The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

News, 18­24/2/01 (1)

News, 18­24/2/01 (1)

Special bumper edition this time owing to the reaction to the raid on 16th
February. Iıve divided it in three parts ­ the first two parts are all to do
with the raid, the third with other affairs. Note in the International
section the items concerning little dramas in Poland, Serbia, Germany and
New Zealand. Note also that all the Middle East powers, except Kuwait but
oincluding Saudi Arabia, condemned the raid (which however was only a
logical extension of the no fly policy). I personally recommend as being of
particular interest the articles *Airstrike on Iraq seeks wrong goal, in
section 7; and *Kurds despair under west's leaky umbrella, in section 10.

1. RAIDS, (including details of targets and success or otherwise of raid on
Friday February 16)

*  Bombs destroyed Iraqi command centre
*  MP hits out at 'pitiful' defence of air offensive [short extract giving
details on the number of bombings last year]
*  US and British aircraft not fired on since raids [thus proving success of
raid. But ...]
*  Iraq Resumes Fire on Allied Planes
*  Modernization of Iraq's air defence led to air strike: US [see also below
on Chinese involvement]
*  Iraq says Western planes drop 'flare bombs'
*  Iraq Reports Western Air Patrols, But No Attacks
*  Serbia aided planning of air raids on Iraq [main part of article is in
the international section. This is an extract in which the British claim the
raid was a great military success. But ...]
*  Many Smart Bombs Off Target in Iraq Attack, Defense 'stunned' by bad
*  New Strikes on Iraq After Weapons Faults [detail on nature of bombs.
Theyıre cluster bombs]
*  US warplanes strike Iraq again
*  Iraq reports higher death toll from airstrikes [further details on areas


*  China fortifying Iraq's air defense system
*  Claims China Aiding Iraq a Diversion, Says Beijing
*  Bush Says Chinese Respond to Complaint on Iraq Aid


*  Britain urged Bush to launch raids on Iraq
*  Claims that US pushed UK into Iraqi airstrike
*   MoD and Cook at war over Iraq [I have put in capitals a passage that
seems to me to be very important suggesting that there is no point in the
patrols over southern Iraq because the Shia have already been
comprehensively beaten by Saddam. I would like to know more about this, and
about what it means for our suposed concern for and desire to defend them]
*   Blair Defends U.S.-British Strikes on Iraq
*  UK's secret Iraq diplomacy [it seems Peter Hain was a good guy after all]

URL ONLY,3604,440333,00.html
*  Allies ready to ease Iraq sanctions
by Richard Norton-Taylor and Jon Henley in Paris
The Guardian, 20th February
Not much more than what it says in the headline


*  Mideast powers condemns Bush "adventurism" in Iraq
*  Qatar says air strikes on Iraq regrettable
*  Jordan rallies to Iraq's side
*  Arab allies deserting Kuwait for Iraq?
*  Attacks increase suffering of Iraqi people - Oman
*  Bahrainis condemn bombing of Baghdad
*  Lebanese Hurt in Iraq Protest Outside U.S. Embassy
*  Saudi Arabia Joins Denunciation of Iraq Strike
*  Iran flays UK, US strikes
*  Moroccan association decries US-British raids on Iraq

5. INTERNATIONAL REACTION [sent in News (2)]

*  Western attack on Iraq mars Mexico-U.S. `fiesta' [Mexican discontent that
the raid occurred while Bush was visiting Mexico, thus showing how little
importance he attached to the visit]
*  Bombing sharpens US, Europe divisions
*  New Zealand government says US and UK bombings in Iraq threaten peace
*  PM raps Robson for Iraq comments [more on New Zealand]
*  Annan: Iraq bombing `awkward'
*  Iraq basks in support after US strikes [short extract on Malaysia and
*  Germany cautious on reaction to US-British strikes
*  Iraq halts trade with Canada, Poland [more on Poland below]
*  Malaysian leaders demonstrate at US Embassy
*  [Irish] Government expresses its 'regret' over bombing [Congratulations,
*  Turkish minister calls for Ankara-Baghdad ties
*  France continues criticisms over US-British air strikes
*  Blair Defends U.S.-British Strikes on Iraq [extract in which Joschka
Fischer seems to think the raid, in southern Iraq, was all about defending
*  German Official Talks U.S. Defense  [Fischer, anxious to prove he is not
a Œterroristı, buys the whole American story. Green Party reaction below]]
*  Islamic Body Condemns US-British Raids On Iraq [the Organisation of
Islamic Conferences meeting in Saudi Arabia]
*  Challenge UN sanctions, Duma tells Putin [Russian parliament tells Putin
to break the sanctions]
*  Mexican Congress Slams US-British Raids on Iraq
*  Adviser to Polish premier submits resignation [and his resignations wqas
accepted. This was because he gave the impression Poland supported the raid]
*  Serbia aided planning of air raids on Iraq
*  Kostunica: Yugoslavia did not aid in bombing Iraq [thank heaven for that.
Though whether or not Kostunica knows what Djindjicıs men are getting up to
is another matter ...]
*  Vatican Opposes Latest Bombing of Iraq
*  Greens [in Germany] upset by Minister's support for Iraq raids
*  US Muslims slam attacks on Iraq
*  Poland Denies Support for U.S. Raid in Iraqi Paper
*  UN concerns over Iraq policy [feeling that perhaps someone should have
been told]

*  [Canadian] PM not concerned Bush didn't warn of air strike
by Jack Aubry
The Ottawa Citizen, 12th February
Canadian support for US/British policy


*  'Eliminating Saddam Hussein is now both feasible and desirable'
by Edward Luttwak, Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies, Sunday Telegraph
[No explanation of why its more feasible now than ever before]
*   Iraq: Routine or new policy?
by Amos Perlmutter, Jerusalem Post
[Hopes for end to Œpuillanimousı policy of Clinton]

*  Double standards - in Middle East
Evening Standard, 19th February
Editorial supports the bombing but seems to think they should be bombing
Israel too.


*  Bombing by obsession [Dawn (Pakistan)]
*  Locked in an Orwellian eternal war
by Robert Fisk, Sunday Independent
*  Beware bellicose Bush, Mr Blair [The Observer, February 18]
*  If our pilots want to know the way to Iraq, they need only ask their
by Mick Hume, Times [this is a bit disappointing since the title seems to
promise more of an account of past British policy in Iraq]
*  Pummelling malnourished Iraqis is poor leadership,
by Syed Badrul Ahsan, Bangladeshi Independent [interesting Bangladeshi view
of internal US politics]
*  Airstrike on Iraq seeks wrong goal
by Micah Zenko, Baltimore Sun [very interesting article, criticising the
raids from the point of view of the need to get weapons inspectors back]

*  Silent majority don't want war
by A N Wilson
Evening Standard, 19th February
Interesting to see A.N.Wilson on the side of the angels but the article is
little more than an expression of disgust (and regret, which I share, that
there is no substantial opposition in Britain). Note that this goes against
the London Evening Standard editorial line.
*  Bushıs foreign policy in rough waters
by Barrister Harun ur Rashid (ŒThe writer is a former Bangladesh ambassador
to the UN in Geneva.ı)
Bangladesh Independent, 19th February
On Œtwo incidentsı that Œhave left the US foreign policy in a quagmireı. The
accidental sinking of a Japanese training vessel by an American submarine,
which has emphasised the difficulties of US relations with Japan; and the
raids which put US middle east relations into disarray.

