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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 November, 2003, 19:53 GMT
CIA warns of growing Iraq resistance

By Nick Childs
BBC Pentagon correspondent

A US intelligence official has confirmed to the BBC that a new report by the CIA warns that the Iraq resistance appears to be gathering strength because of a lack of clear progress by the US-led coalition.

US Army special forces examine the remains of a suicide car at the scene of an attack in Baghdad in October
US soldiers in Iraq come under almost daily attacks
The classified document - first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper - warns that Iraqis are losing faith in the US-led coalition and are supporting the Iraqi resistance in growing numbers.

It also says that the American-led operation in Iraq is approaching a turning point.

The US intelligence official confirmed the existence and general thrust of the report to the BBC.

He said it was something of a warning flag, as he put it, and that it was in line with other US intelligence assessments that had been compiled in the last four-to-six weeks.

The report certainly appears at odds with some of the more optimistic public statements being made by top Bush administration officials.

While other officials have down-played the report and insist the administration has acknowledged the problems, chief US administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer hurried back to Washington this week for urgent talks on the future of the US-led mission.

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