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Russia Min: No Knowledge Of US Plan For Iraq - Kyodo
January 22, 2003

NEW YORK -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov denied knowing the timing of a possible U.S. attack on Iraq, according to the Interfax news agency, Kyodo News reported.

Ivanov said he has no knowledge that the U.S. has made a decision to attack Iraq, according to Interfax.

Interfax had reported that according to a senior Russian military officer of the general staff headquarters, Moscow has obtained information that the U.S. was planning to attack Iraq in the second half of February, Kyodo said.

The officer was quoted by the Russian news agency as saying the strategy for beginning war has already been decided but hasn't been announced.

When its military forces gathered around Iraq reach 150,000, the U.S. will exercise the use of force, the officer said, according to Interfax, Kyodo said.

The officer believes that the number of U.S. troops already deployed has reached 100,000, the agency reported.

He added that the U.S. attack will be comprehensive - from land, sea and air - and is expected to last about a month, the report said, Kyodo reported.

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