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Wednesday, October 7, 1998 Published at 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK


Iraq on the net - comprehensive links



Iraq's failure to comply with the weapons inspectors has been exhaustively covered by Net news services.

Information from UN organisations monitoring the situation and the policies of the US and the wider international community towards Iraq have been published on the Internet since use of online services exploded two years ago.

There is a wealth of discussion and analysis of issues such as the growth of Iraq's chemical and biological armoury, the Arab position on the crisis, and significant support for the Iraqi people is also evident online.

Disarming Iraq - the UN mandate

The terms of the ceasefire which ended the Gulf War were made in United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 on April 3 1991. Iraq was required to accept unconditionally the removal or rendering harmless of specified weapons and missiles of mass destruction.

As well as publishing the full text of resolutions on the Iraq-Kuwait situation, the UN is the starting point for searching the archives and reading the Secretary General's Press Briefings. All Security Council documents are available online.

Key UN Security Council Resolutions on Iraq

Resolution 1137 - November 12, 1997
Resolution 1134 - October 23, 1997
Resolution 1115 - June 21, 1997
Resolution 1060 - June 12, 1996
Resolution 1051 - March 27, 1996
Resolution 687 - April 3 1991

The UN Special Commission (Unscom) for ensuring Iraqi compliance with the resolutions has its own site with a section devoted to UN resolutions relating to Unscom.

Milnet's Military Information Database has a factsheet on Unscom and UN monitoring in Iraq.

The United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) was set up as an unarmed observation mission to monitor a demilitarized zone along the boundary between Iraq and Kuwait.

The Iraqi arsenal

In addition to BBC News Online's briefing, Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, a reliable and detailed source is the Iraq section of Milnet's Military Information Database. The Milnet project began in 1985 with the intention of providing a comprehensive overview of the technology and products of the world's significant military industrial complexes.

A number of sites detail the nature of chemical weapons and their deployment in past confrontations - the Chemical Weapons Convention site, and the Chemical and Biological Defence Information Analysis Centre are comprehensive. A full text of the International Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention is published by Tufts University.

The view from the US

The US Department of State publishes the Secretary of State's press briefings and conferences, outlining the US position on Iraqi compliance with UN weapons inspections. The White House Briefing Room's US Information Agency provides transcripts of Presidential speeches on the Middle East.

The US armed forces all publish news about deployment of troops in Iraq on their web sites:

Air Force News
US Army News
US Defence Press Releases

UK policy on Iraq

The Foreign Office has an FAQ-style Britain, UNSCOM and Iraq information service. The text of all speeches concerning foreign policy made by the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, and some audio clips are available.

The latest news from the Royal Navy, the British Army, and the Royal Air Force is published on their sites. The journal, Jane's Defence Weekly, is regularly updated with news of planned military activity in the Gulf.

The regional response

Arab Net - a comprehensive resource with numerous links to most Arab states in the Middle East.

The Kuwait Times is an English-language resource with daily news reports about Kuwait, and the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishes details of peacekeeping in the region.

The Israel Defence Forces site has a statement from the Heads of the Israeli Defense and Medical establishments regarding the Iraq situation.

Iraq and its exiled opposition

An Iraqi government site, the Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations publishes the text of speeches delivered at UN forums by Iraqi officials. There are also press releases, information about Iraq's foreign policy, and the test of speeches made by Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.

The Iraqi National Congress, an umbrella opposition group of exiled Iraqis, maintains a site with news and commentary about the democratic Iraqi opposition.

The Iraq Action Coalition (IAC) is a political party also in opposition to Saddam Hussain, strongly opposed to the use of military force against Iraq. The site publishes information about the damaging effects of the blockade on Iraq.

Iraq Foundation is a non-governmental organization with information on their site about human rights abuses in Iraq.

Iraq factfiles

The Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress publishes an up to date country profile of Iraq, including details of its geography and infrastructure.

The Iraq subsection of ArabNet has a basic history of Iraq, from its early civilisation to instability since the invasion of Kuwait.

The Iraq Research and Documentation Project at Harvard University's Centre for Middle Eastern Studies is a multimedia database about the government, politics, and civil society of modern Iraq. There are summaries of a number of Iraqi government documents captured from the security and secret-police offices of the Iraqi government during the March 1991 uprisings.

A huge database of maps of Iraq is at the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin.

Discussion groups

The Iraqi Cybercafe

The 1991 conflict online

Online information about the 1991 Gulf War ranges from photo documentaries to fallout, with profiles of the commanders, battle maps, war stories of veterans of the conflict, and the ensuing refugee situation.

The Gulf War - Frontline is a multimedia report on Gulf War syndrome, including the BBC radio series "Voices in the Storm".

Desert-Storm.com is a collection of testimonies from veterans of the war.



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