Title: Israeli Defense Secretary Arens says his country cannot make any commitments not to retaliate against Iraq for repeated Scud missile attacks. DoD Report. (910211)
02/11/91 8Dd Br DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REPORT, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11 (Israel) (340)
ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER DISCUSSES GULF WITH CHENEY
Israeli Defense Secretary Arens says his country cannot make any commitments not to retaliate against Iraq for repeated Scud missile attacks.
Arens made this comment to reporters outside the Pentagon after a long and extended meeting with Defense Secretary Cheney and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell on their first day back in Washington after a brief trip to assess the war in the gulf.
The Israeli official was asked if Israel would continue its policy not to retaliate after yet another Iraqi surface-to- surface missile was launched against it February 11. "I don't think we can make any such commitments," he answered. "It really depends on what happens."
Asked if Israel might help the coalition eliminate the Scud threat, Arens said his country's contribution "could be significant if arrangements could be made for that contribution." Asked if the United States had expressed any willingness to provide identification codes which would allow Israeli aircraft to safely fly within Iraqi and Kuwaiti airspace without inadvertently being attacked by allied aircraft, the Israeli official said, "I can't go into any details about such things."
Arens said he had "serious and important talks" in the United States with President Bush as well as Cheney and Powell. They discussed the gulf crisis and "its implications" for Israel, he said, as well as the missile threat facing Israel.
During his meeting with Bush, Arens said they were told that Israel was under a high state of alert due to another Scud launch "at the very moment that we were discussing the subject in the Oval Office."
After the February 11 meeting at the Pentagon, a senior U.S. Defense Department official said the main focus was on the overall problems associated with the gulf conflict. There was considerable discussion, he said, about "the Scud problem." Cheney expressed his appreciation to Israel for
GE 2 SFF105 exhibiting restraint in absorbing the Scud attacks and in not retaliating. NNNN
File Identification: 02/11/91, SF-105; 02/11/91, EU-107; 02/12/91, NA-204; 02/12/91, AR-203
Product Name: Wireless File
Product Code: WF
Keywords: ISRAEL/Defense & Military; ARENS, MOSHE; MISSILE DEPLOYMENT; IRAQ-ISRAEL RELATIONS
Thematic Codes: 1NE; 1ME
Target Areas: AF; AR; EA; EU; NE
PDQ Text Link: 172172