Baghdad: US, British Planes have Flown beyond Iraqi No-Fly Zones
US and British warplanes have flown beyond the no-fly zones in Iraq to spy on Baghdad's army, an Iraqi military official said Thursday.
"The United States and Britain have, in their repeated attacks on Iraq, gone beyond the sectors they have designated as no-fly zones," the official told Al-Zawra newspaper.
"Their planes violated Iraqi air space in Al-Anbar province (west of Baghdad) to watch our armed forces," the official said without specifying when the violation took place.
US and British planes based in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey patrol two no-fly zones imposed in the north and south of Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War.
Since the 1991 Gulf War, US and British warplanes based in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been enforcing a ban on Iraqi flights in the south to protect Shiite Muslims and in the north to protect the Kurds.
Iraq does not recognize the zones, which are not authorized by any specific UN resolution, and has regularly fired on aircraft patrolling them since joint US-British air raids on Baghdad in December 1998.
Since the end of the "Operation Desert Fox" in December 1998, Baghdad claims that the raids have killed 316 and wounded 949 people.
A Pentagon official said last month a brigade-size force of Iraqi troops had been detected moving to the north and west of the country, adding that it was "not really (cause for) alarm." – BAGHDAD (AFP)
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