iconimg Saturday, September 05, 2015

Press Trust of India, PTI
Washington, November 21, 2002
Allied warplanes bombed Iraqi defence systems in the northern no-fly zone over Iraq today after being fired upon during routine patrols northeast of Mosul, the US military said.

The planes used precision-guided weapons to target Iraqi air defence systems, the Stuttgart, Germany-based US European Command said. There was no further information on the targeted sites.

A statement on the command's Internet site said the Iraqi forces fired anti-aircraft weapons at
the planes.

US and British aircraft patrol the northern no-fly zone. The US warplanes usually fly fighter and bombing missions while the British fly reconnaissance missions. The statement said all planes used in the operation, which are based at Incirlik air base, in southern Turkey, returned safely to their base.

Iraq considers patrols of the northern no-fly zone - and of another one in the south of Iraq - a violation of its sovereignty and frequently shoots at the patrols. The zones were set up after the 1991 Gulf War provoked by Iraq's invasion of neighbouring Kuwait.

The hostilities have been going on for years but are being watched more closely since Washington has vowed to oust Iraqi President Saddam's Hussein's regime.