WAR IN IRAQ 2003: Fears That Attack Will Be Trigger for Terror

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), March 20, 2003 | Go to article overview

WAR IN IRAQ 2003: Fears That Attack Will Be Trigger for Terror


A MILITARY onslaught against Iraq could destabilise the Islamic world, boost terrorism and trigger huge social and economic problems in the volatile Middle East.

Warnings over possible repercussions have ranged from nuclear strikes and the creation of a new generation of suicide bombers, to humanitarian problems like a refugee crisis and depressed oil prices hitting stability.

Analysts fear the prospect of images of Iraqi civilian casualties being beamed around the Arab world could trigger an uprising against the West.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt have both warned that an attack on Iraq could widen the divide between Arabs and the West.

The difficult relationship between the Arab states and nearby Israel has been tested to the extreme by the country's ongoing incursions on Palestinian territory.

Saddam Hussein has threatened to strike Israel if he comes under attack. In response Israel warned it would defend itself with all the means at its disposal, a chilling threat from a nuclear state.

But any retaliation which was seen as an over-reaction - an accusation often levelled at Israel over its attacks on the Palestinians - risks polarising the region, and Saddam has been keen in the past to try to play on loyalties among the Arab states. …

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