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US escalates bombing of Iraq (fwd)

NOTE: US bombed areas OUTSIDE of the US' declared 'no-fly zones' in Iraq!


US escalates bombing of Iraq

BAGHDAD, Aug 17 (South News) - The US dramatically escalated its bombing
of Iraqi infrastructure Tuesday, with raids outside the 33rd and 36th
parallels and the highest death toll in a single day since the four-day
Desert Fox campaign.

The official Iraqi News Agency (INA) quoted the Iraqi military as saying
the bombardments targeted ``civil and service installations, people's
houses and military positions'' saying 19 civilians were killed and 11
wounded on Tuesday in a series of US and British air raids on areas
outside no-fly zones, the boundaries of the Western-imposed no-fly zones,
in the north and south of the country.

The zones, extending north of the 36th parallel and south of the 33rd
parallel, were declared by the western allies in the wake of the 1991 Gulf
War, ostensibly to protect the Kurdish and Shiite Moslem inhabitants of
those areas respectively, but not mandated by the United Nations. 

``The British and American aggressors committed another ugly crime against
civilians today,'' INA said.  ``Civilian neighbourhoods in Jassan in
Wasset province came under a savage bombing from American and British
planes at 3 p.m. (1100 GMT).''

It said the bombing killed 11 civilians, including four children and four
women, and destroyed several houses. INA earlier quoted a military
spokesman as saying eight civilians were killed and nine wounded in a US
and British raid on northern Iraq in the morning.

``The enemy crows committed a new crime today against civilian targets,
service installations and residential buildings outside the so-called
no-fly zones,'' INA quoted the spokesman as saying.

He said US and British planes flew in from bases in southern Turkey and
attacked civilian and military targets south of the 36th parallel --
outside the northern no-fly zone -- at 10:25 a.m. (0625 GMT), killing
eight civilians and wounding nine.

He added that at 2:07 p.m. planes flying in from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
attacked civilian installations and army positions north of the 33rd
parallel, outside the southern no-fly zone, wounding one civilian.

Wasset province is about 170 km (106 miles) southeast of Baghdad and
borders Iran. Officials at the Information Ministry said reporters would
be taken to the bombed area on Wednesday.

The attack Tuesday escalates the death toll from almost daily bombings
this year to 134 deaths, according to Iraqi statements. US planes bombed
targets in the north on Sunday and Monday.This week three people were
killed and nine wounded in attacks Monday in the south. Three people were
reported wounded and a mosque destroyed in an attack on the north on

The attacks Tuesday coincided with a visit by Gen. Henry Shelton, chairman
of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Incirlik air base in southern Turkey
that is home to US planes patrolling the northern no-flight zone. 

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman, Kenneth Bacon, said the frequent U.S.
and British air attacks this year, following a four-day bombing campaign
last December, have degraded Iraqi military capability

``We have scared him to the point where he doesn't want to turn on his
radars, and missiles that aren't guided by radars aren't particularly
threatening or dangerous,'' Bacon said. ``They are draining resources that
he might spend on other parts of his defenses or his military machine, and
they are forcing him to keep his head down.''

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