WASHINGTON – A decision to strike Iraq has been postponed until at least the end of this month to give United Nations weapons inspectors a chance to make their report, according to U.S. military sources.

Nevertheless, while monitoring closely the work of Hans Blix, the chief of U.N. weapons inspectors, the Pentagon is already well aware of numerous arms violations by Baghdad thanks to its own intelligence and surveillance capabilities.

The U.S. military has intercepted communications from Iraqi officials discussing the hiding of weapons of mass destruction and their components, sources told WorldNetDaily. The weapons are being hidden, the sources say, in steel mills, parts factories and even in weapons and ammunition plants.

While the earliest date for a strike is the end of December, there is also a deadline for a decision about 90 days later in March, say sources close to the planning.

The 90-day window is necessary because of the massive military buildup in the area. Hundreds of thousands of tons of vehicles, armor and other equipment continue to pour into the region in support of the invasion. It all moves at night through airports and seaports, and the planes and ships are often gone before daylight.

Troops are being crowded into facilities designed for far fewer numbers, and the high level of mobilization cannot be maintained indefinitely, say the sources.

Troops, meanwhile, are being told by officers they could be in the region for between 30 days and six months. But the action, sources say, will begin in the 90-day window beginning in less than two weeks.

While the U.S. is mobilizing up to 300,000 military personnel for the conflict with Iraq, Britain is contributing about 15,000 to the campaign.


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