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One year ago today, U.S. and British forces began a sustained series of airstrikes against Iraq. The Desert Fox campaign was launched to punish Iraq for what the Western powers said was its failure to cooperate with UNSCOM, and to "degrade" its military capabilities. Intermittent strikes have continued during the past 12 months. AFP estimates 156 people have been killed by these airstrikes, a toll comparable to the Oklahoma City bombing (168 deaths). Both tragedies pale next to ongoing toll from sanctions which - according to most estimates - contribute to the death of 150-200 people per day. Following are a pair of reports on the anniversary of Desert Fox. --- http://asia.dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/world/afp/article.html?s=asia/head lines/991215/world/afp/Iraq_battles_UN_draft_12_months_after_pullout_of_arms _inspectors.html Wednesday, December 15 7:53 PM SGT Iraq battles UN draft 12 months after pullout of arms inspectors BAGHDAD, Dec 15 (AFP) - A year after UN weapons inspectors were evacuated on the eve of the Desert Fox air war, Iraq is battling a UN draft resolution which restores arms control as a trigger for a suspension of sanctions. Iraq has vowed to reject the resolution drafted by Britain and backed by the United States, the two Western allies whose four-day air war in December 1998 left the Security Council divided on its Iraq policy. The split has lingered and led to three postponements on a vote within the 15-member Security Council since last week, including the latest on Tuesday. Iraq insists on an unconditional lifting of the embargo which has been in force ever since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, fearing that the new so-called omnibus resolution will leave a sanctions regime in place indefinitely. "The US and British proposals are unacceptable, whatever modifications are made," warned Khaled Shihab al-Douri, chairman of the Iraqi parliament's committee on Arab and international relations. "This project aims to keep the embargo in place for an indefinite period, and Iraq has already said it rejects any resolution which does not put an end to the sanctions," he told AFP. The draft calls for a suspension of economic sanctions for renewable periods of 120 days if Iraq cooperates "in all respects" with a new United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). Iraq would also be expected to make some progress towards completing "key remaining disarmament tasks" to be defined by UNMOVIC. But France and Russia -- who along with Britain, China and the United States have veto rights in the Security Council -- are seeking a more clearly defined trigger for the nine-year-old sanctions to be suspended. To underline Baghdad's opposition, Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan said last week that Iraq would prefer to undergo new air strikes rather than accept the resolution. And Ezzat Ibrahim, No. 2 to President Saddam Hussein in the decision-making Revolutionary Command Council, urged Iraqis on Monday "to stand ready to defend their country." Iraq has ruled out a return of arms inspectors, accusing them of spying for the United States, a charge which UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has said was partly justified. Russia, meanwhile, joined Iraq in accusing former chief inspector Richard Butler of provoking the Desert Fox strikes of December 16-19, 1998 with false reports of a lack of Iraqi cooperation with his arms panel. Butler pulled out his UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) from Iraq on December 15, 1998, without consulting the major powers in the Security Council. Since the air campaign, US and British warplanes have carried out dozens of limited strikes in contested no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq as part of Washington's campaign "to keep Saddam in his box." The air strikes over the past 12 months have left 156 dead and wounded another 371, according to an AFP casualty toll compiled from Iraqi military statements. --- http://www.cnn.com/1999/WORLD/meast/12/15/iraq.airstrikes.ap/index.html Year after bombing, Iraq still defiant December 15, 1999 Web posted at: 11:15 PM EST (0415 GMT) BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- A year later, scars from Operation Desert Fox are still visible in Baghdad, a reminder of the massive damage U.S. and British air and missile strikes inflicted on Iraq. But also still in place is Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein -- perhaps more entrenched than ever because his survival has been fuel for propaganda. Because of its "steadfastness, Iraq has become an example for (the Arab) nation," Saddam declared this week as he decorated members of his ruling Baath Party and Revolutionary Command Council for bravery shown during the bombing a year ago. The Desert Fox bombing crusade was launched on the night of December 16-17, 1998 to punish Iraq for what the United States and Britain said was its failure to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors. The scars from the attack are still obvious: Cranes and scaffolds, heaps of crumbling bricks, damaged telecommunications capacity. But U.N. weapons inspectors still have not returned to monitor whether Iraq is destroying its mass destruction capabilities, as it is required to do under the agreement that ended the 1991 Gulf War. Iraq has vowed that inspectors will be allowed back only when the United Nations scraps trade sanctions against the country. The United Nations, meanwhile, is still struggling to frame a new policy toward Baghdad. U.N. Security Council permanent members Russia, China and France have expressed concern that the standoff with the Iraqi government is endangering and impoverishing ordinary Iraqis. Even in the United States, voices have been raised against the sanctions. Iraq is defiant, but far from unscathed. The Pentagon said 524 cruise missiles were fired during the 70-hour offensive, hitting nearly 100 targets. President Bill Clinton said last year the attacks inflicted "significant damage" on Iraqi weapons programs and military infrastructure. Iraqi officials say they have rebuilt most of what was bombed. Some construction continues, and some targets remain off-limits to journalists. Badly damaged were telecommunications centers, particularly in southern Iraq. It is still difficult to call the southern city of Basra from Baghdad, and local television and radio transmission is not as clear and powerful as it was before. Collateral damage to hospitals, schools and residential areas was swiftly mended. The high-rise building of the Military Industrialization Commission, where U.S. cruise missiles were said to have gouged a huge hole down to the ground floor, has been meticulously rebuilt. Missiles and bombs also hit weapons factories and presidential palaces, including the house of Saddam's daughter, Hala. Reports said her house was destroyed, but no one was home. Copyright 1999 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full archive and list instructions are available from the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi