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News, 18-25/5/02 (1) PROSPECTS FOR WAR * US may attack Iraq with Kurds' assistance [Curious French prediction that the US will attack but may not win. Also claims that the US have been Œnurturing¹ Kurdish forces. The Kurds of course have their own well established military tradition but my impression is that over the past ten years this has been discouraged rather than nurtured. Simply put, what access do they have to arms and training?] * Toll could be high in Iraq strike [The New York Times argues that possession of chemical and biological weapons is a necessary prerequisite for any country that wishes to maintain its national sovereignty in the face of possible US aggression: "Without question, it's the toughest nut to crack."] * U.S. military action to oust Saddam reportedly on hold [This widely diffused article states very bluntly that the Joint Chiefs of Staff are opposed to a war on Iraq and even that the term ŒIraq hysteria¹is current among them.] * Iraq invasion would be error to rival Hitler's attack on Russia [according to British general, Sir Michael Rose] * Bush backs off Iraq invasion BUSH VISIT * Thousands join anti-war protests * Bush Urges Europe to Deal With Saddam [This article suggests a rather col recep[tion for Bush in the Reichstag. In contrast to the headline in The Washington Times, which read: ŒIn Berlin, stunned applause¹ - http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20020524-99926062.htm] * U.S., Russia Sign Landmark Treaty [Includes the following surprising statement from Bush, supposedly giving the Russians advice over Chechnya: "The experience in Afghanistan has taught us all that there are lessons to be learned about how to protect one's homeland and, at the same time, be respectful on the battlefield."] * Tough talk from Bush on eve of summit [Extract on reasons for Russian reserve with regard to the ŒAxis of Evil¹ rhetoric.] IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Iraq blames Iran for failure to resume air link * Kuwait says Iraq not cooperating on POWs * Rafsanjani Blasts Western Policies Towards Iraq * MKO angrily denies US charges on Iraq links [Here is an interesting point. Are the Mujaheedin al-Khalq Œterrorists¹ because they launch guerrilla attacks in Iran? or only when they do such things at the behest of the government of Iraq? Were the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan terrorists?] * Iranian rebels in quandary [More of the same] NO FLY ZONES * US Plane Attacks Iraqi Air Defense * 4 Hurt in U.S. Air Attack on South, Baghdad Says * Danger looms in Iraq no-fly zone * 4 U.S. planes attack 2 Iraqi weapons sites with missiles PROSPECTS FOR WAR http://www.dawn.com/2002/05/18/int7.htm * US MAY ATTACK IRAQ WITH KURDS' ASSISTANCE Dawn, 18th May, 05 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1423 PARIS, May 17: A consultant to the French Foreign Ministry's Centre for Forecasts and Analysis (CAP: Centre d'analyse et previsions) says that in his opinion there's a 90 per cent chance that the United States will stage an attack on Iraq. Gerard Chaliand, a noted international specialist on guerrilla warfare and terrorism, says that the United States, according to his intelligence, will make use of Iraq's Kurdish population in the eventual unrolling of the US attack. "All will depend," he cautions, "on the American first strike," which he says the US will undertake single-handedly, adding that "and whether the first strike is able to successfully destroy Baghdad's offensive capacities." Only then, he says, will the United States be able to make use of the Kurdish forces which, he implies, it has nurtured on the ground, in preparation for the long-expected attack. "Once the Iraqi army is placed on the defensive," notes Chaliand, "the United States will be able to activate a Kurdish offensive within Iraq with Kurdish troops serving in a backup capacity. He points to the country's presidential guard - which totals some 200,000 men in his estimation - as being one of the main reasons why, in spite of a US attack, President Saddam Hussein looks to have a good chance of remaining in power no matter how forceful a US attack. "The presidential guard" - which he refers to as the "Garde republicaine" - "is a crack elite and includes some of the best warriors in the region." "Which is why," he adds, "I don't really believe that the US - in spite of its determination to attack Iraq, undoubtedly out of political considerations, parliamentary elections being held in November - will change the situation much either in Iraq or in the region, no matter how many forces they send to the front, no matter how superior their firepower." "Another reason why the United States has been thinking twice about undertaking an attack is the perception that a successful offensive against Iraq - if that can be done, that is - would bring about in its wake a partitioning of the country, and the creation, within Iraq, of an independent Kurdistan state." http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/134457225_iraqweapons.html * TOLL COULD BE HIGH IN IRAQ STRIKE by James Dao Seattle Times (from The New York Times), 19th May WASHINGTON ‹ As the Pentagon prepares for a possible invasion of Iraq, military planners say the most complicated problem they face is the chance that President Saddam Hussein might use chemical or biological weapons against U.S. forces and their allies. Though Iraq possessed chemical and probably biological weapons during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, it did not use them, possibly because of U.S. threats of retaliation. But now that President Bush has placed himself behind an effort to change governments in Baghdad, military experts and Pentagon officials say they must assume that Saddam would use every weapon in his arsenal. "This time, once the tanks start rolling, Saddam knows they won't stop until they reach Baghdad," said Kenneth Pollack, director for national-security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and former President Clinton's director for Persian Gulf affairs on the National Security Council. "He has no incentive for restraint." That prospect has colored planning for almost every aspect of a possible invasion, from training and supplies to the location of an assault and the best time of year to begin, military officials said. That Saddam might fire missiles tipped with chemical or biological warheads at Israel and other allies has also prompted discussion of a host of pre-emptive options for destroying his stockpiles or limiting his ability to use them. None of those theoretical problems are considered large enough to deter an attack, senior military officials said. But they are more complex than the threats posed by Saddam's conventional weapons, because of the destructive nature of chemical and biological weapons and the widespread panic they can induce, the officials said. The threat of biological or chemical attacks "plays a huge role" in preliminary planning about Iraq, said a senior military officer involved in the process, which is under way even though President Bush has not decided that any military action should be taken. "Without question, it's the toughest nut to crack," the officer said. Iraq's chemical and biological weapons are thought to include sarin and VX gas ‹ which attack the central nervous system, causing paralysis, convulsions and death ‹ as well as anthrax and botulism, said Charles Duelfer, the former deputy chairman of the U.N. commission that monitored Iraq's