US May Have Deployed Patriot
Missiles Near Iraq Before 911

Middle East Newsline

The United States is said to have deployed Patriot missiles near the Kuwaiti border with Iraq as part of preparations for a possible war against President Saddam Hussein that preceded the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
The Patriot missile site was said to be 63 kilometers from the Iraqi border at the Salim Al Sabah air base.
The London-based A-Sharq Al Awsat daily published on Feb. 8 a satellite photograph that the newspaper said was that of a U.S. Patriot missile defense battery in a Kuwaiti air base. The newspaper said that over the last year both the United States and Britain have installed the missile battery in an effort to convert the Kuwaiti facility into an allied forward base in any war against Iraq.
The missile battery was said to be located in the Kuwaiti air base of Salim Al Sabah, 63 kilometers from the Iraqi border. The facility has served as an early-warning radar station for U.S. and allied forces since 1992.
Gulf sources said the Pentagon is transferring military commands from the United States to Kuwait in preparation for war against Iraq. The move has resulted in the relocation of more than 2,000 U.S. military personnel to the sheikdom since September.
The Salim base is being converted into a facility that can accommodate air and ground troops, aircraft as well as missile batteries. The base is one of several in the area that is being expanded and developed.
The newspaper said one photograph of the missile site, described as being 350 hectares in size, was obtained from the U.S. commercial Ikonos satellite. The site was photographed in June 2001.
Around the missile site were four Kuwaiti and allied combat jets. A-Sharq Al Awsat said it obtained three satellite photographs from the Washington-based Federation of American Scientists. Two of the photographs, the newspaper said, came from a U.S. spy satellite.
Canada and Germany are also joining U.S.-led forces in Kuwait. Germany has transferred a unit to protect against an Iraqi weapons of mass destruction attack on the sheikdom. Gulf defense sources said that in March, Germany - with a contingent of 250 soldiers - will lead an exercise for Kuwait and other allied forces to protect against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

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