Hussein says Iraq has new missile, threatens Israel

October 10, 1990|By Gilbert A. Lewthwaite | Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,Sun Staff Correspondent

AMMAN,JORDAN — AMMAN, Jordan -- President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, leading an outcry of Arab rage over the Israeli killing of 19 Palestinians, declared yesterday he had a new missile with a range that could hit both Israel and U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia.

The missile was called Al-Hijara, which means "stones." It wa clearly named after the young protesters in the anti-Israeli intifada, known as "Children of the Stones."

Mr. Hussein warned the Israelis to get out of the occupie territories and the U.S.-led multinational forces to leave the Moslem holy land of Saudi Arabia.

"Get out of our lands, you tyrants. Otherwise, face the consequences," he said in a nationally broadcast reaction to the Israeli killings. "You have no choice but to leave the lands of Palestine and Moslem shrines."

He warned Israel, which he previously has threatened to attack that it had moved "closer to the abyss."

The new Iraqi missile, according to President Hussein, wa capable of hitting "the objectives of evil" -- clearly the Israelis and the U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf -- "when the time of reckoning comes."

"Al-Hijara became capable of reaching targets that are hundred of kilometers from where it is launched. They are the new missile which Iraq invented," he said.

He claimed to have "many" of the new missiles but gave n specific number and did not indicate what sort of warhead it carried.

Iraq is known to have chemical weapons and is reported to hav fuel-air percussion explosives. It is not known whether Iraq has the technology to fit either to the new missile.

[But Don Kerr, a weapons analyst at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the claim would not be outlandish, the Associated Press said. "Iraq has had considerable success with surface-to-surface missiles, mostly derivatives of the Soviet-made Scud," he said.

[But Iraq's missile guidance systems are questionable, Mr. Kerr said, and "those used have not been too impressive."]

President Hussein announced a three-day period of nationa mourning in Iraq for the dead Palestinians, as the killings unleashed a furious Arab reaction.

In Iran, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning "thi horrible crime" and calling on the United Nations Security Council to protect the Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territories.

Syria's government-controlled Al-Baath newspaper said in a editorial: "Israel has chosen this very moment to execute its plot against the Palestinian people because it knows very well that there will be no adequate response for this criminal act" because "deep cracks" in the Arab world.

In Jordan, Palestinians marched in protest through the Baq refugee camp, shouting, "With our blood and souls, we sacrifice for you."

More than 200 workers at a new U.S. Embassy building i Amman put down their tools to demonstrate outside the main gate. They chanted, "America is the head of the snake." Riot police were nearby but did not intervene.

The powerful Moslem Brotherhood demanded "holy war" against Israel "to uproot this monster state."

In Tunis, Tunisia, the Palestine Liberation Organization, whic supports Iraq in the Persian Gulf crisis, prepared for a major meeting of its 100-strong Central Council today. PLO officials said the Israeli killings would only reinforce their demands for direct linkage between the gulf crisis and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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