U.S. may have set mid-December for huge bombing across Iraq

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Nov 24 19:50:04 MST 2002

The Sun (UK)
November 24, 2002

Xmas Blitz: Allies Have Six-Week Window to Bomb Iraq

PENTAGON chiefs have pinpointed a six-week "window of opportunity" in which
to launch a war against Iraq.

Officials are now openly briefing diplomats that they "want to light the
blue touchpaper".

If a blitz is authorized, all the signs point to a December 16 start-with
the "window" stretching beyond Christmas until the end of January. Cool
clear weather and long winter nights would be ideally suited for a hi-tech
bombing campaign.

Planes and troops could move under the cover of darkness, minimizing the
risk of casualties.

The campaign would involve hundreds of jets- including British
warplanes-cruise missiles and stealth bombers.

The Americans plan to pound Iraq for a month before launching a massive
ground invasion from Kuwait in the south and Turkey in the north.

British and Irish diplomats based in Washington were called in last week for
the latest update in the plans.

They will be raised in a special House of Commons debate tomorrow.

The government are also expected to call out the Territorial Army to provide
emergency cover during the fire dispute-replacing army units currently
manning Green Goddesses.

American special forces are secretly training more than 5,000 Iraqi rebels
to spearhead their planned invasion.

Senior Pentagon sources have confirmed the dissidents will be ready to join
American and British troops within the next two months.

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has until December 8 to disclose how many
weapons of mass destruction he has.

America is expected to immediately accuse him of lying. And an immediate
attack would be triggered if UN weapons inspectors currently in Baghdad find
Saddam has tried to deceive them.

The rebel army-made up of Kurdish rebels from Northern Iraq, Marsh Arabs
from the south and military defectors from the elite Republican Guard-has
been training in Kuwait since August.

The Kuwaiti government, which last week turned almost half its country into
a closed-off US military base, has funded the creation of the force.

As the threat of war grew closer, British and American warplanes hit targets
in southern Iraq for the third successive day on Friday.

The strike came after an Iraqi military jet flew into a no-fly zone
monitored by Allied planes.

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