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---------- From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: [no-sanctions] U.S. plans sustained strikes in Iraq Date: Wed, Aug 15, 2001, 9:33 am U.S. plans sustained strikes in Iraq MSNBC, 14 Aug., 2001 Officials tell NBC of long-term campaign against Saddam WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 — The United States will conduct a sustained campaign of air strikes against Iraqi military targets in an effort to disable the country's increasingly effective air defenses, Bush administration officials told NBC News on Tuesday after U.S. planes bombed a radar site in southern Iraq, the second such attack in less than a week. THE DRAWN-OUT campaign was devised after the White House rejected Pentagon plans for a more aggressive air strike that would take out most of President Saddam Hussein's integrated air defenses in one fell swoop, NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reported. The White House was concerned that a major attack would incite Arab anger and aggravate the current Mideast tensions. "Hitting targets one by one doesn't draw the same kind of attention or reaction," said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It takes longer, but it should eventually get the job done." The Iraqi site targeted Tuesday was a "low-blow" radar near An Nasiriyah, about 170 miles southeast of Baghdad, that could be used to guide surface-to-air missiles, officials said. It's part of the same overall air defense system that was targeted in Friday's attack, when British and American planes bombed three Iraqi military sites. U.S. Air Force F-16s bombed Tuesday's target with precision-guided munitions and returned safely to their base, Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said. "This radar has been an element of the Iraqi air defense system that has been directly contributing to effectiveness of their integrated air defense system," he said. In Baghdad, a spokesman for the Iraqi air defense division said that there had been a Western air attack on "infrastructure facilities" in Missan province, 225 miles southeast of Baghdad. He gave no details about whether there were any casualties. Iraq in recent months has stepped up efforts to shoot down the allied planes over the "no fly" zones in both southern and northern Iraq, where allies have been patrolling since shortly after the end of the 1991 Gulf War to protect Shiite rebels against attacks by government forces and to keep Saddam from threatening his neighbors. "If Iraq were to cease its threatening actions, coalition strikes would cease as well," said a statement from the U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. UPSURGE IN ATTACKS There have been more than 1000 incidents of Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery fire against coalition aircraft in northern and southern no fly zones since Dec. 1998, including more than 375 this year, officials have said. Allied planes have struck back some two dozen times, with the largest raids being in February and last week. While no Western warplanes have been shot down by Iraq, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said recently that Iraq was improving its air defenses "both quantitatively and qualitatively" with fiber-optic communications cabling. A fiber-optic air defense control center is near an-Numaniyah, southeast of Baghdad, while the radar and anti-aircraft missile bases are farther southeast, near an-Nasiriyah, U.S. defense officials have said. Pentagon officials said last month the Iraqi military came close to hitting a high-altitude U.S. U-2 spy plane with a missile on July 24. Baghdad has denied firing at the plane, saying U.S. officials wanted a pretext for a military attack on Iraq. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/ -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk