Americans in Kuwait watch and wait
February 21, 1998
The U.S. Embassy in Kuwait
Web posted at: 9:52 p.m. EST (0252 GMT)
From Correspondent Linda Pattillo
KUWAIT CITY (CNN) -- The U.S. Embassy has announced it is giving dependents of U.S. diplomats free passage out of Kuwait as the U.S. continues to threaten the possibility of military action in the standoff with Iraq.
But the embassy stressed that its offer is not an evacuation and that the U.S. is not aware of any imminent threat.
Despite the offer and the ongoing crisis in Iraq, many of the 8,000 U.S. citizens in Kuwait says they are leaving yet.
"No, I'm not packing," said Gloria Miller, a U.S. citizen. "Now if my mother calls and says that Delta Force, Special Forces and the 82nd Airborne have left Fort Bragg, I'd probably go."
Another U.S. citizen, Larry Mullin, says he isn't packing his bags until told to do so.
"It's still a choice," he said. "So that's what I'm doing, I'm going to stay until the evacuation is ordered."
While Kuwait City outwardly appears calm, preparations continue for a possible Iraqi attack.
The local civil defense has recruited 13,000 volunteers who are trained in first aid and other emergency procedures. Kuwait television continues to run daily air raid drills.
Even the local English-language rock radio station is gearing up for a possible emergency. It offers these bits of public service advice to listeners: Ignore rumors and if you see explosions while in your car, stop, turn off the lights and seek protection.
But for right now, it's business as usual for most expatriates in Kuwait, many of whom believe that if the U.S. does strike, Iraq will not strike back.
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