Clinton: Strike sends message to Saddam
Iraq says 5 Iraqis killed, 19 wounded
September 3, 1996
Web posted at: 12:20 p.m. EDT (1620 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton said Tuesday that the
U.S. missile attack against Iraqi targets was in retaliation
for Iraq's assault on a Kurdish-controlled city in northern Iraq.
Navy ships and Air Force B-52 bombers fired a total of 27
cruise missiles at "selected air defense targets" in southern
Iraq for about a 45-minute period beginning midmorning, the
Pentagon told CNN.
"Our objectives are limited, but clear," the president said.
"To make Saddam pay a price for the latest act of brutality,
and to reduce his ability to threaten his neighbors and
Clinton (745 K AIFF or WAV sound)
"Our missiles sent the following message to Saddam Hussein:
When you abuse your own people or threaten your neighbors,
you must pay a price," Clinton said. ( 27 sec. 343K QuickTime movie)
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, in a defiant speech on Tuesday, urged his warplanes and anti-aircraft gunners to attack U.S. and allied planes policing air exclusion zones in the southern and northern parts of Iraq.
Saddam, wearing his field marshal's uniform, also called on his troops to resist the United States, urging them to give Washington "a new lesson in the meanings which they (Americans) with their empty... souls do not carry."
An Iraqi army spokesman said Tuesday that five people
were killed and 19 wounded, including civilians, in a
missile strike on air defense positions in south
"Our sacrifices were five martyrs and 19 wounded among them
a group of civilians. A number of residential houses for the
citizens were destroyed," the spokesman for Iraq's general
command of the armed forces, quoted by state television,
Clinton ordered the air strike against southern targets after
Iraqi forces overran the Kurdish city of Irbil, in the "safe
haven" in northern Iraq. The purpose of the Iraqi assault was
apparently to put a Kurdish faction loyal to Saddam in charge
of the city.
Irbil was to be a key distribution center for humanitarian
supplies purchased by Iraq under a U.N. resolution allowing a
limited easing of the sanctions placed against the country
after Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990.
"Until we are sure these humanitarian supplies can actually
get to those who need them, the plan cannot go forward,"
The U.S., Britain, and France announced that Wednesday
the southern no-fly zone -- north from the Kuwaiti border --
would be expanded from the 32nd parallel to the 33rd,
allowing allied planes to fly within 30 miles of Baghdad. The
expanded no-fly zone is intended to serve as a warning to
Saddam that his aggression would not be tolerated, Clinton
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said in a live
interview on CNN that Iraq considered the Iraqi action in
Irbil "legitimate" to dispel a faction allied with Iran, and
reiterated claims that the Iraqi troops had pulled back to
the positions they held before Saturday's assault.
Aziz (373 K AIFF or WAV sound)
"What the United States did this morning against Iraq was
illegitimate," Aziz said.
Aziz (625 K AIFF or WAV sound)
Clinton said claims that Iraqi troops had withdrawn were not
"The withdrawals announced by Iraq do not change the
reality," he said. "Saddam Hussein's army today controls
Irbil, and Iraqi units remain deployed for further attack.
These acts demand a strong response."
Clinton (2 MB AIFF or WAV sound)
Clinton did not rule out further military action against
"It depends on what (Saddam) does -- not what he says -- what
he does," said the president.
In a speech televised on Iraqi television Tuesday, Saddam
called the no-fly zones "null and void," and called on Iraqi
forces to shoot down allied planes that fly through the
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