US Defense Secretary Donald H.Rumsfeld said Friday that the United States will not send Iraqi prisoners of war to the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba.
Asked if Iraqi prisoners of war would be moved to Guantanamo Bay at a Pentagon press conference, Rumsfeld said the answer is no.
"We intend to not take people, regardless of what they're characterized as, from Iraq or from any other country to Guantanamo Bay at the moment. Could it change? Possibly. But my preference is not to," he said.
"The people we've got in Iraq are, in large measure, Iraqi people who belong in Iraq. And to the extent they have to be held for some period of time, it's a lot more convenient to hold them in Iraqi prisons than it is to build prisons in Guantanamo and transport them down there," Rumsfeld added.
There are some 660 al Qaeda suspects and Afghan Taliban fighters being held in US navy base detention center on GuantanamoBay.