AIRSTRIKES on Iraq killed one, wounded 11, official Iraqi news agency says

Friday, August 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ The largest U.S.-British airstrikes on Iraq in almost six months killed one person and wounded 11, the official Iraqi News Agency said Friday.

An unidentified air defense spokesman told the agency that the warplanes hit Nassiriyah province and Wassit in southern Iraq.

``The American and British planes of evil have conducted a cowardly operation targeting civil and service installations,'' the spokesman was quoted as saying.

The report did not say where the casualties occurred.

About 20 U.S. and British attack planes plus about 30 support aircraft took part in the airstrikes, according to Pentagon spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Steve Campbell. The U.S. planes were launched from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise in the Persian Gulf and from land bases in the region.

However, the Iraqi spokesman said the aircraft flew from bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The planes struck a military communications center, a surface-to-air missile launching site and a long-range radar _ all elements of Iraq's integrated air defense network, Campbell said.

U.S. and British planes have been enforcing a ``no fly'' zone in southern and northern Iraq since shortly after the end of the 1991 Gulf War to protect the Shiite Muslims and Kurds against attacks by government forces.

Iraq in recent months has stepped up efforts to shoot down the planes patrolling the zones.