US may seize Arab airports by force to attack Iraq: report
Mon Aug 12 2002 14:19:02 ET

BEIRUT, Aug. 12 (Xinhua)--Lebanon received a report from diplomatic sources saying that the United States would seize by force several airports in Arab states when it launches a war against Iraq, the An Nahar newspaper reported on Monday.

The report said that US President George W. Bush would unleash the military offensive in January 2003 as he has to wait the outcome of the midterm elections of the Congress in November. ``Bush prefers to have Arab support for his war to remove Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and the US forces would have facilities in several neighboring Arab airports,'' the report said.

''At any rate,'' it stressed, ``once zero hour comes, Bush will give the orders to use Arab airports by force for the military operation against Iraq if the need arises.'' Bush argued that without the US interference, the Arab countries, the Arab League and the UN Security Council would not have been able to oust the invading Iraqi troops from Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War.

Meanwhile, the report revealed that the Bush administration has allowed Israel to strike back in the upcoming confrontation against Iraq if the Arab country fires Scud missiles at Israel like it did in 1991.

The report suggested that the Arab world should take the US war preparations against Iraq ``very seriously'' and recommended a diplomatic offensive by Lebanon to consolidate Pan-Arab camp.