Iraq Says it ‘Hit’ Enemy Warplane Overflying Northern Provinces
Iraqi air defenses "hit" an enemy warplane during flights by American and British bombers over the country's territory Tuesday, a military spokesman was quoted by the official INA news agency as saying.
The spokesman said surface-to-air missile batteries and other air defense units "repelled the planes, forcing them to flee to their bases in Turkey and, according to indications, one of the enemy airplanes was hit."
He did not say whether it was a US or a British plane.
The raids took place over the northern provinces of Dohuk and Erbil, he said.
US and British warplanes based in Turkey have been enforcing a ban on Iraqi flights in the north to protect the Kurds since the 1991 Gulf war, while planes in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia impose a similar ban in the south to protect Shiite Muslims.
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.
The US says the planes only target military objectives in self-defense but the Iraqis say civilians and civilian installations are frequently hit – BAGHDAD (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)