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Key Developments Concerning Iraq

February 19, 2003

Developments in the Iraq crisis:

_ NATO approved the deployment of AWACS radar aircraft, Patriot missile systems and chemical-biological response units to Turkey. The decision by the alliance’s Defense Planning Committee follows the end of a stalemate over planning in case of war with Iraq.

_ U.N. weapons inspectors visited at least three sites involved in making rockets and components as they hunted for banned Iraqi missiles. The Iraqi Information Ministry said inspectors visited the al-Mamoun missile fuel plant, the al-Karama missile complex and a military site in the al-Taji area north of Baghdad.

_Britain sent 1,000 air force personnel, including paratroopers and support units, to the Gulf to prepare for a possible Iraq war, joining 40,000 British troops already in the region.

_ President Bush declared he won’t be deterred by global protests against war with Iraq, adding ``I respectfully disagree″ with those who doubt that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace.

_ U.S. and British diplomats said they will push ahead this week with a new U.N. resolution seeking authority to use force to disarm Saddam. Chirac said his country would oppose a new U.N. resolution to explicitly authorize war at this time.

_ Turkey asked the United States to nearly double its multibillion dollar aid package as a condition for allowing U.S. troops on its soil in a war against neighboring Iraq, diplomats said. The Turkish parliament put off a vote on whether to allow tens of thousands of U.S. combat troops in Turkey.

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