U.S., British Warplanes Hit Iraq Targets

U.S. and British warplanes struck air defense
targets in Iraq’s southern no-fly zone for the
second time in a week on Thursday in the latest in
a flurry of raids since late August, U.S. military officials said. "The strikes were in response to recent hostile threats by the Iraqis," a U.S. military spokesman in the Gulf said. He gave no
details of the alleged threats.

2001.09.27

U.S. and British warplanes struck air defense
targets in Iraq’s southern no-fly zone for the
second time in a week on Thursday in the latest in
a flurry of raids since late August, U.S.
military officials said.


"The strikes were in response to recent
hostile threats by the Iraqis," a U.S.
military spokesman in the Gulf said.

He gave no details of the alleged threats.

A spokesman for U.S. Central Command in Florida said British and American aircraft used precision-guided munitions to strike anti-aircraft artillery and command and control vehicles in open fields at Shahban and Nassiryah, he said.


"Today’s coalition strikes in the no-fly
zones were executed as self-defense measures in
response to Iraqi hostile threats and acts
against coalition air crews," Colonel Rick
Thomas said in a statement.


"If Iraq were to cease its threatening
actions, coalition strikes would also cease,"
Thomas said.

He said Thursday’s strikes were not
linked to President Bush’s campaign against
terrorism following September 11 attacks in the
United States which left nearly 7,000 people dead
or missing believed killed.


The attack was the latest in a spate of raids by
American and British jets since late August, with
three last week alone, amid attempts by Iraq to
shoot down aircraft patrolling no-fly zones in
northern and southern Iraq. U.S. and British
planes last hit southern Iraq on September 21.


The no-fly zones have been enforced since shortly
after a U.S.-led coalition drove Iraqi occupiers
from Kuwait in 1991. They were created to
protect minority Kurds and Shi’ites from attack
by President Saddam Hussein’s armed forces and to
ensure that Iraq did not again threaten its
neighbors.


Iraq does not recognize the zones and they are
also severely criticized by Russia, which accuses
Washington and London of circumventing the
United Nations in setting them up.

In early August, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Iraq had greatly improved its air defenses with
fiber-optic links since coalition planes pounded
them and other military targets south of Baghdad
in February.

About 50 U.S. and British jets hit
those defenses with precision- guided bombs and
missiles again in August. The spokesman in the
Gulf region said on Thursday all coalition
aircraft had safely left Iraqi airspace. The U.S.
military said that, since December 1998, Iraq had
fired anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air
missiles against U.S. and British planes on more
than 1,050 occasions, including more than 420
times this year.

When was the last time the U.S. Bombed Iraq? –http://www.ccmep.org/us_bombing_watch.html


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Author: Reuters

News Service: U.S. Bombing Watch

URL: http://www.ccmep.org/us_bombing_watch.html