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Iraq: UN Inspectors Continue Search As U.S. Warns Of War

Baghdad, 4 January 2003 (RFE/RL) -- UN weapons inspectors today continued their investigation of Iraq's suspect sites for evidence of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, while the U.S. is preparing to send more troops to the area. Iraqi officials said the inspection teams went to several sites in the central part of the country, including a brewery in Khalis, north of Baghdad, and Al-Maamoun plant in Mahmoudiyah, south of Baghdad.

The inspectors must report their findings to the UN Security Council by 27 January.

Meanwhile, the U.S. prepared to send more troops to the area. U.S. President George W. Bush yesterday said that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein must get rid of his weapons of mass destruction or face consequences.

"The fate of the Iraqi regime is being determined by its own decisions. Saddam Hussein knows precisely what he can and must do to avoid conflict. We have made that clear; the world has spoken with one voice. And even now he could end his defiance and dramatically change directions -- he has that choice to make."

Bush spoke to American troops at Fort Hood, Texas, which has one of the largest U.S. military bases.