Iraq: October 2, 2002

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Despite vehement denials, the US stands by it's accusations that Ukraine sold Iraq a modern radar (with some ability to detect stealth aircraft.) As part of the evidence, the US presented an audiotape on which Ukrainian president Kuchma, currently under fire for widespread corruption, approves the sale. 

US warplanes hit military targets in southern Iraq. Since Iraq agreed to renewed arms inspections on September 16, Iraqi anti-aircraft weapons have fired on US and British aircraft 67 times.  So far this years, the Iraqis have fired 406 times, and been bombed 44 times in return. Over the last three years, Iraqi anti-aircraft guns and missiles have been fired over a thousand times at US and British aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone, in violation of the ceasefire agreement Iraq signed in 1991 and subsequent UN resolutions. Coalition warplanes responded with smart bombs 43 times in 2001 and 80 in 2000. On average, the Iraqis fire on about half the days coalition aircraft are on patrol (which is about 7 days out of ten). There are 45 warplanes covering the northern no-fly zone and 150 the southern (plus additional aircraft on carriers as needed).

Kuwait now has ten batteries of Patriot anti-aircraft missiles in action. Kuwait has also designated a 10 square kilometer area on it's Iraq border where refugees from Iraq can receive aid and shelter. Kuwait is planning to issue gas masks to it's citizens soon.

Israeli officials believe that Iraq only has 12-15 operational Scud missiles (that could be used to hit places like Israel with chemical warheads.)

 

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