2. Mujahideen al-Khalq’s Second Mission: To Blow up Iraq’s Oil Fields

As DEBKA-Net-Weekly reported earlier, Saddam Hussein has big plans for the Mujahideen a-Khalq, the armed Iranian opposition group, 15,000 of whose fighters are based in Iraq. The MKO is designated by Saddam for a dual purpose: to spread terror and mayhem inside America and to strike behind American lines in Iraq.

Now the Iranian militants have been assigned their most important task, to blow up and set fire to Iraq’s oil fields the moment the US attack is launched. Last week, a Mujahideen battalion was deployed at the oil fields around the northern city of Kirkuk. Squads of six to 10 men were given sectors and armed with enough explosives and detonators to set them ablaze.

On Tuesday, February 2, a second Mujahideen battalion was dispatched to the oil fields around Mosul. A third battalion is on its way to Iraq’s western oil fields. According to DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s intelligence sources, a fourth Mujahideen battalion should be heading for the southern oil fields in the Basra and Khozistan regions by the end of the week.

The Iranian battalion commanders carry sealed orders, to be opened when the US offensive gets under way or if contact is lost with Baghdad headquarters. In those eventualities, the oil fields are to be sabotaged without delay.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s military and intelligence sources note that as the United States, Turkey and Kurdish leaders continue to dicker over the number of US and Turkish forces allowed in the oil fields and cities of northern Iran – and who will control them – Saddam has made his move.

His plan to torch the oil fields spells cataclysmic ecological disaster for the Gulf and Middle East, giving American war planners pause. If the oil fields go up in flames, parts of the American invasion force will need to be diverted to douse the fires before they rage out of control. Blazes at Khozistan’s oil fields, for instance, could swiftly spread to Iranian oil fields next door.

Saddam has kept chemical and biological weapons in his Iron Triangle and given his missile battery and air force commanders secret orders to be prepared to use them.

Each Iraqi unit in the triangular defense zone has been given a combat sector with carte blanche to use any means – without exception – to ensure the safety of its men and keep them operational. Sector commanders will activate their WMD upon a signal from Baghdad or when they judge their men are in jeopardy.

If Saddam’s plan of campaign goes into effect, therefore, Iraqi oil fields will be enveloped by flames, possibly together with fields that catch fire in Iran and the oil resources that his terrorists blow up in Saudi Arabia or the emirates. Most of the country will also be enshrouded in radioactive, chemical or biological cloud.

Wind or atmospheric conditions could blow some of the toxins back toward Iraqi forces crammed into the Iron Triangle. But DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s military sources report that Saddam and his generals believe those units have sufficient protective gear to weather contamination. A network of bunkers and tunnels equipped with purification systems is also in place.

But the civilian population — four million Kurds in northern Iraq and nine million Shiites in the south – may not be as lucky; they have no not received any protective gear.


Saddam’s doomsday will encompass historic treasures


According to DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s intelligence sources, Saddam’s plan of campaign entails both the eradication of Iraq’s oil resources and its unique archeological and cultural treasures.

Monday and Tuesday, February 9 and 10, explosives were planted at Ur of the Chaldees, the traditional birthplace of Abraham, northwest of Basra in southern Iraq.

Two booby-trapped MiG-21 warplanes were parked at makeshift landing strips near the archeological site. US intelligence officials in Kuwait believe they are converted pilot-less, remote-controlled aircraft, equipped to carry biological or chemical substances and release them against US forces in Kuwait even before they enter southern Iraq’s oil regions.

Iraq has also mined and booby-trapped the ruins of ancient Babylon.

The site, on the banks of the Tigris River, is about 55 km (30 miles) south of Baghdad and near the town of al-Hilala, in the southern outskirts of the Shiite holy city of Karbalah. The strong implicaton here is that Saddam plans to use non-conventional weapons against Iraq’s Shiites, just as he did against the Kurds in Halajba in 1988.

What the Iraqi ruler is saying to US President George W. Bush by these actions is: If you make me go, I will take the oil fields and cradle of civilization with me.

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