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Iraq Pipeline Resumes Pumping Oil By Waiel Faleh Associated Press Writer Thursday, March 4, 1999; 3:27 a.m. EST BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq resumed shipping oil to Turkey early today through a pipeline shut down when U.S. airstrikes damaged communication centers that control the flow of oil. The Iraqi Oil Ministry said in a statement that work at the two centers hit by U.S. warplanes Sunday and Monday in northern Iraq resumed at dawn. Oil was flowing at normal levels, it said. About half the oil Iraq exports flows through the Iraqi-Turkish pipeline, some 1 million barrels a day. ``Oil Ministry employees ... were able to fix the damage caused by the frustrated American ravens,'' the statement said. Neither Iraq nor the United Nations, which first reported that oil was flowing again, said how Iraqi engineers repaired the damage. Iraq has been barred from exporting oil freely since U.N. sanctions were imposed in 1990 to punish Iraq for invading Kuwait. Under a U.N. oil-for-food program, Iraq can sell $5.2 billion in oil over six months to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian goods. United Nations officials had expressed concern about the impact of the two airstrikes on the oil-for-food program. Low oil prices and the dilapidated state of Iraq's oil industry have resulted in a $900 million shortfall in what the United Nations needs to run the program. On Wednesday, the program's leader, Benon Sevan, told the U.N. Security Council in New York that if the oil flow resumed within a day, there would be only ``minimal delays'' in exporting oil out of the Turkish port Ceyhan. There had been enough oil stored at the port -- 2.38 million barrels -- to keep ships carrying their normal loads, he said. American and British planes have hit Iraqi sites almost daily since mid-December. In the U.N. Security Council meeting Wednesday, the United States and Britain defended themselves against criticism of the strikes. Deputy U.S. Ambassador Nancy Soderberg said the U.S. pilots were acting in self-defense as they patrolled the ``no-fly'' zones, which Washington and its allies established after the 1991 Persian Gulf War to protect minority Kurds in northern Iraq and Shiites in the south from President Saddam Hussein's army. Washington argues that the ``no-fly'' zones are justified under U.N. Security Council resolutions that call for the protection of minorities in Iraq. Russia and China, however, say the council has never explicitly authorized the ``no-fly'' zones, and they maintain that the patrols violate Iraq's sovereignty. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html