8. NEWS FROM INSIDE IRAQ  [sent in News (3)]

*  Iraq threatens to hit back at Saudi, Kuwait
*  Iraq splits ministry of culture and information
*  Iraq's oil export rebounds from record low: UN
*  Iraq Warns Russia Over Oil Contracts [Russia might lose them if they
donıt start drilling right away, sanctions or no sanctions]
*  Russian oil work in Iraq not UN approved-diplomats
*  Tunisia, Iraq agree free trade pact


*  No Œdirect evidenceı of Iraq weapons [according to the CIA]
*  German spy report warns of Iraqi nukes [according to that sedulous
servant of the New World Order, the German BND]


*  Gunmen kill Iraqi Kurdish governor in ambush
*  Kurds despair under west's leaky umbrella [on the refugees beached on the
French riviera and on the plight of Kurds still under Iraqi control. Also
says there is 85% unemployment in Œthe so-called liberated areası where Mr
Blair is always telling us eveything is so much better. But then, theyıre
under sanctions too, a bizarre fact no-one ever seems to question]


*   'Iraqi bombing like Hitler's invasion', [on George Gallowayıs recent
visit to Iraq. The substantial quotes are more interesting than the title
*  Protesters seek to end Iraqi sanctions [on the 7 day protest outside the
House of Commons]
*  Italy Ministry Blocks Iraq Aid Flight at UN Request

*  Group seeks to aid Iraqi citizens
by Karen Rouse, Denver Post
National Organizing Conference on Iraq conference in Denver. Doesnıt say
much other than that they are opposed to sanctions.


*  We are not alone says Blair, as he defends Baghdad bombing [extract in
which Coiokıs figure as to the amount of money the Iraqis arenıt spending is
*  West's Gulf War Chiefs in Kuwait Victory Party
*  No Gulf War regrets for leaders [John Major doesnıt regret not killing
Saddam Hussein]

*  Saddam's army is obsolete, but the know-how remains
by Amnon Barzilai, Haıaretz, 19th February
Israeli estimate of Iraqi military capacity. Very little hard information.


*  Powell Gets Quick Lesson in Arab Mistrust
*  Powell, Russian counterpart try to bridge gaps


*  Could British pilots face trial for bombings? [once the International
Criminal Court is set up?]
*  Taliban ready to send Osama bin Laden to Saudi
*  Wearing a T-shirt makes you a terrorist

*  Israel to face Iran alone when U.S. lifts sanctions
by Aluf Benn
Ha'aretz, 19th February
Israeli expectations that US is going to relax pressure on Iran and in
particular get rid of Œthe Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA), initiated by
former Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato and passed with the lobbying
efforts of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)ı which is
due to expire this year. The end of Œdual containmentı.

1.  RAIDS, (including details of targets and success or other woise of raid
on friday February 16)

by Philip Sherwell and David Wastell in Washington
Sunday Telegraph, 18th February

SADDAM HUSSEIN'S most sophisticated air command and radar centre was
destroyed in Friday evening's strikes by American and British aircraft, The
Telegraph can reveal.

The Al Suwayrah site 40 miles south-west of Baghdad, built with Russian and
Serbian technical advice and funds, had been used to co-ordinate intensified
anti-aircraft attacks on British and US planes patrolling the no-fly zones
over Iraq.

The woman killed in the attack and identified by Baghdad as a civilian
casualty was the wife of a senior air defence officer at the base, according
to Iraqi opposition leaders. Baghdad has made no mention of military

Iraq yesterday issued a predictable threat to launch retaliatory attacks
against the West and Israel. Although Saddam has been rebuilding his weapons
arsenal and, according to a senior defector, has two nuclear bombs, he is
not expected to follow through on the rhetoric.

Prince Charles was not informed of the attacks, even though he had just
started a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, from where some of the planes
took off. At the time of the bombing, the Prince was with Sir Andrew Green,
the British ambassador, who had also been kept in the dark. The royal party
only became aware of the bombing when one of them received a telephone call
from London.

London and Washington rejected foreign criticism of the attacks, saying that
they were militarily justified and avoided residential areas. Tony Blair
said yesterday that further attacks could follow. He said: "Operations such
as the one last night would not be needed if Saddam stopped attacking us.
But as long as he does, I will continue to take the steps necessary to
protect our forces and to prevent Saddam from once again wreaking havoc,
suffering and death."

President Bush, who was on his first foreign trip - to Mexico - at the time,
did not speak to the Prime Minister before authorising the attacks.
Officials said there was no need as the strikes were a "routine mission".
The attack is a clear signal that Mr Bush intends to follow through on his
campaign pledge to take a tougher line with Baghdad.

More than 70 American aircraft and eight British planes took part in the
carefully planned attacks between 5 and 6pm on Friday afternoon - lunchtime
in Mexico and mid-evening in Iraq. The raids follow a steady escalation of
pressure by Saddam over the past six weeks, with Iraqi forces firing
artillery and missiles at American and British aircraft 65 times. An
official at the Pentagon said: "Pilots were able to observe either the
missile plumes, or the bursting of anti-aircraft fire."

Early last week, American commanders in the field asked for permission to
execute a long range raid against the radar sites directing the attacks.
Because the operation involved an attack outside the UN-approved no-fly
zone, the request was passed up the line to Washington.

At a meeting on Thursday, Condoleezza Rice, the US National Security
Adviser, was joined by Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, and General
Colin Powell, the Secretary of State. They recommended the raid after being
told that Iraq was about to link its anti aircraft command-and-control sites
with underground fibre-optic cables, which are difficult to tap or destroy.

Pentagon officials advised that unless the links were hit while being built
Saddam's ability to strike at allied planes would be dangerously enhanced.
Mr Bush approved the strike. White House and defence officials called their
opposite numbers in London late on Thursday to confirm that President Bush
had given the Pentagon the go-ahead. Geoffrey Hoon, the Defence Secretary,
spoke to Mr Rumsfeld by telephone, in the most senior ministerial contact.

Four RAF Tornado GR1 bombers from Kuwait, accompanied by Tornado F3 air
defence escorts and VC10 tanker aircraft, attacked the An Numaniyah control
centre with the 2000lb Paveway III laser-guided bomb, so-called
"bunker-busters" designed to destroy heavily fortified installations. The
American force, led by 24 strike aircraft, fired stand-off missiles from
within the southern no-fly zone to strike five sites dotted around Baghdad.



Downing Street says Allied planes have patrolled the no-fly zones on 23
occasions in January, coming under anti-aircraft fire on 21 days.

They responded on seven occasions, including Friday's pre-planned attacks on
the integrated air defence system in Baghdad.

Last year, Allied planes took action on 34 occasions in the northern no-fly
zone and 44 in the south. Downing Street says this showed there is no
increase in the frequency of Allied responses in 2001.


Times of India, 20th February

LONDON: US and British warplanes patrolling 'no-fly' zones over Iraq have
not come under Iraqi anti-aircraft or missile attack since their air strikes
last week close to Baghdad, The Times newspaper said on Monday, citing
military sources.

This contrasts with the six weeks before the raids when allied aircraft were
targeted 65 times with different munitions in the zones which London and
Washington have enforced in north and south Iraq since the end of Baghdad's
occupation of Kuwait in 1991, the paper said.

Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missile batteries had both
been silent since Friday, said The Times.

The sources said this shows that Iraq's newly-built network of fibre optic
cables connecting anti-aircraft batteries to command centres -- one of the
main reasons offered for the bombing raid -- has been disrupted.

The claims that Iraq's anti-aircraft defences have been put out of action
will be considered by the British defence ministry and the US Pentagon as
vindication for last week's bombing raid.

But Baghdad insisted Sunday that its air defence capabilities were intact.
An official said Iraq had fired on two allied aircraft over southern Iraq
since the raids, forcing them to turn for home.

