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[casi] News, 22-29/11/02 (6)

News, 22-29/11/02 (6)


*  Iran, Iraq, Syria Urging Palestinians To Disrupt US 'Iraq Attack' Plans
*  Iraq and Jordan sign oil deal
*  Egypt, Yemen, and Jordan deny to have got US messages about Iraq
*  War against Iraq 'will not be the last one'
*  Al-Watan: A railway linking Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia
*  U.S. considers big aid package for Israel
*  U.S., Saudis in awkward diplomatic spat
*  Arab states 'could do more to avert war'
*  Saddam tested his poisons in Iran war
*  Iraq war will hurt cooperation on terror - Yemen


*  U.S. warplanes hit targets in Iraq for third day
*  US, UK planes bomb civilian Iraqi targets: Iraqi military
*  Coalition planes hit Iraqi mobile radar system
*  Iraq says it fires at Western jets in south
*  Iraq Says Western Planes Fly Over Baghdad
*  Britain denies its planes flew over Baghdad
*  U.S.-British Planes Reportedly Kill One
*  'Forget repairs' US tells Iraqi military


by Julie Stahl
Crosswalk, 22nd November

Jerusalem ( - Iran, Iraq and Syria are urging Palestinians to
carry out terror attacks, in an effort to disrupt U.S. plans for a possible
military strike against Iraq, Israel says. But Israel is trying to prevent
an escalation of the situation by entering Palestinian areas to hunt for
terrorists, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's spokesman said on Friday.

An Israeli soldier was shot and killed by sniper fire in the Gaza Strip on
Friday just hours after Israeli armored vehicles and troops rolled into
Bethlehem. The move follows a bus bombing in Jerusalem on Thursday that
killed 11 people were killed.


Sharon's spokesman Dr. Ra'anan Gissin said that Israel had no choice but to
re-take Bethlehem. Israel handed over Bethlehem and Hebron to PA control
with the "sincere hope" that the PA would stop terror attacks, but they did
not do so, he said.

But about six weeks ago, Israel noticed an upsurge in attacks attributed to
outside instigation from other states in the region, Gissin said.

"We detected a pattern of a general effort to instigate by [outside] forces
to step up terror activity as the U.S. [plans] to go to Iraq to create a
diversion [and] unite the Arab world [against Israel]," Gissin said.

There have been 151 terror alerts in the last six weeks - that's 25 per
week, he said.

Gissin named Iran, Iraq and Syria as countries that are trying to stir up
the Palestinians to carry out more attacks at this time in order to disrupt
U.S. plans to attack Iraq.

Iran is using Hizballah to keep the northern border tense; Iraq is
disbursing sums of $10,000 or more to the families of suicide bombers; and
Syria is hosting terrorist organizations in its capital.

Following a terrorist ambush in Hebron last week, in which12 Israelis were
killed, Islamic Jihad, which is headquartered in Damascus, claimed
responsibility. Syria rejected a U.S. demand that it close down the Islamic
Jihad offices there, saying they were only used for public relations.

Gissin said that while Israel first and foremost must "take care of its
citizens" it is also trying to prevent an escalation, even if it seems
"tedious" to go in and out of Palestinian cities. The aim is to keep those
who plan terror attacks "constantly on the run," he said.

Gissin insisted that Israel is not taking this course of action because of
U.S. pressure.

"We don't want to create another point of friction," he said.

Sharon visited the Beit Jala entrance to Bethlehem on Friday and said that
the terrorists didn't distinguish between men, women and children in their

"The only thing, the only distinguishing [factor] is that they are Jews.
That is the goal," Sharon said. There is no way to block every attack, he
said, but many attacks were prevented.

BBC, 22nd November

Iraq and Jordan have signed an agreement which should safeguard all of
Jordan's crude oil and oil product needs, according to broadcasting media in
both countries.

>From next year, crude oil will be transported in an oil pipeline from the
Iraqi border to a refinery in Jordan, Channel 1 in Jordan said.

And eventually, refined products will be sent back to Iraq as part of the
two countries' "technical cooperation" agreement, according to the TV

Jordan and Iraq also aim to work on joint geological and oil studies,
Channel 1 said.

Iraq's oil minister, Amid Muhammad Rashid, and Jordan's energy minister,
Muhammad al Bataina, signed the oil agreement on Thursday.

The two countries described the deal as an expression of their "willingness
and eagerness to develop and boost commercial and economic co-operation",
according to Channel 1.

Iraq and Jordan "agreed to establish joint ventures in the industrial,
trade, agricultural and services fields in order to encourage investment in
both countries", Republic of Iraq Radio reported.

It said that in addition, trade fairs and markets would be organised in both
countries, and a trade protocol should be raised to $310m (196m).

The Iraqi radio report saw Jordan's signature as a sign of broader political
support and insisted that it stressed "Jordan's rejection of the aggressive
threats against Iraq and reiterated the call for respecting Iraq's
sovereignty, territorial integrity and regional security".

"By signing the minutes [of the Iraqi-Jordanian committee meeting], Jordan
also underscores the need to lift the unjust embargo on Iraq as soon as
possible," Republic of Iraq Radio said.

Arabic News, 25th November

Jordan, Yemen and Egypt have denied receiving messages from the USA asking
for whether the three states are ready to cooperate in a likely war against

Replying to a question raised by journalists to this effect, the Egyptian
foreign minister Ahmad Maher denied that and said that "he never heard of
such an issue." The al-Jazeera TV said that the US sent several messages to
11 Arab states including Egypt, asking them whether they are ready to
cooperate in case a crisis erupts with Iraq, giving these Arab states, a
grace period of one month to answer.

The US Department of State announced on Monday that the US contacted 50
countries with the aim of forming an alliance against the regime of the
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein without disclosing the names of these

Yesterday, the Jordanian minister of information Muhammad al-Edwan denied
receiving messages from the US inquiring about the extent of its readiness
to cooperate in a likely war against Iraq. He said " we have not received
any request to this effect and we know nothing about this matter." Meantime,
a Yemeni official source denied information about Sanaa receiving similar
messages from the USA.

Gulf News, Abu Dhabi, 25th November

A renowned Muslim scholar has warned that the U.S.-led war against Iraq will
not be the last against the Muslim world and it will have a devastating
impact on the region.

"If Iraq falls, then all Arab countries will fall. What is surprising is
that Russia, France and even Germany, who at first opposed the war, now seem
to be lending their support to the U.S.

"The Russian foreign minister said that a strike against Iraq will not
signal the end of the 'war on terrorism'. This means the West will not stop
there and it will expand its war against Muslim countries," said Dr Ahmed Al
Qubaisi during a lecture at Zayed University yesterday.

Al Qubaisi, an Iraqi, answers questions on Islam on a weekly television show
broadcast from the UAE. He said that current tribulations were the result of
Muslims not adhering to their religion. But he did stress that hope still

"Western governments pushed for elections in Muslim countries and when they
took place, Islamic parties won the most votes, which was not to the West's
liking. This was demonstrated in Algeria, Turkey, Bahrain and Pakistan. A
Washington Post article stated that Islamic parties will always win
convincingly in these elections."

The Muslim scholar pointed out that Western governments preach worldwide
democracy but only practice it in their own countries, while at the same
time maintaining leaders in other parts of the world who persecute their

Al Qubaisi emphasised that the planned attack on Iraq is part of an
elaborate strategy which surfaced long before the 'war on terrorism'.

"The 1980s U.S. Presidential candidate, Lyndon H. LaRouche, who was framed
and jailed, wrote a book which puts these events into context. LaRouche said
that Jews pulled the strings and brought about the Soviet Union, and they
plotted its demise in 1991.

"Following that, LaRouche went on, America would become the world's
superpower. To continue being the world's superpower, America needs to
control the Middle East, especially Iraq. All this came in the book by
LaRouche," said Al Qubaisi.

He concluded that Iraq's plentiful resources of gold, oil and uranium
ensured that the U.S. would not leave it in peace.       

Arabic News, 25th November

The Saudi daily al-Watan reported in Saturday that Iraq is currently
studying a project to link Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia by a railway.

The paper added quoting well informed sources in Baghdad that the study
deals with extending a railway linking southern Iran to Basra, southern
Iraq, to the Saudi territories within railways agreements between the three

The paper added that ratification of the study will be made as soon as the
blueprints will be completed especially as there is a railway line linking
Tehran, al-Mandareyah, Baghdad, Mousel and Aleppo within agreements that
facilitate transport and communications among the said countries. The paper
stressed that talks are currently underway to reach solutions to complete
the project as soon as possible.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is considering a
multibillion-dollar aid package for Israel, including cash and equipment for
its military and loan guarantees to boost the country's battered economy.

Talks with Israel are part of a broader diplomatic effort by Washington to
ready the region for a possible war with Iraq.

Turkey and other U.S. allies have also started negotiating aid packages with

Israel is seeking up to $4 billion in extra military assistance and $8
billion to $10 billion in loan guarantees to help battle its worst economic
slowdown, according to administration sources and lobbyists.

The money could be spread out over several years and, if Israel gets its
way, would be in addition to the aid it now receives annually. Israel is
already the top recipient of U.S. foreign aid, receiving close to $3 billion
in mostly military assistance each year from Washington.

Israeli officials made the request at a meeting with U.S. national security
adviser Condoleezza Rice and her staff in Washington on Monday.

Israel's economy has been battered by a global slowdown and two-year-old
Palestinian uprising that have combined to hurt the technology, tourism and
construction sectors. The country is set to enter its third year of
recession in 2003 and is faced with lower tax revenues and higher defense

"They (Israeli officials) described the economic impact on Israel of the
ongoing war on terrorism ... as well as the impact of continuing uncertainty
in the region," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. "In this context,
the officials indicated that Israel is preparing a proposal for assistance.
And the United States, with this long-term commitment we have to Israel's
security, prosperity and economic development, is putting together a team to
address with the Israelis their economic situation," Fleischer said.

U.S. officials denied that military and economic assistance would be tied to
Israeli cooperation in any U.S.-led war with Iraq.

"This is not directly related to compensation in the event of attack,"
Fleischer said.

The United States wants Israel to stay out of any U.S. campaign, as it did
when Baghdad fired Scud missiles at Israeli targets in the 1991 Gulf War.

Fleischer would not say whether Bush would make the loan guarantees
conditional on the money not being used for building Jewish settlements.
"The president will look at the totality of our relations with Israel on
making any judgments and determinations that he makes," he said.

White House officials said they have yet to commit to any dollar amounts for
Israel. "But we are cognisant of the economic conditions in Israel and we
want to work with Israeli authorities on this issue," Fleischer said.

Any aid package would be subject to congressional approval, which could come
early next year.

Israel, which has never defaulted on its loans, would find it easier to
raise funds with U.S. backing. Israel received $10 billion of loan
guarantees in the early 1990s as it sought to settle a wave of immigrants
from the former Soviet Union.

Last week, the Bush administration promised Israel $2.16 billion in foreign
military assistance in 2004, a slight increase over the $2.1 billion it
asked Congress to provide in 2003. The aid is separate from U.S. economic
support to Israel, which amounted to $600 million in 2002 and is scheduled
to fall by $120 million a year until it disappears by 2008.

The Bush administration is also assembling a military and economic aid
package to help Turkey weather major economic disruptions if war with
Baghdad breaks out, according to administration and congressional sources.

According to congressional sources, Bush is considering an initial $700
million-$800 million package, which, in addition to economic assistance,
could clear the way for Turkey to purchase eight S-70B Seahawk and six UH-60
Black Hawk helicopters. Over the next few years, additional aid could amount
to several billion dollars.

by Robert Collier
San Francisco Chronicle, 27th November

A scandal that threatens to poison the strategic relationship between the
United States and Saudi Arabia kept flaring on Tuesday, resisting the Bush
administration's attempts to talk it down.

