Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Facts for Your Files: A Chronology of US-Mideast Relations

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Facts for Your Files: A Chronology of US-Mideast Relations

Article excerpt

Feb. 1: An international "Gulf Peace Team" was evacuated from its camp along the Iraq-Kuwait border by the Iraqi government.

Feb. 3: Iraq fired its third and fourth Scud missiles at Israel, hitting remote areas of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The Israeli military command reported no casualties.

- Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir added to his cabinet Rehavim Zeevi, leader of the right-wing Moledet party, which advocates expelling all Palestinians from the occupied territories.

- Defense Secretary Dick Cheney said in an ABC television interview that the US and its allies may want to continue economic sanctions and a naval blockade against Iraq if Saddam Hussain remains in power after the war.

Feb. 4: Iran's President Hashemi Rafsanjani, warning that "any exclusion of Iran from negotiations would mean genuine security could not be achieved," said Iran would be willing to meet with Saddam Hussain, as well as with US representatives, if Baghdad responded positively to Iranian "ideas" for ending the Gulf war. The US later rejected any mediating role for Iran.

Feb. 5: President Bush said during a news conference that he was "skeptical" that allied air power would be sufficient to win the Gulf war.

Feb. 6: Jordan's King Hussein, in a televised address, criticized the "savage and large-scale war" against "brotherly Iraq" and called for a cease-fire, a demand immediately rejected by President Bush.

- Lebanese government troops began deploying in southern Lebanon for the first time in 16 years, as Israeli planes attacked Palestinian bases near Sidon for the second straight day.

Feb. 7: Allied military officials said aerial attacks against Iraqi forces in Kuwait will increase dramatically in preparation for a ground offensive.

- State Department officials said that US military and economic aid to Jordan was being reviewed following King Hussein's televised address the previous day.

Feb. 9: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev warned the US-led coalition that it risked exceeding the UN mandate, announced that he was sending a personal envoy to Baghdad, and called on Saddam Hussain to withdraw from Kuwait.

- Israel announced the arrest of 350 Palestinian activists, in a crackdown on the Islamic radical Hamas movement.

Feb. 10: Iraqi President Saddam Hussain, urging Iraqis to demonstrate "patience and steadfastness," rejected any compromise on the occupation of Kuwait and assured his people that Iraq would win the Gulf war.

Feb. 11: Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens, meeting with President Bush and senior US officials, indicated that Israel's nonretaliatory position might not continue indefinitely.

Feb. 12: In a broadcast on state-run Baghdad Radio, following a meeting with Soviet envoy Yevgeny Primakov, Iraqi President Saddam Hussain indicated his willingness to discuss "a peaceful, political, equitable and honorable solution" if allied forces ceased their air war against Iraq.

Feb. 13: Hundreds of Iraqi civilians were killed when two US laser-guided missiles struck a bomb shelter in Baghdad. Allied officials maintained that the building was used as an Iraqi command-and-control center.

- Two opposition members of the Knesset reported that the Israeli government plans to build 12,000 homes for Soviet Jewish immigrants in the occupied territories over the next three years.

Feb. 14: Meeting in private session for the first time in 15 years, the UN Security Council debated the month-old Gulf war.

- In a telegram to Jewish settlers in the Syrian-owned, Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir rejected demilitarization or any other change in the status of the territory, which Israel claims to have "annexed. …

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