Iraq Claims 4.5 Million Volunteers Ready to Fight for Palestinians
Nearly 4.5 million Iraqis have volunteered to fight alongside the Palestinians in their uprising against Israel, an official of the ruling Baath party claimed Friday.
"The number of Iraqis, of both sexes, who have volunteered between the 10th and 19th of October to fight beside the Palestinians was 4,439,712 people," said Adnan Daud Salman, cited by the official INA news agency.
"Thursday alone 172,000 Iraqi men and 85,000 Iraqi women signed up on the list of volunteers," Salman added.
The mobilization was in response to a call by President Saddam Hussein earlier this month for volunteers to fight a jihad, or holy war, in the Palestinian territories, the news agency reported.
Millions of Iraqis have been put through basic training in recent years in response to rallying cries against the United States and Britain, which bomb Iraq frequently as they enforce no-fly zones imposed after the 1991 Gulf War.
Iraq, strongly opposed to the Middle East peace process, will participate in an emergency Arab summit to open in Cairo on Saturday, the first to which it has been invited since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
Iraq has also said it is giving five million euros (4.35 million dollars) to families of those killed in the Palestinian clashes and toward the uprising -- BAGHDAD (AFP)
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