"We will continue, without respite, to retaliate against enemy planes,"
Iraq's air defence commander, General Shahin Yassin Mohammad, told Iraqi

The February 16 raids left 30 people dead and 30 others wounded, according
to Iraqi state television.

Eight Royal Air Force planes -- four Tornado GR1 bomber aircraft, two
Tornado air defence aircraft and two VC 10 tanker aircraft -- took part in
the raids.

The Times said they dropped two laser-guided Paveway bombs on an Iraqi air
defence command-and-control bunker south of Baghdad, destroying it.

The British effort was in support of a much larger contingent of US

The strikes have been roundly condemned in the Arab world and drawn
criticism from France, Russia and Turkey. (AFP)


WASHINGTON (Associated Press, Tue 20 Feb) ‹ Hardly hesitating after the
joint U.S. British air strikes, Iraq over the weekend resumed firing on
allied air patrols in the southern ``no-fly'' zone, a Pentagon official said

Iraqi air defenses fired surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery
at allied pilots on Saturday and Sunday, spokesman Marine Corps Lt. Col.
Dave LaPan said. The allied planes were not hit and did not fire back, he


Dawn, 21st February


But in the past Chinese companies have had UN-approved contracts to repair
Iraq's electrical grid, which was heavily damaged by allied bombardments
during the 1991 war.

"Someone might try to make the case that 'fiber optic is dual use and we
were using it only in the most benign of manners,'" the Pentagon official
said. "We have reason to believe it's not the case."

"We have reason to believe the Chinese were putting fiber optic cable in
Iraq that would help with their communications and command and control
capability," he said.

The underground cables, which can move much larger volumes of data
instantaneously than conventional land lines, would be much less vulnerable
to attack than above ground telephone and power transmission lines.

In recent weeks, US pilots who patrol no-fly zones in southern Iraq have
reported that the Iraqis have been firing surface-to-air missiles at them
more frequently and getting closer and closer.

The Pentagon concluded that commanders were communicating ealy warning data
from surveillance radars around Baghdad more quickly and simply to
commanders who control the surface-to-air missiles in the south, military
officials have said.

A key element in the change has been the use of the fiber optic cables to
link air defence command centres, according to the Pentagon official.

"You have a group of radars that search up north, they have a long-range
search capabilities and they can pick up air targets. You have weapons
systems south that have fire control systems, or that fire the weapons," he

"If that information from up there, reaches down here to this little guy and
does so in a sophisticated and timely manner, then that makes life more
difficult because they have a known potential target coming in," he


*  Iraq says Western planes drop 'flare bombs'
Baghdad, Reuters, 22nd February

Iraq said Western aircraft dropped "flare bombs" on civilian areas in a raid
on southern Iraq yesterday. It was the fifth sortie by Western planes
reported by Iraq since U.S. and British jets launched air strikes on air
defence installations near Baghdad last Friday, prompting broad
international criticism.

"At 12:50pm American and British warplanes carried out 22 sorties coming
from Kuwaiti and Saudi skies...and flew over the provinces of Basra,
Muthanna, Qadissiya and Mesian," an Iraqi Military spokesman said in a
statement carried by the Iraqi News Agency.

"They dropped flare bombs in Samawah (southern Iraq) and were confronted by
our brave missile and air defences which forced them to flee," he said.
Iraqi authorities have reported a number of "flare bombs" dropped by U.S.
and British warplanes in the past. The flaming devices are designed to
divert anti-aircraft missiles. Iraq said they were being dropped for other
purposes, primarily to burn Iraqi crops and civilian property.

The spokesman said Western planes also patrolled a no-fly zone in northern
Iraq but reported no incidents. The raids on Friday were the first strikes
outside the zones since 1998. Iraq said two civilians were killed and more
than 20 wounded. Iraq vowed revenge for the raids and the Iraqi press spoke
of retaliation against Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for providing bases.

There was no immediate confirmation of yesterday's patrols from the United
States or Britain. In Washington, the Pentagon said on Tuesday Iraq fired at
U.S. and British warplanes over the southern no-fly zone at the weekend. The
United States and Britain said the Friday raids were carried out to protect
their aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones.


by Rawhi Abeidoh

BAGHDAD (Reuters, 22nd february) - Iraq said Western warplanes flew scores
of sorties over the no-fly zones in the north and south of the country on
Thursday but made no mention of an air strike reported by the U.S. against
Iraqi defense targets.

The U.S. European Command based in Germany said earlier on Thursday that
coalition aircraft launched the attack after they were targeted by
anti-aircraft guns and Iraqi radar around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

``At 11:05 local time on Thursday, American and British aircraft violated
our air space flying from bases in Turkey and flew over the provinces of
Duhouk, Arbeil and Nineveh,'' the Iraqi News Agency (INA) quoted a military
spokesman as saying.

The spokesman made no specific mention of the attack on the air defense
targets in Mosul, the first such raids since U.S. and British warplanes
struck radar and communications sites near Baghdad last week.

Mosul is the capital of Nineveh province.

The spokesman said U.S. and British jets also flew a total of 42 sorties
over several southern provinces, including Basra, Dhi qar and Muthanna, from
bases in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia with the ''direct support of the regimes''
in both Gulf Arab countries.

INA quoted him as saying that the aircraft were forced to return to their
bases after meeting stiff resistance from Iraqi air defenses.

``Our heroic (anti-aircraft) missile forces and ground defense units
confronted the American British planes coming from the dens of treachery in
Saudi and Kuwaiti territories and forced them to flee our air space under
our blazing fire,'' the spokesman said.


by Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
Daily Telegraph, 22nd February

The raids were a success, he said. RAF Tornado GR1 strike aircraft dropped
two Paveway III laser guided bombs and US aircraft fired 32 stand-off
weapons. He said: "We have definitely degraded their capability. Since then
the level of activity has been very low. Our pilots have not seen any
threats and intelligence indicates that Iraqi defences are operating at a
very low level."


by Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post
San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, February 22, 2001

Washington -- Most of the bombs dropped by U.S. warplanes on Iraqi radar
stations during last week's air strikes missed their mark, Pentagon
officials disclosed yesterday, with most of the misses blamed on a new and
expensive Navy guided bomb.

About 25 of the guided bombs were dropped in the attack, and the majority
fell "tens of yards" from their "aimpoints," a Navy official said. Another
official said he had been told the misses averaged more than 100 yards, an
unsatisfactory performance for a modern precision-guided weapon.

Pentagon officials initially were glowing in their assessment of Friday's
air strikes against the Iraqi anti-aircraft system, which involved U.S. and
British warplanes. But the disclosure of the guided weapon's failure rate
stunned defense officials and led them to scale back their assessment of the
damage done in the attack.

"We feel we had a good effect. Was it perfect? No. Did every weapon system
perform perfectly? No, but they never do," Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, a
Pentagon spokesman, said yesterday.

The Navy guided bombs that misfired Friday are known as the AGM-154A joint
standoff weapon. Such weapons range in cost from about $250,000 to about
$700, 000 apiece, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

The guided bombs were fired at about 25 parts of Iraqi radar stations --
radar dishes, communication bunkers and other components -- and the Pentagon
has been able to confirm damage to only eight of these targets, one official
said. About another eight targets escaped damage, while satellite imagery
has not produced usable pictures of the remaining radar targets, the
official said.

In a second part of the raid, communication nodes connecting the Iraqi anti-
aircraft system were hit with two other types of smart weapons -- about five
AGM-130 guided missiles and about 10 standoff land attack missiles. One or
two of the AGM-130s also missed their targets, but the communication nodes
were destroyed by the bombs that did hit, an official said. "Everything they
were fired at was destroyed or heavily damaged," he said about the AGM-130s.

