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[casi] News, 13-17/7/02 (3)

News, 13-17/7/02 (3)

*  Jordan invites Iraq to check if US military is on its bases for attack
*  Arab League Chief Says Hands-Off Iraq
*  Iraq/business Jordan/ business unitedstates atlarge/business biz
*  Hiding Jordan
*  Qatar in dilemma over U.S. threat to Iraq
*  Bahrain Opposed to U.S. Attack on Iraq
*  Shahrudi [head of the Iranian judiciary] warns Iraqi opposition against
US "trap"
*  Jordan opens door to air base amid reports it's housing U.S. troops
preparing Iraq strike
*  U.S. and Turkey at odds over Iraq
*  No State for Iraqi Kurds, U.S. Aide Assures Turks


*  U.S. air assault injured 7, says Iraqi military
*  U.S-British force hits Iraqi sites


Arabic News, 13th July

The US have completed its negotiations with four countries in the Middle
East in order to use their territories during its attack against Iraq,
especially Jordan in order to topple its President Saddam Hussein, according
to the Lebanese daily Assafir.

The paper explained quoting diplomatic sources that the "US has completed
intensive negotiations with several countries including Jordan, Kuwait and
Turkey on using its territories and lands to carry out its attacks against
Iraq and to topple the Iraqi President Saddah Hussein." The same sources
stressed to Assafir that it "was agreed with Jordan to implement a military
plan according to which the American forces will enter by land to Iraq." The
plan states the paticipation of 5,000 soldiers from the Jordanian army, most
of them from Bani Hassan tribe after they carried out special military

Meantime, the Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marwan Muasher denied
these news, stressing that these news are false.

The Jordanian minister asked the Iraqi ambassador in Amman to visit any
military base throughout the Jordanian territories so as Baghdad will make
sure that Jordan has no link to any possible US attack against Iraq.

by Alan Beattie
Financial Times, 14th July

If and when the US launches an attack on Iraq, Saddam Hussein's neighbours
in Turkey will have an uncomfortably close view.

Paul Wolfowitz, US deputy defence secretary, on Sunday met the Turkish
government in Ankara in order to, as one senior Pentagon official put it,
"get Turkey's thoughts on Iraq". But with the Turkish government paralysed
by a political crisis whose likely denouement is still unclear, this is not
an ideal time for the long-standing diplomatic and military relationship
between the US and Turkey to endure the severe test of launching a campaign
to topple Mr Hussein.

Unless the crisis can be resolved swiftly, allowing Turkey to resume hauling
itself slowly out of its economic mess, the US may be forced into some
difficult and expensive decisions.

The meeting in Turkey was portrayed as a routine consultation with an ally.
Denying that any plans for Iraqi regime change were finalised, the Pentagon
official said the Turks always had "a lot of important insights" to bring.
The US-Turkey relationship reaches beyond political alliance to military

Significantly, Turkey last week signed up to the Pentagon's joint strike
fighter project, committing itself to $175m (€177m) of investment over a
decade and facilitating easier joint military operations with the US.

This level of co-operation, though bringing Turkey military aid and support,
will also make it a likely target for Iraqi missiles in the event of a
US-inspired attempt to remove Mr Hussein. A stable and supportive Turkish
government at the time will be an important element in the US's plans.

The US has declined to get involved in Turkey's crisis, with State
Department officials referring to it as a "domestic political matter".
Nevertheless, there is little doubt that if the current uncertainties
threatened to destabilise the alliance, for example by bringing Islamists
into government, they would be highly concerned.

The defining decisions for the US may come if Turkey's difficult course of
economic reform is derailed.

Struggling with a large debt burden, much of it held by the country's own
banks, Turkey is the International Monetary Fund's largest single borrower,
with $18bn of debt outstanding and more on the way. In return, the Turks are
painfully shoring up the country's fiscal position, cleaning up the banking
system and controlling inflation.

So far, Turkey has surprised the IMF and its dominant rich shareholder
countries, including the US, by how closely it has adhered to the IMF

But although it has given itself a little breathing space by driving
interest rates below target levels before the crisis erupted, Turkey's heavy
debt burden means it is acutely vulnerable to any rise in borrowing costs as
a result of falling confidence in the government. And since Turkey already
starts from a position of massive IMF exposure, the potential for the US to
lean on the multilateral lender further to bail out a strategic ally is

So far, there has been little appetite among rich countries, including the
US, for replacing the IMF's lending with bilateral assistance of their own.

