U.S. Jets Bomb Iraqi Air-Defense
ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) _ U.S. warplanes bombed Iraq’s air-defense system Wednesday in the northern no-fly zone after coming under fire themselves, the U.S. military said.
Iraqi forces targeted allied planes with radar and fired anti-aircraft artillery from a site near Bashiqah, 250 miles north of Baghdad, according to a statement from the Germany-based U.S. European Command.
All allied planes left the area safely, it added.
Coalition aircraft have been enforcing no-fly zones in north and south Iraq since shortly after the 1991 Persian Gulf War to protect Kurds and Shiites from the forces of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Saddam, who says the zones violate Iraq’s territorial integrity, has been challenging the patrols since December 1998.
The U.S. jets patrol the northern no-fly zone from Incirlik air base in southern Turkey.