Saturday, 05 October 2002 By deadlinkISRAEL'S TOP SECRET UNIT OPERATING INSIDE IRAQ
Israeli special forces are operating inside western Iraq, pinpointing locations where Iraqi missile launchers might be positioned, the Jane's Foreign Report newsletter said in its latest edition.
According to the report, the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit was sent to Iraq "to find and identify places used by, or likely to be used by, Iraqi Scud missile launchers."
"Our information is that neither Israel nor the United States have a clue about what, if anything, Saddam Hussein is hiding," the newsletter reported.
"It was this ignorance that persuaded the (Israeli) prime minister, Ariel Sharon, to assign the Sayeret Matkal to a job that is sensitive and dangerous," it added.
Jane's Foreign Report said there were only certain locations from where Iraq's remaining Scud missiles could be launched at Israeli targets, given their limited range.
"Matkal's mission is to detect early preparations," it said, adding: "The Israelis believe the Iraqis have hidden their Scud launchers with great care."
Sayeret Matkal, otherwise known as General Staff Recon was formed in 1957. The unit was created to carry out top secret intelligence gathering missions.
www.albawaba.com (September 27, 2002)