Given the importance of Turkey to the US's campaign to remove Mr Hussein
from power in Baghdad, however, this attitude may not survive.

Tehran Times, 15th July

AMMAN -- Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa on Sunday said the pan-Arab
organization and its 22 members were opposed to any U.S. strike on Iraq.

"The Arab League is a gathering of Arab countries and our Arab position is
clear... We cannot back any attack on Iraq or on any Arab country," Mussa
told reporters in Amman, the state Petra news agency reported.

He was speaking after meeting with Jordanian Prime Minister Ali abu Ragheb
that focused on the Middle East crisis, especially the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict, and U.S. threats to change the regime in Iraq over the issue of
weapons of mass destruction.

Abu Ragheb meanwhile reiterated his country's firm rejection of a recent
stream of U.S., British and Lebanese press reports suggesting that Jordan
could help the United States attack Iraq, the agency said.

"The reports saying that Jordanian territory and air space could be used to
carry out a military strike on Iraq are totally untrue," said Abu Ragheb,
denying anew that any U.S. troops were deployed in Jordan.

Mussa also expressed his "total conviction that Jordan, like all other Arab
countries, is attached to the decision of the (March) Arab summit that
rejected any military action against any Arab country," Petra said.

U.S. President George W. Bush has renewed a pledge to use "all tools" at his
disposal to oust Saddam, whom Washington accuses of developing weapons of
mass destruction, AFP reported.

Mussa arrived earlier Sunday in Jordan to attend the opening ceremony of
Amman cultural capital of the Arab world -- a title bestowed on the
Jordanian capital by the UN Education, Science and Culture Organization for

Hoovers (Financial Times), 15th July

Amman - Iraq and the United States continue to be the Kingdom's largest
trade partners according to the Central Bank of Jordan's monthly report. The
report showed that trade with Iraq in the first two months of 2002 amounted
to JD100.3 million, while its trade with the US was valued at JD80.2
million. Germany ranked third with JD39.4 million, the report said. Iraq and
Jordan are bound by a trade protocol in addition to the oil-for- food
agreement which Iraq signed with the United Nations.

The deal allows the sanctions-hit nation to export oil in return for
humanitarian purchases. According to the report Jordan exported goods worth
JD35.3 million to Iraq in January and February this year, while imports
amounted to JD64.9 million, mostly oil and its derivatives. US exports to
Jordan in the same period totaled JD26.9 million and imports were valued at
JD53.3 million, the report said. Products manufactured in the Qualified
Industrial Zones (QIZs) enjoy duty free access to the US markets.

India and China are among the Kingdom's major Asian markets, with trading
volumes of JD24.1 and JD30 million, the report showed. Trade with Saudi
Arabia ranked second among Arab countries, with the trade volume totaling
JD34.2 million, according to the report. Exports to Israel in the first two
months of the year rose to JD12.4 million compared to JD10.5 million during
the same period of 2001, the report said.

by William M. Arkin
Washington Post, 15th July

William M. Arkin, the author of ten books and numerous studies on military
affairs, is a consultant to numerous organizations, and a frequent
television and radio commentator. He was an Army intelligence analyst during
the 1970's, a nuclear weapons expert during the Cold War, and pioneered
on-the-ground study of the effects of military operations in Iraq and
Yugoslavia. In 1994, his "The U.S. Military Online: A Directory for Internet
Access to the Department of Defense" was published. His Dot.Mil column,
launched in November 1998, appears every other Monday on
E-mail Arkin at

What's up with Jordan? Since the end of the Gulf War in 1991, the Hashemite
Kingdom has methodically increased its military cooperation with the United
States, conducting bilateral exercises, hosting ship visits, even allowing
U.S. aircraft conducting patrols over Iraq to fly from its airbases. But
then September 11 happened, and President Bush declared Iraq's membership in
the "axis of evil," and Jordan has been pretending that it doesn't know the
United States, or at least not militarily.

In the past two weeks, there have been a slew of stories in the U.S. and
British press speculating about Jordan's role in a new war with Iraq.
Minister of Information and government spokesman Muhammad Adwan responded
July 7, saying that the reports are part of some "propaganda campaign
against Jordan."

"We refuse to be a launching-pad or arena for any act against our brotherly
state Iraq or to use our soil and airspace to attain this objective," Adwan

The Jordanian government denied the existence of any foreign forces on
Jordan territory. Minister of Foreign Affairs Marwan Muasher met with the
Iraqi ambassador last week to reiterate the Jordanian stance against using
force at all against Iraq.

Since the U.S. military is currently building up military capabilities in
Jordan, and the use of Jordanian territory as a launching point for
operations is included in compartmented war plans being prepared for Desert
Storm II, there are four possible alternatives:

The first is that Jordan is lying.

The second is that the United States is doing exactly what the reports have
stated, but Jordan hasn't been told yet.

The third is that nothing is happening but the administration is so
incompetent, it has been unable to convince even one of its closest friends
to publicly support its upcoming war.

And then there is the fourth explanation: What we are seeing in Jordan, what
is already being played out in Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and has
been par for the course in Saudi Arabia for more than a decade: that we
don't really care what Jordan says in public as long as it does what we want
secretly. The core foreign policy of the United States in the war on terror
has now emerged: The United States will ally itself with anyone who will be
a part of the obsessive covert war.

Here is what kind of friend Jordan is. On September 22, 1999, King Abdullah
II of Jordan became the first monarch ever to fly a U.S. Navy airplane when
he piloted an American HH 6OH helicopter from Aqaba to the deck of the USS
John F. Kennedy in the Red Sea.

Abdullah's pre-September 11 privileges were hardly out of line with those of
his father, King Hussein. Two years earlier, the first modified air defense
fighter version of the U.S. F-16 fighter that was ever sold overseas touched
down at Muafaq Al-Salti Air Base of the Royal Jordanian Air Force(RJAF). The
initial batch of RJAF F-16 pilots received training in the United States
with the Arizona Air National Guard at Tucson, Arizona. Subsequent groups of
pilots and maintenance technicians followed up for training in the U.S.
under the "Peace Falcon" program.

The decision to select Muafaq Al-Salti to house the F-16s was an easy choice
for Jordan. The newest Jordanian air base has plenty of good facilities and
is centrally located. What is more, the United States knows the base well.
In the mid-1990's Americans were constant visitors, conducting exercises and
operating combat aircraft, even using Jordan as a testing pad for the
deployment of the new "air expeditionary force" and flying patrols over
no-fly zones in Iraq from Jordan as part of Operation Southern Watch.

At the base that the United States calls Al Azraq, 50 miles east of Amman on
the road to Baghdad, munitions began to be stored for American use in the
mid-1990's as well. Under the pre-September 11 plan, American money has been
spent to upgrade runways, taxiways, and munitions facilities at Al Azraq and
at a second Jordanian base, Al Jafr. Jordan base construction for bilateral
"exercises" is considered the highest priority for U.S. Central Command in
its list of FY 2003 projects submitted to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

During the past decade, U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps and special
operators have had a regular series of military exercises and operations
with their Jordanian counterparts. They include: Infinite Acclaim. Infinite
Moonlight. Infinite Shadow. Early Victor. Eagle Resolve. Eager Tiger. Eager
Light. Phoenix Scirocco.

Since September 11, some of those operations, such as the large scale Eager
Light exercise scheduled for 2002, have been cancelled. Others have just
disappeared from view.

Writing in Foreign Affairs recently Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
said that U.S. policy in the war on terrorism is "accepting help from any
country, on a basis comfortable for its government, and allowing that
country to characterize how it is helping (instead of our creating that
characterization for it)..."

In other words, it doesn't matter who the country (or indeed, in Afghanistan
or Pakistan, who the warlord) is. It doesn't matter how many strings are
attached. It doesn't matter how much our "allies" publicly deny cooperation
or indeed if they stab the United States in the back. It doesn't matter how
much this new era of covert action feeds negative and conspiratorial beliefs
in the Arab world of regime or American duplicity.

To be clear, this didn't just start in the Bush administration: U.S. sailors
were put in danger in Yemen in 1999 as part of the U.S. covert
counter-terrorism foreign policy objectives there. The visiting Navy vessel
and its crew had no idea the degree to which U.S. intelligence had
identified Yemen as an Al Qaeda center, and the special forces and CIA
operators who were given access to the country obviously failed to fulfill
their number one mission, which is to protect Americans.

Today Jordan is part of the same CIA/special operations game. Amman is
swimming with Iraqi émigrés and is a center for the external Iraqi
"opposition," such as it is. It is undoubtedly swimming with American
operators getting ready for the big one as well. If the U.S.-Jordan
cooperation can't survive the light of day, then how does the administration
expect to fight an Iraq war, let alone be successful in the more narrowly
focused war on terrorism?

Gulf News, 15th July

Qatar opposes any attack against Iraq, but fears that a rejection of a
possible U.S. request to use its territory as a military launch pad would
harm its ties with Washington, officials and diplomats said yesterday.

They said the stated policy of the Gulf Arab peninsula state was not to
allow the use of its soil for attacks against any fellow Muslim or Arab

But they added that if the United States pushed hard it would be difficult
for Qatar to resist since they look to their powerful ally for protection.

"Despite a general aversion to the U.S. Middle East policy which is
blatantly pro-Israel and lacks even-handedness, Gulf states look at the U.S.
as the ultimate guarantor of their security and stability, and they would
not like to alienate their powerful ally," said a senior Arab diplomat.

U.S. President George W. Bush has vowed to use "all tools" to oust Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein, accused by Washington of trying to rebuild weapons
of mass destruction.

Qatari officials said Doha has not yet received a request from the United
States to use its territory. "But if and when it comes, it will be a very
critical moment for the leadership to accept or reject the request," said an

The United States was the first country that recognised Qatar's Emir His
Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani when he took power in a white
palace coup seven years ago.

"Iraq is a sisterly Arab state with which the people of Qatar share a common
history and cultural bonds. There could be a popular backlash if Qatari soil
is used by the U.S. for the destruction of Iraq," the official told Reuters.

"But at the same time, the U.S. is an important political, economic and
military ally with which Qatar has various bilateral agreements and it would
be difficult to jeopardise those agreements," he said.

Diplomats said one of them was a security pact, which includes U.S. access
to air and naval bases in Qatar, close to Bahrain, home to the headquarters
of the U.S. Navy's fifth fleet.

Qatar also hosts a large U.S. military warehouse where Washington has
prepositioned heavy arms and equipment for a full mechanised brigade.

The two countries are expanding Al Udeid airbase, 45 km southwest of Doha,
which has a 4,500-metre runway, one of the longest in the Middle East. It is
also designed to provide shelter against biological and chemical attacks.

The $1 billion expansion is half complete. U.S. forces have used the airbase
to launch raids and surveillance aircraft as part of Washington's declared
war on terror in Afghanistan that began in October to flush out Osama bin
Laden's Al Qaida network, blamed for terror attacks.

At present, the base houses about 3,000 U.S. troops and 40 fighter jets in
makeshift camps.

But the final plan is to station 10,000 troops and 120 planes, diplomats

The Qatari officials said their country's decision on whether to allow the
U.S. forces to use Al Udeid airbase would depend on the position adopted by
its partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

"Although we are all bound by our bilateral treaties with the U.S., a
concerted and well considered approach will be in the interest of all
parties concerned," said one official.

The United States has about 25,000 troops deployed at air bases in Kuwait,
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.

Tehran Times, 17th July

MANAMA -- Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, voiced opposition
Tuesday to any U.S. military strike on Iraq, saying the sentiment was shared
in the Arab world and by several European leaders.

"We do not support recourse to force against Iraq, whether the strike be
American or any other. This position is shared by our Arab brothers and
several European leaders," Defense Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmad
al-Khalifa told "Al-Ayyam" newspaper as cited by AFP.

"We support the territorial integrity of Iraq and the unity of the Iraqi
people. We are working so that this people live in security and prosperity.
It's for the people to decide their future.

We don't want to get mixed up in the internal affairs of Iraq," Sheikh
Khalifa said.

U.S. President George W. Bush has renewed a pledge to use "all tools" at his
disposal to oust Iraqi counterpart Saddam Hussein, whom Washington accuses
of developing weapons of mass-destruction.

The prospect of U.S. military action was further heightened after talks
between Baghdad and the United Nations on the return of UN weapons
inspectors to Iraq broke down earlier this month.

