The war against Iraq were nearing their peak yesterday, with
more than 140,000 allied troops deployed into the emirate. “Everybody is
geared up, and in Baghdad and here they’re expecting to go between March 15
and March 20,” said one British military analyst and business consultant, who
has just returned to Kuwait from Iraq (US Navy photo/David Mercil)...
140,000 US, UK Troops Deployed in Kuwait
Monday, March 03 2003 @ 06:11 AM GMT
Preparations in Kuwait for a US-led war against Iraq were nearing their
peak yesterday, with more than 140,000 allied troops deployed into the
“Everybody is geared up, and in Baghdad and here they’re expecting to
go between March 15 and March 20,” said one British military analyst and
business consultant, who has just returned to Kuwait from Iraq.
Kuwait, invaded by Iraq in August 1990 and subsequently occupied for seven
months, is by far shouldering the largest deployment of the US led-up
Kuwait now hosts 111,000 US troops and, according to British sources, a
28,000-strong British contingent. Another approximately 3,000 soldiers
from Gulf countries have already arrived here to help defend the emirate
should it come under any Iraqi retaliatory attack.
Some 20,000 troops from the elite US 101st Airborne Division are also due
in the region within a week, while a sixth US aircraft carrier and B-2
Stealth bombers are among the latest deployments. Along Kuwait’s
northern desert border, the US Army’s Third Infantry Division and US
Marine Corps have completed unprecedented military exercises with a focus
on honing invasion strategies and fine tuning high-tech equipment.
However, Lt. Col. Larry Cox said exercises at the unit and command levels
would continue “in this theater” of operations as forces continue to
assemble. Any invasion is expected to be launched at night, with coalition
forces holding the advantage through night vision, satellite technology
and infrared equipment.
“There’s no point at where that will stop,” Cox told AFP. “There
is a robust force capable of support and responding. If we need to
increase that, we will, but now we have a capability capable of responding
if asked to by the coalition leaders.”
Tensions across the tiny state have also heightened. Many Western
expatriate families have also left Kuwait, and major American and British
schools have closed amid embassy advisories urging non-essential people to
depart the emirate.
Just south of the capital, the military is finalizing embedding procedures
— not seen since World War II — for journalists, photographers,
cameramen and technicians who will cover the invasion of Iraq if US
President George W. Bush gives the order. “We’ve completed a fair
amount,” Cox said.
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