Baghdad, April 26 (Reuters): US forces said today they were making progress in restoring water and power supplies to Baghdad citizens, but conceded there was confusion over who had the authority to run the Iraqi capital.
US officials told a news conference that about 60 per cent of normal water and power supplies were now available in Baghdad, and full services could resume within a week or two.
But the officials said communications were still severely disrupted even for the US military and that Iraqis had no clear picture of who was in charge in the capital.
We do realise there is tremendous confusion that needs to be clarified... Over the next few days, things will become more clear, said Maj. Gen. Carl Strock, the senior engineer working for the new US civil administrater, Jay Garner.
Garner and Lt Gen. David McKiernan, commander of US land forces in Iraq, were set to meet later today to discuss how to beef up security.
An Iraqi former exile, Mohammed Mohsen Zubaidi, says he has been selected by his compatriots as governor of Baghdad, but US officials have said they do not recognise his authority.
Adding to the confusion, workers for Zubaidi handed out job application forms in Arabic and English in downtown Baghdad to hundreds of hopeful Iraqi jobseekers. Zubaidi was not working with US authority, Strock said.
Gen. McKiernan issued a proclamation a few days ago and made it very clear that he is the authority in Iraq, Strock said.
But in the absence of public communications in Iraq, it was unclear when or how McKiernan had issued his proclamation.
Washington said on Thursday the proclamation was still being drafted.