Friday, March 07, 2003

French Still Selling Military Parts to Iraq



Or so an intelligence official told them, says the Washington Times. I hate unnamed sources ... the scourge of Woodward and Bernstein. Still, this sounds like it might be true because it's so very French. Iraq has more than 50 Mirage F-1 jets and an unknown number of Gazelle attack helicopters, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

France has been Iraq's best friend in the West. French arms sales to Baghdad were boosted in the 1970s under Premier Jacques Chirac, the current president. Mr. Chirac once called Saddam Hussein a "personal friend."

During the 1980s, when Paris backed Iraq in its war against Iran, France sold Mirage fighter bombers and Super Entendard aircraft to Baghdad, along with Exocet anti-ship missiles.

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell last month released intelligence information showing videotape of an Iraqi F-1 Mirage that had been modified to spray anthrax spores.

Article Here

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