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TENSION IN THE GULF

An Escalation of Tensions

November 12, 1998

Oct. 7, 1997: Iraq imposes new restrictions on inspections by U.N.

Oct. 29: Iraq announces a ban on U.S. inspectors.

Nov. 13: Iraq says U.S. weapons inspectors must leave. Almost all other inspectors are ordered out by chief weapons inspector Richard Butler.

Nov. 14: President Clinton orders aircraft carrier George Washington to the Persian Gulf.

Jan. 13, 1998: Iraq blocks work by U.N. arms inspectors led by American Scott Ritter.

Feb. 7: The U.S. adds 19 combat and 23 support aircraft and an additional 2,200 U.S. Marines to the buildup at sea.

Feb. 11: Commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East says the United States is ready to strike within a week. Iraq offers to open eight presidential buildings to inspectors appointed by the U.N. secretary-general. The proposal is dismissed by the U.S. and Britain.

Feb. 20: Seeking to break a potentially deadly stalemate over Iraq's refusal to adhere to the disarmament regimen, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan travels to Baghdad to resolve the standoff.

Feb. 22: Annan and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein agree on a plan to allow U.N. weapons inspections at the eight disputed sites.

March 1: U.N. Security Council unanimously warns Iraq of the "severest consequences" if Baghdad violates the agreement on unrestricted U.N. inspections negotiated with Annan.

March 26: Weapons inspectors charged with dismantling Iraq's illegal arms programs visit one of the eight previously off-limits presidential sites.

Aug. 5: Baghdad announces that it has suspended cooperation with U.N. weapons inspections until several conditions are met.

Aug. 20: Security Council unanimously rejects any easing of economic sanctions against Baghdad but remains divided on any further action.

Oct. 31: Iraq announces that it is ending all cooperation with inspectors.

Nov. 2: Iraq declares that it will not renew cooperation with U.N. weapons inspectors even if threatened with military action unless the Security Council begins moving toward lifting trade sanctions imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Nov. 4: American officials indicate that the U.S. has sufficient forces and firepower in the Persian Gulf to launch a strike on Iraq within days.

Nov. 11: U.N. evacuates remaining weapons inspectors from Iraq.

SOURCES: THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, ASSOCIATED PRESS

COMPILED BY JACQUELYN CENACVEIRA / LOS ANGELES TIMES

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