clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Iraqi warplanes violate no-fly zone

Iraq several times in recent days has sent warplanes into southern Iraq in violation of a "no fly" zone patrolled by U.S., British and French planes, but the allies took no action against the Iraqis, Pentagon officials said.

Navy Capt. Michael Doubleday, a Pentagon spokesman, declined to discuss details or the number of Iraqi flights, but he said Iraq is aware that any planes entering the restricted zone run the risk of being shot down."The coalition continues to enforce the no-fly zone, and the Iraqis need to understand that," Doubleday said Tuesday.

Other defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said two Iraqi fighters entered the no-fly zone Tuesday without drawing fire from allied planes.

Doubleday declined to explain why U.S. enforcement of the zone had failed to stop the violations. He would not say, for example, whether the U.S. planes had not been in position to fire on the Iraqis or whether they had deliberately refrained from firing.