Iraq: September 4, 2001


In July, coalition warplanes reported 10 incidents in which Iraqi air defenses came close to hitting them. Over the past four months, there were only 11 such incidents. Iraq is especially eager to shoot down a coalition warplane for propaganda purposes. Large rewards are offered to Iraqi gun and missile crews if they can bring down a coalition warplane. Since January, coalition warplanes have bombed Iraqi air defense targets 33 times (23 in the south and ten in the north.) So far this year, Iraq has used it's air defenses against coalition aircraft some 470 times (compared to 366 in all of 2000.) The Iraqis are spending a lot of money to repair damage to their air defenses and to upgrade this, They are being assisted by Chinese companies who are building fiber optic lines connecting air defense units, and repairing the damage after bombings.


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