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Middle East: Iraq Says U.S., British Air Strikes Killed Two Civilians

Baghdad, 17 February 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Iraq says that two civilians were killed by U.S. and British airstrikes yesterday on air defense facilities on the outskirts of Baghdad. The official INA news agency also said more than 20 other people were wounded.

U.S. defense officials said yesterday that 24 aircraft hit five Iraqi military targets near Baghdad using long-range precision-guided weapons.

U.S. General Gregory Newbold said the raid was to protect allied air patrols over the southern no-fly zone.

U.S. President George Bush said yesterday that Washington is watching if Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction and warned that, if so, the U.S. will take appropriate action.

Tehran today condemned the air strikes, calling them signs of adventurism from the Bush administration. Moscow and Beijing criticized the raids, while Paris called them pointless and deadly.