaders. God bless all our great people and first you, you martyr of freedom and dignity."


Iraqi Gen. Walid Hamid Tawfic appeared on this network to provide his assessment of the war in Iraq and to refute British claims that he was a prisoner of war. British officials later retracted their claim that their forces had captured a general. (Related story)

"Military operations, now, the enemy is confused. They are in fields and enclaves and do not know how to get out. We continue the fight using all means. You hear the sounds of explosions and tanks. Units are still engaged in battle. The British enemy is bombing randomly. They hit civilian areas in Abu Khassib, Tanuma and areas in Basra province. ... We have damaged five coalition tanks and killed four dead. I personally have seen their bodies. These aggressors have been shelling Basra indiscriminately. They are using cluster bombs, which caused many injuries among children, women and men."

Wire services

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak explained what he thought the war in Iraq would produce.

"When it is over, if it is over, this war will have horrible consequences," Mubarak told Egyptian soldiers in the city of Suez near the Suez Canal, through which U.S. warships are sailing. "Instead of having one (Osama) bin Laden, we will have 100 bin Ladens."

Karim Kawar, Jordan's ambassador to the United States

Kawar appeared on CNN's Larry King Live during the weekend and talked about how the images complicate the diplomacy.

"I think the biggest concern is how this war is being perceived by the Arab population throughout the Arab and Muslim world, and I think here the challenge is whether this is being perceived as liberation versus occupation. And I think here the images that have been carried by regional broadcasts do not add or do not contribute to the efforts in resolving the crisis that we face in Iraq. People in the Arab world see casualties among the civilian population. They see the suffering of the Iraqi people. This is certainly adding another complicating factor to this war."

Rostom Al-Zoubi, Syria's ambassador to the United States

The ambassador appeared on Larry King Live during the weekend.

"I think that the war is going to be longer than what had been predicted before, due to the perception of the Arab people. They think that this war is not only against Iraq, it's against the Arab world in general. Therefore, the resistance will take place and I think it will be longer than what was expected before."

The Syrian News Agency

The Syrian government, under pressure from U.S. officials to chose sides in the Iraq war, issued a response Monday.

"Syria has chosen to align itself with the brotherly Iraqi people who are facing an illegal and unjustified invasion and against whom are being committed all sorts of crimes against humanity," a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement.

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