War in three weeks?
Saddam told: disarm in three
weeks or it's war
- Blair and Bush force second UN resolution
- Backbench MPs set to mount rebellion
Kamal Ahmed, political editor
Sunday February 23, 2003
Saddam Hussein is to be given a final 'act or be defeated'
deadline of the middle of March before a second United Nations
resolution is debated by the Security Council, clearing the way
for imminent military action.
Downing Street said for the first time last night that there would
be a definite vote on the second resolution within three weeks.
To be tabled jointly by Britain and America tomorrow, it will say
the Iraqi dictator is in 'material breach' of resolution 1441 and
call on him to comply fully with UN weapons inspectors or face
In another signal that action against Iraq is entering its final
phase and that war is almost inevitable, Geoff Hoon, the
Defence Secretary, who will be in charge of military operations,
will travel to the Gulf tomorrow to meet armed forces moved to
the region ahead of any attack.
Military sources said there were now about 8,000 British troops
in the Gulf, with several thousand arriving every week. A full
complement of more than 40,000 will be available 'in theatre' by
the second resolution deadline.
Tony Blair will launch 'the last push for peace' this week with a
series of high-profile statements and events to try to gain broad
support for the resolution.