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It's Getting Close To The Hour

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posted on Feb, 13 2003 @ 04:43 PM
From the sky and on the ground, the United States has begun preliminary operations toward a war in Iraq, newspaper and Pentagon reports indicated Thursday.

The Washington Post reports an unknown number of special operations troops have been on the ground in Iraq on and off for about a month, looking for weapons installations and Iraqi soldiers who might defect.

For the second day in a row Wednesday, U.S. warplanes bombed an Iraqi surface-to-surface missile system. While coalition planes often drop bombs on Iraqi weapons, the targets are usually direct threats to the aircraft, but this week's strikes have been against ground weapons that were moved to put U.S. forces in Kuwait within range.

Baghdad is also bracing for conflict: Pentagon officials tell the New York Times that Iraqi forces have moved explosives into the southern part of the country in preparation for blowing up bridges, bursting dams and igniting oil fields in a strategy to slow an American attack.

The military moves formed a backdrop to a key report from weapons inspectors due Friday that could lead, as early as next week, to the United States and Britain seeking a U.N. resolution authorizing force.

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