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* Sunday: US warplanes kill 14 Iraqis and wound 17 (Associated Press) * INA reports rise in Sunday's death toll from 14 to 17 (Reuters) * Iraq buries its 17 dead after US air strike (Agence France-Presse) * UN deal to clean toxins from Iraqi lab sparks concern (CNN) * Technical problems in al-Baker port threaten to obstruct Iraqi exports (Arabic News) Pentagon officials refuse to deny or confirm Iraqi civilian casualties: "We make every effort to avoid civilian casualties but Iraq must realize that we will strike back to enforce the no-fly zones and to protect our airmen. The best way for Iraq to avoid casualties is to stop provoking the attacks." ******************** Iraq Says U.S. Warplanes Killed 14 By Leon Barkho, Associated Press Writer, Monday, July 19, 1999; 2:17 a.m. EDT BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq says U.S. airstrikes have killed 14 civilians and wounded 17 others, the highest death toll the nation has reported since it started challenging planes maintaining no-fly zones. The planes entered Iraq from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and ``attacked our civilian installations'' on Sunday in southern Iraq, the military said in a statement carried by the official Iraqi News Agency. The U.S. forces' Central Command in Florida said earlier its warplanes had attacked two military sites in southern Iraq after Iraqi anti-aircraft guns fired at aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone. However, U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Ernest Duplessis, a Central Command spokesman, said he could not confirm any casualties. ``Battle damage assessment is ongoing. I can't substantiate what they said,'' Duplessis said. Iraq said the ``enemy planes'' caused destruction at the sites hit, but did not say the nature of the targets or their locations. Central Command said the U.S. planes struck a missile battery near Abu Sukhayr, 200 miles south of Baghdad, and a military communications site near Al Khidr, 150 miles southeast of the Iraqi capital. The command said the U.S. planes used ``precision guided munitions'' to hit the targets. The U.S. statement did not identify the nationality of the planes the Iraqi guns had fired at earlier. U.S. and British planes patrol the no-fly zones, set up after the 1991 Persian Gulf War to protect Kurdish rebels in the north and Shiite Muslims in the south. Iraq does not recognize the zones and has been challenging the patrol planes since December. In the previous heaviest toll, according to Iraq, allied warplanes killed 11 people, mostly women and children, in a missile strike Jan. 25 on the low-income neighborhood of Jamhouriya in the southern city of Basra. Also Sunday, international experts began the process of destroying poisonous chemicals in a U.N. laboratory after four days of negotiations with the Iraqi government. The five experts finally yielded to an Iraqi demand that the destruction be witnessed by French, Russian and Chinese diplomats and the U.N. envoy in Baghdad, Prakash Shah. The chemicals and samples of biological warfare were left in the laboratory in Baghdad last year when U.N. weapons inspectors evacuated Iraq on the eve of U.S. and British airstrikes. The U.N. inspectors had been sent to verify that Iraq had eliminated its weapons of mass destruction. After the airstrikes began, Iraq said it would never allow them to return. ******************** Iraq Says Death Toll of US Attack Rising Monday, July 19, 1999, Arabia Online BAGHDAD (Reuters) -- Iraq said the death toll from Sunday's Western air attacks on the south of the country rose to 17 from 14, the Iraqi News Agency INA reported on Monday. "Manathira District in Najaf province came under brutal attack yesterday by US planes leading to martyrdom of 17, most of whom are women, children and elderly," INA said. The agency said the number of injured had risen to 18 from 17. The raids on sites in the no-fly zone in southern Iraq destroyed several residential houses, INA reported. "Sixteen hostile formations implemented 14 sorties...and flew over regions in the provinces of Basra, Muthanna, Dhi Qar, Najaf and Meisan and bombed a number of our civilian installations...," INA on Sunday quoted a military spokesman as saying. The spokesman said the attacks took place on Sunday at (0720 GMT) and (1340 GMT). He said the bombing caused "material damage" to the installations under attack. "Our brave missile and ground resistance forces intercepted the hostile planes and forced them to leave our air space into the bases of treachery in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait," the agency quoted him as saying. The US military said on Sunday that US aircraft helping to enforce the no-fly zone struck an Iraqi missile site after Iraqi gunners opened fire on coalition aircraft. "The strike was in response to Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery fire directed at coalition aircraft patrolling the southern no- fly zone earlier today," the US command responsible for the region said. ******************** Iraq buries its 17 dead after US air strike Monday, 19-Jul-1999 9:20AM, story from AFP / Kamal Taha Copyright 1999 by Agence France-Presse (via ClariNet) BAGHDAD, July 19 (AFP) - Iraq said it buried 17 civilians on Monday, mostly women, children and elderly people, slain in a US air strike on the south of the embattled state, the deadliest in six months. The bombing in the Najaf region on Sunday also left 18 wounded and destroyed many homes, the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported. The victims were all buried the next morning in keeping with the Moslem tradition that the dead be buried as fast as possible as a sign of respect. It was one of the deadliest strikes since Britain and the United States waged an air war against Iraq in December. "The US administration and its ally, Britain, committed a new crime by carrying out an attack in the Najaf region," some 150 kilometres (90 miles) south of Baghdad, INA said. "The cowardly aggression carried out by the US planes caused the martyrdom of 17 people, mostly women, children and elderly people, and wounded 18 others," the agency said. Homes were also destroyed, INA said, in