As the new U.S. ambassador to Kuwait made a triumphant entry into the emirate's capital, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney warned Iraq Friday of "more grief" if it does not adhere strictly to allied demands to end the Persian Gulf war.
Cheney also said "it will take some time" to return allied troops anxiously awaiting orders to go home. Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council worked to draft a permanent cease-fire in the Persian Gulf war and coalition leaders began working on the framework of a postwar Middle East.The most important factor in that equation is whether Saddam Hussein will remain president of Iraq now that his armed forces have been crushed. An Egyptian newspaper reported that an opposition Iraqi shadow government is likely to be established soon.
There was only sporadic gunfire on the second day since hostilities ceased after a six-week allied air campaign and a four-day ground assault that allied officials said destroyed or otherwise neutralized all 42 of Iraq's divisions in the war theater, leaving only a division's worth of soldiers scattered in the area.
Two American doctors were killed early Friday by Iraqi mines when they stopped to deal with a group of Iraqi soldiers who were surrendering.
At a late-afternoon briefing, Marine Brig. Gen. Richard Neal of the U.S. Central Command said the doctors were riding in a vehicle when they saw the Iraqis surrendering. They drove toward the area and struck a mine, killing one doctor; then another doctor got out of the car and was killed by another mine.
The driver was injured, Neal said.
In another incident, U.S. troops stopped two Iraqi army buses and a flatbed truck headed west on Highway 8, Neal said. The first bus complied with directions to stop, but the U.S. troops were fired upon by the second bus and returned fire, destroying the bus and taking nine Iraqi prisoners. There were no American casualties.
"The battlefield is still a very dangerous area," Neal said. Information from the area is still being assembled.
He said it appeared that the Iraqi chemical warfare capacity may not have been as great as had been feared. "We might have created a picture that they had a better chemical capacity than they possessed," he said.
It appeared that the Iraqis were "more afraid of our chemical capabilities," Neal said.
In fact, the Republican Guard troops may have had a weaker chemical arsenal than other parts of the Iraqi army, he said.
In interviews with four U.S. television networks, Cheney warned that Baghdad must comply strictly with allied peace terms. "I think we have reached the point where the Iraqis would do very well to listen very carefully to what we say and then do it," he said.
"We've destroyed their army. We've destroyed much of their infrastructure. We've turned the lights out in Baghdad. We've shut down their petroleum system. We've shut down their transportation system," the defense secretary said.
In Kuwait, Edward Gnem, who replaces W. Nathaniel Howell as Washington's ambassador to the emirate, stepped off a military helicopter and was hugged by a U.S. soldier as he arrive to reopen the American Embassy in the capital.
During his drive to the diplomatic compound, he waved to cheering crowds of Kuwaitis who lined the route. He then entered the embassy, which was last occupied by U.S. officials on Dec. 13.
At the United Nations, the Security Council was working on a formal cease-fire agreement. Diplomats said the process could take three to seven days to finish because of the complex political, legal and geographic problems in the region.
Baghdad has agreed to a meeting of Iraqi and allied military commanders to arrange for the military aspects of the cease-fire. He said the exchange of prisoners of war and civilian detainees would be among the first items of discussion.