Iraq To Launch Pre-Emptive Strike Using Weapons of Mass Destruction

by DEBKAfile Weekly #73

16 August 2002

"The latest intelligence assessments reaching DEBKA-Net-Weekly agree that Saddam Hussein has decided to take pre-emptive military action rather than wait for the US hammer to drop. They also detail the horrific arsenal at his disposal for such action. It includes more than 40 nuclear weapons, six to eight of them bombs and nuclear warheads that can be delivered by missile or plane.

In particular, the Iraqi leader has set his sights on hitting US military forces in the Middle East as well as Turkey, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Israel. He is also determined to reach into the United States itself through proxy terrorists run by Iraqi military intelligence. This latest intelligence consensus supersedes the basic presumption previously held by US and Israeli strategists that Saddam would not launch a counter-strike with unconventional weapons unless attacked first - and then only if he felt his life and regime were in jeopardy"