Tuesday, March 5, 1991

In Damascus, F.M.s of GCC nations, Egypt and Syria reach agreement on new postwar defense arrangements in Gulf built around Egyptian and Syrian forces [MEM 3/5; WP, WT, MEM 3/6; NYT, LAT, WT 3/7; DDS 3/5 in FBIS 3/6; DDS 3/6 in FBIS 3/7; MET 3/19].

Republican Guard tank and infantry brigades loyal to Saddam Hussein attack rebel positions in Basra; opposition leaders say at least 6 Iraqi cities are still controlled by rebels; thousands of refugees flee the violence; Bush admin. says it has no intention of getting involved in the rebellion [LAT, WP, WT 3/6; IRNA, AFP 3/5 in FBIS 3/5].

U.S. and Kuwaiti experts say it may take almost 2 years to extinguish about 550 Kuwaiti oil wells that have been set ablaze, and at least 5 years before the country's oil export facilities are fully restored [LAT, NYT, WP 3/6; CSM 3/7].

Iraq hands over what it calls its last POWs, releasing 35 allies, including 15 Americans, to the Red Cross; up to 26 journalists are still missing in southern Iraq [MEM 3/5; NYT, LAT, WP, WT, CSM 3/6; BADS 3/5 in FBIS 3/5; MET 3/19].

Pentagon updates U.S. casualty toll in Gulf war to 115 dead and 330 wounded. Tens of thousands of Iraqis are believed to have been killed [LAT 3/6].

Pentagon also says that tens of thousands of U.S. troops will have to stay in Gulf region for several months [NYT 3/6].

France begins withdrawing its forces from region; pullout expected to take until September [MEM 3/5].

In letter from F.M. Aziz to Sec.-Gen. Perez de Cuellar, Iraq renounces its annexation of Kuwait and promises to return hundreds of millions of dollars worth of looted property [LAT, NYT 3/6; INA 3/5 in FBIS 3/6; MET 3/19].

Food, water, and electricity remain scarce in Kuwait City, but 2,700-man allied task force is hoping to alleviate worst of problems within days [LAT, WT 3/6].

Kuwaiti gov't places Kuwait City under 10 P.M. to 4 A.M. curfew [AFP, KUNA 3/5 in FBIS 3/6; MET 3/19].

House Appropriations Committee votes to give Israel $650 million to cover costs associated with Gulf war, and approves $42.6-billion down payment of Operation Desert Storm [NYT, LAT, WP, WT, MEM 3/6].

Doctors in Kuwait City say that in the last 5 days they have treated scores of Palestinians who had been severely beaten and in some cases shot. U.S. military reports that 7 Kuwaiti soldiers manning checkpoints have been shot to death by people in passing vehicles [NYT 3/6].

Amnesty International warns of the risk of reprisal killings against Palestinians and other Arabs, urges that Red Cross be given access to all detainees in Kuwait [MEM 3/5; FJ 3/1].

In 1st postwar policy statement, King Fahd predicts Saddam Hussein will meet an ominous end as "all tyrants" in the Arab world have before him [NYT, MEM 3/6].

Israeli Immigration Min. Yitzhak Peretz expresses concern over small number of recent Soviet Jewish immigrants who, dissatisfied with high standard of living and limited employment opportunities, are emigrating to Canada, Australia, and Germany [WT 3/6].