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Iraq: U.S. Jets Again Fire Missiles At Two Sites

Baghdad/Washington; 14 January 1999 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. Defense Department says U.S. warplanes today fired missiles at two Iraqi surface-to-air missile sites in northern Iraq for the fourth day in a row. Today's incidents, which happened north of the city of Mosul, were the eighth military confrontation since last month's U.S. and British air attacks on Iraqi military targets.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Richard Bridges said an F-16 jet fired a HARM missile at an Iraqi radar site and a U.S. F-15 warplane dropped a precision-guided missile on a suspected Iraqi missile site. Both planes returned safely to their base.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein insisted today on an immediate lifting of the eight-year old UN embargo and the scrapping of "no-fly" zones over Iraq.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia said it is opposed to Iraq taking part in an Arab summit for the first time since the 1991 Gulf War. The official Saudi news agency SPA said that any Iraqi participation in an Arab summit would be "doomed to failure."

The Saudi comments come as the foreign ministers of Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yeman, and Oman met for the second time in two weeks in Egypt today to try and formulate a common policy toward the Iraqi crisis. The foreign ministers were meeting ahead of the Arab League foreign ministers' conference slated for later this month in Cairo.

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has recently called for Arab masses to overthrow rulers who did not condemn last month's air attacks on Iraq.