The communication nodes were considered the most important targets because
they linked large radar stations around Baghdad to surface-to-air missile
batteries in southern Iraq.

In the past, those batteries used their own radar to guide missiles at U.S.
and British aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly zone. But U.S. radar-
seeking missiles have proven so effective against the batteries the Iraqis
turned off those radars.

Instead, they moved to a new system of using the large radars stationed
outside the no-fly zone to locate aircraft and then fire at allied planes
from missile batteries in the south. It was the communication links tying
together the new system that was attacked Friday.

Almost all the guided bombs that missed on Friday did so in the same way --
veering to the left of the point where they were supposed to hit, officials
said. The consistency of this error has led Navy officials to believe it is
likely a software glitch that threw off the bombs' guidance systems. The
weapon receives data from global positioning satellites as it glides as far
as 40 miles to its target.

But officials also are looking at whether the bombs were mishandled or
otherwise damaged before they were loaded on F/A-18 jets flying from the
aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman that was in the Persian Gulf.

"It could be a mechanical problem, it could be a software problem," a Navy
official said.

by, 22nd February


What is most concerning to Navy officials, however, is that the "bomblets"
all missed their targets by the same distance, the sources said.

Bomblets fall in an established pattern or footprint. In the majority of the
dropped bomblets, each of these patterns missed their aim point by exactly
the same distance, the sources said. Sources said the errors may have been
caused by an error in programming the software that controls the weaponry.

The "Joint Standoff Weapons" are fired from the Navy's F/A-18s from a safe
distance, and release a series of highly explosive small bomblets that fall
in a pattern. It is specifically used against "soft" unhardened targets such
as radars.


Times of India, 23rd February

WASHINGTON: US warplanes struck Iraqi air defence targets in northern Iraq
on Thursday, going into action for the first time since last week's attack
on targets near Baghdad, the US military said.

The US European Command said the strike was launched in retaliation against
Iraqi forces that fired at coalition aircraft patrolling a no-fly zone in
the north and targeted them with radar.

"Coalition aircraft responded to the Iraqi attacks by dropping ordnance on
elements of the Iraqi integrated air defence system," the command said in a

A Pentagon official said the latest air attack had targetted the north of
Mosul inside the northern no-fly zone, unlike last week's strike near
Baghdad, which is outside the two no-fly zones which cover northern and
southern Iraq, respectively.

"Iraqi forces fired anti-aircraft artillery from sites north of Mosul while
ONW (Operation Northern Watch) conducted routine enforcement of the northern
no-fly zone," the European command said.

"Coalition aircraft were also targeted by Iraqi radar from sites southeast
of Mosul," it said.

Last Friday's strikes were the biggest in more than two years, and the first
since Operation Desert Fox, in December 1998, to hit targets north of the
33rd parallel, the upper limit of the no-fly zone.

But questions about the effectiveness of those strikes emerged with the
disclosure on Thursday that more than half of the long-range missiles which
were used to target radars around Baghdad missed their mark. (AFP)

Times of India, 23rd February

BAGHDAD: A civil defense official said in remarks published on Thursday that
the casualty toll from last week's US-British airstikes has risen to three
dead and 25 wounded.

Iraq had previously put the death toll at two and the injured at 20.

Giving new details about Friday's attack, Gen. Kassem Mohammad Nouri,
director-general of the Civil Defenses Directorate, said some of the
missiles fired by allied planes did not explode, according to Al-Zawra

Nouri also named two new towns that he said were targeted in the strikes on
the outskirts of Baghdad: Numaniya and Nahrawan, in addition to Rashidiya
and Hafriya that were shown on Iraq's state television Sunday.

"The strikes caused damage to buildings and residential areas," Nouri was
quoted as saying.




WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- China is building a fiber-optic communications
system for Iraq's new air-defense network that was targeted by U.S. and
British air strikes last week, The Washington Times reported Tuesday.

The fiber-optic system was nearly finished before the raid.

"These are largely buried fiber-optic cables that would protect them from a
variety of things like weather or coalition air attacks," a senior defense
official told the newspaper.

China several years ago set up a nationwide system of fiber-optic
communications lines through its territory. The system is able to handle
larger volumes of communications and is more secure against electronic

U.S. companies have also sold fiber-optic communications equipment to China,
raising questions about whether U.S.-origin fiber-optic technology was
resold to Iraq as part of the air-defense network, which will greatly
increase Iraq's ability to shoot down patrolling U.S. aircraft, analysts

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has offered a reward to any air-defense unit
that succeeds in downing a U.S. or allied jet patrolling the two
air-exclusion zones over northern and southern Iraq.

"We wanted to take out the system and hardware and not the people," the
senior defense official said.

Pentagon officials said they do not know how long China has been helping
build the air defense network or whether the U.S. government has protested
the apparent violation of U.N. sanctions on Iraq, The Times said.

The sanctions imposed after the 1991 Persian Gulf War prohibit sales of
military goods to Iraq until it gives up all its weapons of mass destruction
and certain missile programs. -- Copyright 2001 by United Press
International. All rights reserved.


BEIJING, Feb 21, 2001 (Reuters) China said on Wednesday reports that Chinese
workers were helping Baghdad repair air defenses in violation of UN
sanctions were an attempt to divert opinion from American and British
strikes against Iraq.

"We made our stance clear: That any effort to mislead the public and divert
public attention is futile," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang
Qiyue told reporters.

"There is nothing more to add," she said, when asked about statements from
U.S. officials and U.S. media reports.

According the U.S. embassy in Beijing, Washington was awaiting a reply from
China to its inquiry into reports about China's assistance with Iraqi
anti-aircraft systems.

"Obviously, we are very concerned about reports that the Chinese have
provided assistance to the Iraqis regarding their air defense network," the
embassy said in a statement.

"We have had consultations with the Chinese on the importance of full
compliance with UN Security Council resolutions," it said.

"It is particularly important for P-5 members to apply scrupulously the
decisions of the Council," it said, referring to the five permanent members
of the Security Council, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United


China has long supported an end to economic sanctions against Iraq but also
says Baghdad must comply with UN Security Council resolutions.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the Bush administration
planned to protest to Beijing.

The Post quoted Bush National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice as saying:
"We're concerned about the apparent involvement of the Chinese with
fiber-optics." She added that, "under the sanctions regime, there appears to
be a problem".

A senior U.S. defense official, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters
on Tuesday that Chinese military and civilian workers were helping bolster
Iraq's military with Chinese fiber optic cables in violation of UN

The Pentagon official said that last week's joint U.S. and British air
strikes against Iraq were timed to avoid injuring Chinese workers who were
helping install new underground fiber optic cables to improve Iraq's air

"We wanted to take out air defense, not kill anybody" the official said of
strikes by some two dozen warplanes on five sites near Baghdad on Friday,
the Muslim weekend, when few Iraqi or Chinese were likely to be working.

Washington is sensitive to potential Chinese casualties after the 1999 U.S.
bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during NATO's air campaign
against Yugoslavia.

The United States said that was a mistake. However, the bombing -- which
killed three Chinese -- badly damaged U.S.-China ties for nearly a year.


The protest to Beijing would be the third time Washington had raised the
issue of China providing technical assistance to Iraq, the Post report said.

The United States first complained to China about the aid to Iraq a month
ago, before President George W. Bush took office.