chemical- and biological-weapons programs until 2000. To deliver those agents, Iraq has between one dozen and three dozen advanced Scud missiles that can travel up to 375 miles, Iraq analysts said. Iraq is also thought to have drones, artillery shells and bombs capable of dispersing chemical and biological agents. U.S. forces have not been attacked with chemical weapons since World War I, the Pentagon says. Though troops are equipped with chemical suits, trained in the basics of chemical defense and inoculated against certain biotoxins, not even the most seasoned officers have any battlefield experience with chemical or biological weapons. "Just the threat of its use can psychologically help an enemy," said Lt. Col. John Kulifay, chief of doctrine at the Army's chemical school at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. "It causes confusion and takes away your focus." At the chemical school, trainers try to give soldiers a taste of that fear and confusion. Inside a semicircular building, soldiers wearing masks and full-body chemical suits are put into airtight chambers tainted with enough poisonous nerve gas to kill scores of them. Before entering, trainees have a tendency to strap their masks on so tightly that their heads throb. Some break down in tears. "They've seen pictures of what Saddam Hussein did to his own people with chemical weapons," said Staff Sgt. Brad Koland, an instructor. "Knowing you'll be in a room with the same kind of agent will make anybody nervous." So even the threat of chemical weapons can significantly slow the tempo at which units operate, forcing them to conduct repeated chemical- and biological-detection tests and to carry much more water than normal, both for drinking and decontaminating equipment. The chemical suits, though lighter than those used a decade ago, are still very hot and cumbersome, reducing dexterity and lowering a soldier's ability to spot a target by as much as 20 percent, Pentagon studies have shown. The implications for desert warfare are obvious: Pentagon planners say they would prefer to avoid a summer attack because of the health problems and logistical difficulties created by wearing chemical suits in hot weather. The Fort Leonard Wood school trains about 5,000 soldiers a year, enough to fill a specialized brigade and to place chemical-warfare specialists in most combat command units. Altogether, the Army has 17,587 soldiers with this training. Military experts say the Pentagon is also considering a range of pre-emptive strikes to damage Iraq's biological and chemical stores, as well as the weapons to deliver them. The problem, officials said, is finding the stockpiles. Saddam is thought to store those weapons in deeply buried bunkers that are difficult to demolish with non-nuclear weapons. He also moves his weapons about to avoid detection, and may even keep some near civilian areas to discourage attacks that might cause deadly plumes to waft over hospitals, schools and homes, military experts said. To allay Israel's worries about being attacked, the Pentagon may send it anti-missile systems capable of shooting down Scuds. Another proposal calls for quickly seizing western Iraq at the outset of an invasion, to limit Saddam's ability to lob Scud missiles into Israel, military experts said. For all the concerns, there is a broad consensus that the United States is better prepared for chemical and biological attacks than a decade ago. Nevertheless, said Walter Slocombe, Clinton's undersecretary of defense for policy, the use of chemical or biological weapons would be "a horror." "It wouldn't stop the war," he said, "and Saddam won't win the war because of them, and it shouldn't be a show-stopper. But you've got to be ready for casualties." http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/134460571_iraq24.html * U.S. MILITARY ACTION TO OUST SADDAM REPORTEDLY ON HOLD by Thomas E. Rick Seattle Times (from The Washington Post), 24th May WASHINGTON ‹ The uniformed leaders of the U.S. military believe they have persuaded the Pentagon's civilian leadership to put off an invasion of Iraq until next year at the earliest and perhaps not to do it at all, according to senior Pentagon officials. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have waged a determined behind-the-scenes campaign to persuade the Bush administration to reconsider an aggressive posture toward Iraq in which war was regarded as all but inevitable. This included a secret briefing at the White House earlier this month for President Bush by Army Gen. Tommy Franks, who as head of the Central Command would oversee any U.S. military campaign against Iraq. During the meeting, Franks told the president that invading Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein would require at least 200,000 troops, far more than some other military experts have calculated. This was in line with views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who have repeatedly emphasized the lengthy buildup that would be required, concerns about Saddam's possible use of biological and chemical weapons and the possible casualties, officials said. [.....] In a series of meetings this spring, the six members of the Joint Chiefs hammered out a position that emphasizes the difficulties of any Iraq campaign while also quietly questioning the wisdom of a military confrontation with Saddam. "I think all the chiefs stood shoulder-to-shoulder on this," said one officer tracking the debate, which has been intense at times. In one of the most emphatic summaries of the direction of the debate, one top general said the "Iraq hysteria" he detected last winter in some senior Bush administration officials has been diffused. But others familiar with the discussions held by the Joint Chiefs say that it is premature for the uniformed military to declare victory. They note that Rumsfeld has so far mostly stayed out of the debate, leaving that to Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, and Douglas Feith, the Pentagon's top policy official, who are seen inside the Pentagon as the Defense Department's leading hawks on Iraq. In their sessions, the chiefs focused on two specific concerns about any offensive. One was that Saddam, if faced with losing power and likely being killed, would no longer feel the constraints that during the Persian Gulf War apparently kept him from using his stores of chemical and biological weapons. The other was the danger of becoming bogged down in bloody block-by-block urban warfare in Baghdad that could kill thousands of U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. In addition to those tactical concerns, some of the chiefs also expressed misgivings about the wisdom of dislodging an aging, weakened Saddam, who, by some accounts, has behaved better than usual in recent months. They worry that there is no evidence of a clear successor who is any better, and that there are significant risks that Iraq may wind up with a more hostile, activist regime. As the discussions of Iraq policy were culminating earlier this month, Franks briefed the Joint Chiefs and then the president on the outline of the plan he would use if ordered to attack. His plan, which was the only one presented, called for a substantial combat force that was close to half the 541,000 troops deployed for the 1991 Gulf War, which the military refers to as Operation Desert Storm. Some at the Pentagon promptly labeled the Franks plan Desert Storm Lite. By emphasizing the large force that he believes would be needed, Franks' briefings also seemed to rule out an alternate plan that some civilians in the Bush administration had advocated. This approach calls for conquering Iraq with combination of airstrikes and Special Operations attacks in coordination with indigenous fighters. This spring, "the civilian leadership thought they could do this à la Afghanistan, with Special Forces," said a senior officer. "I think they've been dissuaded of that." [.....] http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-306686,00.html * IRAQ INVASION WOULD BE ERROR TO RIVAL HITLER'S ATTACK ON RUSSIA by General Michael Rose The Times, 25th May THE defeat of the Taleban and al-Qaeda armies in Afghanistan, which presented an old fashioned, conventional opposition to the US-led forces, was quick and without undue casualties. But as Wellington said after the British Army had occupied Kabul in 1839, virtually without opposition, ³the difficulties begin where the military successes have ended². Eight months after US forces entered Afghanistan there is little sign that the allies¹ strategy has sufficiently acknowledged that the nature of the conflict has radically changed and that kinetic energy weapon systems ‹ however smart ‹ cannot defeat guerrillas or suppress terrorism. As Wellington added on the British Army's conduct of operations during the First Afghan War, ³countries are not conquered by running up the hills and firing at long distances². Nor would the defeat of terrorism be brought any closer by the overthrow of dictators or corrupt rulers whose states sponsor terrorism. Indeed, direct military action against countries like Iraq or Iran will only add to the numbers prepared to carry out terrorist acts against the West. The Clausewitzian model of warfare, in which a government, people and army sought to achieve victory over the enemy through superior military force, is clearly less relevant to President Bush¹s global war against terrorism than the complex principles that govern modern revolutionary war. Revolutionary and terrorist wars are more about changing the attitudes of people than destroying an army. Victory can be achieved only by isolating the terrorists from the mass of the people and by obtaining sufficient intelligence to limit their military options. Therefore to launch a ground offensive against Iraq at this time would represent an enormous and terrible strategic blunder in the war against terrorism. Even if such a second front could be justified in terms of the suppression of terrorism (and there is no certainty that President Saddam Hussein was involved in the events of September 11), the risks and potentially negative consequences far outweigh any possible benefits. First, any military action would have to achieve total success with great rapidity for the US and its allies: moderate Arab rulers who might be persuaded to turn a blind eye to such an operation could not afford to get involved in protracted operations. If the offensive did not succeed almost at once there would be increasing popular opposition to the military action, especially within neighbouring Arab states, and also in America if serious casualties occurred. Second, there is no viable opposition to Saddam in Iraq as there was to the Taleban in Afghanistan, and even if the Republican Guard were destroyed, it is nonsense to assume that the regime would fall with its destruction. The security apparatus in Iraq controls every level of society and there is little chance of a spontaneous uprising of the Iraqi people after so many years of oppression. Third, a ground offensive in Iraq would be an extremely difficult operation to mount logistically, with long lines of communication and limited, if any, forward operating bases, for the US would not be able to count on the same level of military support as it had during the Gulf War from neighbouring Arab states. Even then it took many months of military build-up before the operation to recover Kuwait could be launched in 1991. Finally, the invasion of Iraq by Americans would represent an enormous propaganda victory for the extremist Islamic movements and make the job of winning the war against terrorism almost impossible. If the present US Administration¹s debate about the feasibility of launching a ground offensive against Iraq is merely designed to put pressure on Saddam in order to get him to comply with UN Security Council resolutions regarding weapons inspections then there may be some merit in the debate. If, on the other hand, the debate is intended by the US as a warning to its allies that such an attack is about to happen, then every effort should be made by those close to President Bush, including our own Prime Minister, to persuade the US not to embark on an operation that would equate in terms of folly with Germany's decision to attack Russia during the Second World War. General Rose was Commander of the UN Protection Force, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1994-95. http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,722053,00.html * BUSH BACKS OFF IRAQ INVASION by Matthew Engel The Guardian, 25th May Senior American military leaders are believed to have turned sharply against any idea of invading Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein, and have started to gain the upper hand in persuading the White House that such a mission should be postponed, preferably indefinitely. The joint chiefs of staff have assured the White House their forces could successfully invade Iraq - or anywhere else - if instructed. But they have warned that such an invasion would be extremely fraught, given the resources depleted by the war in Afghanistan. One of the factors most alarming the generals is the possibility that their troops could be drawn into street fighting in Baghdad, without support from the local population, leading to heavy US casualties. This ties in with longstanding fears that Saddam might use such a moment to unleash biological or chemical weapons. Their instinctive caution has been strengthened by Operation Prominent Hammer, a highly secret war game recently played by senior officials, details of which have begun to leak out. It revealed that shortages of equipment could seriously hamper the operation and endanger the lives of Americans and Iraqi civilians. The air force is the most alarmed of the services, according to analysts, because they are short of planes, trained pilots and munitions. A third of their refuelling planes are reported to be under repair. But there are also concerns about the ability of special forces, currently being used in the Philippines and Yemen as well as Afghanistan, to operate successfully in Iraq at the same time, especially bearing in mind the intelligence services' need to concentrate on homeland security. It is understood that the country's senior generals - the heads of the army, navy, air forces and marines - agreed with the chairman of the joint chiefs, Richard Myers, and his deputy, Peter Pace, in their assessment. General Tommy Franks who, as head of the army's central command, would be in charge of any invasion of Iraq, has told the president that an invasion to overthrow Saddam would require at least 200,000 troops, a number that would seriously stretch even the American military, given the near impossibility of mounting an international coalition. At a Pentagon briefing yesterday, General Pace sounded what was, by military standards, an uncertain trumpet. Turning to his boss, the defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, he assured him: "Your military is ready today to execute whatever mission the civilian leadership