US jets bomb Iraq army base

US and British warplanes bombed a military target in southern Iraq on Tuesday in response to threats to coalition aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone in the area, the US military said.

US and British warplanes bombed a military target in southern Iraq on Tuesday in response to threats to coalition aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone in the area, the US military said.

The attack took place around 11:15 am (8:15 GMT) on a command and control site in the province of Nasiriyah, Chief Petty Officer David Nagle of the Riyadh-based Joint Task Force Southwest Asia told The Associated Press. Nasiriyah is 350 kilometres southeast of Baghdad.

Damage assessment from the strike, carried out with precision-guided munitions, was ongoing and all coalition aircraft returned safely to base, Nagle said.

There was no word from Iraq on the attack.

US and British planes have been patrolling skies over northern and southern Iraq since the end of the 1991 Gulf War that liberated Kuwait from a seven-month Iraqi occupation. The patrols were set up to protect Kurds and Shiite Muslims from the forces of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Iraq says the zones violate international law and has been challenging allied planes patrolling them since December 1998.
Bureau Report

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