Quoting a State Department official, the Post said David Welch, assistant
secretary of state for international organizations, went to Beijing in early
January to raise specific concerns about fiber-optic cables and
telecommunications aid provided by Chinese companies to Iraqi air defense

China did not respond, even after Secretary of State Colin Powell reminded
Beijing during a meeting last week at the United Nations of the need to
abide by UN sanctions imposed after the Persian Gulf War 10 years ago,
according to the Post.

Administration officials suggested China's aid to Iraq appeared to breach UN
sanctions, but stopped short of directly accusing China of violations, the
Post said.

China swiftly condemned the U.S. and British air attacks as a violation of
Iraq's sovereignty and demanded the Western allies stop military action
against Iraq.

Inside China

THURMONT, Feb 24, 2001 (Reuters) China told the United States on Friday that
if Beijing was involved in rebuilding Iraqi air defenses, it would "remedy"
the situation, President George W. Bush said.

Bush revealed the Chinese reply to his complaint at a joint news conference
with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the outskirts of the Camp David
presidential mountain retreat.

Bush said Thursday he was troubled that China may have sought to help Iraq
rebuild its air defense systems and said Washington was sending a message to
Beijing on the issue.

He said he had received a reply on Friday.

"We filed a complaint, and they responded this morning," Bush said. "If I
can paraphrase, it was (that) 'if this is the case, we'll remedy the

Bush directed reporters to his national security adviser Condoleezza Rice
for elaboration, but her spokeswoman, Mary Ellen Countryman, said she had
nothing further to report.



by Michael Prescott and Tony Allen-Mills, Washington
Sunday Times, 18th February

BRITAIN urged America to take tougher action against Iraq in the weeks
preceding Friday's bombing raids on Baghdad, it emerged last night.

Royal Air Force commanders helping to patrol Iraq's no-fly zones complained
bitterly about the rules of engagement under which they operated. They
demanded a more muscular strategy to increase the effectiveness of their

The concerns were reinforced by the government in talks with senior
officials in the new administration of President George W Bush.

While Bill Clinton was in the White House, the RAF was forbidden to attack
certain command stations and radar posts. The officers felt such action was
vital to reduce a growing number of Iraqi missile attacks on their aircraft.
Once Bush was elected to succeed Clinton, the British pressed for a change
in the rules. According to American sources, the main aim was to stop Saddam
from linking radar stations to missile launch pads with new fibre-optic
cables. This would have increased the accuracy of Iraqi attacks on allied

In London the Ministry of Defence said preliminary information was that all
targets had been badly damaged. Tony Blair will review the results of
detailed reconnaissance to confirm this when he is Bush's guest at the Camp
David retreat outside Washington on Friday and Saturday.

The strikes against targets around Baghdad will help Blair to preserve
Britain's "special relationship" with America, despite tensions over the
implications of a European Union defence force for Nato and over the
so-called "son of star wars" missile defence shield.

Robin Cook, the foreign secretary, is thought to have played an important
role in agreeing the new rules of engagement with America. He held a
20-minute meeting with Colin Powell, the secretary of state, 13 days ago.

As Saddam threatened military retaliation yesterday, Blair warned that
further operations may follow. "I will continue to take the steps necessary
to protect our forces and to prevent Saddam from once again wreaking havoc,
suffering and death," he said.

The Ministry of Defence and the Pentagon claimed that the targets were not
in civilian areas. Iraqi television disputed this, broadcasting pictures of
women and children said to have been injured in the raids. They claimed two
adults had been killed.

Washington is encouraging Iraqi opposition groups to play a more active role
in the fight againt Saddam. A delegation from the opposition Iraqi National
Congress was summoned to the State Department on Friday and told that the
airstrikes represented "the start of a new policy". At a meeting with Edward
Walker, assistant secretary of state, opposition leaders were told: "We are
going to get serious with Iraq. All constraints are off."

Additional reporting: Marie Colvin, Jerusalem

Independent, 20th February

London - Claims that British Prime Minister Tony Blair was bounced by the
United States into launching a military strike on Baghdad intensified here
on Monday night.

Claims intensified after it emerged that the foreign office had signalled a
relaxation of policy towards Iraq less than 24 hours before the airstrike.

Brian Wilson, a Foreign Office minister, outlined a new approach on the
issue of sanctions last Thursday, just as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was
preparing to bomb Iraqi installations.

He indicated in a written parliamentary reply that the government would take
fresh steps to ensure that humanitarian supplies were getting through to the
country. His reply was claimed by ministerial sources as a "significant
shift" in policy in response to Labour MPs' concern over the impact of
sanctions on Iraqis.


by Andrew McLeod
The Scotsman, 20th February

THE Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office were at loggerheads over Iraq
policy when Britain and the United States bombed Baghdad last Friday, it
emerged yesterday.

Defence sources said the government "caved in" from its earlier pressure on
the United States to abandon air patrols over the no-fly zone in southern
Iraq because the Prime Minister and Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, were
intent on reassuring Washington that the countriesı close relationship would

"It was a cave-in to Washingtonıs demands," said one source. "But it could
also be seen as a deposit in the bank; having done this for the United
States, Britain will now expect close consultation on the National Missile
Defence system [NMD]."

Mr Cook, who is believed to have discussed the Baghdad operation with the
new US secretary of state, Colin Powell, is known to want Britain to be in
the vanguard of the European Unionıs Common Security and Defence Policy.

The Foreign Secretary also wants Britain to be the EUıs link with Washington
on defence matters, including the controversial NMD, the latest incarnation
of former US President Ronald Reaganıs Star Wars nuclear defence system.

However, critics have attacked Mr Cookıs policy as naive: Britainıs European
partners have been incensed by Londonıs lack of consultation on the attack
on Iraq.



Britain was prepared to continue air patrols over the northern zone, where
Iraqi Kurds are still being persecuted by Saddamıs forces, the sources said.

France, which has led international criticism of the attack on Baghdad and
the only other NATO country with the military capability of carrying out the
no-fly zone patrols, abandoned Southern Watch four years ago.

There is also scepticism in the MoD that more attacks on Iraq would bring
about Saddamıs downfall - and there are fears of what an Iraqi power vacuum
would produce.

The strongest internal opposition to Saddam Hussein is the Shia Islamic Dawa
movement, which is seeking an Islamic republic in Iraq along the lines of
the Islamic republic in Iran.

Washingtonıs favoured opposition leader, Ahmed Chalabi, was convicted in
Jordan in 1992 for embezzlement leading to the collapse of the Petra Bank,
Jordanıs second biggest.

In London, the shadow defence secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, said the failure
of Britainıs EU partners to back the raids left plans for a European Rapid
Reaction Force "in tatters".

"The reaction of countries around the EU ranged from absolutely opposed to
deeply unenthusiastic. The Iraqi operation demonstrates that when the UK and
US are together then tough action takes place.

"Tony Blairıs attempt to create a Euro Army shows this will divide NATO and
render our defences weaker by pushing the US away. He should come to his
senses, admit this publicly and put all his Euro-defence plans back into


by Marjorie Miller, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles Times, 21st February


"I think we're less alone than it seems on this," Blair said of the Iraq
policy. "People sometimes understand that we'll be the ones to act. I think
if you were to talk to any of our main allies, privately at least, about
Saddam, they recognize the danger."

Blair spoke with a handful of reporters at 10 Downing St. before his
scheduled departure today for a visit to Canada and the United States. He is
to hold talks with Bush on an array of defense, trade and economic issues
Friday and Saturday at Camp David, Md.


Blair, meanwhile, stayed focused on what he called "probably the most
dangerous man anywhere in the world," noting that Hussein has killed
thousands of his own people, gone to war with Iran at the cost of a million
lives, annexed neighboring Kuwait before the Gulf War and sought to develop
weapons of mass destruction.

