Saddam condemns U.S. missile strike
Iraq declares no-fly zones 'null and void'
September 3, 1996
Web posted at: 12:15 p.m. EDT (1615 GMT)
(CNN) -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was quick
to condemn the U.S. missile attack on some of its defense
sites Tuesday, calling it "futile and cowardly." ( 20 sec. 148K AIFF or WAV sound)
In an address on Iraqi television, Saddam said Tuesday he
would no longer recognize allied no-fly zones in northern
and southern Iraq, and called on Iraqi forces to resist their
attackers. (21 sec. 201K AIFF or WAV sound)
He called on Iraqi troops to shoot down allied aircraft
wherever they saw them and "teach them a good lesson." (16 sec. 197K AIFF or WAV sound)
"The Americans have once again launched a futile and cowardly
attack upon us, hiding behind their great technology which
God has given them," he said. "The Iraqis will give the
American aggressors what they deserve and humiliate them." ( 37 sec. 440K QuickTime movie)
"We had only very light losses, thanks be to God," Saddam
said of the early morning missile attack. "And you, men of
the air force, consider as of today their imaginary lines
north of the 36th parallel and south of the 32nd parallel
canceled and non-existent," he said, referring to the
boundaries of the no-fly zones. (16 sec. 360K AIFF or WAV sound)
His remarks came a short time after a British government
official said that the allies had informed Iraq of the
expansion of the southern no-fly zone.
The demarcation line is being moved from the 32nd to the 33rd
parallel, effective noon Wednesday. The move will bring the
patrol area to within 30 miles of Baghdad.
U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered the missile attack after
Iraqi troops invaded a Kurdish-controlled city in
Aziz denies U.S. claims
In a live interview on CNN, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister
Tariq Aziz denied U.S. claims that Iraqi troops were still in
and around Irbil, and said reports the troops were moving on
other cities were "totally baseless."
He said Iraq "didn't do anything wrong" by launching the
assault on Irbil.
"We provided logistical support" to a Kurdish faction under
attack, Aziz said. "So what we did was a responsible,
positive, limited operation to help our people."
But the U.S. attack, he said, was "illegitimate," and the
no-fly zones equally so. He said Iraq considers the zones a
violation of its sovereignty. (28 sec. 625K AIFF or WAV sound)
"Iraq will not tolerate this no-fly zone any more," he said.
"It has gone beyond anything that is reasonable."
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