Saddam says any U.S. attack would target all Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Saddam Hussein sought to rally the Arab world against U.S. plans to topple him, saying in a rare interview published Tuesday that any American action against Iraq would be an attack on all Arabs.

Saddam's comments came as the Pentagon's No. 2 official was in Turkey -- a neighbor of Iraq and a key U.S. ally -- trying to drum up support for military action against Iraq.

Turkish leaders, however, appeared reluctant. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit told Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz that an attack on Iraq would throw Turkey's fragile economy into "chaos," the Anatolia news agency reported.

President Bush says he aims to remove Saddam and accuses Iraq of sponsoring terrorism and producing and stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.

Saddam appeared confident Iraq could defend itself, said Mohammed al-Misfir, a political science professor at the University of Qatar, who conducted the interview in Baghdad.

"All the Arab nation is targeted. The battle is not about Iraq but about the nation as a whole," Saddam said in the interview, published in several Arab newspapers.