"I think what we're doing on Iraq is absolutely essential," Blair said. "The
test is what sort of situation would we be in if we'd had no pressure for
the last 10 years, no sanctions, no attempt to enforce 'no-fly' zones. The
answer is that Saddam would have been out there creating an awful lot more
mischief than he is able to do now."


by Roula Khalaf in Amman
Financial Times, 21st February

Britain engaged in secret efforts over the past year to improve UN relations
with Iraq, measures that were effectively buried with last week's air
strikes on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Despite the British government's strong anti-Iraq rhetoric, officials at the
Foreign Office opened behind-the-scenes channels to Iraq in an attempt to
reach a compromise that would allow the implementation of UN resolution 1284
- the 1999 decision calling for a return of UN arms inspectors to Baghdad -
and lead to the suspension of sanctions.

Britain, the architect of the resolution, has used Qatari envoys and former
UK diplomats to try to persuade Baghdad to meet with Hans Blix, head of
Unmovic, the new UN weapons inspectors' agency, and to hold informal talks
in a third country with envoys close to the Foreign Office. Also involved in
the contacts was the Next Century Foundation, a London group that promotes
conflict resolution.

According to people familiar with the contacts, UK officials reached an
understanding with Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jaber, Qatar's foreign
minister, late last year, that paved the way for the Qatari ambassador in
London to travel to Baghdad and convey UK readiness for informal talks.

Although the official UK position has been that resolution 1284 was not
negotiable, the aim of the contacts was to discuss parts of the resolution
opposed by Baghdad and to search for ways that would have given sufficient
reassurances to Iraq that co-operation with inspectors would lead to a
suspension of sanctions.

"The UK wanted a way out that would not make Iraq look victorious but that
would still satisfy Baghdad and the US," said a person familiar with the
discreet moves. Iraq, suspicious of UK intentions and wanting to wait for a
new US administration, rejected the offer of an unofficial meeting with Mr

Although it was considering the idea of informal talks with UK envoys in a
neutral country, no meetings took place and the process was further
complicated by the departure last month of Peter Hain, former junior
minister at the FCO and the main backer of the contacts.

Last Friday's US and UK raids on targets near Baghdad have dashed hopes of
resurrecting the dialogue. Mr Hain, now energy minister, told the Financial
Times on Tuesday that the contacts arose after he was approached by Gulf

"I insisted that it [the contacts] could only be done on the basis of Iraq
accepting resolution 1284," he said. "I am sure if there were a willingness
to accept the resolution without prejudice then the modalities of the arms
inspections and how sanctions suspension could be triggered could be

UK officials are now gearing up for talks with US counterparts later this
week, including possible alterations in UN sanctions to target the Iraqi
regime rather than the population. Additional Reporting by Kevin Brown in


Times of India, 18th February

DUBAI: Regional power Iran led Middle East condemnation on Saturday of the
US bombing of Baghdad as "signs of adventurism" by the new US president, but
Gulf states maintained an embarrassed silence.

The Arab League complained that the attack had "no justification".

League secretary general Esmat Abdel Meguid warned that the raids violated
international law and had provoked "angry sentiments and discontent in the
Arab world."

He called for UN action to protect Iraq's sovereignty.

In Jordan, which depends on Iraqi oil, the first air strikes around the
capital in two years were seen as a clear message of strength from the new
Bush administration to every country in the region.

And in Lebanon, leading pro-Syrian daily As-Safir accused US President
George W. Bush of "trying to torpedo any attempt at appeasement and proving
he is his father's son by brandishing war."

"The air strikes against Iraq cover the coming of another war, which will
take place with the arrival in power of Ariel Sharon (in Israel)," said the
influential newspaper.

Syria and Russia consider the strikes "will not produce positive results,"
said Russian President Vladimir Putin's special Mideast envoy after talks in

Envoy Alexandr Saltanov, who met Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara, said: "It
is necessary to reach a political solution and the first step in this
direction is the dialogue," between Iraq and the UN that is due to resume at
the end of the month.

However, as Iraq counted two dead and more than 20 wounded, neither Saudi
Arabia nor Kuwait answered Baghdad's taunts that they were "accomplices in
crime" for allowing US and British warplanes to fly from their countries.

Arab world heavyweight Cairo was also slow to react.

Riyadh and Kuwait City, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of liberation
from Iraqi occupation on February 26, are due to receive visits next week by
US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The man who was US military supremo during the 1991 Gulf War was expected to
discuss the hard line adopted by the new administration on Iraq, whose
people enjoy growing popular Arab support after a decade of sanctions.

And the other Gulf monarchies that rely largely on US might for their
security -- Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates -- made no

All four have, to varying degrees over recent months, distanced themselves
from sanctions on Iraq and joined a flood of humanitarian flights to
Baghdad, testing an air embargo on President Saddam Husssein's regime.

But Iran's official Radio Tehran roundly denounced Friday's air raids over
the suburbs of Baghdad, the first since December 1998, which Washington said
knocked out air command and control centres.

"The violent attacks of the American air force are signs of the adventurism
of the new administration of George W. Bush," Radio Tehran said. "Bush is
seeking to demonstrate his strength against Saddam Hussein."

Turkey expressed regret and urged the new Washington administration to
consult with Ankara on its Iraq policy.

Foreign Minister Ismail Cem met with the US ambassador to Turkey and
conveyed to him Turkey's concerns.

Cem described the attack as "very serious" and stressed that Ankara "does
not want the repetition of such incidents."

Turkish analysts said the bombing was a warning to Turkey and other states
which recently stepped up their efforts to normalize ties with Iraq.

The attack is a message "that the Gulf War coalition should tighten its
ranks," foreign affairs analyst Cengiz Candar wrote in the Yeni Safak daily.
It was "a red card to normalisation with Iraq."

Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdel Ilah al-Khatib voiced firm opposition to
the use of force against Baghdad and urged that the issue of Iraq's military
strength be sorted out with the United Nations.

Al-Dustour, a leading Amman newspaper branded the assaults as "cowardly" and
suggested that Gulf War veterans, such as Vice President Dick Cheney,
defence secretary in 1991, and Powell, were seeking "to settle accounts" and
reinforce the embargo.

"Such blind policy will only reinforce Iraq and have negative repercussions
on US interests through the Arab countries," Al-Dustour said.

Al-Aswaq economic daily, which printed pictures of wounded children, said:
"Bush begins dealing with the Middle East by shelling Baghdad.

"A message addressed to all the countries in the region that the new US
administration is different from the administration of (former president
Bill) Clinton." (AFP)

Doha, Reuters, 18th February

Qatar said yesterday that U.S and British air attacks on Iraq were
regrettable and should not be repeated. U.S. and British aircraft attacked
targets near Baghdad on Friday and President George W. Bush said Washington
would take "appropriate action" if Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein produced
so-called weapons of mass destruction.

"It is a very sad and regrettable development. We request both the United
States and Britain to maintain restraint and bombings should be ceased," a
Qatari foreign ministry official told Reuters.

Iraq said yesterday that two civilians were killed and more than 20 others
were wounded in the attacks. State-run media in the Gulf Arab states which
joined the U.S.-led coalition that drove Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991,
published reports about the strike without comment. But there have been
rising calls in the Arab world, including the Gulf, for the lifting or at
least the suspension of UN sanctions imposed on Iraq since its 1990 invasion
of Kuwait.

"In general, the Arab parties look at prolonging the sanctions as a
political rather than a security means because Saddam no longer has the
power to launch wars," the Saudi Arabian newspaper Al Riyadh said in a

The commentary, published yesterday, was apparently written before the air
strikes on Friday evening. "The damages done to the Iraqi people have
already exceeded all objective limits," Al Riyadh said.

