As Dubai '97 kicks off with a demonstration of the world's best military technology, tension in the region is rising with the US sending a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf as Iraq warns an attack could be expected at any moment by the Americans and their British "stooges".

In spite of their claims of "unanimity" at the United Nations Security Council, the US and Britain remain isolated in their threats of military action against Iraq for expelling American arms inspectors.

A group of 76 UN weapons inspectors, including six expelled Americans who left by road, are now in Jordan and Bahrain. Russia, which along with China and France strongly opposes military action against Iraq, protested that it had not received a "timely warning" of the decision by Richard Butler, the Australian chairman of the UN disarmament commission (Unscom) to withdraw all but a skeleton staff of 19.

The USS George Washington is joining the aircraft carrier Nimitz in the Gulf whilst Britain has alerted a squadron of Harrier GR-7 aircraft. The deployment of the George Washington and its group will put more than 300 US warplanes in the Gulf region.

The US Navy is gearing up for action against Iraq with Friday's deployment of the USS George Washington accompanied by a cruiser, a destroyer and an attack submarine, all of which can fire cruise missiles, as pictured above

Source: Flight Daily News