Iraq: 3 Killed by Airstrikes
Feb. 09, 2000
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ U.S. and British warplanes killed three Iraqis and wounded eight others in an airstrike on southern Iraq on Wednesday, state-run television reported.
The report did not say where the casualties occurred, but it said the planes came from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and flew over several Iraqi provinces.
The planes attacked ``service and civilian sites which resulted in the martyrdom of three of our citizens and the wounding of eight others,'' the television said, quoting an unidentified Iraqi Air Defense Force spokesman.
At MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., U.S. Central Command spokesman Navy Lt. Cmdr. Ernest Duplessis confirmed the airstrike. He called it a ``measured response'' against Iraqi radar, artillery and surface-to-air missile sites to reduce the threat to U.S. and British aircraft.
Duplessis said he had not seen a battle assessment and had no information on the Iraqi casualty reports.
In a separate incident, the U.S. military said earlier Wednesday that American warplanes bombed an Iraqi air defense system in response to artillery fire as they patrolled a no-fly zone over northern Iraq.
The U.S. planes attacked a site near Bashiqah, about 250 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. European Command said in a statement issued in Germany. The planes, based at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, left the area safely, the statement said.
Iraqi television also said there was an attack in the north but reported no casualties there.
The no-fly zones were set up after the 1991 Gulf War to provide aerial protection from government forces for Shiite Muslims in the south and Kurds in the north. The U.S. and British air forces have frequently attacked Iraqi anti-aircraft and radar installations since Iraq began challenging the aerial patrols in late 1998.
The allies have denied attacking civilian targets _ as Iraq routinely alleges _ but the airstrikes have caused civilian casualties.