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War build-up revealed by satellite.

Byline: RICHARD WALLACE US Editor in New York

THESE pictures are the clearest evidence yet that the US is preparing for war.

The pin-sharp satellite images are of an air base in Qatar, which America has spent pounds 1billion on, creating one of the most advanced military sites on the planet.

Officials are furious the pictures from a commercial satellite have been released. They reveal the dramatic build-up of Al Udeid base in preparation for a strike against Iraq.

Heavy bombers line the 15,000ft runway, the longest in the region. New ammunition dumps have been built, along with 100 aircraft shelters. The base can cater for 10,000 personnel.

Experts say Qatar is being reinforced as the main base because of America's increasingly tense relationship with Saudi Arabia.

US analyst Laurent Murawiec said: "Saudi Arabia supports our enemies and attacks our allies."

CAPTION(S):

BUILD-UP; Drive-through aircraft shelters have been built to house US bombers; SO CLEAR; A newly-built parking ramp with nine aircraft is easily seen in the pictures; BIG BASE; America has spent pounds 1billion preparing the area for a strike against Iraq
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 7, 2002
Words:186
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