Iraq


Jan. 16: Weapons inspectors found 11 empty chemical warheads at an ammunition storage depot in southern Iraq. Gen. Amin, the Iraq's chief liaison with the weapons team said that the warheads were short-range shells that had been registered in a previous declaration. [NYT, 1/17]

Jan. 17: Dr. Muhammad al-Barade'i, chief UN nuclear weapons inspector, hinted that inspectors might need "a few more months" in order to fully assess Iraq's weapons programs. US officials, however, called the Jan. 16 discovery of 11 empty warheads "troubling and serious" pieces of evidence for the case of war. [NYT, 1/18]

In a 40 minute televised address, delivered on the 12th anniversary of the start of the Persian Gulf War, Saddam Husayn called on Iraqis to defend Iraq against the new American threat, telling President Bush to "keep your evil away from the mother of civilization." [NYT, 1/18]

Jan. 19: Iraq disclosed four more warheads to top weapons inspectors. These warheads were similar to the ones discovered on Jan. 16. [NYT, 1/20]

Jan. 21: At a meeting in Istanbul, the Foreign Ministers of Syria, Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia issued a statement expressing their support for the unity and sovereignty of Iraq, and their commitment to a peaceful solution to the crisis. [AN, 1/15]

Jan. 22: A US intelligence team visited an airfield being constructed in the Kurdish controlled area of northern Iraq. Kurdish leaders said, however, that they are building the airfield for themselves and that the US isn't necessarily planning to use it. [NYT, 1/23]

Jan. 23: Gen. Hassan Muhammad Amin, Iraq's top liaison with UN weapons inspectors, said that all six scientists that the UN had asked to interview privately had refused. He said that the government would still encourage them to give private interviews and that there was nothing they could do to force the scientists. [NYT, 1/24]

Hans Blix rebuked Iraq for blocking U-2 aerial photography flights. [NYT, 1/24]

Jan. 27: Hans Blix and Muhammad al-Barade'i delivered reports to the UN concerning the progress of weapons inspections. While Blix said that Iraq had not "come to genuine acceptance...of the disarmament," al-Barade'i was less harsh, saying that no evidence had been found of a revival of the nuclear program. A debate over the duration of weapons inspections followed in which the US argued that the inspections had gone on long enough, while France, Russia, and China argued that the inspections were working and should continue. Britain backed a German proposal for the inspectors to report back to the Security Council on Feb. 14. [NYT, 1/28]

In a press conference before the Security Council meeting, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said that Iraq has done everything that it possibly could to avoid a war. He denounced the US as "the ones who are escalating the situation, making a lot of threats, fabricating and creating every day a lot of lies." [NYT, 1/28]

Jan. 28: In his State of the Union address, President Bush said that while he would look for the support of the international community, he would not wait indefinitely for that support. In addition, Bush claimed that Saddam Husayn "aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qa'ida." [NYT, 1/29]

A group of Kurds demonstrated outside of a UN compound in Sulaimaniya, showing support for a war and removal of Saddam Husayn. [NYT, 1/29]

Feb. 1: Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan said that Iraqis will carry out suicide attacks against Americans if the US attacks Iraq. He said that not only will this happen in Iraq, but "the whole region will be set ablaze." [NYT, 2/2]

Feb. 4: In a televised interview with Tony Benn, a retired British member of the House of Commons, Saddam Husayn said that there was no link between Iraq and al-Qa'ida, saying that if such a relationship did exist "we wouldn't be ashamed to admit it." [NYT, 2/5]

Feb. …

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