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September 12, 2002

US may use Israeli army bases against Iraq

AFP [ MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 09, 2002 11:02:59 AM ]

JERUSALEM: Israel has authorised the United States to stockpile military hardware at its army bases, in view of a possible US-led offensive against Iraq, the daily Maariv reported on Monday.

According to the paper, which got hold of an official document, Israeli Defence Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer has given the green light for the weaponry to be brought in the coming days.

A senior US officer was quoted, anonymously, confirming the report.

Under a strategic cooperation agreement, Israel has placed its bases at the disposal of the United States, and will provide logistic and intelligence aid, the source said, although Israel would not be an active player in any military action against Iraq.

Maariv added that dozens of US officers and troops were already in Israeli army bases to prepare for the arms shipments.

"The quantities of arms which have already been shipped to Israel are enormous because Israel is the only country in which we have such confidence," one of the officers said.