— WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has scrapped plans to
move U.S. troops through Turkey into northern Iraq and instead will
send the 4th Infantry Division from Texas to Kuwait to join a thrust
into embattled Iraq from the south, U.S. officials said on Saturday.
Abandonment of the use of Turkey to open a planned "northern
front" in the Iraq war follows its refusal to provide transit rights
for as many as 62,000 American troops into Iraq.
The U.S. military will as early as this weekend begin moving
about 20 cargo ships loaded with equipment for the 4th Infantry
Division from where they have been waiting for weeks off the coast
of Turkey through the Suez Canal toward the Gulf, according to the
officials, who asked not to be identified.
The infantry division and other supporting military units
totaling up to 40,000 or more troops are expected to be flown from
Fort Hood, Texas, and other bases to join the armor and equipment in
Kuwait, the officials told Reuters.
Copyright 2003 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or