Thursday August 2, 5:19 PM
Iraq-US sideshow to Mideast turmoil heats up on Gulf war anniversary
DUBAI, Aug 2 (AFP) -
The confrontational Iraq-US sideshow to general Middle East turmoil has boiled up again, with Washington's threats of air strikes producing ever more defiance from Baghdad on the 11th anniversary of the Gulf war.
But the belligerent talk from the White House at a time when Israelis are carrying out almost daily extra-judicial assassinations of Palestinians has produced a new twist in the long-running saga. US diplomats fear that another barrage of Cruise missiles on Iraq would damage American interests in the Middle East far more seriously than it would the ever-enduring Iraqi regime.
|An F/A-18 Hornet, from the USS Harry S. Truman, patrols the 'no fly zone' over southern Iraq in support of Operation Southern Watch on Feb. 9, 2001. U.S. and British planes conducted an air strike August 14, 2001 on a surface-to-air missile site in southern Iraq to knock out a radar that provides information for missile firing, the Pentagon reported. (US Navy via Reuters)|
WASHINGTON -- U.S. fighter planes bombed an air defense site in northern Iraq Tuesday after taking fire from Iraqi surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery, U.S. officials said.
In a written statement, the U.S. European Command said the bombing was in self-defense. Officials said it was not a planned attack in response to the recent near-miss Iraqi attack on a U.S. Air Force U-2 reconnaissance plane.
Friday August 10 9:14 AM ET
Western Warplanes Hit Iraqi Defenses-Pentagon
By Charles Aldinger
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Dozens of U.S. and British warplanes using precision-guided weapons struck three targets in southern Iraq on Friday in a raid targeting Baghdad's sophisticated anti-aircraft network, the Pentagon said. ``About 50 coalition warplanes, 20 of which were strike aircraft, hit three targets. All aircraft returned safely to bases,'' Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told Reuters.
The jets struck an air defense control center, which uses fiber-optic cables to integrate Iraq's air defenses, an anti-aircraft missile site and a long-range radar station, all located in Iraq's southern ``no-fly'' zone, Whitman said.
Friday August 10 1:03 PM ET
Iraq Says Western Air Attack Kills One, Injures 11 BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq said Friday that an attack by American and British aircraft earlier in the day had killed one Iraqi and injured 11.
A spokesman for the Iraqi army's air defense division told the Iraqi News Agency that the casualties occurred during 24 sorties launched by Western planes on civilian targets and infrastructure facilities in Iraqi territory.
Tuesday August 14 10:23 AM ET
Western Planes Conduct Air Strike in Southern Iraq
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Western planes conducted an air strike on a surface-to-air missile site in southern Iraq early Tuesday, the Pentagon said.
``All aircraft exited the area safely,'' Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. The strike was conducted at about 8:15 a.m. EDT ``in response to recent Iraqi hostile threats against coalition aircraft monitoring the southern no-fly zone,'' a statement from U.S. Central Command said. Since the 1991 Gulf War U.S. and British planes have regularly patrolled ``no-fly'' zones in southern and northern Iraq. The Pentagon has said the Iraqi military has become more aggressive recently in trying to shoot down western planes. Friday, dozens of U.S. and British warplanes struck three air defense sites in southern Iraq with bombs and missiles. Earlier in the week, allied planes struck Iraqi targets in the northern zone.