Report: Baghdad using new mobile missile launchers
Iraq is using new mobile missile launchers against British and United States planes that monitor "no-fly" zones in the north and south of Iraq, the specialist Jane's Intelligence Review (JIR) reports in its July edition.
According to Jane's, the weapons system comprised two S-125 Neva missiles capable of being fired from a truck.
"By mounting the missiles on mobile launchers the Iraqis have complicated US and UK efforts to monitor Iraqi's air defenses," Jane's indicated.
The S-125s originally supplied by the Soviet Union during the 1970s and 1980s were static missiles fired from fixed launch pads.
Almost daily skirmishes are reported in the skies of Iraq, which Washington and London patrol to impose a policy of containment on President Saddam Hussein's forces.
Iraq does not recognize the two air exclusion zones, which are not covered by any United Nations Security Council resolution.
According to Baghdad, US and British air strikes have killed 1,477 people and wounded 1,367 since the two zones were set up after the 1991 Gulf War.
On Monday, Baghdad called upon United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to intervene to bring about an end to these "terrorist" raids by US and British warplanes.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri, in a message to the United Nations chief, demanded that Washington and London "immediately halt their continuing attacks on Iraq and (called on) regional parties to stop granting them facilities."
"The air attacks have intensified in recent weeks against several civilian and military sites and installations," said Sabri, who is scheduled to hold talks with Annan in Vienna on July 4-5 on outstanding issues between the UN and Iraq, according to AFP.
"This amounts to state terrorism and interference in Iraq's internal affairs."
The US and British governments were "fully responsible for these terrorist attacks," Sabri said, emphasizing that "Iraq reserves its legitimate right to self-defense." (Albawaba.com)
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