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.American Forces In Northern Iraq
Highly informed diplomatic sources have disclosed to As-Safir that the United States of America has begun to carry out a plan of security and military operations aimed at Iraq, that American troops have entered areas in northern Iraq, and that major bases have been set up for them inside Jordan.
The sources report that the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), George Tenet, personally visited northern Iraq when he recently paid a visit to the region. There he gave orders to begin a security operation immediately after President George Bush signed the order empowering the CIA to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The sources said that the new element in the plan concerns the supposed role of Jordan and that King Abdullah II in agreeing to vacate two military airfields in Jordan to be used by the American troops. Some two thousand American troops have already landed in Jordanian territory. In addition, dozens of soldiers together with members of American intelligence, have been transported into Iraqi territory. The sources said that the Americans have begun a campaign of making contact with the numerous forces in the Iraqi opposition, but that great difficulties confront the idea of setting up an alliance similar to the "Northern Alliance" in Afghanistan.
The sources report that the United States presented the plan to Saudi Arabia, but Riyadh reiterated its refusal to allow its territory to be used for any military action against Iraq. It appears that the matter was taken to other countries to obtain their permission to use their territories should that become necessary.
The sources said that the United States had presented a plan for emergency economic aid to Jordan in case its economic and trade relations with Iraq fall into a crisis.
As-Safir, Beirut, Friday, 28 June 2002.
The Turkish paper Yeni Safak, reported on 27 June 2002, quoting sources in the Turkish Foreign Ministry, that the US has transported about 7,000 troops via heavy transport planes to the Incirlik airbase near Adana in the last two weeks. The paper added that Washington had begun to strengthen its forces in the area after its decision to begin military operations against Baghdad within the coming two months. The paper said that the number of US troops in Turkey would be increased from 7,000 to 25,000 troops during next month.
URL to the original Turkish story in Turkish: http://www.yenisafak.com.tr/arsiv/2002/haziran/27/g4.html
Copyright © As Safir 2002. For fair use only
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