DEBKAfile Headlines - April 9, 2003

DEBKAfile Middle East sources report exclusively:

US special operations forces have sabotaged Kirkuk-Banias pipeline cutting flow of illegal Iraqi oil exports smuggled through Syria. Damascus notifies buyers that 2003 supply diminished by 40pc, equal to 240,000bpd – exactly the quantity that Iraq previously pumped through.

Israel and Jordan agree to begin talks on reactivation of Mosul-Haifa oil pipeline via Jordan. Pipeline disused 55 years since British Mandate left Palestine.

Early signs of civic disorder, looting and vandalism in Iraqi cities as Saddam regime loses control to coalition forces. Worst riots in Basra spread Tuesday to parts of Baghdad, Irbil and other places. Undercover Iraqi agents believed stirring up street violence and breakdown of order.

British forces hold discussions with Shiite tribal leader in Basra on new committee to administer city. His name has not been released.

Lebanese Hizballah directs several rounds of cross-border anti-air shellfire into northeast and northwest Israel Tuesday.

DEBKAfile’s military sources: US forces are redeploying to bisect Baghdad

US 3rd Division heads out of Baghdad international airport Tuesday night to rendezvous with 1st Marines and 3rd Infantry Divisions and create security zone across city center.

At least 6 Marines injured in fighting in eastern Baghdad during night. US-Kurdish forces closing in on Mosul Wednesday.

DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report US war command braced for chemical warfare attack on US troops

Gathering indications confirm DEBKAfile report that Saddam and sons were not hurt in US bunker-buster attack Monday on bunker complex under Soraya restaurant

Israeli force storms into northern Gaza Wednesday after Qassam rocket lands on neighboring Israeli town of Sderot. A number of civilians suffer trauma

Kofi Annan calls off European tour without explanation, will not attend French-German-Russian summit in St Petersburg Saturday. DEBKAfile sources in New York: UN Secretary disinclined to antagonize Washington by openly lining up with anti-war, anti-US bloc

Mounting Moscow-Washington animosity following Bush adviser Rice’s visit to Moscow on April 6 and tough conversation with Putin. Russian FM Sergei Ivanov cancels Thursday visit to US

Resisting pressure to lift Israel’s high preparedness for missiles, Mofaz repeats: We will stay prepared until Iraq war ends.

Israeli military intelligence chief Zeevi: Three quarters of suspected WMD sites in Baghdad region and further north have not yet been explored