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Saturday, 15 February, 2003, 09:29 GMT
US military masses 150,000 in Gulf
US soldiers
More than 75,000 US troops are now in Kuwait
Pentagon officials have confirmed 150,000 United States military personnel are now in and around the Gulf as part of the build-up for a possible war with Iraq.

Half that number are in Kuwait alone and more troops are expected to arrive over the next few days.

According to the BBC's Pentagon correspondent Nick Childs the number means the US now has a considerable military capability in the region - on land, at sea and in the air.

ALLIED MILITARY DEPLOYMENTS
130,000 US troops in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia - including Afghanistan
39,000 US reservists mobilised in mid-February, bringing the total reservists on active duty to 150,000
35,000 British ground and air forces to be deployed in the region
The build-up has accelerated considerably in the last two weeks.

But the Pentagon has indicated it would prefer more time to prepare for any attack.

The 101st airborne division, elements of the 82nd airborne and the fourth infantry division have still to arrive.

Special forces are reportedly operating in small numbers inside Iraq's borders.

Leaflet campaign

A psychological warfare campaign aimed at Iraqi troops and civilians has been accelerated.

Leaflet dropping campaigns and radio broadcasts inside Iraq are aimed at undermining public support for Saddam Hussein.

The US is also said have been attacking missiles in the "no-fly" in southern Iraq which could fire at thousands of its ground troops in neighbouring Kuwait.

The US is likely to have over 200,000 personnel in the region by early March.


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27 Jan 03 | Americas
21 Jan 03 | Middle East
03 Jan 03 | Middle East
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