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Iraq seeks allies in war with Iran

Fighting off a massive new Iranian offensive, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is trying to draw other Arab states - especially Egypt - closer to his side. Even though Egypt, Jordan, and the Saudi-led Gulf states have stepped up their financial, technical, and moral support for Iraq, these countries are unlikely to enter the war more openly. Monitor correspondent John Yemma reports that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sent two high-level diplomats to Jordan Wednesday with messages for Jordan's King Hussein and Iraqi President Hussein. The messages were thought to contain promises of more and faster deliveries of war materiel and expressions of Egyptian support.

But it seems improbable the envoys will communicate an offer to dispatch troops - even though Iraq recently called for this. The Mubarak regime has repeatedly said it will not become involved directly in the war. This week Iran launched a long-expected attack in the southeast of Iraq near the city of Al Amarah. Claims by both sides are unreliable, but the relative calm in Iraq indicates the Iranians have not secured a major victory - at least not yet. But military analysts said that Iran may be planning a wider offensive, and that other fronts could open near Baghdad and in Kurdistan.

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