the region which centres around the Shiite Moslem holy city of Najaf, housing the tomb of Ali, a key Shiite religious figure. In Washington, the Pentagon said US fighter jets attacked an Iraqi surface-to-air missile site and a military communications facility after coming under anti-aircraft artillery fire. "We make every effort to avoid civilian casualties but Iraq must realize that we will strike back to enforce the no-fly zones and to protect our airmen," a Pentagon official said. "The best way for Iraq to avoid casualties is to stop provoking the attacks," he said. On Sunday, an Iraqi spokesman said 16 formations of British and US planes flew over the provinces of Dhi Qar, Basra, Missan, Muthanna and Najaf, all within a no-fly zone imposed on Iraq by the United States and Britain. As well as the bombing in Najaf there was a bombardment against civilian infrastructure in the north of Iraq on Sunday, the spokesman said, although no other casualties were reported. In January, 24 civilians were killed when US missiles crashed on to residential areas in the Basra region around 500 kilometres (300 miles) from the capital, according to Iraqi officials. A month later, three civilians, including a baby, died in another US-led strike, Iraqi officials said, while seven members of a single family were killed in the north in April. And in May, 12 civilians were killed in air strikes on a shepherd's camp and a residential zone in the north of the country, according to Baghdad. US and British planes enforce no-fly zones over southern and northern Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War to protect the Shiite Moslems of the south and the north's Kurdish population. US Defence Secretary William Cohen said Thursday in Ankara that both zones would stay in place "as long as (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein continues to refuse to abide by and comply with UN Security Council resolutions." But Baghdad does not recognize the zones, which are not covered by any specific UN resolution, and has regularly fired at aircraft patrolling the zones since December's air war. Iraq has said that 62 soldiers and a higher number of civilians were killed during the four days of the air war dubbed Desert Fox. ******************** U.N.'s deal to clean toxins from Iraqi lab sparks concern July 16, 1999, Web posted at: 10:16 p.m. EDT (0216 GMT) BAGHDAD, Iraq <iraq.baghdad.lg.jpg> (CNN) -- Britain on Friday asked U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to explain why he allowed Russian, Chinese and French diplomats to accompany a technical team sent to Iraq to remove chemicals from a U.N. laboratory in Baghdad. Some U.N. officials and Western diplomats believe Annan may have set a dangerous precedent by allowing Iraq to essentially dictate the team's composition and the terms of its mission. Meanwhile, team participants in Baghdad said they were still waiting for direction from the diplomatic escorts before removing the toxins from the laboratory. "We have had discussions with the observers, and the procedures have been outlined to them," said Prakash Shah, a U.N. special envoy. "The observers naturally wish to consult their capitals, and they have asked us to await the reply from the capitals." In the meantime, he said the experts -- from South Africa, Germany, China and Russia -- were working on technical matters related to the clean-up. The team arrived in the Iraqi capital on Wednesday to remove and destroy samples of chemical and biological agents left behind when U.N. weapons inspectors pulled out of Iraq last December ahead of U.S. and British airstrikes. Iraq's U.N. ambassador, Saeed Hasan, said Iraq made it clear to the U.N. that officials involved in the weapons inspection program would not be allowed to participate in the clean-up -- and that the experts must be accompanied by diplomats representing permanent members of the Security Council. The team consists of four chemical experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, as well as an independent expert in biological agents. On Friday, a British U.N. representative, David Richmond, asked Annan's office for a full briefing on the situation, claiming that the council had never been told what diplomats would be accompanying the mission. However, U.N. spokesman Manoel de Almeida insisted that Annan decided on the team's mission and composition "in full consultation with (weapons inspectors) and the Security Council." ******************** Technical problems in al-Baker port threaten to obstruct Iraqi exports Arabic News, Iraq, Economics, 7/16/99 An oil source at the UN announced on Tuesday night that technical problems in al-Baker port may obstruct Iraqi oil exports, despite the recent increase in oil production. The source added that the cost of maintenance which exceeds US $500,000 is very necessary for the oil pipeline offloading area, noting that the solution to this problem is through opening a new offloading area near al-Baker port, at Khour al-Amya. Iraq currently exports some 2.2 million barrels of oil per day out of a total production of 2.6 million barrels. Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Rashid has announced that his country intends to raise its production capacity of oil to three million barrels everyday as of December 1999 and to 3.5 billion barrels daily before the end of next year. The source stated that these expectations can be met but under the conditions of continued arrival of spare parts needed to repair the infrastructure. So far Iraq has received spare parts at a cost of US $44 million out of spare parts as a cost of US $300 million approved by the UN Security Council. Meanwhile, sources at the UN Security Council reported that the UN sanctions committee is obstructing approval of spare parts contracts valued at US $100 million. The UN has allowed Iraq the import of oil valued at US $5.2 billion every six months. The US resolutions state that half of the crude oil to goes through Turkish pipelines and the second half is to flow through al-Baker port on the Gulf. ******************** -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Please do not sent emails with attached files to the list *** Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html ***