posted on Jul, 13 2004 @ 12:19 PM
A senior Bush administration official has warned the Philippines not to give in to terrorist demands to speed up their plans in withdrawing their
troops from Iraq. The Khaled bin al-Walid Brigade (Islamic Army in Iraq) is demanding that Manila have their troops out of Iraq by July 20, or the
kidnapped Filipino truck driver will be beheaded.
BAGHDAD : The Philippines denied it was planning an early withdrawal of its troops from Iraq to save the life of a kidnapped Filipino truck driver,
while US President George W. Bush insisted the United States was "right to go into Iraq."
A senior Philippine official said the timetable for the pullout of the small contingent remained unchanged, despite a suggestion by Deputy Foreign
Secretary Rafael Seguis late Monday that the process could be speeded up.
"In response to the demand by the group Khaled ibn al-Walid, the Philippine government, in line with its commitments, will pull its humanitarian
forces out of Iraq swiftly, in the time it takes to carry out the necessary preparation for their return to the Philippines," Seguis told a
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The Philippine government only has 51 soldiers in Iraq, on what is mostly a humanitarian mission. Still the Islamic Army in Iraq will declare this as
a victory. Spain was under similar stress earlier this year after the Madrid train bombings. As other nations, no matter how insignificant their role
may seem, drop off the list of coalition partners, the terrorist will only become encouraged to commit more kidnappings, and bombings to further their
The main concern of course is the upcoming elections in the U.S. this November. The U.S. is undoubtedly concerned, that terrorist will try similar
tactics to persuade the U.S. to change it's posture toward the middle east. These terrorist must not be given the assumption, that their actions can
influence government decisions.
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[edit on 13-7-2004 by dbates]