of this country gives us to do." But he added: "The fact of the matter is, the more time you have to prepare for that kind of mission, whatever it is, the more elegant the solution could be." The head of the air force, General John Jumper, was blunter. "We never sized ourselves to have to do high force-protection levels at home and overseas at the same time. We're stretched very thin in security forces," he was quoted as saying by the New York Times. The military assessment backs up the messages pouring into the White House from elsewhere. The dangerous situation involving India and Pakistan, as well as Israel and Palestine, unnerves diplomats. World opinion ranges from the wary - in Britain - to the vehemently opposed. Even Turkey, regarded by the Iraq-hawks in Washington as a crucial and loyal ally on this issue, is said by government sources there to be "very nervous indeed" about the idea, mainly because of fears of the political instability that would result. Officials are also getting bleak assessments about the quality of the Iraqi opposition to Saddam Hussein, and about the likely reaction of the Iraqi people should the Americans invade. "The Iraqi people hate Saddam," said Judith Kipper, the Iraq expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, "but they blame the US for their problems. Nobody likes foreign troops marching through their country, especially the Iraqis." The cost of American military ambitions is mounting. And, with the mid-term elections only five months away, analysts believe an invasion is impossible before 2003, and that the White House is already starting to look for a way of reconciling its declared policy of "regime change" in Iraq with the need to back away from what looks increasingly like an untenable position. Some military sources believe that, even though special forces are now thinly stretched, the US will switch to covert operations to try to loosen Saddam's grip on power. This ties in with what President Bush said after his meeting with the German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, in Berlin on Thursday: "I told the chancellor that I have no war plans on my desk, which is the truth, and that we've got to use all means at our disposal to deal with Saddam Hussein." The president added that there would be full consultation with allies and that any action would be handled in a "respectful" way. It remains possible that the US will feel its hand being forced if the Iraqis, sensing American weakness, emerge from their recent quiescence. The Pentagon says Saddam's air defence forces have attacked American and British planes three times in the last three weeks, as they patrolled the southern no-fly zone. General Pace played this down yesterday: "It's consistent with what's been going on for the past several years," he said. BUSH VISIT http://www.sundaytimes.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,7034,4366223%255E401, 00.html * THOUSANDS JOIN ANTI-WAR PROTESTS Sunday Times, 22nd May THOUSANDS of demonstrators marched peacefully through central Berlin today on the eve of a visit by US President George W Bush to protest his plans for taking the war on terrorism to Iraq. Shouting slogans such as "Stop War" and carrying banners reading "Warmongers Unwelcome" and "War is Terror", about 17,000 activists marched down the main Unter den Linden avenue in east Berlin amid heavy security, police said. Organisers put the figure at up to 40,000. More than 240 environmentalist, anti-war and anti-globalisation groups have signed on for anti-Bush rallies under the slogan "Axis of Peace". A handful of anti-Israel demonstrators joined the march, carrying signs calling for an "Intifada until Palestine is free". And in a move unthinkable during the Cold War, when thousands of US troops were stationed in the city cleaved by the Berlin Wall, officials from parties represented in the local and national governments joined the protests. Authorities reported isolated scuffles, including one incident in which a few dozen hecklers stormed the stage at a Greens party rally shouting "Hypocrites!". The party, junior partner in the ruling coalition of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, has taken a line of "critical solidarity" with the Americans in the anti-terror war, reluctantly backing the war in Afghanistan while opposing any military action in Iraq. In another incident, a group of about 100 demonstrators cornered a group of 25 police officers against a fence when the authorities tried to confiscate a banner with an objectionable slogan. Police eventually cleared the protesters. The city of Berlin said it had mobilised 10,000 security personnel for the visit amid fears of violent clashes between police and demonstrators. Officers inspected the bags of protesters, who were generally good-humoured as they marched in warm afternoon sunshine. Bush is expected to try to gain European backing for action against Baghdad in a speech to Germany's lower house of parliament Thursday. He has branded Iraq, Iran and North Korea as part of an "axis of evil" and potential targets of the war on terror. "We all know that a war against Iraq is just around the corner but we want to show that we Europeans do not support this," said Tristan Falk, a 20-year-old mathematics student who joined the demonstration. The leftist Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), which shares in power in the city government and is the successor to the party that ruled communist East Germany, also organised a rally. "I came today to protest against Bush's foreign policy. War is an unacceptable way to solve conflicts," said Martin Harnack, 52, who works for the PDS. "This is not a protest against America or the American people. It is against war." Armin, a 21-year-old political science student, said he had turned out "against the unilateralist, war-hungry and inhumane policies" of the US government. He said he also wanted to send a message to Schroeder that his declaration of "unlimited solidarity" with Washington since the September 11 attacks on the United States was wrong. The conservative opposition has leapt on the protests to call the Greens and the PDS unfit for government and branded the officials taking part "ungrateful" for US support during the Cold War. Schroeder, keen to avoid the embarrassment of street rampages during his guest's visit, warned in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper Sunday: "Anyone who mixes the freedom to protest with violence will run against the full force of the police." Bush is to arrive in the German capital tomorrow evening for a less than 24-hour visit, before continuing on to Russia, France and Italy. http://cgi.wn.com/?action=display&article=13778375&template=worldnews/search .txt&index=recent * BUSH URGES EUROPE TO DEAL WITH SADDAM The Associated Press, 24th May MOSCOW: Bearing words of warning across a continent, President Bush told wary European leaders Thursday ``we've got to use all means at our disposal to deal with Saddam Hussein'' and urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to sever nuclear ties with Iran. ``If you arm Iran, you're liable to get the weapons pointed at you,'' the president said on the eve of signing a historic U.S.