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Iraq: Southern City Hit by Missile By Leon Barkho, Associated Press Writer, Monday, January 25, 1999; 8:38 a.m. EST BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- U.S. missiles hit at least two residential areas in and around the southern Iraqi city of Basra today, Iraq reported. The information minister said several people were killed and dozens wounded. The minister, Humam Abdel-Khaliq, spoke with reporters shortly after the official Iraqi News Agency said a missile hit the al-Jumhuriya neighborhood of Basra at 9:30 a.m. The agency reported another strike 40 minutes later. It accused the jets of targeting ``heavily populated areas'' and said they hit the village of Abu al-Khaseeb near Basra, the Basra airport and an oil field. Civil defense teams were ferrying wounded to hospitals and trying to recover bodies from the rubble of buildings, INA said. Abdel-Khaliq said the planes that fired the missiles ``came from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.'' Gunnery Sgt. Frank Leyhew, a spokesman with U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., said American jets fired at an Iraqi surface-to-air missile site and associated, integrated air-defense systems north of Basra ``in response to Iraqi incursions in the no-fly zone.'' He said the U.S. jets were threatened by Iraqi ground artillery and four Iraqi MiGs. Leyhew said Air Force and Navy jets were involved and all returned safely to their bases. ``Iraqi actions and intentions pose serious threats to our air crews, and our actions today are an appropriate response to these threats,'' he said. In London, the Defense Ministry said British warplanes were not involved. Abdel-Khaliq also said that Arab League foreign ministers had given the United States and Britain ``an Arab green card'' to attack Iraq at will by refusing Sunday to condemn the U.S.-British airstrikes on Iraq in December. That bombardment was aimed at punishing Iraq for failing to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors. The foreign ministers did express ``deep concern at the use of military option against Iraq'' and urged dialogue. Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf stormed out of the meeting in protest. ***** -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html