Imminent U.S. Attack Against Iraq : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Is this the signal that the Middle East "volcano" is about to "erupt"?


White House plans multi-pronged offensive against Hussein --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Copyright, Fair Use for Educational and Research Purposes Only An imminent U.S. attack against Iraq will not be limited to air strikes and missile barrages but involve ground forces, according to sources quoted by the DEBKA-Net-Weekly intelligence service.

U.S. Marines who trained in desert warfare last month were flown to the region this week, according to the report. The Marines were trained in air landings of men, armor and artillery and in combined ground and air operations. They were told in no uncertain terms they could be called upon to move against Iraqi army forces in eastern Jordan and western Iraq.

Signs in Riyadh, Kuwait, Jerusalem and Cairo point to an imminent U.S. operation. U.S. and Israeli spy satellites and planes flying over central and western Iraq last week found Scud B-1 and Scud-C missile launchers deployed at two Iraqi air bases, H-3 in the west and al-Baghdadi in the center of the country, the intelligence service reports. According to the photos, Iraq has also moved to these bases where Iraqi armored brigades have been deployed since July batteries of upgraded SA-6 anti-aircraft missiles of the type used to shoot down a U.S. drone this week. These improved surface-to-air missiles can hit targets flying above 23,000 feet. U.S. and Israeli reconnaissance data also revealed an increase over the past 10 days in the number of Iraqi military personnel stationed near Syrian armored headquarters in northern Syria since the end of July.

Nonetheless, Washington has yet to make a final decision, and the operation could be postponed for several days, Debka reports.

In the past 24 hours, Israel has passed to the United States fresh intelligence information regarding the visit to Damascus last week by Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan. Ramadan, who turned up suddenly for urgent talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Syrian military chiefs, conveyed a personal appeal from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to order a Hezbollah attack on Israel the moment the U.S. strikes at Iraq. Assad agreed to Saddam's request.

Saddam counts on Israel being pinned down by the Hezbollah and, therefore, too busy to join the fray against Iraq. Ramadan told his Syrian hosts that Iraq, if attacked by America, would not hesitate to launch missile strikes against Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Israel, as well as U.S. military targets in the Middle East, Red Sea and Persian Gulf.

The Israelis also handed on intelligence information that the talks Palestinian foreign affairs executive Nabil Shaath held in Damascus this week centered on Syrian-Palestinian-Hezbollah collaboration in anticipation of a U.S. offensive against Iraq. Arafat's visit to the Syrian capital did not come up at all, despite reports to the contrary.

Nabil Shaath, a businessman who never touches military issues, was deliberately picked by Arafat to go to Damascus to disguise his real mission.

On another front, military sources report that the Egyptian Second Army exercise beginning at the Suez Canal port of Ismailia Tuesday also changed its character in the light of a possible U.S. strike against Iraq. Originally planned as a joint maneuver for the Second and Third armies, to take place in the first week of September on the west bank of the Suez canal, its first objective was to subject Israel to Egyptian political and military heat in its war with the Palestinians.

Those plans changed as a consequence of last week's visit to Cairo by Gen. Tommy Franks, chief of the U.S. Central Command, to furnish the Egyptian government with information on the up and coming U.S. military operation against Iraq.

So it was the Second Army, whose electronic warfare systems are more sophisticated than the Third Army's, which began maneuvers this week in the Ismailia area, along with the Egyptian air force.

Those systems and intense Egyptian air activity were useful for masking U.S. air and sea transport of the aircraft and equipment required for the anti-Iraq operation. U.S. military flights passed through Egyptian air bases and U.S. air bases in the Sinai, particularly Sharm el-Sheikh.

In addition to the Second Army's role in these diversionary tactics, the Third Army was put on the alert for unusual military activity in the Middle East and Persian Gulf. The highly mobile and capable Third Army has three parachute battalions and the means some of them American to drop them over various points in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, at no more than three to four hours' notice.

Pointers to a U.S. military operation were also heard, according to military sources, in Jerusalem and in the telephone conversations U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell held with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in the second half of the week. Powell asked them, on behalf of President Bush, to be considerate of U.S. military activity against Iraq and display the utmost restraint in the face of Palestinian terrorist activities. That is why Sharon informed Powell of Israel's consent to withdraw its troops from Palestinian Beit Jala, notwithstanding continued Palestinian gunfire from the village against Jerusalem.

Military sources say, in the light of evidence on the ground, that the next U.S. anti-Baghdad operation will differ from previous U.S. strikes. Previously, bombs, missiles and cruise missiles were deployed against Iraqi strategic targets. This time, along with planes and missiles, the brunt of the operation will be carried by U.S. Special Forces landing in eastern Jordan, western Iraq and maybe even northern Syria. They will first wipe out the Iraqi military forces stationed in Jordan and Syria, then advance and destroy the Iraqi armored forces, missiles and planes deployed in the H-3 and al-Baghdadi air bases. After that, U.S. Special Forces troops will go on to attack military targets in central Iraq and possibly, Iraqi bases around Baghdad, too.

-- Robert Riggs (, September 01, 2001


Here comes "Dubya Dubya Three"!!!

-- James Fitzgerald (, September 01, 2001.

Not a snowballs chance in hell - If the forces that be believe its going to further exacerbate the weakened financial markets they will do absolutely nothing. America isn't ready to start rooting for a war when the propaganda machine hasn't already endorsed it. Remember the Ayatollah? The propaganda machine had the U.S. in an uproar against him. Currently there isn't that much negative sentiment against Iraq therefore definitely not worth aggravating the already severely weakened financial markets. Its ALL politics. It has nothing to do with right or wrong, justice or any of the higher virtues. It is strictly, "how will it aid the strength of the current administration". Everything else is irrelevant.

-- Guy Daley (, September 01, 2001.

I passed on this article several days ago. It made absolutely no sense to me.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 01, 2001.

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