Sheikh Khalifa said relations between Bahrain, which Washington has
designated a "major non-NATO ally," and the United States had not been
negatively affected by the September 11 attacks. "Our strategic interests
mean we have to cooperate with countries like the United States, considered
today an influential country which has contributed in the past to solving
crises like that in Kuwait and Iraq and others."

Between 4,000 and 5,000 Americans reside in Bahrain, the majority of them
military personnel with the Fifth Fleet.

U.S. military personnel have been stationed here since Manama signed an
agreement with Washington in the early 1970s granting the U.S. Navy
facilities at the Al-Jufair naval base east of the capital.

Iranmania, 15th July

DAMASCUS, July 14 (AFP) - The head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmud
Hashemi Shahrudi, on Sunday warned Iraqi opposition groups seeking to topple
President Saddam Hussein against falling into an "American trap."

"If the Iraqi opposition represents the Iraqi people ... it can benefit from
the help of others on condition it does not fall into the American trap,"
Hashemi-Shahrudi told a press conference in Damascus.

"All people have a right to self-determination," he added, without
specifically saying Iran, which fought a devastating eight-war against Iraq
in the 1980s, would be open to helping the opposition oust the Iraqi

"We are worried because the United States wants to exploit (the opposition)
to achieve their own interests in the region," he said.

Hashemi-Shahrudi also rejected the notion that the United States, which has
been key in keeping UN sanctions imposed on Iraq since its 1990 invasion of
Kuwait, was seeking to help ordinary Iraqis.

"While Saddam's regime does not represent the people and his regime has had
terrible consequences in Iraq and the region, we completely reject American
intervention (against Iraq) which we would consider an aggression," he said.


Boston Herald (from Associated Press), 15th July

AZRAQ, Jordan - Jordan opened up a desert air base to reporters on Monday as
it denied reports the facility was being refurbished to house U.S. troops
preparing to strike neighboring Iraq.

``We are frustrated with these reports,'' base commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad
Amin al Quran told 25 foreign reporters during a government-guided tour of
the base.

Al-Quran also indicated that Jordan wouldn't participate in any capacity
should the United States attack Iraq. The Hashemite kingdom, which borders
Iraq to the north and Israel to the west, also sat out the Persian Gulf War
in 1991.

``We didn't participate in attacking Iraq when others did, so how can we do
that now?'' al Quran said.

``Jordan's policy advocates resolving conflicts in peaceful means and
through dialogue,'' he added.

The tour comes as U.S. officials weigh options to topple Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein. The idea has made Jordan uneasy; the government has had to
balance its friendship with the West with anti-American sentiments at home.

The Times of London last week said ``major refurbishment'' was under way to
accommodate U.S. troops at Muafaq al-Salti Air Force Base, 60 miles east of
the Jordanian capital Amman and 155 miles west of the Iraqi frontier.

And last week, Prince Hassan, the uncle of King Abdullah II, attended a
London forum of Iraqi opposition leaders who discussed their role in a
possible U.S.-led effort to oust Saddam.

Hassan, a one-time heir to the Jordanian throne, said he attended the
meeting as an observer and did not represent the government.

Still, Jordanian opposition elements remain suspicious.

The Islamic Action Front warned on Monday that a U.S. strike on Iraq was
part of ``American schemes against the Islamic and Arab nations.''

Jordanians are sympathetic to Iraqis, whose government claims U.N. sanctions
imposed following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait have killed thousands of

Iraq was Jordan's largest foreign trade partner in 2001, importing Jordanian
goods worth about $700 million. Jordan receives 90,000 barrels of Iraqi oil
daily at preferential prices under a U.N.-sanctioned deal.

Reporters toured most of the base's facilities, which include houses,
missile shops, warehouses, maintenance hangars, sand-covered aircraft
bunkers, a runway, staff apartments and entertainment facilities. There were
no signs of new construction.

Aircraft seen were mainly American F-16s, donated in 1997 as part of a $300
million aid package to reward Jordan for signing a 1994 treaty with Israel.

