US, British warplanes strike air defenses in northern Iraq
Warplanes from a US-British coalition struck Iraqi air defense sites in northern Iraq Wednesday following stepped-up attacks on coalition aircraft by Iraqi gunners, aircraft, the US military said.
Air Force General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said coalition aircraft in the north have been fired at 10 times in two days -- a number that he said was "a little bit larger than normal."
"While we have coalition forces over there enforcing the UN sanctions, we have a country that is firing at our pilots and putting them at risk," he said.
The aircraft were patrolling a no-fly zone over northern Iraq when they were fired at by Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery north of Ayn Zalah, the US Central Command said in a statement, according to AFP.
"Coalition aircraft responded to the Iraqi attacks by dropping precision guided ordnance on an element of the Iraqi integrated air defense system," the command said.
The air strike was the latest in a series against Iraqi air defenses in both the northern and southern parts of Iraq. (Albawaba.com)