US and British warplanes based in Turkey have bombed civilian sites in northern Iraq, without leaving casualties, an Iraqi military spokesman said Monday.
He said the planes on Sunday bombed "civilian targets and infrastructure installations" in the northern provinces of Dohuk, Arbil and Niniveh. Iraqi air-defences "opened fire in their direction, forcing them to flee".
A US military spokesman said earlier that US warplanes "dropped ordnance on elements of the Iraqi integrated air defense system" after being fired at by Iraqi artillery at a site close to Bashiqah, north of the town of Mosul.
The aircraft returned safely to base in Incirlik, southeast Turkey, he said.
Some 40 British and US planes are based at Incirlik to patrol the northern no-fly zone imposed on Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War to protect the region's Kurdish population.
A similar exclusion zone was also set up over southern Iraq.
US-led patrols also made 22 sorties over southern Iraq on Sunday, the Iraqi spokesman said.
Baghdad does not recognize the two zones, which are not authorized by any specific UN resolution, and has regularly fired on aircraft patrolling them since a joint US-British air war on Iraq in December 1998 - (AFP)
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