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News, 22-29/11/02 (6) IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST RELATIONS * 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 NO FLY ZONES * 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 IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST RELATIONS http://www.crosswalk.com/news/1173129.html * IRAN, IRAQ, SYRIA URGING PALESTINIANS TO DISRUPT US 'IRAQ ATTACK' PLANS by Julie Stahl Crosswalk, 22nd November Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - 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 attacks. "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. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2502819.stm * IRAQ AND JORDAN SIGN OIL DEAL 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 report. 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. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/021125/2002112507.html * EGYPT, YEMEN, AND JORDAN DENY TO HAVE GOT US MESSAGES ABOUT IRAQ 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 Iraq. 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 countries. 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. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=69449 * WAR AGAINST IRAQ 'WILL NOT BE THE LAST ONE' 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 remained. "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 people. 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. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/021125/2002112502.html * AL-WATAN: A RAILWAY LINKING IRAQ, IRAN, SAUDI ARABIA 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 countries. 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. http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/Swissinfo.html?siteSect=143&sid=1481225. * U.S. CONSIDERS BIG AID PACKAGE FOR ISRAEL Swissinfo.com, 27th November 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 Washington. 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 costs. "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. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/a/2002/11/27/MN148161 .DTL * U.S., SAUDIS IN AWKWARD DIPLOMATIC SPAT 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 relationship. 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." http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=69754 * ARAB STATES 'COULD DO MORE TO AVERT WAR' 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 argued. 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. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-495140,00.html * SADDAM TESTED HIS POISONS IN IRAN WAR 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. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=69756 * IRAQ WAR WILL HURT COOPERATION ON TERROR - YEMEN 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 Saleh. "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 government. "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." NO FLY ZONES http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/breaking_news/4582669.htm * U.S. WARPLANES HIT TARGETS IN IRAQ FOR THIRD DAY 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. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?artid=292 05594 * US, UK PLANES BOMB CIVILIAN IRAQI TARGETS: IRAQI MILITARY 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. http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/11/24/iraq.strike/index.html * COALITION PLANES HIT IRAQI MOBILE RADAR SYSTEM 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 resolution." 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 government. 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. http://asia.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml;jsessionid=D2DS2P5NJKS52CRBAE0CFF A?type=worldnews&StoryID=1803358 * IRAQ SAYS IT FIRES AT WESTERN JETS IN SOUTH 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 said. 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 destruction. "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 resolution. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20021127/ts_nm/iraq_sirens _dc_3 * IRAQ SAYS WESTERN PLANES FLY OVER BAGHDAD 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 military. 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. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?artid=295 89408 * BRITAIN DENIES ITS PLANES FLEW OVER BAGHDAD 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." http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2002/nov/28/112807907.html * U.S.-BRITISH PLANES REPORTEDLY KILL ONE 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. [.....] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2526073.stm * 'FORGET REPAIRS' US TELLS IRAQI 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. [.....] _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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