Moscow Condemns US and British Air Strikes against Iraq

Published May 17th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Russian government has condemned a series of US and British air strikes against targets in northern and southern Iraq which Baghdad has claimed left 15 people wounded, reported AFP. 

"It is vital that in Iraq's air exclusion zones the United States and Britain stop their activities, which are absolutely illegal in terms of international law," said a statement from Russia's foreign ministry. 

Russian diplomats are concerned that continuing bombardment by the two western powers will prevent the resumption of co-operation between Baghdad and UN arms inspectors. 

Another statement from the foreign ministry, meanwhile, called on Iran and Iraq to strive towards normal bilateral relations and avoid any escalation of violence following a number of recent attacks. 

On Tuesday also, Iraq said six people, including a child, were injured when Western planes attacked targets in the north and south of the country on Tuesday.  

The Iraqi news agency quoted a military spokesman as saying eight hostile formations attacked targets in northern Iraq, injuring two people, while other planes attacked the south where “the bombing led to the injury of a child and three others.”  

The spokesman said Iraqi anti-aircraft defenses challenged the planes, which it referred to as “crows,” and drove them back to their bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.  

Western air raids on Iraq have become a regular occurrence since Baghdad decided in December 1998 to challenge US and British jets patrolling northern and southern no-fly zones set up by Western powers after the 1991 Gulf War.  

Washington and London insist the attacks are aimed only at military targets.  

On Sunday, Iraq said nine people including a three-year old child were injured when Western planes attacked targets in the south of the country – (Several Sources) 



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