Excerpts From the BBC website, April 9:
In an interview with Spanish daily El Pais, chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix hinted he believed Iraq's contended possession of weapons of mass destruction had served as a pretext for a US-led invasion.
"There is evidence this war was planned well in advance," he said.
"You ask yourself a lot of questions when you see the things they [the US] did to try and demonstrate that the Iraqis had nuclear weapons, like the fake contract with Niger," he said.
He was referring to the discovery by UN inspectors that documents the US alleged proved Iraq had tried to buy uranium from the African state had been forged.
Mr. Blix said he thought finding banned weapons in Iraq was now a low priority for coalition forces - and that "today, the main aim is to change the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein".
US commanders continue to stress the threat posed by banned weapons. ...
On Wednesday, US Brigadier General Vincent Brooks warned that Saddam loyalists were still holding out in some parts of northern Iraq, and might resort to using weapons of mass destruction.
On Monday, US defence officials said that initial field tests on a number of chemicals found near the city of Karbala suggested the possible presence of the nerve agents sarin and tabun, as well as mustard gas.
But there have already been a series of false alarms.
On Saturday, US officials admitted to the latest, when they said tests on thousands of vials of white powder touted to be a possible chemical warfare agent revealed it was more likely to be an explosive or antidote.