Dawn (Pakistan), 19th February

AMMAN, Feb 18: All of Jordan seemed to rally to Iraq's side on Sunday, two
days after the US and Britain bombed five military sites around Baghdad.

Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb condemned the United States' and
Britain's unjustified use of force against Iraq.

Hundreds of protesters demonstrated in Amman, torching US, British and
Israeli flags in front of the US embassy and UN headquarters.

Abu Ragheb told parliament that "Jordan categorically rejects any form of
aggression against brother Iraq and the unjustified use of force by American
and British forces, which goes beyond UN resolutions and international

The prime minister said US and British raids against Iraq are "a blatant
violation of international norms and law" and will only succeed in causing
"further destruction, instability and suffering for the Iraqi people and the
(other) peoples in the region."

He said Jordan will maintain its position in favour of "lifting the unfair
embargo on Iraq and of the preservation of its sovereignty and territorial

Jordan's lower legislative body, the Chamber of Deputies, also condemned the
bombings "with vigour" and called for an end to the international sanctions
slapped on Iraq in 1990 after Baghdad occupied Kuwait.

On Saturday, Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdul Ilah al-Khatib had already
voiced his country's opposition to the use of force against Iraq and called
anew for the lifting of Baghdad's sanctions.

The statements of political leaders proved deftly attune to the mood on the
street with a pro-Iraq demonstration in front of the United Nations office
in Amman.

Some 200 protesters - including union members and opposition party
politicians and their supporters - set ablaze US, British and Israeli flags
to a chorus of pro-Iraqi chants.

"America is the head of the snake" and "the key to Jerusalem is in Saddam's
hands", the protesters roared in tribute to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

A statement released by the "coordinating committee of Jordan's opposition
parties" which organised the protest urged Jordanians to "reject and condemn
the visit to the region of the US Secretary of State" Colin Powell.

Powell, a key general in the 1991 US-led Gulf war, visits the region from
Feb 24 to 26 to discuss US policies on the troubled Middle East peace
process and Iraq.-AFP

by Diana Elias
Times of India, 19th February

KUWAIT: Five Kuwaiti lawmakers on a swing through the region found out
exactly what other Arabs think of the emirate a decade after many rallied to
its aid against Iraq. They didn't like what they heard.

Earlier this year, Iraq had alarmed Kuwait by stepping up its threatening
talk, with Odai Hussein, the son of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, saying
Kuwait should be included in a new map of Iraq.

Yet what the lawmakers got from political and labor union leaders in Jordan,
Syria and Tunisia was complaints that Kuwait's response to the Iraqi threats
was "exaggerated," and that it was "starving the Iraqi people" by supporting
sanctions, said Mohammed al-Saqer, Parliament's foreign affairs committee

Kuwait has planned lavish celebrations of the Feb 26 anniversary of its
liberation from the seven-month Iraqi occupation 10 years ago. The guest of
honor will be US Secretary of State Colin Powell, the former Gulf War
general. But just as it gets ready to party, Kuwait is seeing its ties with
Arab Gulf War allies tested by the lure of Iraqi oil wealth, the popularity
of Saddam's anti-Israeli rhetoric, and public anguish at the effect of
sanctions on ordinary Iraqis.

Egypt and Syria, both of which committed troops to the US-led international
coalition when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, last month signed free-trade
agreements with Baghdad and played host to top-ranking Iraqi officials.

Iraq has allocated half its UN-supervised oil-for-food contracts to Arab
producers. Egypt expects to export $1 billion worth of goods to Iraq this
year, and Syria is reportedly planning to reopen a pipeline carrying Iraqi
oil to its Mediterranean port of Baniyas.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said after a visit here that he "sensed in
Kuwait a worry that the trade agreement we signed with Iraq represents a
change in Egypt's position." He said he renewed Cairo's commitment to
Kuwait's security and sovereignty.

Bashar Assad, his Syrian counterpart, did the same in an interview with
Kuwaiti daily Al Siyassah. Neither Syria nor Egypt has restored full
diplomatic relations with Iraq.

Like many ordinary Kuwaitis, Sawsan al-Sarhan sympathizes with the Iraqi
people's suffering under sanctions and says she hopes the Egyptian and
Syrian trade deals will bring them relief. "However, there have to be
limits," the homemaker said. "Saddam should not feel that Arab countries are
supporting him and they don't care about Kuwait."

Wafic al-Samaraai, a member of the Iraqi opposition, said on Kuwait TV that
Saddam's overtures to Egypt and Syria were meant to break the international
embargo imposed on Iraq and "isolate" Kuwait and its ally Saudi Arabia,
which still refuse to have ties with the Iraqi leadership.

Kuwaiti officials say they are satisfied with Syrian and Egyptian promises
to confine their dealings with Baghdad to trade. But Khaled al-Jarallah, an
undersecretary in the foreign ministry, said: "Our only concern is that Iraq
misunderstands the message as an encouragement to back away from its
international commitments."

Iraq has shut UN weapons inspectors out for two years, and US analysts fear
it has used that time to rebuild some of its UN-banned chemical or
biological weapons programs.

Kuwait political analyst Faisal al-Kenai said Arab nations shouldn't imagine
Iraq has changed. "A thrust toward Saddam Hussein could lead to a worse
situation than we found ourselves in 1990," he said. But Saddam is a hero to
many ordinary Arabs for his threats against Israel, and some Arab leaders
try to walk a fine line placating both sides.

Shortly after Lebanon's prime minister, Rafik Hariri, left Kuwait with
promises of new aid, Emil Lahoud Jr, a Lebanese lawmaker and the president's
son, flew to Iraq with a trade delegation. Kuwait has spent billions of
dollars on development projects in Arab nations since the 1960s. So Kuwaitis
were shocked that countries such as Jordan, Sudan and Yemen sided with Iraq
during the crisis, and it took years to mend the rift.

"The effect of the development projects we finance are long-range, and
unfortunately people on the street don't feel them right away," Kuwaiti
political scientist Shamlan al-Issa said. "Saddam gives cash to writers,
journalists and artists" who flock to Baghdad thinking they are helping the
Iraqi people.

Many Arabs focus on the sanctions, which ban most trade with Iraq and
subject its oil industry to UN oversight. Kuwait's official stance is that
Baghdad must implement UN Security Council resolutions requiring that it be
certified free of weapons of mass destruction before sanctions can be

by Arif Ali, Muscat
Gulf News, 20th February

The Sultanate of Oman criticised the aerial attacks carried  out by the U.S.
and Britain against Iraq on Friday, saying they have only added to the
suffering of the Iraqi people. In a statement broadcast prominently by the
Sultanate's electronic media yesterday evening, Yusuf bin Alawai bin
Abdullah, Oman's Foreign Minister, said: "We wish these attacks had never
happened so that the efforts exerted by several parties and governments for
the lifting of the embargo on Iraq would have continued to end the
sufferings of the Iraqi people."

He said the strikes had complicated matters, making "Iraq change its
position". Agencies add: "The U.S. and British strikes made matters more
complicated than they should be and therefore it will be difficult to make
progress in discussions between Iraq and the United Nations," he told the
official Omani News Agency.

"Those attacks will not benefit regional security or negotiations and
discussions," the minister added.  Oman has been at the forefront of Arab
states calling for an end to crippling sanctions imposed on Iraq by the
United Nations after it invaded Kuwait in 1990. In Tehran,  Iran's foreign
ministry yesterday condemned the   air strikes, deeming them "unacceptable"
and "unjustified," the official Irna news agency reported. "This unilateral
and unjustified act is unacceptable in the eyes of Iran," said ministry
spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi cited by Irna.

