Newspaper says Iraq will defend Persian Gulf
Editorial follows reports of planned U.S. attack on country
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq is prepared to defend the Persian Gulf region against any attack by the United States, according to a Sunday newspaper editorial believed to have been written by the eldest son of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
The lengthy editorial published in Babil newspaper -- owned by the Iraqi leader's eldest son, Uday -- said the United States is planning not only to attack Iraq but also to destabilize Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries.
The author said the United States wants to strike Iraq "despite objections raised by the European Union, China, Russia and many other world countries."
The United States wants to do this "because striking Iraq is directly related to the Palestinian cause," the editorial states.
"As for the Gulf," the author writes, "there are movements now inside Saudi Arabia to unsettle the regime because everybody understands and realizes the nature of the rule in Iraq" -- an apparent reference to Saudi Arabia's recent public rejection of U.S. military action against Iraq.
The editorial went on to state that Iraq would defend Saudi Arabia with or without arms but noted that it could send tanks to the border to support the Saudi government.
"A single phone call or a simple signal to Baghdad, and they would find us ready to throw all our weight to back the Saudi government and people against anyone who tried to disband that country," the editorial said.
The show of support for Saudi Arabia comes at a time when Iraq has increased trade with the Riyadh government and plans to open a border crossing point with its southern neighbor within coming weeks.
According to an article in Friday's New York Times, the American military has put together a preliminary planning document that calls for air, land and sea-based forces to attack Iraq, an assault the newspaper said would involve tens of thousands of U.S. Marines and soldiers.
The Bush administration refused to comment on the report.
"We don't comment on military plans or military planning," a senior administration official said.
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