The U.S. and Iraq are looking like tired heavyweights in a clinch, but there's no ref to pull them apart and tell them to fight on. U.S. planes Wednesday attacked an Iraqi missile site for the third time in a week, but no progress was expected from a U.N. Security Council consultation over the future of UNSCOM. "Everyone's waiting for Washington to send a signal on how it wants to proceed after the bombing, but we haven't done that," says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell. "The Security Council is split over sanctions and the future of UNSCOM, but diplomats at the U.N. also believe that Washington itself is divided and that there's no clear policy." Iraq, for its part, is happy to use continued U.S. strikes in its campaign to drum up Arab support.
Wednesday's U.N. session won't get beyond the airing of differences: France and Russia proposing that UNSCOM be scrapped and sanctions ended, and the U.S. insisting on maintaining the status quo. Which means that for the foreseeable future, Iraq's air-defense units would be advised to keep their heads down.