News

DATE=1/8/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-243949 TITLE=DESERT FOX TOLL - L BYLINE=JIM RANDLE DATELINE=PENTAGON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: TOP U-S GENERALS SAY DECEMBER'S "DESERT FOX" AIR RAIDS KILLED UP TO TWO THOUSAND ELITE IRAQI TROOPS, AS WELL AS SOME KEY OFFICIALS. U-S OFFICIALS SAY IRAQI LEADER SADDAM HUSSEIN IS SHOWING SIGNS OF STRAIN AFTER THE CAMPAIGN. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON THAT OFFICIALS SAY THEY MAY SOON BOLSTER U-S FORCES IN THE GULF WITH SOME SPECIAL AIRCRAFT. TEXT: AMERICA'S HIGHEST RANKING MILITARY OFFICER, GENERAL HUGH SHELTON, SAYS INTELLIGENCE FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES SHOWS THAT "SEVERAL KEY INDIVIDUALS" IN BAGHDAD'S LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE DIED IN THE DECEMBER AIR RAIDS. THE GENERAL ALSO SAYS BETWEEN 6-HUNDRED AND 16-HUNDRED MEMBERS OF IRAQ'S ELITE REPUBLICAN GUARD AND SPECIAL REPUBLICAN GUARD DIED WHEN MISSILES CAUGHT THEM ASLEEP IN THEIR BARRACKS. HE SAYS SOME INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATES PUT THE LOSSES AS HIGH AS 2-THOUSAND. GENERAL SHELTON SAYS TWO OR THREE TIMES THAT NUMBER MAY HAVE BEEN INJURED BY THE NIGHT TIME RAIDS. THE SPECIAL REPUBLICAN GUARD WAS TARGETED BY THE RAIDS BECAUSE THEY PROTECT SADDAM HUSSEIN AND THE PROGRAMS TO PRODUCE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. THE COMMANDER OF OPERATION "DESERT FOX," GENERAL ANTHONY ZINNI, SAYS NEW INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION SHOWS THAT THE DECEMBER RAIDS WERE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN FIRST THOUGHT. HE SAYS IT NOW APPEARS IRAQ'S PROGRAMS TO PRODUCE MISSILES, AND CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS WERE SET BACK AT LEAST TWO YEARS, BECAUSE CRITICAL, HARD-TO-REPLACE EQUIPMENT WAS WRECKED. /// ZINNI ACT 005 /// IN THIS EQUIPMENT NOW THAT WE ARE SEEING, THAT WAS STRUCK AND SEVERELY DAMAGED, WE'RE SEEING SOME UNIQUE PIECES OF EQUIPMENT NECESSARY FOR HIS MISSILE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, THINGS LIKE TEST STANDS AND OTHER KINDS OF FACILITIES, SPECIAL KINDS OF PRESSES AND EQUIPMENT THAT HE WOULD HAVE TO GO EXTERNAL TO GET. /// END ACT //// /// OPT /// GENERAL ZINNI SAYS SADDAM HUSSEIN IS TAKING ACTIONS THAT SHOW HE IS WORRIED ABOUT INTERNAL SECURITY, INCLUDING EXECUTING CIVILIANS IN SOUTHERN IRAQ AS WELL AS SOME KEY MILITARY OFFICERS. /// ZINNI ACT /// ON THE DIVISION, WE HEARD IT WAS THE DIVISION COMMANDER AND SOME OF HIS STAFF, BUT I DIDN'T GET A SPECIFIC NUMBER. /// END ACT /// /// END OPT /// GENERAL ZINNI SAYS SADDAM HUSSEIN SEEMS "SHAKEN" BY THE AIR RAIDS AND OTHER U-S ACTIONS. THE GENERAL IS TURNING UP THE HEAT ON IRAQ BY ASKING FOR MORE U-S AIRCRAFT, INCLUDING EIGHT THAT ARE SPECIALLY EQUIPPED TO DESTROY ANTIAIRCRAFT RADARS. THE GENERALS SAY WASHINGTON'S POLICY IS ONE OF CONTAINMENT, PATIENCE AND FORCE. THEY SAY THEY WILL BLOCK BAGHDAD'S ATTEMPTS TO MAKE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, OR THREATEN ITS NEIGHBORS, USING WHATEVER FORCE IS NEEDED. THEY ALSO SAY THEY WANT TO PRESERVE IRAQ'S TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY, AND THE STABILITY OF THE CRITICAL PERSIAN GULF REGION. SOME MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ARE URGING A STRONGER POLICY AGAINST IRAQ, INCLUDING BOMBING RAIDS ON IRAQI AIR FIELDS. OTHER EXPERTS ARE URGING ATTACKS ON FACILITIES, LIKE FERTILIZER OR PHARMACEUTICAL PLANTS THAT COULD PRODUCE CHEMICAL OR BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS. GENERAL ZINNI WILL SAY ONLY THAT HE "CAN'T RULE OUT" SUCH ATTACKS IN THE FUTURE. (SIGNED) NEB/JR/ENE/GE 08-Jan-99 1:05 PM EST (1805 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .