Iraq Weapon Sites Span 27 Sq. Miles
Feb. 19, 1998
UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ The bulk of the eight sites Baghdad has declared off-limits to U.N. weapons inspectors cover a total of 27 square miles, and contain palace residences, villas, offices and warehouses, U.N. documents indicate.
The documents, obtained late Wednesday by The Associated Press, seem to run counter to claims by President Clinton, who said in a nationally televised speech Tuesday that one single palace compound was ``about the size of Washington D.C.'' _ 40,000 acres or 63 square miles.
The standoff with Baghdad has centered on U.N. access to these eight sites, which Iraq has declared off-limits on grounds of sovereignty.
Last week, in an effort to resolve the dispute, Secretary-General Kofi Annan dispatched a new team of U.N. experts to Baghdad to map the eight compounds to determine which areas were legitimate targets for inspections and which areas could remain closed.
The surveyors finished surveying the last of the sites Wednesday.
The documents, compiled by the U.N. Special Commission for Annan and the Security Council before the mapping began, list the size and structures of eight sites the United Nations says are on the off-limits list.
Iraqi officials have said that of the eight off-limit sites, three are in Baghdad, and there is one site each in the northern city of Mosul, the central cities of Tikrit, Tharthar and Samarra, and in Basra in the south.
There has been considerable dispute between UNSCOM and Iraq on what constitutes a ``presidential site,'' and which compounds are off-limits. The U.N. list, for example, doesn't list a Basra site, but adds an additional site near Tikrit.
The largest compound listed was the Jabal Makhul Presidential Palace area near Samarra: 10 square miles with 90 structures, including one presidential residence, 75 villas or office and five warehouses.
The Radwaniyah Presidential area in Baghdad came next at 9.3 square miles with 360 structures, including 225 villas or offices. It had 35 warehouses.
According to the documents, the other sites were:
_The Tikrit Presidential Palace area; 2 square miles with 100 structures.
_The Republican, or Presidential Palace area in Baghdad; 1.7 square miles with 140 structures.
_The Tharthar Presidential Palace area; 1 square mile with 45 structures.
_The Auja Presidential Palace area, near Tikrit, in the village of Saddam's birth; 0.75 square miles with 15 structures.
_The Mosul Presidential Palace area; 0.75 square miles with 50 structures.