Asefi expressed Tehran's "sadness" over the killing of "innocent people" and
condemned the raids. In Ankara, the Turkish minister said  the recent
American and British air strikes against Iraq must not compromise
"developing ties" between Turkey and Iraq. "We do not want our relations,
which have entered a strengthening phase, to be affected," said Tunca
Toskay, minister of state in charge of foreign trade. Toskay said the
planned visit of a large delegation of Turkish businessmen and officials to
Baghdad would go ahead despite recent developments. The delegation will
focus on commercial matters, he said.

by Latheef Farook, Gulf News, 21st February

Bahrainis of different walks of life described the U.S. and UK air strikes
on civilians in Baghdad as "outrageous and a sheer lack of basic respect for
Arab blood". They pointed out that the bombing of innocent civilians in
Iraq, already battered by war and hunger caused by devastating UN sanctions,
is not going to serve the cause of peace.

Especially, they add, at a time when the Arab streets are seething with
anger over the United States' unstinted support to Israel, despite its
continued atrocities against the Palestinians.This action, they say, will
only further complicate the already tangled situation in the Middle East and
the Gulf as well.

Professor Munira Fakrho, who is awaiting to assume office in Bahrain
University, said: "There is no justification at all for this attack on the
helpless, voiceless Iraqi people who are sandwiched between the West, led by
the U.S., and by Saddam Hussein." She said this is something the Arabs
should condemn collectively. "What harm did the Iraqi people commit against
the U.S. and the UK to deserve this punishment? Their claim that this was a
pre emptive strike is baseless, as Iraq was not preparing to attack U.S. and
UK targets."

Columnist Sawsan Al Shaier said: "Ten years ago, in the aftermath of the
Gulf War, the U.S.-led alliance wanted the world to believe their target was
to get Saddam Hussein out and save the people. They also said this was the
reason why they were imposing sanctions. But Saddam is still there and his
oppression and brutalisation of the Iraqi people continues unabated.

"Even the sanctions which were supposed to hurt him have brought
unprecedented suffering and misery to the Iraqi people while Saddam and his
family continue with their lavish lifestyle. She added: "Ten years later,
today, the world is justified in asking the architects of UN sanctions on
Iraq whether it is Sadaam Hussein they were targeting or the innocent Iraqi
people. "The injustice has been such that even public opinion in the U.S.
and the UK has turned against their own governments."

Hanadi Salem, PR Executive said: "It was unfair to kill civilians. This was
shocking news to me as it was done by the U.S. and the UK. From the
humanitarian point of view, UN sanctions itself are not fair to the people,
considering the damage it has caused to an entire nation."

Jassim Hussein Ali, Assistant Professor at Bahrain University, said: "This
unprovoked attack will not help in the cause of peace and stability.
Instead, it will help raise tension in an already volatile region,
especially in the context of the ongoing Palestinian struggle and the U.S.
support to Israel.Khalid Al Maskati, Chairman of the Industrial Committee of
Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: "This is very dangerous and
what is most important is the need to protect the security of the area."

Another Bahraini, who requested anonymity, said: "The U.S. and the UK should
build a monument to Saddam  for the services he has rendered in helping them
destabilise the Gulf and the Arab world and cause destruction to his own

Los Angeles Times, 21st February

AWKAR, Lebanon--Lebanese security forces beat back thousands of students on
Wednesday as they marched on the U.S. embassy to protest against last week's
air attacks on Iraq, witnesses said.

Red Cross and civil defense workers said at least 20 people were injured in
the scuffles.

A Reuters correspondent saw the angry crowd break through army barriers on
the road to the heavily fortified compound on the outskirts of Beirut,
shouting anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli slogans.

Troops and riot police used batons and water cannon to try to break up the
march. The demonstrators hurled stones at the armed soldiers, hitting some
of them.

The interior ministry said the wounded included one security force officer,
two security personnel and three civil defense workers.

"The ministry confirms its commitment to freedom of expression through
peaceful ways, but warns against rioting, targeting the security personnel
and harming order and security," an interior ministry statement said.

Marching through pools of mud, the water-soaked marchers chanted: "Death to
America, Death to Israel."

A policeman struck a girl who kept on shouting despite the blood on her

"The Iraqi people are not guinea pigs for American weapons. Death to
America. With our blood and our souls we will redeem you Iraq," the crowd

U.S. and British aircraft attacked targets near Baghdad last week. Iraq said
the strikes killed two civilians, including an 18-year-old woman, and
wounded more than 20 others.

Anti-U.S. sentiment in the Arab Middle East has risen sharply in the wake of
the raid.

"Attacking Iraq is a crime against all Arabs," chanted the protesters, who
were kept about 500 meters (yards) from the hilltop embassy, a massive
complex protected by high walls, barbed wire and steel gates.

"They hit Iraq but they never do anything against the Israeli murderers of
Palestinian children," said Hanna, a geography student. She was referring to
the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation in which more than 400
people, the vast majority of them Palestinians and many of them children,
have been killed since September.

The protesters said they wanted U.S. ambassador David Satterfield expelled
from Lebanon because he condemned a Hizbollah guerrilla attack last week in
the disputed Shebaa Farms area on Lebanon's border with Israel.

"Satterfield, you coward. Get out of Lebanon," the demonstrators yelled,
throwing empty bottles at the last army barrier before the embassy walls.

Last Friday Hizbollah, the guerrilla organization which forced Israel to end
its military occupation of south Lebanon last year, killed an Israeli
soldier and wounded two in Shebaa Farms, an area in the foothills of the
Golan Heights captured by Israel from Syria in the 1967 Middle East War.

by ISSAM HAMZA, Reuters
Los Angeles Times, 21st February

DAMASCUS--Saudi Arabia, an arch rival of Iraq, has joined Syria in
condemning the recent U.S.-British air strikes against Baghdad, officials
said on Wednesday.

In a joint communique issued late on Tuesday at the end of a meeting of the
Syrian-Saudi Commission, the foreign ministers of Syria, Farouq al-Shara,
and Saudi Arabia, Prince Saud al-Faisal, declared their support for Iraq's
sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"Both sides expressed feelings of denunciation and anxiety over the recent
escalation against south Baghdad," it said in the communique.

"It (escalation) came at a time when wide consultations were being conducted
to tackle the whole (Iraqi) issue at the next Arab summit in Amman in a way
that preserves security in the region and the sovereignty and territorial
integrity of Iraq," it said.

The Arab summit will be held in the Jordanian capital next month.


Bahrain Tribune, 22nd February

TEHERAN (AFP): Iranıs Foreign Ministry yesterday condemned the latest US and
British air strikes against Iraq, deeming them ³unacceptable² and
³unjustified,² the official IRNA news agency reported.

³This unilateral and unjustified act is unacceptable in the eyes of Iran,²
said ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi cited by IRNA.

Asefi, whose comments came three days after US and British raids on radar
and military command centres near Baghdad, expressed Teheranıs ³sadness²
over the killing of ³innocent people² and condemned the raids.


Arabic News, 24th February

The Moroccan Human Rights Association (AMDH) has decried the US-British
raids on Iraq, terming them as "war crimes and collective extermination
against humanity." The AMDH requested, in a release, the trial of those
accountable for the raids and called on the Cairo based Arab League to
endeavor for lifting the sanctions imposed on Iraq.

The Association also urged Arab peoples, peace-loving peoples and human
rights defenders to put pressure on governments to put an end to attacks on
Iraq and to lift the "illegitimate embargo" imposed on this country.

This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]