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U.S. Jets Bomb Iraqi Defense Sites

February 20, 2000

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ U.S. jets bombed an Iraqi air defense system in Iraq’s northern no-fly zone Sunday in response to a missile attack, the U.S. military said.

The Iraqi forces fired multiple surface-to-air missiles at warplanes on patrol, the Germany-based U.S. European Command said in a statement. Coalition aircraft responded to the Iraqi attacks with bombs, the statement said.

All planes left the area 250 miles north of Baghdad safely, it said. The planes are based at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey.

On Saturday, Baghdad said three Iraqi civilians were wounded when U.S. warplanes bombed the same region during patrols of the no-fly zone. Saturday’s attack was carried out in response to Iraqi artillery fire.

U.S. and British planes have often targeted Iraqi military sites since Iraq began challenging the patrols in December 1998.

Baghdad does not recognize the no-fly zones, which were set up after the 1991 Gulf War to protect Shiite Muslims in the south and Kurds in the north from the forces of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Update hourly