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Iraq fires missile into Kuwaiti airspace

By Jamie McIntyre
CNN Military Affairs Correspondent

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Pentagon says Iraq apparently fired a surface-to-air missile into Kuwaiti airspace for the first time since the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

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Pentagon officials say a U.S. Navy E-2C "Hawkeye" surveillance aircraft was on routine patrol several miles inside Kuwait near the border with Iraq Thursday, when it observed a plume and then an explosion in the air about a mile away.

Based on the pilot's report, the United States believes Iraq fired a surface-to-air missile at the unarmed plane.

There was no targeting-radar detected by the U.S. plane, so it appears the missile was fired "ballistically," that is, without the benefit of any guidance system.

Pentagon officials said the incident happened Thursday morning local time in Kuwait, and that the weather was cloudy.






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