- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 23, 2003

RUSSIA
Moscow protests U.S. spy flight
MOSCOW Russia delivered a statement of protest to the U.S. Embassy yesterday, accusing Washington of tactics associated with the Cold War after a U.S. spy plane flew near Russia's border with Georgia.
Two Russian fighters scrambled to track the U-2 spy plane as it flew 12 to 19 miles from the Russian border yesterday, the Defense Ministry said, according to Russian news agencies.
The U.S. Embassy said it had no comment.
The Russian Foreign Ministry later said the flight yesterday followed two earlier incidents, on March 7 and Feb. 27, prompting the protest.

AFGHANISTAN
U.S. forces seize large weapons cache
KABUL U.S. troops seized a large cache of weapons, including hundreds of mortars, rockets and land mines, and detained four suspects yesterday during a sweep in southern Afghanistan, an unidentified official said.
The cache was found inside several buildings in a walled compound near the southern Sami Ghar mountains, where hundreds of U.S.-led troops are hunting for terror suspects in a broad new operation.
The seizure occurred about the time those suspected of being Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami renegades killed three Afghan soldiers at a post elsewhere in the southern Kandahar province.

BRITAIN
Support for Blair jumps after war starts
LONDON With war against Iraq under way, Britons are rallying behind Prime Minister Tony Blair, and four out of five residents believe that U.S. and British forces should see the military campaign through to a "successful conclusion."
An ICM poll, due to be published today, showed that 56 percent believe that Mr. Blair's handling of the crisis has been "about right" but that 26 percent think he has been "too firm" in starting a war against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
The News of the World newspaper, which is to publish the poll, said support two weeks ago was 29 percent.

TURKEY
Military denies that troops entered Iraq
SILOPI The Turkish military denied reports yesterday that 1,000 Turkish commandos had crossed into northern Iraq.
A military official said Friday that soldiers in M-113 armored personnel carriers rolled into northeastern Iraq near where the borders of Turkey, Iraq and Iran converge. He said the soldiers were reinforcing Turkish troops in Iraq.
Meanwhile, U.S. defense officials also said yesterday that dozens of American ships carrying weaponry for the Army's 4th Infantry Division have been redirected to the Persian Gulf. The decision ends Washington's hopes of using Turkish bases to move heavy armored forces into northern Iraq.

IRAN
U.S. allies rockets land across border
TEHRAN Three missiles fired by U.S. jets taking part in attacks in Iraq landed over the border in southwestern Iran, Iran's official IRNA news agency said yesterday.
Quoting an unidentified military commander, IRNA also said U.S. and British military jets violated the Islamic Republic's airspace several times Friday and yesterday during operations against targets in southern Iraq.
Another rocket hit an oil refinery depot Friday evening in the city of Abadan, about 30 miles east of the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

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