U.S. jets bomb surface-to-surface missiles in Iraq

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Tue Feb 25 03:58:00 MST 2003


U.S. Jets Bomb Missile Systems in Iraq

.c The Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - U.S. warplanes bombed surface-to-surface missile
systems in northern Iraq early Tuesday after Iraqi forces moved the missiles
into a U.S.-patrolled no-fly zone, the U.S. military said.

The Germany-based U.S. European Command said in a statement that U.S. jets
used precision-guided weapons to target three surface-to-surface missile
systems just south of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

``The coalition carried out today's strike after Iraqi forces moved the
mobile surface-to-surface missile systems above the 36th parallel-inside the
northern no-fly zone-and in range to threaten coalition forces,'' the
statement said.

All coalition aircraft returned safely, it said.

U.S. and British planes have been enforcing a no-fly zone north of the 36th
parallel since the aftermath the of the 1991 Gulf War. A similar zone exists
in southern Iraq.

The last U.S. airstrike in northern Iraq occurred on Jan. 31, when U.S. jets
struck Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery.

Coalition aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone are based in the southern
Turkish base of Incirlik.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein does not recognize the no-fly zones and had
been challenging U.S. and British aircraft there since Dec. 1998.

The strike comes as Washington is pressing Turkey to allow tens of thousands
of U.S. combat troops in the country to open a northern front in a possible
Iraq war.



02/25/03 04:14 EST


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