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[casi] Saddam Plans Urban Campaign if US Attacks

>From Reuters

Saddam Plans Urban Campaign if US Attacks -LA Times

August 08, 2002 04:42 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein plans to avoid
open desert fighting and mass his forces in major cities in case of a U.S.
invasion, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.

The strategy was outlined in general terms to Iraqi regional officials,
unnamed current and former U.S. intelligence officials told the newspaper. The
statements were relayed from Iraq to U.S. intelligence operatives through Iraqi
defectors and opposition groups.

"Hussein's comments on a defensive strategy represent the first indication of
how he intends to respond to any U.S. attack. A former U.S. intelligence official
said he was told of Hussein's comments during recent meetings with Iraqi
dissidents and opposition groups in London. A U.S. defense intelligence official
said American intelligence has collected similar information and considers it
reliable," the Times reported.

Saddam's strategy appears to center on drawing U.S. forces into Baghdad and
other cities, where his equipment and troops would be surrounded by civilians and
less exposed to United States warplanes, which played a major part in the Gulf

"Military targets in Baghdad are sprinkled among a population approaching 5
million. Hussein has constructed an elaborate warren of underground bunkers and
escape routes," the Times reported.

President Bush and his national security team were briefed on several options
on Monday by Gen. Tommy Franks, head of U.S. Central Command.

Among those options was a plan in which the United States would strike
Baghdad first in an attempt to separate Iraq's military forces and equipment and
cause a collapse of the regime, the newspaper said.

Experts told the Times it was difficult to assess how long it would take for
U.S. forces to seize Baghdad, partly because of questions about the potential
performance and loyalty of Saddam's elite troops and intelligence agencies.

President Bush promised on Wednesday to be "patient and deliberate" in
considering options concerning Iraq but signaled that the United States remained
committed to toppling a dictator accused of developing weapons of mass destruction
and supporting terrorism.

"These are real threats, and we owe it to our children to deal with these
threats," Bush said in a speech at Madison Central High School in Madison,

In Baghdad on Thursday, Saddam said he was not frightened by U.S. threats and
his country was ready to repel any attack.

"There is no other choice for those who use threat and aggression but to be
repelled even if they were to bring harm to their targets," Saddam said in a
22-minute taped televised speech to the nation.

"I say it in such clear terms so that no weakling should imagine that when we
ignore responding to ill talk, then this means that we are frightened by the
impudent threats ... and so that no greedy tyrant should be misled into an action
the consequences of which are beyond their calculations," he said.

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