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Key Developments Concerning Iraq

March 3, 2003

Developments in the Iraq crisis:

_ Iraq crushed missiles, sliced casting chambers, unearthed bombs and sent scientists to talk with U.N. weapons inspectors, all in a desperate effort to prove it is disarming before a crucial U.N. report at the end of the week.

_ France, Russia and China urged Iraq to meet every U.N. demand in hopes of staving off war, but the United States _ which might wage war even without U.N. authorization _ said the actions were too little, too late. ``Iraq is not cooperating,″ White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. ``Despite whatever limited head-fakes Iraq has engaged in, they continue to fundamentally not disarm.″

_ The United States expects a vote on its resolution to authorize war in Iraq ``quite soon″ after top weapons inspectors give their next progress report to the Security Council on Friday, U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said.

_ The U.S.-led military mobilization entered a critical stage, with B-52 bombers landing in Britain and soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division setting up camp in Kuwait.

_ The Turkish government showed no signs that it would quickly ask parliament to reverse its refusal to allow in more than 60,000 U.S. troops ahead of an Iraq war. Washington’s hopes for a Turkish-based northern front were dealt a blow when the parliament narrowly rejected a motion to grant the U.S. request.

_ U.S. warplanes patroling a ``no fly″ zone over southern Iraq reported coming under anti-aircraft artillery fire and responded by attacking four military communications facilities and one air defense facility.

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