Monday, September 01, 2003


I'm certain this is not the intended outcome - to delay the US Marines from leaving Iraq.

The United States Marines have postponed turning over control of the area around the city of Najaf to Polish-led forces after last week's devastating bombing at the city's holiest Shiite shrine.

A spokesman for the United States Central Command, Col. Ray Shepherd, said the planned transfer had been delayed by at least two weeks. He said the American military authorities in Iraq were working out the details of how many members of the force would remain in Najaf.

In Najaf, Maj. Rick Hall, spokesman for the First Battalion, Seventh Marines, said the transfer of the south-central territory around Najaf to an international force led by Poland, set for this week, had been put on hold.

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