News.com.au | January 06, 2003
AUSTRALIAN and US special forces have already entered Iraq to lay the groundwork for any invasion, a US newspaper has reported.
The Boston Globe article suggests US troops have been joined by CIA agents, Australian, British and Jordanian commandos in Iraq.
It claims about 100 US Special Forces members and more than 50 Central Intelligence Agency officers have been operating in the country in small groups
for at least four months.
The report is said to be based on information from "intelligence officials and military analysts who have talked with people on the teams".
Their role in Iraq is said to include hunting down Scud missile launchers and mapping minefields.
"The operations, which also have included small numbers of Jordanian, British, and Australian commandos, are considered by many analysts to be part
of the opening phase of a war against Iraq," the report says.
Meanwhile, in Iraq a people's militia has carried out a war game designed to confront an enemy force attacking from several directions, according to
another newspaper report.
The official daily Al-Iraq says the civilian militia of President Saddam Hussein's Baath Party practised operations in Babil province.
Militiamen tried deceiving an attacking enemy and fighting in urban and rural areas, the report says.
The brief article did not say how many troops took part, nor did it include photographs of the exercise.
It quoted a senior Baath party member, Fadhil Mahmoud al-Mishiykhi, as praising the fighters' efficiency and morale in battling a campaign against
Iraq launched by the United States and "its Zionist ally" - meaning Israel.
Here's the story link: www.freerepublic.com...