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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] WASHINGTON/BAGHDAD (Jan. 11) - Details of a U.S.- Iraqi skirmish in cyberspace, in which Baghdad blocked U.S. e-mails aimed at key figures, emerged on Saturday after Washington ordered more troops to the Gulf for a possible war. U.S. defense officials said the military had begun an e-mail campaign urging military and civilian leaders in Iraq to turn against President Saddam Hussein and reveal the location of any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. News of the cyber-campaign, part of a psychological war mounted by elite U.S. Special Operations, came as U.N. weapons inspectors flew by helicopter to scour more sites in Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction. The inspectors have urged the United States to provide more specific intelligence to help pinpoint any banned Iraqi weapons before they give a January 27 report on two months of searches. Officials have said President Bush has yet to decide on any invasion of Iraq over the alleged banned weapons, but Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered nearly 35,000 more troops on Friday to the Gulf as part of a build-up aiming to more than double the 60,000 U.S. troops now in the region. In the campaign on the Internet, the e-mails in Arabic urge Iraqis not to follow orders to use chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, to identify where they are located by signals or render the weapons ineffective. The state-controlled e-mail service is available only to a small number of Iraqis, mainly government officials, senior public servants, academics and scientists. Iraqis began to receive the e-mails last week, visitors there said. Iraqi authorities have blocked the e-mail service access in an apparent attempt to stop the messages from spreading inside the country, visitors said. HELICOPTER SEARCHES Iraq denies it has any banned weapons programs. Washington says it does and that if Iraq continues to deceive, it would be in ''material breach'' of U.N. Security Council resolutions and that could mean war. Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, and his colleague Hans Blix, chief of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), told the U.N. Security Council on Thursday there were no ''smoking guns'' to prove Iraq had banned weapons. Top officials in Europe have spoken out against a rush to war on the basis of inconclusive weapons inspections. ''Without proof, it would be very difficult to start a war,'' European Union foreign policy coordinator Javier Solana said. The U.N. arms inspectors flew by helicopter to an oil facility west of Baghdad on Saturday, the second aerial inspection since they resumed work in Iraq on November 27. They also searched seven other sites, their visits including a trip to a university in the town of Tikrit, birthplace of Saddam and 125 miles north of Baghdad. On the diplomatic front, Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday for talks on the Iraq crisis. Before heading for Riyadh, Gul told reporters in Ankara: ''We are a country in the region and one of the countries that will suffer the most (in case of a war),'' he said. ''It's to our interest if the crisis ends up without a war. To be able to achieve this, every country in the region has a responsibility, but the greatest responsibility belongs to Iraq.'' Saudi Arabia and Turkey have publicly opposed a war against Iraq and both have so far declined to grant Washington permission to use bases on their territory for military strikes. In Algeria, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz held talks with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika as part of a drive to drum up Arab support for Baghdad. BRITISH TASK FORCE U.S. ground forces ordered to deploy so far are substantially short of the more than 250,000 sent to the region for the 1991 Gulf War but the current shift could grow more rapidly in January and February. Britain is also mobilizing its forces alongside the Americans despite grave doubts within Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour party. The flagship of Britain's navy, the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, set sail on Saturday at the head of the largest UK amphibious task force deployed since the 1982 Falklands War. The 16-ship flotilla is officially sailing for long-planned naval exercises in the Far East, but British officials say they have upgraded the force in case it is needed in Iraq. In Vienna, OPEC producers prepared for emergency talks on Sunday that will decide how far to open the oil taps to prevent a price shock as war looms in Iraq. Reut14:39 01-11-03 Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken reliance thereon. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL. Roger Stroope Treat others not as you wish to, but as they wish to be... Austin College, Sherman Texas _______________________________________________ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk