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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 03-03-20
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Weather forecastSunshine is forecast in all parts of the country with northerly, light to moderate winds.The temperature in Athens will range from 2 to 16 C and in Thessaloniki from 1 to 14C.
(20/3/2003 11:17:00 рм)
 First missiles hit IraqAir raids began in Iraq at 04:35 Greek time, with the Iraqi authorities announcing the first 10 deaths of Iraqis. In an interview with journalists on the air carrier Lincoln, American admiral John Keli said that the missiles that his most targets were launched from four American cruisers and two submarines.
According to the Greek Radio (ERA), the missiles hit buildings of the Iraqi Presidency and the Intelligence Service, while the Al Jazira TV network claimed that one of the targets was Iraqi President Saddam Housein' s shelter.
At the same time, American Pentagon sources claimed that the American attacks tried to kill Iraqi officials and that they are aiming at gaining control of the command centers. If they prove successful then that might change the nature of the war radically. Additionally, it was announced that Australian forces participated in the first attacks.
Meanwhile, three hours after the first attacks, Iraqi President Saddam Housein addressed the Iraqi people on TV saying that 'little and criminal Bush was committing a crime against humanity' and called on the Iraqis to resist until the invaders lost their patience. He also said that the enemy would be humiliated and that the Iraqis would win because they are fighting for their country and their principles. However, it has not been clarified whether the Iraqi President's address had been recorded or televised live.
At the same time, the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Spanish counterpart maintained that they had not been briefed on the attack, while according to the Israeli Radio the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had been briefed about the strike.
American sources claim that no warning had been made because the information about Mr Saddam Housein and his sons' hideouts war received suddenly.
On a relative development, closing the sessions of the Security Council, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan warned about a humanitarian catastrophe if measures are not taken for the civilians.
Germany from its side expressed its surprise on the strike against Iraq, reminding that in cooperation with France and Russia, Berlin made great efforts to prevent war and to disarm Iraq peacefully. Additionally, the French Foreign Minister Dominique De Velpen expressed his fears for the increase of terrorism in the Middle East.
At the same time according to Anatolia newsagency, the Turkish government asked from the Parliament today to approve the dispatch of Turkish troops in Northern Iraq for a period of six months and the use of the Turkish airspace by the American forces.
Meanwhile, his reassurance that the Civic Aviation Service is fully prepared to secure the safety of air transportations in Greece, was given by civic aviation Director Stavros Constantinidis in an interview to mpa.gr. Olympic Airways has put emergency operational measures aiming both at flight and passenger safety into effect, stopping flights to the Middle East and reorganizing flights to Europe.
Finally, the United Nations has appealed to Athens not to deport Iraqis to countries that could not offer them protection.
(20/3/2003 11:23:00 рм)