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 Sunday, March 16, 2003

  The Test of Wills on Iraq - The Countdown

Full text: UN security council resolution 1441 on Iraq

Anti-war protesters took to the streets around the globe today, determined to keep the pressure on world leaders as a US-led attack on Iraq looms.The outpouring of anti-war sentiment came one month after millions turned out for some of the biggest demonstrations in decades in capitals around the world. But amid the chants of "give peace a chance" were pessimistic voices as well.

Iraq has handed over its long-awaited report on its stocks of deadly VX nerve gas to the United Nations.Baghdad officials said it contained "reliable evidence" that the gas has been destroyed.The 25-page report was handed to chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix late on Friday night

Turkey's new government signaled Saturday it would wait at least another week to decide about the deployment of U.S. forces on its soil, but the United States appeared to be losing hope of using Turkey to open a northern front against Iraq

Across the Middle East, people are persuaded that the conquest of Iraq is a dry run for an eventual American occupation of the region. This updated domino theory is a powerful theme on the Arab street, resonating from the mosques to the Majlis, or parliament.



For the last few months in fact, television has been showing endless documentaries and discussions of the air war waged by Britain and the United States against Germany in World War II. The new awareness of the Allied bombings and the devastation they wrought has become an important element in German opposition to the expected American war on Iraq.

Israel Defense Forces converged overnight in force in the area of Jenin, scene of its controversial operation to quell Palestinian militants there last year, and killed at least 11 militants in a series of clashes Friday.

A Palestinian militant group said on Saturday it had killed two West Bank men for collaborating with Israeli security forces.
The bullet-riddled bodies of the dead Palestinians, both from villages near Nablus, were brought to the city hospital after they were apparently shot in separate incidents

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