British troops deployed in the Gulf region had been told to prepare for an attack against Iraq on March 17, Britain's Daily Express newspaper reported on Thursday.
British officers based in Kuwait had been told to launch an invasion on that date, after a massive "short and sharp" air blitzon Iraq on March 13, the newspaper quoted some official sources assaying.
But the Ministry of Defense declined to comment on the report.
The United States and Britain have been escalating their military build-up in the Gulf as Anglo-American efforts to secure a UN resolution backing military action against Iraq continue.
In another development, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is flying to New York on Thursday amid reports that British diplomats are working on plans to give Iraq more time to disarm.
The British compromise is expected to be floated on Friday after chief UN weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei deliver their new inspections report to the Security Council, The Sky News reported.