The administration emphatically denied a report that it was considering a
plan to threaten Saudi Arabia with financial sanctions -- or other
unspecified unilateral steps -- if it fails to crack down on wealthy Saudis
who have financed Osama bin Laden's terrorists.

But as the implications of the report grew clearer, many analysts cautioned
that the U.S. options are limited.

The United States needs Saudi oil and access to its military bases too much
to file for divorce, they say, and any heavy-handed actions would hurt Saudi
cooperation in the war against terrorism.

"There's a Saudi-bashing impetus in Washington now, particularly in Congress
and among the administration's hawks, who have a vast misunderstanding of
Saudi Arabia," said James Noyes, a former U.S. assistant secretary of
defense for the Mideast who is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at
Stanford University.

Noyes said the Saudi royal family's decentralized power structure hinders
quick action.

"I think Saudi cooperation will be gradual and has to be arranged privately,
without open threats," he said. "In Saudi Arabia, problems are settled
within a very large family rather than in a crisply functioning government
of public laws."

But the recent revelations may have done lasting damage to the bilateral

Last weekend, U.S. officials said that Princess Haifa al-Faisal, the wife of
the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had sent money to a Saudi man in
San Diego who was in contact with two of the hijackers in last year's Sept.
11 attacks. Some congressional leaders followed with harsh criticism of the
Saudi government.

Then on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that a National Security
Council task force had recommended that President Bush give the Saudi regime
an ultimatum: Crack down on terrorist financiers within 90 days, or the
United States will take firm steps to bring them to justice.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer admitted Tuesday that an interagency
group is working to devise new measures to pressure the Saudis and other
nations to stop funding for terrorism, but he insisted that no conclusions
have been reached and no ultimatum is being contemplated.

"The president believes that Saudi Arabia has been a good partner in the war
against terrorism," Fleischer said. "But even a good partner like Saudi
Arabia can do more."

Relations with Saudi Arabia have been tense because 15 of the 19 hijackers
were Saudi citizens, and much of the financing for bin Laden's al Qaeda
organization is believed to come from wealthy Saudis, including members of
the royal family.

For some Washington conservatives, Saudi complicity is clear.

"The Bush administration has let these issues go for too long, and now
they're just playing damage control," said Stephen Schwartz, senior policy
analyst at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a think tank in
Washington, and author of "The Two Faces of Islam," a widely praised new
book that strongly criticizes the Saudi royal family.

"The United States has to stop pussy-footing around on this. If 15 of the
Sept. 11 hijackers had come from Iraq, Baghdad would be in cinders by now,"
said Schwartz, a former Chronicle reporter.

In Saudi Arabia, a government spokesman said Tuesday that if any of the
princess's money had reached the hijackers, it could only be because she had
been tricked.

Many experts in Saudi culture said Riyadh's explanation is not far-fetched,
because the Saudi royal family has a long tradition of giving individual
gifts to their subjects -- even those whom they barely know.

"This is the way the Saudis work," said Sandra Mackey, whose 1987 book "The
Saudis: Inside the Desert Kingdom" is considered a classic expose.

"They try to keep contact with ordinary people by taking care of their
financial needs. It's very common for a person who is in need to make
contact with the royal family and to be given money. And that person could
wind up to be a terrorist."

James Akins, who was U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Nixon and
Ford administrations and who returned Sunday from a three-week trip to that
country, said most Saudis feel increasingly angry about what they see as
bullying by Washington.

"The anti-Americanism in Saudi Arabia is palpable. I've never seen anything
like it," Akins said.

"If there's a revolution in Saudi Arabia, as some neoconservatives in
Washington seem to advocate, it will clone bin Laden throughout the country
and help him in his goal of overthrowing the monarchy."

In Washington, many see the past week's revelations as part of the Bush
administration's tendency to fight its internal factional battles through
dueling leaks to the media.

"It's an inadvertent good cop, bad cop arrangement," said Edward Walker, who
was assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs in the Clinton and
Bush administrations and now is president of the Middle East Institute.

"There's an ideological split, particularly in regard to Iraq, that
frequently uses leaks to the press. Some people in the administration have
wanted this to get out for a while now.

