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Denying oil fields to Saddam

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posted on Mar, 7 2003 @ 05:23 PM
Senior military sources in Kuwait, did not deny that special operations might already be underway in Iraqís southern oil fields. The same sources said any assault on Iraq will have to carefully balance 'hard strikes' with 'soft overtures' to Iraqis most likely to capitulate and ally themselves with US-led forces.

The key to this approach is to deny the oil fields and their revenue to Baghdad from day one of the war and possibly hasten regime change instigated from within the ruling clique.

Going in softly, which is taken to mean a short massive air campaign to prepare the way for ground troops, would also let the US make good on promises of fair treatment for any surrendering Iraqis. Such promises have been spelled out in massive leaflet drops over the south in recent weeks and also given to Iraqi unit officers in contacts established by US and UK undercover forces in Iraq.

By leaving as much of the civilian infrastructure as possible intact, war planners hope to minimize the cost, in time and money, of rebuilding Iraq's' economy.

Preparations for war are gathering pace in Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, the three main staging areas for American and British forces in the Gulf. The 101st Airborne Division of the US Army is training in a town ruined and later abandoned during the 1991 war to liberate Kuwait. The soldiers are honing their urban warfare skills in the streets and alleyways of As Zawr on Faylakah, a small island twenty miles from Kuwait City. The island was bombed extensively during Operation Desert Storm twelve years ago to dislodge Iraqi occupiers and the original Kuwait residents have never returned.

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