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How Iraq, US Pullback from Brink


How Iraq, US Pullback from Brink

Humanitarian, Arms Staff Return to Iraq

LONDON (Reuters) -- Iraq and the United States pulled back from the 
brink of conflict at the very last moment. Here is the final countdown 
to the punitive bombing campaign and how it was averted. 

Friday, November 13 - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan makes a 
last-ditch appeal to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to rescind his 
decision not to cooperate with U.N. arms inspectors.
U.S. President Bill Clinton orders military to go ahead with bombing 

Saturday, November 14 - Strike planes aboard U.S. S.Eisenhower are an 
hour away from being catapulted off the deck, bound for Iraqi targets, 
when Clinton postpones attack for 24 hours.

He calls for the "pause" at about 1300 GMT. Iraq gives U.N. Security 
Council a two-page letter offering to allow U.N. inspectors to resume 
work, along with a two-page annex that Washington regards as setting 
unacceptable conditions. 

U.S. National Security Adviser Sandy Berger publicly rejects Iraqi offer 
shortly after 2000 GMT. 

Sunday, November 15 - At 0020 GMT White House receives second Iraqi 
letter to Security Council saying offer to resume cooperation is 

Clinton speaks by telephone to top security advisers as well as French 
President Jacques Chirac and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. 

Just after 0800 GMT Clinton calls off second strike after deciding to 
accept Iraq's offer. U.S. attack aircraft with engines running remain on 
carrier flight deck during Clinton speech, shown live on television and 
watched by waiting aircrews. 

Clinton says the United States remains ready to act militarily pending 
full Iraqi compliance with U.N. resolutions.

He calls for new government in Baghdad "committed to peace" and says 
Washington will intensify efforts to achieve that aim. 

The United States halts build-up of troops and equipment in the Gulf. 

Monday, November 16 - A U.N. official says the first group of 84 weapons 
inspectors to return to Iraq will fly to Baghdad on Tuesday. 

Iraqi newspapers voice anger at Clinton's call for a change of 
government in Baghdad, calling it high-handed and provocative.

16.11.98 R..A.


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