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Rym Brahimi: U.S. group advocates peace in Iraq

CNN's Rym Brahimi
CNN's Rym Brahimi

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An American group who lost family members in the Sept. 11 attacks visited Iraq to make their stance against war, CNN's Rym Brahimi reports (January 8)
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A delegation of four Americans representing families of victims of the September 11 attacks on Wednesday visited Iraqi families who lost loved ones during the Persian Gulf War.

The group arrived Tuesday night in Baghdad and is scheduled to visit the Amriyah bomb shelter, site of a U.S.-led coalition airstrike that Iraq says killed hundreds in February 1991.

CNN Correspondent Rym Brahimi filed the following report Wednesday about the delegation's visit:

BRAHIMI: There have been quite a few groups of peace that have come into Iraq to demonstrate some form of solidarity with the Iraqi people. One of them -- which arrived Tuesday -- is called [September 11 Families] for Peaceful Tomorrows. They include four Americans who are relatives of victims of September 11 attacks.

Now they've been meeting with Iraqi families that are said to be relatives of U.S.-led bombings in Iraq and families here who've lost people in the 12-year United Nations trade sanctions against Baghdad.

They plan to go later Wednesday to the Amriyah air raid shelter, which is a shelter that was bombed in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and in which [Iraq says] many Iraqis seeking shelter were killed, including many women and children.

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz has been meeting with some of the peace delegations that have come into town, calling the visit a "very important international development."

Meanwhile, we've been seeing an increasingly confident and maybe even defiant President Saddam Hussein. He's been shown on Iraqi TV chairing a series of meetings with his sons and also with top army officers, including the Republican Guard.

Saddam told them to be prepared to fight. He also told them not to be intimidated by psychological warfare but to be confident in their ability to triumph. He said also that the United States shouldn't be too confident and shouldn't place too much faith in its technological capabilities.

Iraqis are preparing for the worst: a possible U.S.-led war on Iraq. We understand that the Iraqi people have been given five months' worth of food rations. They had already been given three months' worth of rations that would have lasted until the month of March. Now they're being provided with April and May rations.

The foreign minister of Iraq -- Naji Sabri -- has complained to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan that the United States -- he's accused the U.S. of again violating international law. The foreign minister of Iraq says that three days ago, 60 U.S. heavy tanks strayed from the border with Kuwait into the demilitarized zone that is between Iraq and Kuwait. He called on the secretary-general to issue a fact-finding mission to find out more about that incident.

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