"They have vested interests in seeing (the U.S.-Saudi) relationship
deteriorate, and they will continue to work to undermine it."

Gulf News, Abu Dhabi, 28th November

The former United Nations Humanitarian Aid Coordinator in Iraq has said that
Arab states could do more to prevent a war against the country.

Hans von Sponeck, who headed the UN's Oil for Food programme before
resigning in February, 2000, gave a lecture at Zayed Centre for Coordination
and Follow-up on the impact of sanctions on the Iraqi people.

"I think it is really possible to avert a war against Iraq, and I believe
that Arab governments have a huge role to play in this. Saudi Arabia and
Qatar can prevent the United States forces from using their air bases, and
Kuwait needs to realise that it, too, will be affected by the war.

"Also, internal U.S. pressure is mounting, with demonstrations against the
war," emphasised von Sponeck.

The German diplomat believes that the Arab League must be more forthright in
its objectives.

"The Arab League needs to be more assertive in arguing its case and
defending Arab rights. It is not good enough to have a Beirut summit and
issue a communique saying 'We don't want a war on Iraq'," said von Sponeck.

He said that the war against Iraq was unjustified and the West was largely
to blame for the country's regime. "Saddam Hussain is not a self-made man.
Our technology made him what he is. There is no evidence to support an
attack on Iraq. Where is the Al Qaida link? Where is the anthrax?" he

According to the former UN official, the motives behind the war led by the
U.S. lie in Iraq's vast oil resources. He referred to former U.S. Secretary
of State, Henry Kissinger, who said: "Oil is too important a commodity to be
left in the hands of the Arabs." Von Sponeck added that Washington might
also want to implement its way of life on Iraq.

The visiting diplomat said he expected the attack, which he hoped would not
occur, to be very unlike the previous Gulf War.

"What I see happening if a war takes place, is similar to Afghanistan.
Planes dropping bombs from a high altitude, until things on the ground stop
moving. The war, if it happens, will not be like 1991, where allied forces
stopped 80km from Baghdad. It will be house to house," he warned.

Von Sponeck criticised the treatment of Iraqi civilians under the
Oil-for-Food programme. "In the initial procedure, Iraqis were to get the
equivalent of 32 cents per person per day. That amount was to be spent on
food, water, education, sanitation and medicine.

"And at the same time, the equivalent of 30 cents was deducted from that
amount to compensate for the actions of the Iraqi regime in the Gulf War.
This is punishment, not aid," he stressed.

Von Sponeck pointed out how the UN sanctions imposed on Iraq contradicted
its own humanitarian values.

"In January 2000 a committee at the United Kingdom's House of Commons said
that it would find it difficult in the future to justify the UN imposing
wholesale economic sanctions against any country.

"The committee found that the UN would lose its credibility if it called for
the rights of the poor while contributing to their suffering. A report by
the UN Economic and Social Council in June, 2000, found that the sanctions
regime against Iraq was illegal under international humanitarian and human
rights laws," said von Sponeck.

The German diplomat stated that it was these contradictions that forced him
to resign. "I did not resign due to American and British pressure. I have a
conscience, and it troubled me when my name was associated with the
punishment of innocent Iraqis," he said.

Von Sponeck was also very critical of the UN's position following Israeli
atrocities in Jenin earlier this year.,,3-495140,00.html

by Richard Beeston
The Times, 28th November

SADDAM HUSSEIN discovered the power of weapons of mass destruction during
the brutal Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, when hundreds of thousands of troops
manning miles of trenches fought much as European armies of the First World
War did.

The Iraqis, who invaded an Iran weakened by revolution, were quickly thrown
back by Iran's superior troop strength.

Saddam experimented with chemical weapons when he used mustard gas in 1984
against massed formations of Iranian infantry.

The first widespread use of chemical weapons was recorded in the winter of
1986, when Iranian troops launched the Kerbala offensive and captured the
Iraqi peninsula of Fao at the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab waterway. This time
nerve agents as well as mustard gas killed or wounded thousands of Iranian
troops and helped to blunt an offensive that threatened to overrun Basra,
Iraq's second city. Iranian veterans of the conflict said later that gas
attacks had had a devastating psychological effect on the troops, many of
whom fled in the face of gas shells.

