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US, British Planes Attack Iraqi Targets - 2001-08-10


For the second time this week, allied warplanes have attacked targets in Iraq, this time in the southern part of the country.

Pentagon officials say Friday's operation was the biggest raid since February, with about 20 U.S. and British strike planes taking part.

A spokesman said the aircraft launched precision-guided weapons at three targets a communications center, a surface-to-air missile base and a long-range radar. The attacking planes all returned safely. So far, there is no word on damage.

All the strikes took place in the country's southern no-fly zone, which allied jets have patrolled since the Gulf War. The targets were all part of Baghdad's integrated air-defense system. Defense officials say Iraq has rebuilt the network, which was hit earlier this year, and has lately stepped up efforts to shoot down coalition aircraft.

U.S. officials vow to continue the patrols, despite the heightened risk and warnings from President Saddam Hussein. Tuesday the allies bombed air-defense sites in the northern no-fly zone after being fired on by Iraqi missiles and guns.

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