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Israel Defence Forces already in Iraq
29 September 2002
Israeli special forces are operating inside western Iraq to locate missile launchers that could be used against Israel, according to a report in the recent issue of Jane's Foreign Report. Israeli officials refused to comment on the report.
According to the report, the elite General Staff Reconnaissance Unit was ordered to scout out and "find and identify places used by or likely to be used by Iraqi Scud missiles."
The newsletter stated that "neither Israel nor the US has a clue about what, if anything, Saddam Hussein is hiding," and claimed it was this "ignorance" that prompted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to assign the elite commando unit to carry out the job.
The report stated that the Israeli operation was being carried out without the knowledge of the US, a fact that could raise tensions particularly at such a sensitive period, when the US is attempting to garner support for an offensive against Iraq in the Arab world.
Quoting Israeli sources, the report also claims that Israel is concerned that Iraq may employ kamikaze-style pilots to attack targets inside Israel using the methods deployed by Japan against the US troops in World War II.
The article also claimed that Israel had struck a secret agreement with Jordan whereby if necessary Israel will be permitted to use Jordanian air space.
Jerusalem Post Staff © The Jerusalem Post