-Russian nuclear arms reduction treaty. Bush considers Russia's dealings with Iran the single greatest proliferation threat on the globe, a senior adviser said en route to Moscow. Russia's foreign minister, Igor Ivanov rejected the charges on state-controlled ORT television. ``Quite often, we hear what I want to stress are groundless statements that Russia is supposedly helping Iran,'' he said. ``Unfortunately, Iran is a sore point in our relations. But we always stick to a nonproliferation regime.'' On a day that took him from the old East-West divide of Berlin to the heart of the former Soviet Union, a defiant Bush answered critics of his expanding anti-terror war plans. He denounced anyone who would appease terrorists or ignore threats to Europe. ``We will and must confront this conspiracy against our liberties and against our lives,'' the president said in an address to the Bundestag, Germany's parliament. Hours later, squinting into an evening Moscow sun, Bush strode off Air Force One and stood on a small red carpet fringed in gold as a Russian military band played the American national anthem. Bush and Putin meet Friday to sign a 10-year treaty binding the nations to reduce their nuclear stockpiles by about two-thirds ‹ to a range of 1,700 to 2,200 each. The three-page treaty has a preamble and just five articles. Article III establishes a commission to ensure that the terms are carried out and to handle any other issues that arise, according to a summary obtained by The Associated Press. Hundreds of Communists and leftists staged a noisy protest at the U.S. Embassy here. The German capital was quiet Thursday, as Bush responded to anti-war protesters who clogged city streets a day before ‹ and to European leaders balking at his hopes of toppling Saddam. ``Wishful thinking might bring comfort, but not security. Call this a strategic challenge. Call it, as I do, axis of evil. Call it by any name you choose, but let us speak the truth: If we ignore this threat, we invite certain blackmail and place millions of our citizens in grave danger,'' Bush said to polite applause from lawmakers. Terrorists are ``familiar with the map of Europe'' and could strike the continent next, he said. U.S. officials said Iran recently conducted a successful flight test of its Shahab-3 ballistic missile and intends to develop missiles that could reach targets in Europe. Bush came face to face with European opposition when three lawmakers from the ex Communist party of Democratic Socialism, seated about 20 feet away, held up a banner reading, ``Bush. Schroeder. Stop your wars.'' Moments earlier, the U.S. delegation sat solemnly as parliament president Wolfgang Thierse, who introduced Bush, lectured against U.S. policy on global warming and other issues. In a news conference before the address, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder declined to join Bush in pushing for a government change in Iraq. Separately, Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping suggested Germany did not have the resources to participate in military action against Saddam. ``We have no room for a new engagement,'' Scharping told German television. Before leaving for Moscow, Bush said he would urge Putin to stop dealing with Iran, a country he said is governed by extremists. Russia is helping build a nuclear reactor in Bushehr and scientists have contributed missile expertise to Iran. Russia has told U.S. officials the Bushehr facility is simply a civilian reactor, a response the White House finds questionable. Iran's potential of someday arming deadly missiles is ``going to be a problem for all of us, including Russia,'' Bush said. Russia also has relations with Iraq and North Korea, the other two countries Bush includes in an ``axis of evil.'' Nuclear proliferation is a sour point in a U.S.-Russia relationship that has flourished since Sept. 11. With Europe's support softening in time, Bush sought to mollify critics. ``I have no war plans on my desk,'' he said. Aides said the phrase was technically accurate, despite the president's readiness to use military force against Saddam. ``We've got to use all means at our disposal to deal with Saddam Hussein,'' Bush said with Schroeder at his side. [.....] http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-eur/2002/may/24/052407747.html * U.S., RUSSIA SIGN LANDMARK TREATY Las Vegas Sun, 24th May MOSCOW- President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty in a gilded Kremlin ceremony Friday, and proclaimed it would help cement vastly improved relations between the former superpower rivals. "Russia's a friend and that's the new thinking. That's part of what's being codified today," Bush said after he and Putin put ink to a pact that slashes nuclear arsenals by two-thirds. Putin said, "This is a serious move ahead to ensure international security." Even so, the two nations remained divided over Russia's continued nuclear assistance to Iran, which the Bush administration contends could allow that regime to develop and deploy nuclear weapons more quickly. The arms accord would limit the United States and Russia within 10 years to between 1,700 and 2,200 deployed strategic nuclear warheads, down from about 6,000 apiece now - a two-thirds cut in their respective nuclear arsenals. "Friends really don't need weapons pointed at each other, we both understand that," Bush said. "But it's a realistic assessment of where we've been. Who knows what will happen 10 years from now. Who knows what future presidents will say and how they'll react." Putin said there were legitimate reasons for keeping a smaller nuclear arms supply. "Out there, there are other states who possess nuclear arms," he said. "There are countries that want to acquire weapons of mass destruction." Specifically, Bush expressed concern about Iran. "We spoke very frankly and honestly about the need to make sure that a non-transparent government, run by radical clerics, doesn't get their hands on weapons of mass destruction," Bush said. [.....] Bush later raised the touchy issue of Chechnya, where Russian military operations continue, during a meeting with religious and community leaders at the U.S. ambassador's residence. "The experience in Afghanistan has taught us all that there are lessons to be learned about how to protect one's homeland and, at the same time, be respectful on the battlefield," he said. Bush and Putin also talked to media and business executives, lunched at a palace at the Kremlin and took a walking tour of the sprawling grounds with their wives. Putin and Bush also signed a "strategic framework" document laying out political and security challenges remaining between the two countries, including future cooperation on missile defense. That was a concession to Putin, who had opposed the U.S. decision to bail out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty to pursue such a system. The presidents also issued a series of statements, agreeing to improve economic ties; work more aggressively for peace in the Middle East; allow more people-to-people contact; and cooperate closely on energy and counterterrorism. Bush expressed sympathy with Russia's longstanding efforts to win repeal of the 1974 Jackson-Vanik law, which denies normal trade to communist states that restrict emigration - in Russia's case, Jewish emigration - resulting in far higher tariffs on the goods they produce. Legislation to lift the restrictions is bogged down in Congress. "I hope they act," Bush said. He praised Russia for improved treatment of its Jewish community. Russia also wants the United States to declare it a "market economy" to help ease its entry into the World Trade Organization, the Geneva-based body that sets and polices international trade policy. WTO membership would make Russia a more predictable place for Western investment. Bush used the term "market economy" in referring to Russia, and said