U.S. air strike kills two Iraqis
The United States said its warplanes made their second attack on air defenses in southern Iraq in a week on Thursday while Iraq said two civilians were killed and two wounded in this raid.
The U.S. Central Command based in Tampa, Florida, said its jets dropped precision-guided weapons on an anti-aircraft missile system and a missile control center in southern Iraq at approximately 1:15 a.m. on Thursday.
An Iraqi military spokesman told the official Iraqi News Agency the U.S. planes carried out 34 sorties from bases in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, hitting civilian targets.
"The enemy attacked our civilian and service installations in Thi qar province, killing two civilians and wounding two others," the spokesman said.
U.S. officials said there were no civilian targets in the attack, involving planes patrolling "no-fly" zones imposed over northern and southern Iraq since shortly after the 1991 Gulf War. It said all U.S. planes returned safely. It said the attack was launched after patrolling aircraft were fired on from the ground and said all U.S. planes returned safely.
"We have no way of knowing about casualties," Marine Corps Lt. Col. Dave Lapan told Reuters at the
Pentagon. "But, as we have said repeatedly, we only attack military targets and we go to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties." (Albawaba.com)