Kuwait to allow U.S. attack Iraq from its soil as Baghdad hails Riyadh; Israel “quietly” helps U.S. preparations

Published November 4th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Kuwait said Monday it would allow U.S. forces already in the country to use its bases in a possible strike on Iraq, but only if the action is sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council. "They (American troops) are here in our bases ... they are here, how can they not use them?" Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, deputy prime minister and foreign minister, told reporters.  


"If there is a Security Council resolution, they will be used," he said of the bases. However, Kuwaiti armed forces will not participate in any war on Iraq, Sheikh Sabah said.  


Meanwhile, Iraq hailed Saudi Arabia on Monday for saying it would not allow the United States to use its territory to launch a military attack against Iraq. "Saudi Arabia is thanked for its position which goes in line with Arab solidarity," Iraq's Culture Minister Hamed Yousif Hummadi told reporters.  


He was commenting on Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al- Faisal's comments on CNN on Sunday in which he said his country would not allow Washington to use its facilities for any attack against neighboring Iraq even if a strike was sanctioned by the United Nations. 


Israeli help 

Israel is secretly playing a key role in U.S. preparations for possible war with Iraq, helping train soldiers and Marines for urban warfare, conducting clandestine surveillance missions in the western Iraqi desert and allowing the United States to place combat supplies in Israel, U.S. Defense and intelligence officials were quoted by the USA Today.  


The activities are designed to help shorten any U.S.-led war with Iraq and reduce the risk that Israel would be attacked during such a conflict.  


Because Israel's activities are classified, they have drawn little attention or criticism in the Middle East. "The Americans have asked us to keep a low profile, and we accept that," an Israeli official is quoted as saying. (Albawaba.com) 

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