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[casi] (no subject)


>From a Reuters article re military attack on southern
Iraq today -

Iraq: U.S. Attacks Targets in South
  Fri Jun 14, 2:24 PM ET

  BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. and British warplanes
staged an attack
  on southern Iraq on Friday that Baghdad said struck
civilian targets and
  Washington called a response to threats against
western aircraft
  patrolling a "no-fly" zone.

                     The U.S. Central Command, based
                     Tampa, Florida, said in a
statement that
                     warplanes attacked a military air
                     radar facility in response to
attempts to shoot
                     down U.S. and British warplanes

                     Damage to the radar command and
  target at Al Amarah, about 165 miles southeast of
Baghdad, was still
  being determined, the command said.

  An Iraqi military spokesman said in a statement
carried by the official
  Iraqi News Agency (INA) that the planes carried out
42 sorties from
  bases in Kuwait at 11:20 a.m. on Friday and flew
over the provinces of
  Basra, Nassiriya, Samawa, Amarah and other areas in
the south of the

  "The enemy attacked our civilian and service
installations in Amarah,"
  the spokesman said.

  The U.S. military had said the attack took place at
1:20 p.m. Iraq time.

  No casualties were reported.

  The spokesman said Iraq's ground air defenses fired
at the planes and
  forced them to return to their bases.

  The attack was the latest in a long series of
tit-for-tat exchanges in
  policing by western warplanes of no-fly zones in
northern and southern
  Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War ( news - web sites)

  Baghdad last reported firing by U.S. and British
aircraft on the south of
  the country was on May 31, when it said three people
were wounded.


  Such exchanges have become more frequent in recent
months amid
  speculation that the United States might be
preparing to invade Iraq to
  overthrow President Saddam Hussein ( news - web
sites), accused by
  Washington of developing weapons of mass destruction
  sponsoring terrorism.

  British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said in
Brussels last week that Iraq, which does not recognize
  the no-fly zones, had become more aggressive in
threatening U.S. and British jets. He also stressed
  after talks with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
that he was specifically referring to action related
  to the no-fly zones and not any broader attack.

  Iraq's al-Thawra newspaper on Friday ratcheted up
rhetoric against the no-fly zones, saying Iraq had
  the right to develop its means to confront the
western aircraft.

  "What the American and British planes do is not an
'international mission' but a hostile act against Iraq
  in violation of U.N. charter and rules of the
international law," al-Thawra, the mouthpiece of the
  Baath Party, said in a front page editorial.

  "Iraq has the right to confront this aggression
according to the U.N. charter and international law
  develop all its means to confront it regardless of
what would happen to the American and British pilots
  who violate its air space and perpetrate crimes of
killing and destruction," it added.

  "This is what every independent state does toward
those who threaten its sovereignty," the paper

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