A year later Iraqi forces, under the command of Saddam's cousin, Ali Hassan
al-Majid, attacked with chemical bombs Kurdish villages suspected of
sympathising with the Iranians. In 1988 5,000 Kurds were killed in the
market town of Halabja.

An estimated 20,000 people were killed or injured by Iraqi chemical agents
during the war. President Khatami of Iran said recently that victims were
still dying from the after-effects of chemical attacks.

Gulf News, from Reuters, 28th November

Arab governments would curtail their cooperation with the United States in
the U.S. "war on terrorism" if the United States attacks Iraq, a senior
Yemeni official has said.

"I can't imagine that war in Iraq will allow any country to go about the war
against terrorism as business as usual," said Abdul-Karim Al Iryani, a
former Yemeni prime minister and senior adviser to President Ali Abdullah

"It will negatively affect the cooperation of almost every other Arab
country, at least during the war. After the war, maybe people will come
back," Iryani told reporters.

The Yemeni government has been one of the most cooperative in the Arab world
in the U.S. campaign to track down members of the Al Qaida group, blamed for
the September 2001 suicide attacks on New York and Washington.

On November 4 it allowed the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to kill six Al
Qaida suspects with an unmanned Predator plane, which fired a missile at
their car in the Yemeni desert.

Iryani, a key figure in coordination between Yemen and the United States,
said his government drew a clear line however between the "war on terror"
and war with Iraq.

He said that war on Iraq would create instability throughout the Arab world
and that he doubted the United States would find it easy to install a stable

"Who in the world will have the genius ability to rule Iraq when the regime
is removed by force? I can't imagine how it will be. I fear there will be
many civil wars," he said.

Iryani said the answers to extremism in the Muslim world were democracy,
liberal education and economic development.

He added: "I'm not going to say the reason for what happened in New York (on
September 11) is the Arab-Israeli conflict. But one of the strongest cards
in the hands of the extremists today is the Arab-Israeli conflict."


The State, from Reuters, 22nd November

BAGHDAD - U.S. and British warplanes hit targets in southern Iraq for the
third successive day on Friday, Iraqi and U.S. military officials said, as
Washington continued a build-up for possible war against Baghdad.

An Iraqi military spokesman said the planes attacked "civilian and service
installations" in Basra province southeast of Baghdad and said the planes
were driven off by Iraqi anti aircraft fire.

A statement from the U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. military
action in the region, said planes monitoring a no-fly zone over the southern
section of the country bombed "unmanned communications facilities" south of
Al Amarah.

It said the strike occurred at 6:30 a.m. EST after an Iraqi military jet
flew into the no-fly zone.

The United States, backed up by a U.N. resolution, has threatened "serious
consequences" against Iraq unless it ends nuclear, chemical and biological
weapons programs and has built up its forces in the Gulf. Baghdad denies it
has such weapons.

U.S. planes, aided by British aircraft, have frequently hit ground targets
since no-fly zones were set up in north and south Iraq after the 1991 Gulf
War, but such attacks have increased in recent months.

The Iraqi military spokesman, quoted by the official Iraqi News Agency,
said: "At 10:30 a.m. today, U.S. and British planes violated our air space,
carrying out 57 sorties from bases in Kuwait, flying over Qalat Saleh,
Qurna, Samawa, Salman, Nasiriya, Najaf, Basra..." the Iraqi spokesman said.

"The planes attacked our civilian and service installations in Basra
province," he said. No casualties were reported.

Iraq's anti-aircraft and missile batteries fired at the aircraft, forcing
them to return to their bases, he added.

The flight exclusion zones were set up to protect a Kurdish enclave in the
north and Shi'ite Muslims in the south from attack by President Saddam
Hussein's military after the war.

Iraq does not recognize the zones and frequently accuses the jets of causing
civilian casualties.

U.S. officials say continued firing at Western patrol jets by Iraqi defenses
is a direct violation of the November 8 U.N. resolution which set up a
mechanism to dismantle any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has disagreed with that interpretation,
saying Iraq's firing on the aircraft did not violate the resolution.

Times of India (from AFP), 24th November

BAGHDAD: US and British planes bombed civilian targets in southern Iraq on
Saturday, but caused no casualties, the official INA news agency quoted a
military spokesman as saying here.

The planes carried out a raid "against civilian installations in the
province of Misan," INA quoted the spokesman as saying.

A total of 56 sorties were noted by Iraqi officials above 14 cities and
towns, including Basra, Najaf and Karbala.

Almost daily incidents currently oppose Iraq's air defenses and combat
aircraft from the United States and Britain enforcing no-fly zones in
northern and southern Iraq.

Baghdad does not recognize the zones, arguing they were never the object of
a formal resolution by the United Nations Security Council.

The United States and Britain have stepped up their strikes in both the
southern and northern no-fly zones, attacking six of the last seven days in
the face of what US military officials say is intensified Iraqi fire.

The strikes on Saturday came as UN weapons experts lay the groundwork in
Iraq for tough new arms inspections under the council's Resolution 1441,
which was voted on November 8.

by Jamie McIntyre
CNN, 24th November

BAGHDAD, Iraq: Coalition aircraft have struck a mobile radar system in
Iraq's southern no fly zone, the U.S. Central Command said.

The strike took place at 6 a.m. EST Saturday south of Al Amarah, 165 miles
southeast of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The hit came after Iraq moved the
mobile radar into the zone, Central Command said.

The radar provides tracking and guidance for surface-to-air missile systems
that can target coalition aircraft.

Precision-guided weapons were used in the strike, and target battle damage
assessment is ongoing, Central Command said.

The Iraqi News Agency reported that coalition aircraft fired Saturday on
civilian and service facilities in Meisan, near Al Amarah, in the southern
no-fly zone. There were no casualties, and the agency reported that the
coalition aircraft flew 59 sorties.

The last coalition strikes in the southern no-fly zone were Friday against
unmanned communications facilities, also near Al Amarah.

Iraqi anti-aircraft fire on coalition warplanes patrolling the no-fly zones
increased tenfold last week, the Pentagon said.

The increased activity on both sides comes as President Bush pledged to lead
a military coalition into Iraq and forcibly disarm it of alleged weapons of
mass destruction unless Baghdad follows U.N. resolutions aimed at disarment
of such weapons -- chemical, nuclear and biological. The Baghdad government
has repeatedly denied possessing such weapons.

White House officials have said continued attempts by Iraq to target
coalition aircraft amount to a "material breach" of the resolution that the
U.N. Security Council passed November 8 calling for Iraq to disarm.

U.N. Resolution 1441 states in part that "Iraq shall not take or threaten
hostile acts directed against any representative or personnel of the United
Nations ... or of any member state taking action to uphold any Council

But U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said last week that the attacks did
not constitute a material breach.

The no-fly zones have been a source of contention for Iraq since their
establishment after the Persian Gulf War in 1991, and the Iraqi Foreign
Ministry rejects the U.S. interpretation of the current resolution.

U.S. and British aircraft have enforced no-fly zones in northern and
southern Iraq since the end of the Gulf War to protect Kurds in the north
and Shiite Muslims in the south from possible attacks by the Iraqi

Beginning in December 1998, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein began challenging
the coalition enforcement by firing surface-to-air missiles and
anti-aircraft artillery and targeting them with radar.

Central Command said that the Iraqis have fired on coalition aircraft more
than 130 times so far this year.;jsessionid=D2DS2P5NJKS52CRBAE0CFF

Reuters, 26th November

BAGHDAD: Iraq's anti-aircraft batteries opened fire at U.S. and British
planes over the south of the country on Monday, an Iraqi military spokesman

The incident came hours before the first group of U.N. weapons inspectors
arrived in Baghdad to resume a hunt for Iraq's alleged weapons of mass

"At 11:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) today, U.S. and British planes violated our air
space, carrying out 34 sorties from bases in Kuwait," the spokesman said in
a statement carried by the official Iraqi News Agency (INA).

"The planes flew over Al Salman, Samawa, Qalat Saleh, Nassiriya, Amarah,
Shatra and Najaf," the statement said.

U.S. and British jets patrol two no-fly zones set up after the 1991 Gulf War
to protect a Kurdish enclave in the north and Shi'ite Muslims in the south
of Iraq from attack by President Saddam Hussein's military.

In New York, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri told the United Nations by
letter on Monday that British and U.S. fighter jets had flown 552 armed
sorties over Iraqi territory between October 12 and November 8.

During the same period, 18 pilotless drones also violated Iraqi airspace,
Sabri said in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Iraq, which does not recognise the no-fly zones, views these flights as
"state terrorism and wanton aggression against Iraq and against its people",
Sabri said in the letter.

The Iraqi military spokesman reported no firing on Iraqi targets by the U.S.
and British planes, but said Iraq's anti-aircraft and missile batteries
fired at the aircraft, forcing them to return to their bases.

The United States has said Iraq's firing on planes patrolling the no-fly
zones could be a breach of U.N. resolution 1441 -- widely understood as a
trigger for U.S.-led military action against Baghdad.

But most of the international community disagrees, saying Iraqi attacks on
the planes would not constitute a "material breach" of the disarmament

Yahoo, 27th November

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Western planes flew over Baghdad on Wednesday, setting
off air raid sirens in the Iraqi capital but launching no attacks, an Iraqi
civil defense official said.

"We had an aerial breach by enemy planes," the official told Reuters. "But
there is no attack."

He said it was not immediately known how many planes were involved or where
they had come from.

The sirens sounded at around 1:30 a.m. EST, about an hour after U.N. weapons
inspectors began their first field mission in four years in search for
banned weapons. The all clear was given around 10 minutes later.

The Iraqi capital is just north of a southern "no-fly" zone routinely
patrolled by U.S. and British planes. In the past, sirens have sounded in
Baghdad when the planes attacked on the edge of the zone.

There was no immediate comment from Washington, London or the Iraqi

Skirmishes in the northern and southern no-fly zones have increased over the
past few weeks, with U.S. and British planes launching almost daily raids,
attacking Iraqi positions in response to what they say is Iraqi
anti-aircraft fire.

Times of India (from AFP), 27th November

LONDON: The British defense ministry denied Wednesday that US and British
warplanes had flown over the Iraqi capital Baghdad, as the first UN arms
inspection in four years was under way.

"There were no coalition aircraft flying in the region this morning," a
ministry spokesman said, adding that Iraqi news reports of such a flight
were "false information."

The Pentagon in Washington issued a similar denial, while a spokesman for
the UN inspectors in Baghdad said the team had "nothing to do with any plane
overflying the area."

Las Vegas Sun (from AP), 28th November

BAGHDAD, Iraq- U.S. and British warplanes attacked a "civilian and services"
installation in northern Iraq on Thursday, killing one civilian, the
official Iraqi News Agency said.

The attack in Nineveh province, 250 miles north of Baghdad, occurred at
11:05 a.m. local time, an unnamed military spokesman told the agency.

Iraqi air defense units fired at the attacking planes, forcing them to
return to their bases in Turkey, the agency said.

American and British warplanes taking off from bases in Kuwait conducted 55
sorties over southern Iraq, it said.

No comment was immediately available from the U.S. military.


by Nick Childs
BBC, 29th November

The US military says aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly zone over Iraq
have dropped leaflets warning Iraqis for the first time not to repair
equipment and facilities previously hit by allied planes.

It was the fifth leaflet drop on southern Iraq in the last two months.

Previously leaflets warned Iraqi forces not to fire on patrolling US and
British aircraft.

But this time the message was different - the 360,000 leaflets used in the
latest operation were dropped on unmanned communications facilities which
had already been struck.

Some of the leaflets warned the Iraqis not to repair the equipment there.
The others said the no-fly zones are to protect the Iraqi people.


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