it was in U.S. interests for Russia to join the WTO. But, during questioning, he said "it's hard for me to predict a timetable" for that to happen. [.....] http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/a/2002/05/24/MN158558 .DTL * TOUGH TALK FROM BUSH ON EVE OF SUMMIT by Anna Badkhen San Francisco Chronicle, 24th May [.....] "Russia is puzzled by the concept of 'axis of evil,' " said Sergei Rogov, director of the Institute of the USA and Canada think tank, referring to Iran and Iraq, which Bush has lumped together with North Korea as prime targets in the U.S. war on terrorism. "We don't think of these countries as our adversaries." Rather, Russia regards Iran and Iraq in particular as sources of desperately needed revenue. Russia's annual trade with the two nations is about $3 billion, and some analysts estimate that the long-term value of the relationship with Baghdad alone may be as high as $40 billion. The construction contract for the civilian nuclear power plant in Bushehr in southwestern Iran is estimated to be worth $840 million to Russia. Last year, Moscow and Tehran also signed a $300 million-a-year long-term conventional arms export agreement, which makes Iran the third largest customer for Russian weapons, after India and China. This is no small change for Russia, whose national budget for this year is less than $70 billion. However, Bush is expected to offer lucrative inducements for the Kremlin to abandon its relationships with Iran and Iraq. "Russians are going to be very interested if their economic interests are taken into account," a senior U.S. diplomat in Moscow told journalists earlier this month. The diplomat hinted that the United States would seek to ensure that a post- Saddam Hussein regime honors Iraq's $8 billion debt to Moscow, and that Russia's oil contracts with Baghdad -- which account for 40 percent of the exports allowed under the U.N.'s oil-for food sanctions program -- remain in place. The Kremlin also expects Bush to formally declare Russia a market economy and to encourage U.S. businesses to invest here -- moves that some analysts say would help to persuade Russia to stop or at least limit its cooperation with Iraq and Iran. Experts in Washington also say Russia could use a U.S.-Iraq conflict to sell more of its own oil and natural gas reserves in Western markets. Russia is the world's second-largest oil producer, with annual exports of 1.8 billion barrels and 6.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas, the National Review Online reported this week. In addition, Richard Perle, a key Pentagon adviser and former assistant defense secretary, suggested recently that Washington should offer to forgive or restructure the $42 billion of Soviet-era debt held by the United States, Germany and other Western countries in exchange for Moscow's dropping its "business" in Iran. "It's like pornography: You know it when you see it, and defining it is not the key enterprise," Perle said. "If you want to get this solved, don't send a diplomat, send a banker." But Russian analysts say that people like Perle are missing a key dimension of Putin's dilemma -- his political image. Noting that many in Russian political and military establishments already criticize Putin for "selling out to the West" because of his unprecedented acquiescence with the U.S.-led war on terrorism in Central Asia, Ivan Safranchuk, the Moscow director of the Washington-based Center for Defense Information, said the discussion about Iran and Iraq "has to be about attitude and not about money." "Bush can't say: 'Here's the money, now stop cooperating' (with Iran and Iraq). This cynical approach would be a blow to Russia's image and make it look like a country that can be bought," Safranchuk said. The only way to get Putin to shift his stance is to "prove to him that it is wrong to cooperate with Iran and that Iraq poses a threat to the international community," said Safranchuk. Some Moscow experts are equally skeptical about Bush's ability to deliver the economic carrots he is expected to dangle in the next three days. "Investment depends on the internal state of Russia and whether foreign investors want to invest," said Alexei Pushkov, the host of "Postscriptum," a popular news commentary show on Russian television. "Restructuring Russia's debt? It's mostly European money, so how does it depend on Bush? I don't think the U.S. can fulfill these promises." IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS http://www.iranmania.com/news/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=10289&NewsKin d=CurrentAffairs&ArchiveNews=Yes * IRAQ BLAMES IRAN FOR FAILURE TO RESUME AIR LINK Iranmania (from AFP), 20th May BAGHDAD: Iraqi Foreign Minster Naji Sabri accused Iran on Monday of failing to implement an accord to resume the air link between Baghdad and Tehran which was broken when their 1980-1988 war erupted. "Iran has not honoured the agreement signed with Iraq for the resumption of air links between the two capitals," Sabri said, quoted by the weekly Nabdh al-Shabab newspaper. "The agreement envisages four flights (a week) between the two countries and the opening of the respective air companies in Baghdad and Tehran," he said. Sabri announced during a trip to Iran in January that air services would soon be reopened for Iranian pilgrims who want to visit holy places in Iraq revered by Shiite Muslims. Some 30,000 to 50,000 Iranians travel each year to the Shiite shrines of Najaf and Kerbala in southern Iraq, to visit the tombs of Ali and Hossein, the first and third imams in Shia Islam. Iran Air said at the time that the service would be by charter flight to avoid contravening the UN embargo slapped on Iraq in 1990 for invading Kuwait. "Iraq is waiting for some initiative from Iran aimed at improving bilateral relations," Sabri said. The two neighbours have yet to normalise ties after their war, which cost around one million lives, with relations poisoned by a continuing dispute over prisoners of war (POWs). But Sabri said the two former foes had agreed on a settlement to the POWs issue through meetings to organise commissions to oversee their return. "The agreement stipulates that, in the first place, an Iranian delegation meets with a thousand Iraqi prisoners in Iran and that an Iraqi delegation meets around 50 Iranian prisoners in Iraq to make sure they want to be repatriated." More meetings were to follow "until a final settlement of the POWs issue is reached," he said. Tehran has repeatedly denied Baghdad's charges it still holds 29,000 Iraqi prisoners. Iraq has said another 60,000 are missing. Iran claims Iraq still holds 3,200 Iranian soldiers, while Baghdad says it has only 60 Iranians who were involved in a Shiite uprising in southern Iraq after the end of the Gulf War in 1991. