TEL AVIV Ñ Israel's intelligence community asserts that Iraq has not deployed medium-range missile
launchers near the Jordanian border.
Israeli intelligence officials said on Thursday they have seen no
evidence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has managed to bring Al Hussein
launchers into the H-2 and H-3 areas of western Iraq. These areas were used
pads for missile attacks against Israel in the 1991 Gulf war.
Saddam's forces have transported missiles in trucks to areas west of
Baghdad, officials said. But they said military intelligence does not have
any evidence that these missiles were deployed in H-2 and H-3, Middle East Newsline reported.
"The missile movements seemed to be a question of concealment and
deception rather than any true military redeployment," an official said.
On Wednesday, military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aharon Zeevi-Farkash
told the Cabinet Saddam has not brought his missiles within striking range
of Israel. The Al Hussein has a range of 650 kilometers and the Saddam
regime is said to possess anywhere from 20 to 90 such missiles.
Officials have concluded that the prospect of an Iraqi missile attack on
Israel is extremely low. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon placed the chances at
Still, Israel has placed its military, particularly its air force, on
high alert. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the Cabinet that Israel has
mobilized 12,000 reservists to prepare for the war. Most of them are in
civil defense and anti-aircraft units.
"If the chance of us being hit is one percent, the preparations that we
have made provide the answer to 100 percent of the dangers," Sharon said.