GOLEZ: U.S. ATTACK BETWEEN MARCH 1-15

Manila, Feb. 7, 2003 -- Speaker Jose de Venecia disclosed yesterday the assessment by the National Security Council (NSC) that the United States will strike Iraq between March 1 to 15.

National Security Adviser Roilo Golez also confirmed that war might break out within weeks, citing the assessment and advice given to him by his US contacts.

"(The military strike against Iraq) would be (within) weeks but not months ... if at all hostilities would start in the Middle East. The expectation is it's going to be a quick war," Golez said.

Golez also clarified that Mrs. Arroyo's statement on the US-Iraq conflict was "not waging war" with Iraq and necessarily dragging the country in the Middle East crisis as her critics warned.

"She (Mrs. Arroyo) said we should respect the UN process. I think we should. She said the UN should speed up the inspection process. Saddam Hussein should comply and cooperate with inspection and if Iraq leadership will not comply with the UN resolution, then they are the ones responsible," Golez said.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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