Accessibility links

Military Buildup Continues in the Gulf - 2003-03-18


While UN Security Council try to find a diplomatic solution to the Iraqi crisis the military buildup in the Persian Gulf is growing.

VOA-TV’s Chris Simkins with more on the story.

Thousands of U.S. and British soldiers in the desert of Kuwait, poised for a possible war with Iraq.

American soldiers continue to prepare for battle, well aware of the diplomatic efforts underway to avoid a conflict. In the Kuwaiti desert U.S. Marines listened to a radio to hear the latest developments. Marine Sergeant Kristoffer Bauer.

KRISTOFFER BAUER, MARINE SERGEANT
“It’s the same thing we’ve been hearing for months. They keep saying Iraq’s in material breach, the time for diplomacy is over. It is the same thing we hear tonight. It really doesn’t mean anything to me.”

On the Aircraft Carrier Truman U.S. fighter pilots return from practice bombing runs. On board other anxious sailors like David Sawnders express frustration over so much uncertainty.

DAVID SAWNDERS, SAILOR
“I guess Wednesday was supposed to be the day but now he’s just given them extra time. You know we really don’t want to go to war but if we have to we will.”

Escorted by helicopters, a convoy of American tanks and other military hardware race through the desert of Kuwait.

Sensing a conflict with Iraq is looming, Army Chaplain Richard Bratton says Sunday religious services take on an added importance.

RICHARD BRATTON, ARMY CHAPLAIN
“The Bible command us to pray for our enemies and I want you to pray for those Iraqi soldiers that we’re going to meet, soldiers that are only doing what their commanders have asked them to do.”

In Iraq, preparations for war are evident. People are fortifying their homes and stocking up on food. U.S. officials say the Iraq army has moved to fortify artillery positions around Baghdad.

On Iraqi television Monday, Saddam Hussein told his top military officers that if attacked Iraq will take the war throughout the world, wherever he said there is sky, land or water. He also placed his son Qusai and three trusted lieutenants in charge of four military regions to defend the country.

Reports now say that the Iraqi President has gone into hiding anticipating imminent war.

In Northern Iraq Kurds observed a moment of silence. It was 15 years ago that Saddam Hussein’s forces launched a chemical attack on a town that killed five thousand Kurds. Thousand of Kurds have now fled north fearing that history may repeat itself.

XS
SM
MD
LG