Although the aircraft were American and much of the equipment was purchased
from the United States, ``we don't have American troops here,'' al-Quran

CNN, 16th July

ANKARA, Turkey -- A split is reported to have emerged between the U.S. and
Turkey over possible military action to remove Saddam Hussein from power in

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz met Turkish Prime Minister
Bulent Ecevit for talks on Tuesday, as part of a trip aimed at gauging the
level of support America can expect from Turkey -- a staunch ally during the
Gulf War and the U.S.' war on terror in Afghanistan.

But Turkish diplomatic sources told CNN's Jerrold Kessel that "something of
a difference, and perhaps in part, a sharp difference of opinion" exists
between the two parties.

The sources added that Ecevit, whose coalition had lost its parliamentary
majority only hours earlier, told Wolfowitz that he believed military action
in Iraq would "lead to chaos in the region, would be destabilising, and cost
Turkey very dearly in economic terms," Kessel said.

Turkey is already economically fragile relying on a $16 billion loan from
the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. (Full Story)

Wolfowitz is understood to have told Ecevit he "understands that Turkey has
quite a legitimate interest in the region, and that the U.S. very much
understands the interest," Kessel said.

But he also made it clear, CNN heard from the Turkish diplomatic sources,
that the U.S. did not want to see Hussein continuing in power and that an
operation was very possible.

"Whether Turkey supports it or not, the U.S. is bound to go ahead with such
a policy," Kessel continued, quoting the source.

But he added the information had only come from Turkish sources and not from
the U.S. side.

A difference of opinion would be a break from recent close relations.


Washington Post (from Associated Press), 17th July

ANKARA, Turkey, July 16 -- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz met
with Turkish leaders today to gather support for possible military action
against neighboring Iraq.

Wolfowitz met with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit as well as Defense Minister
Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, the chief of staff and other top military officials.

Wolfowitz sought to allay one of Turkey's chief concerns about any attempt
to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein -- that it would lead to the
creation of a breakaway Kurdish state in northern Iraq. Turkey has fought
for 15 years against Kurdish rebels within its borders and does not want the
conflict to flare up again if Iraqi Kurds achieve statehood after Hussein's

"We've been very clear . . . expressing our firm opposition to a Kurdish
state in northern Iraq," Wolfowitz said after talks with Ecevit.

Before his talks with Wolfowitz, Cakmakoglu said Turkey did not "at this
moment" approve of any U.S. attack on Iraq. "We respect Iraq's territorial
integrity, political unity and sovereignty," state-run TRT television quoted
Cakmakoglu as saying.



Bergen Record, New Jersey (from The Associated Press), 14th July

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Seven Iraqi civilians were injured in U.S. air raids in
southern Iraq on Saturday, a military spokesman said.

The unidentified spokesman said warplanes bombed "civil and service
installations" in Dhi Qar province, 211 miles south of Baghdad, the official
Iraqi News Agency reported.

The Iraqi spokesman said seven civilians were wounded, but did not elaborate
on the extent of their injuries.

A statement released by U.S. Central Command headquarters at MacDill Air
Force Base in Florida said allied aircraft fired "precision-guided weapons
to strike air defense facilities at approximately 3:50 a.m. EDT."

The strikes were launched after Iraqi defense units fired on coalition
aircraft, the statement said. The incident comes as the United States weighs
options to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Iraqi opposition leaders are also meeting in London to discuss their role in
any bid to oust Saddam.

by Pauline Jelinek
The Plain Dealer (Associated Press), 16th July

After cutting back for a while, Baghdad is again attacking coalition
aircraft over the "no-fly zones" at the same rate it did before the Sept. 11
attacks on America, a top U.S. general said yesterday.

The U.S-British coalition patrolling the zones bombed Iraq sites twice
during the weekend in response to two such Iraqi attacks, said Air Force
Brig. Gen. John W. Rosa Jr., deputy director for operation at the Joint
Chiefs of Staff. The bombing followed a coalition strike Saturday on another
Iraqi air defense facility in the south.

Both strikes were launched after Iraqi air defense units fired on coalition
aircraft, and they follow a number of such incidents in recent weeks,
Pentagon officials said.

At the State Department, spokesman Richard Boucher endorsed a weekend call
by exiled Iraqi military officers for a revolt against Saddam Hussein.

"It sounds like a good idea," he said.

Boucher said the London meeting of the exiled officers was a useful tool in
helping the Iraqi community to move closer to the goal of a better future
for the Iraqi people after Saddam Hussein.

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