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=51675 * KUWAIT SAYS IRAQ NOT COOPERATING ON POWS Gulf News (Reuters), 20th May Undermining tentative moves towards reconciliation, Iraq has failed to determine the fate of Kuwaitis missing since Iraq's occupation of the Gulf emirate 12 years ago, a Kuwaiti official said yesterday. Kuwait, backed by the United Nations, says Iraq is holding at least 600 people, mainly Kuwaitis, missing since Iraq invaded the small Gulf state in 1990. Iraq denies any knowledge of their whereabouts. "Iraq has not done what it said would do and, according to our understanding, has not cooperated with the Arab League. My information is that there is no cooperation over the subject of the prisoners," said Sheikh Salem Al Sabah, head of the Kuwaiti National Committee for the Missing and POW Affairs. But in a cautious move towards reconciliation at an Arab summit in March, both sides agreed to end a war of words and cooperate on the missing, including Iraqis which Baghdad says are unaccounted for since the 1990-91 Gulf crisis. Former defence minister Sabah, speaking after talks with Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, reiterated Kuwait's position that the United Nations should be in sole charge of overseeing the possible handover of its national archives seized by Iraq during the occupation. http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=5/22/02&Cat=2&Num=23 * RAFSANJANI BLASTS WESTERN POLICIES TOWARDS IRAQ Tehran Times, 22nd May Tehran -- Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani on Tuesday criticized the policies of Western countries towards Iraq, charging the "support they gave to Iraq is turning against them," Rafsanjani, who was speaking to students of the academy which provides the Islamic republic's military elite, lambasted Western powers for "the military aid they gave Iraq during its war with Iran," b "During the war, the United States and the West supplied Iraq with the latest armament, information, advanced missile technologies and the means to manufacture weapons of mass destruction," Rafsanjani "Today, part of this aid, including the technology to build chemical weapons, is turning against them," he added. The head of the Expediency Council, Iran's top arbitration body, also slammed Western countries for the sanctions regime the UN slapped on Iraq for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. He condemned the West's accusations against Iran for threatening an oil boycott, arguing Western countries "go even farther, by using food as a political weapon." He was referring to the oil-for-food. http://www.iranmania.com/news/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=10359&NewsKin d=CurrentAffairs&ArchiveNews=Yes * MKO ANGRILY DENIES US CHARGES ON IRAQ LINKS Iranmania, 24th May WASHINGTON, May 23 (AFP) - The Iraqi based armed Iranian opposition group, the MKO on Thursday angrily denied a US accusation that it has been working for Iraqi security services in in its military activities aimed at overthrowing the Islamic regime in Tehran. "The People's Mujahadin organization of Iran dismisses as totally false and worthless an out-of-the-blue allegation against the mujahadin," the group said in a statement. It said it would fight the "new, ridiculous allegation," which it maintains was an attempt by Washington to curry favor with Iran, in US courts. "The fact is that the new allegation and lies are another gift and 'goodwill gesture' to the religious fascism ruling Iran," it said, noting that Tehran has long made similar accusations. In its annual "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report released on Tuesday, the State Department said the group, also known as the Mujahadin-e Khalq, had been working at Baghdad's behest since 1987 when it resettled in Iraq. "Since then, the MKO has continued to perform internal security services for the government of Iraq," the report said, noting incidents beginning in 1991 when it said the group helped suppress Shia and Kurdish uprisings in southern and northern Iraq. The allegation in Tuesday's report is the first time Washington has alleged the People's Mujahadin, which is designated "foreign terrorist organization," has been working in aid of Iraq, although the United States has long said the group is supported by Baghdad. Last year's report made no mention of the group's alleged involvement in the 1991 suppression of the Kurdish and Shia uprisings. http://www.dawn.com/2002/05/24/int13.htm * IRANIAN REBELS IN QUANDARY by Firouz Sedarat Dawn, 24th May, 11 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1423 DUBAI: Iran's once active opposition group, the People's Mujahideen, is keeping a low profile as it ponders its future amid universal aversion to "terrorism" following the September 11 attacks, analysts say. But while searching for an alternative strategy to undermine the Islamic government in Tehran, the Iraq-based rebels are likely to continue limited strikes inside Iran to exploit growing public discontent over economic woes, the analysts said. "The Mujahideen have had to cut back on attacks and focus on their future in a global 'anti terror' mood. They know that their very survival is at stake if America attacks Iraq," said Ali Keshtgar, a Paris-based veteran Iranian opposition activist. The rebels had hoped to gain from US President George W. Bush's move labelling Iran as part of an "axis of evil". But both Iran and the Mujahideen feature in the latest US State Department terrorism list released on Tuesday. Earlier this month the European Union, for its part, added the rebel group, which used to claim almost daily attacks in Iran, to its list of terrorist groups. "How can we, the resistance, be called terrorists alongside the regime we are fighting against? This is a contradiction that the US administration must address," said Mujahideen spokesman Farid Soleimani. He denied that his group had curtailed armed attacks, saying the lull was part of "fluctuations in the level of operations". But many analysts disagree. Western journalists say there has also been a marked decline in the level of media contacts by the publicity-hungry group. Nourizadeh said the Mujahideen may have come under pressure from Baghdad to curb their activities after a January visit to Iran by Iraq's foreign minister as part of a diplomatic drive to garner Muslim opposition to a possible US attack on Iraq. The Mujahideen deny any pressure from Iraq, where they keep military bases near the border with Iran, complete with tanks, helicopters and heavy guns. Nourizadeh said: "I think the Mujahideen fear they could become a target of US attacks because they have in the past helped to put down uprisings against Baghdad by Kurdish and Shia Muslim dissidents." But Geoffey Kemp of the Washington-based Nixon Center said the United States was unlikely to target the Mujahideen, given that the move would benefit Washington's other adversary, Iran. Iraq's support for the Mujahideen and Iran's backing for Iraqi Shia dissidents have been a main obstacle to efforts by the two neighbors to normalize ties.-Reuters NO FLY ZONES http://cgi.wn.com/?action=display&article=13705914&template=baghdad/indexsea rch.txt&index=recent * US PLANE ATTACKS IRAQI AIR DEFENSE The Associated Press, 20th May WASHINGTON: U.S. warplanes bombed an air defense site in southern Iraq after coming under attack by a surface-to-air missile, U.S. officials said Monday. The U.S. attack, which happened on Sunday about 170 miles south of Baghdad, was in a ``no fly'' zone that American and British aircraft monitor regularly over southern Iraq, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold told reporters. Newbold is director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A written statement issued by U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla., said it was the second time in 12 days that Iraqi air defense forces had targeted a U.S. plane monitoring the ``no fly'' zone. The last time U.S. aircraft had attacked a target in southern Iraq was April 15. Newbold said that on Sunday a U.S. pilot reported seeing a missile fired toward his aircraft. Two hours later a U.S. plane fired unspecified precision-guided weapons at a piece of equipment the Iraqis use to help track U.S. and British aircraft. Newbold said there was no information available yet on the effectiveness of the U.S. response. [.....] http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la 000035829may21.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dworld * 4 HURT IN U.S. AIR ATTACK ON SOUTH, BAGHDAD SAYS ILos Angeles Times, 21st May Iraq said four people were wounded when U.S. warplanes attacked civilian targets, while Washington said it had launched a raid after Western jets policing the country's southern "no-fly" zone were threatened. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold told a news briefing at the Pentagon that the U.S. planes had used precision-guided weapons to attack an aircraft-directional finding site. An Iraqi military spokesman said in a statement carried by the official Iraqi News Agency, ''The enemy attacked civilian and service installations in Muthanna province, wounding four people.'' http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2002/05/21/usat-no-fly-zone.htm * DANGER LOOMS IN IRAQ NO-FLY ZONE by Ellen Hale USA TODAY, 21st May [Account of life and opinions of US pilots in Incirlik air base.] OVER THE GREAT ZAB RIVER, Turkey ‹ Sweet 16, a stocky tanker from March Air Reserve Base in California, circles 27,000 feet above the ground a scant few miles off the northern border of Iraq. One by one, American fighter jets nuzzle up to refuel, then dart back over Iraq to prowl the no-fly zone that Saddam Hussein has been ordered for 11 years to avoid. At least once an hour, Iraqi troops shoot at the fighter jets in hope of downing one and capturing their ultimate prize: an American pilot. Earlier this month, Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery blasted at Capt. Wayne "Soda" Straw; the ground fire came within 500 feet of his F-15. "Uncomfortably close," he says. Two weeks ago, F-16 pilot Sean "Stroker" Gustafson got a rare opportunity for revenge when he fired a missile on an Iraqi weapons installation. And Monday, U.S. and British warplanes policing another no-fly zone in southern Iraq shot at an air-defense site in as-Salman. If President Bush carries through with his vow to overthrow Saddam, these pilots, who man Operation Northern Watch out of Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, will be on the front lines. Though there is little hint at Incirlik that such a mission against Iraq is in the works, the vital role the base would need to play is not lost on anyone here. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how important this place is," says Col. Marc Felman, commander of the U.S. Air Force's 39th Wing, responsible for the readiness of crews at Incirlik. "It really is the last bastion before you get to the anti-Western forces, the 'axis of evil' people." [.....] Incirlik is home to two AWACS surveillance aircraft, refueling tankers, dozens of U.S. fighter jets, radar-jamming planes and other aircraft, as well as 2,400 U.S. military personnel. The base also serves as a transit point and first-line medical center for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. (Soldiers injured in Operation Anaconda in early March were brought here to be treated.) The base is protected by more than 1,000 Turkish police and soldiers, who patrol the perimeter and the "Alley," a nearby strip of restaurants, rug shops and jewelry stores that cater to the Americans. U.S. troops have rotated in and out of Incirlik for more than 10 years. They live in tents while here ‹ in the largest tent city anywhere in the Air Force ‹ because Turkey refuses to build permanent housing for them. Turkish officials have also turned down U.S. requests to base high-flying U-2 reconnaissance aircraft at Incirlik. Particularly chafing are the restrictive rules of engagement. U.S. and British jets are allowed to fly only 18 missions a month, and pilots can fire only in self-defense. As it is, they find themselves being shot at frequently but are seldom given the go-ahead to return fire. "It's frustrating," says Col. John Burgess Jr. "This is not the way we trained. You want your young fighters to go win battles for you." The mission has become increasingly complicated over the years, says Brig. Gen. Edward Ellis, commander of Operation Northern Watch. One reason: Commercial planes from regional airlines now routinely pass through the no-fly zone. One flies daily between Baghdad and Mosul. Saddam's regime might be short of military hardware, but it is adept at making the most of what it has. Iraqi forces have taken old weapons such as air-to-air missiles and modified them to shoot at jets from the ground. Using pickup trucks, Saddam's troops move the missiles in minutes so pilots can't pinpoint the source of the attacks. Iraq parks one weapons system within 12 feet of a mosque every day, knowing U.S. and British pilots won't shoot at it, Burgess says. Saddam's "tactics are relatively limited, and his resources are limited, but gosh darn, he's good at using them," Burgess says. "He only has to shoot down one plane and he's won." So far, not a plane or pilot has been lost. The Iraqi leader has had 11 years to "make book" on U.S. forces, Ellis says. "We are making (Iraqi air-defense forces) better than they would be. Unless they are totally inept and incompetent, they are soaking up everything they can learn from us by our operations." Ellis says his greatest fear is having one of his pilots "dragged around Baghdad" after being shot down. For F-16 fighter pilot Gustafson, who recently dropped a missile on one of Saddam's installations, the implications are clear: "They've had a long time to learn our tactics and tricks. If things escalate, it could get pretty ugly out there." http://www.cleveland.com/world/plaindealer/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_sta ndard.xsl?/base/news/1022233357232740.xml * 4 U.S. PLANES ATTACK 2 IRAQI WEAPONS SITES WITH MISSILES The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), 24th May Four U.S. warplanes attacked two Iraqi military sites in the second such airborne missile strike this week, U.S. military officials reported. The actions Wednesday came after Iraqi forces fired surface-to-air missiles at U.S. aircraft patrolling the skies over Iraq for the third time in 15 days, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla. The command oversees U.S. military forces that monitor Iraq's southern "no-fly" zone. British aircraft also participate in the monitoring mission, established over southern and northern Iraq since shortly after the 1991 Gulf War. "This action was taken to reduce the threat to the coalition aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly zone," the statement said. "There have been no less than three attempts to destroy a coalition aircraft in the last 15 days." Two of the four U.S. planes struck an Iraqi aircraft- and missile-control center near the city of Talil. Two other U.S. warplanes attacked an anti-aircraft missile system positioned near the city of Nasiriyah. Both strikes occurred around 5:15 p.m. EDT Wednesday. The Central Command said the anti-aircraft missile system was south of the 32nd parallel, outside the area in which Iraq is supposed to have defensive military systems. On Monday, U.S. warplanes bombed an Iraqi air defense site in southern Iraq after coming under attack by a surface-to-air missile. Before that, U.S. aircraft had not attacked a target in southern Iraq since April 15. The Central Command said Wednesday's attacks led to the destruction of the two Iraqi targets but also said assessments of the damage was continuing. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk