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Latest Iraq Attack Part Of More Frequent Action Against Saddam - 2001-08-28

U.S. and British fighter jets have again attacked targets in Iraq, a day after Baghdad claimed to have shot down an unmanned U.S. reconnaissance plane.

Tuesday's air strikes targeted two Iraqi defense sites in southern Iraq after what Pentagon spokesman Dave Lapan describes as more Iraqi threats to allied aircraft. "They were command and control sites that posed a threat to coalition aircraft," he said.

All the planes are reported to have returned to their bases safely.

U.S. officials charge Iraq has been working to upgrade air defenses in line with President Saddam Hussein's longstanding vow to shoot down an American plane and capture its pilot.

Pentagon officials say the action in the skies over Iraq had nothing to do with Monday's loss of an Air Force reconnaissance plane. Iraq claims to have shot down the plane which would be the first time since U.S. and British jets began patrolling Iraq's no fly zones a decade ago that Baghdad has been able to bring down an allied aircraft.

Pentagon officials say they still have not been able to determine whether hostile action or mechanical failure brought down the unmanned plane.