The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

U.S. Missiles Kill 11 People

                  Iraq: U.S. Missiles Kill 11 People 

                  By Vijay Joshi
                  Associated Press Writer
                  Monday, January 25, 1999; 8:14 p.m. EST

                  BASRA, Iraq (AP) -- U.S. missiles slammed into
                  residential neighborhoods in southern Iraq on Monday,
                  demolishing sturdy, stone-walled homes. Iraqi officials
                  reported at least 11 people killed. 

                  U.S. officials said its Air Force and Navy jets fired at air
                  defense systems in response to ``threats by anti-aircraft
                  artillery fire'' and by four Iraqi warplanes flying south of
                  the 33rd parallel in violation of the no-flight ban. 

                  Pentagon officials said it was likely that U.S. jets
                  targeting the Iraqi air defense installations misfired and
                  that at least one high-explosive missile may have killed
                  civilians in and around the city of Basra. 

                  The senior U.S. commander in the Persian Gulf, Marine
                  Gen. Anthony Zinni, told reporters at the Pentagon that
                  ``we deeply regret any loss of civilian lives or civilian
                  casualties or injuries.'' 

                  But Zinni said military officials had not confirmed the
                  results of U.S. attacks. He also said Iraqi President
                  Saddam Hussein was ultimately to blame because of
                  his ``attacks against us and his history of disregard for
                  the welfare of his own people.'' 

                  The missiles hit five areas of southern Iraq, including
                  the working-class al-Jumhuriya neighborhood on the
                  outskirts of Basra, Iraqi officials said. Several homes in
                  that neighborhood were destroyed, their roofs caved in.
                  Broken dishes and kitchen utensils were strewn among
                  the rubble. Civilians worked late into the night to clean
                  the debris from the morning strike. 

                  Ahmed Ibrahim Hamash, the governor of Basra, said
                  two aircraft fired five missiles that killed 11 people and
                  injured 59. 

                  The missiles struck in the morning and Hamash said
                  most of the casualties were women, children or the
                  elderly because many men had already left for work. 

                  The missiles hit three civilian areas in or near Basra, as
                  well as a site near the airport and another near the
                  Rumeilah oil fields. 

                  An engineer at the oil field was reported injured in the

                  Iraqi officials took reporters to the al-Jumhouri hospital,
                  one of the city's two main hospitals. Several injured
                  children and women were at the hospital. Iraqi officials
                  said they had been wounded in the strikes. 

                  In al-Jumhuriya, four homes were completely destroyed
                  and six damaged, including Lufti Swadi's house. The
                  blast ripped the front door off the 28-year-old baker's
                  home, shattered parts of the walls and scattered the

                  In the village of Abu al-Khaseeb, four houses were
                  destroyed and another four damaged. Iraqi officials
                  were still assessing damage in the other civilian area
                  that was struck. 

                  Hamash said there were no military installations in the
                  areas that were hit. 

                  ``There is not even a police station there, let alone a
                  military installation,'' he said. ``The United States claims
                  to be a humanitarian nation but they are enemies of that

                  At the al-Jumhouri hospital in Basra, Marwa Ali, 6, lay
                  on a hospital bed swathed in a pink blanket. Dried blood
                  was caked on her nostrils. She was about to go to
                  school to take an exam when the missile struck, her
                  sister Zeinab, 25, said. 

                  ``It began with a big bang,'' said Zeinab Ali, who was
                  slightly injured with cuts and bruises. ``I could see my
                  house coming down on us. There was dust all over.'' 

                  Marwa suffered multiple wounds to the scalp and a
                  deep knee injury. 

                  Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz condemned the attack
                  and said the United States and its allies would be held
                  responsible. His remarks were reported by the official
                  Iraqi News Agency. 

                  Basra, 350 miles south of Baghdad, is within the
                  southern ``no-fly'' zone that the United States and its
                  allies set up after the 1991 Gulf War to protect Shiite
                  Muslims who rose up against Saddam's government. 

                  In the northern no-fly zone Monday, U.S. aircraft
                  attacked three separate Iraqi anti-aircraft batteries, U.S.
                  officials said. They said the aircraft fired missiles and
                  dropped bombs after Iraq targeted or fired on the

                  The Vatican condemned the bombing raids, saying
                  Monday in a statement from Mexico City that the military
                  action ``confirms once again'' Pope John Paul II's belief
                  that ``military measures don't resolve problems in
                  themselves, rather they aggravate them.'' 

                  The Vatican has consistently opposed the military
                  actions against Iraq. 

                  Hamash, meanwhile, vowed defiance after the attacks. 

                  ``We will continue to oppose any over-flying of our
                  territory by enemy aircraft,'' he said. 

                  Iraq has been challenging the no-fly zones with
                  increasing regularity since Dec. 16-19 airstrikes by the
                  United States and Britain. Those attacks were aimed at
                  punishing Iraq after U.N. weapons inspectors released
                  a report saying that Baghdad was obstructing their

                  The British Defense Ministry said its warplanes were
                  not involved in the latest attacks. 

                  On Sunday, U.S. aircraft fired on two surface-to-air
                  missile sites in separate incidents in the northern no-fly
                  zone, U.S. officials said. It was a second consecutive
                  day that U.S. warplanes patrolling the no-fly zones
                  opened fire after being targeted. 

                  The latest attack comes one day after Arab foreign
                  ministers met in Egypt and refused to condemn last
                  month's airstrikes. 

                  Information Minister Humam Abdel-Khaliq claimed that
                  the Arab foreign ministers had given the United States
                  and Britain ``an Arab green card'' to attack Iraq.

This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To be removed/added, email, NOT the
whole list. Archived at

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]