Iraq on Thursday derided statements by the Pentagon that Baghdad remains "contained" and is "no longer a threat to neighbors", 10 years after its invasion of Kuwait.
"The US spokesman has said nothing but lies and inaccuracies which reflect the insistence of the US administration on distorting the truth for political gain," said Yassin Jassem, spokesman for Iraq's anti-aircraft artillery.
"Iraq is not weakened but, on the contrary, is strong and solid. How could it otherwise show all this determination in the struggle against the no-fly zones and US-British attacks?" Jassem asked.
"If Iraq was weakened, it would not succeed in neutralizing the HARM missile and would not force the enemy to turn to F-14s, F-16s and other sophisticated planes to impose the no-fly zones," the general told a press conference.
"Iraq is not isolated as long as the United States persists in its policy of sanctions against several countries, one of which is Iraq."
It is the United States which is "isolated and the proof of it is the collapse of the international coalition and the increasing pressure in favor of lifting the embargo."
Jassem added "Kuwait has not been liberated since it is today occupied by US and British military forces."
Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said Wednesday that "Iraq remains isolated and contained and Kuwait is free".
He described Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as "an emperor in a weak country, and a weak, dispirited country" that is no longer a threat to its neighbors.
"He has not been able to rebuild his military, in part because of our containment, but also in large part because of the United Nations' embargo on Iraq, which has prevented him from buying the military equipment he would like to buy." - BAGHDAD (AFP)
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