Iraqi missiles now within striking distance of U.S. forces

Monday, March 3, 2003

The United States has confirmed that Iraq has moved its missiles within range of American troops in northern Kuwait.

Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Iraq has moved surface-to-surface missile batteries south toward the Kuwaiti border. He said the missiles are now within range of U.S. and allied forces, Middle East Newsline reported.

The reference appeared to be that of Iraq's Ababil-100 missile. The missiles have been moved from the area around Baghdad to about 150 kilometers north of the Kuwaiti border, according to U.S. intelligence sources.

U.S. spy satellites have detected an undetermined number of launchers and missiles transported from positions south of Baghdad toward the area of Basra, according to Western intelligence sources cited by The missile redeployment was detected in January and evidently was in response to the U.S. military buildup in northern Kuwait.

Myers said Iraq has also moved missiles north near the Turkish border. The general said these missiles are also within range of U.S. and Turkish troops.

"They have been deployed, some down to the south, within range of Kuwait, where we have lots of coalition forces; some close to the Turkish border, where we and our ally Turkey are located as well," Myers told a news briefing Friday. "And they become a threat to our forces, absolutely, because they were new deployments."

The U.S. military has stepped up attacks on Iraqi surface-to-surface missile batteries. U.S. warplanes struck four such missile batteries in one day last week.

On Sunday, the United Nations began destroying Iraqi Al Samoud missiles.

Iraqi sources said six such missiles were destroyed over the last 24 hours, bringing to 10 the number of Al Samoud missiles destroyed. Iraq claims it has deployed 100 Al Samouds.

Print this Article Print this Article Email this article Email this article Subscribe to this Feature Free Headline Alerts
Search Worldwide Web Search Search WorldTrib Archives

See current edition of

Return to World Front Cover

Back to School Sweepstakes