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Date: Tue, 17 Sep 1996 21:16:12 -0500
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>>> Item number 9013, dated 96/09/15 23:16:25 -- ALL
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 1996 23:16:25 GMT
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From: Marpessa Kupendua <nattyreb@ix.netcom.com>
Subject: !*Report: CIA Coup Effort in Iraq Foiled (fwd)

)Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 16:39:38 -0400 (EDT)
)From: Abdul Salau <binta@astro.ocis.temple.edu>
)To: Marpessa Kupendua <nattyreb@ix.netcom.com>
)Subject: Report: CIA Coup Effort in Iraq Foiled (fwd)
)---------- Forwarded message ----------
)Date: Sat, 7 Sep 1996 16:18:40 -0400
)From: Ladi Kukoyi <oakukoyi@BOSCO.MEIS.UAB.EDU>
)To: Multiple recipients of list NAIJANET <NAIJANET@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
)Subject: Report: CIA Coup Effort in Iraq Foiled

CIA Coup Effort in Iraq Foiled

Reuters, 7 September 1996

NEW YORK (Reuter - A covert Central Intelligence Agency operation aimed at toppling Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was undermined by last weekend's Iraqi assault on Kurdish minorities, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Citing U.S. intelligence sources, the Times said the handful of CIA officers overseeing a stepped-up covert operation in northern Iraq fled last week as Iraqi forces occupied the city of Arbil.

They were the only American spies left in the mountains and valleys north of Baghdad, and left behind a fragmented cadre of agents, among them Iraqi military defectors and Kurdish rebels, the paper said.

President Clinton expanded the covert operation in January, signing a secret order directing the CIA to provide weapons, organize some military training and install some intelligence-gathering equipment for the fractious group seeking to unseat Saddam, the officials told the newspaper.

The departure of the American intelligence officers involved in this effort, who left along with State Department and U.S. military personnel, will make the operation in northern Iraq ''very difficult'' to continue, one officials told the newspaper.

Although Saddam's armed forces have left Arbil, which they occupied Aug. 31, American officials say the Iraqi leader left behind a large secret police force to infiltrate the area, with orders to root out his opponents.

The Times said the list of people to arrest and interrogate would

presumably include Iraqis they suspected of working with American intelligence. They have already arrested and imprisoned some 1,500 suspected Iraqi and Kurdish opposition figures, according to the Iraqi National Congress, a coalition of resistance organizations.

State Department spokesman Glyn Davies could not confrim the Iraqi National Congress's assertion that 1,500 people had been arrested. The fate of the smaller number of resistance figures actually working with the CIA is unknown.

The Iraqi National Congress is one of two major dissident groups receiving funds from the CIA. All told, the agency is spending about $20 million this year to try to remove Saddam, or $6 million more than 1995.

The increase reflects the most recent presidential order expanding the covert program that now includes intelligence gathering equipment, relatively modest amounts of light weaponry, and coordination of military training provided by senior Iraqi military defectors, the officials told the Times.