Iraq pulls back from Jordanian border
- Ha'aretz: Iraq pulls back from Jordanian border
By Amir Oren Ha'aretz Correspondent Ha'aretz 1 November 2000
The armored units that have been stationed in western Iraq for the last
month in a show of force against Israel are in the process of being
dismantled and moved to other, more distant locations, according to
assessments by Israeli intelligence sources.
The Iraqi force, led by the Republican Guard's crack Hammurabi unit, was
never intended to be deployed against Israel, the intelligence sources said.
Its appearance was merely an expression of Iraq's willingness to participate
in a general Arab-Israeli war should one be declared. Since the chances of
such a war being launched have lessened following the Arab summit's
decisions in Cairo 10 days ago, the force has no further purpose in western
Even prior to the recent indications of the force's imminent redeployment,
military intelligence had considered it unlikely that Saddam Hussein would
send ground forces against Israel. A more likely scenario, the Israel
Defense Forces said, was an air attack against Israel's nuclear reactor in
Dimona. Dimona was the only city besides Tel Aviv and Haifa to be targeted
by Saddam during the Gulf War in 1991. The air force was therefore on the
alert last month to shoot down Iraqi planes should such an attack occur.
Meanwhile, a report from reliable Western sources that reached Jerusalem
this week expressed concern about the lack of information on the state of
Iraq's biological weapons program. Biological weapons are the "black hole"
of Western knowledge of Iraq, the report said.