U.S. PREPARES FOR AIR STRIKES ON IRAQ
BAGHDAD [MENL] -- The U.S. military has prepared for the prospect of airstrikes against insurgency strongholds during Sunday's elections in Iraq. U.S. officials said an aircraft carrier battle group has been placed onalert in the northern Gulf to respond to requests by commanders for airstrikes against insurgents in Iraq. The force consists of 12 surface shipsand submarines, equipped with 72 aircraft.