U.S., U.K. Jets Bomb Iraqi Targets

ByABC News
February 17, 2001, 2:32 AM

Feb. 17 -- Iraqi officials said today they will fight "in the air, on land and sea" in retaliation for an air attack on the outskirts of Iraq's capital Friday.

Ten years after the Persian Gulf War, 24 aircraft, comprised of Air Force F-15s, Navy F-18s and four British Tornadoes U.S. and British warplanes bombed communication targets outside Baghdad.

The strike was aimed at destroying more than 20 radar and the fiber-optic links that U.S. officials say have drastically improved Iraq's ability to track and target American planes.

deployed their bombs and Iraqi air defenses started firing.

Downtown Baghdad was not hit, U.S. officials insist, but five target areas in the suburbs were.

Iraqi authorities reported that two civilians were killed and more than 20 others were wounded during the airstrikes, including an 18-year-old woman, and a man in his 30s.

Iraq Vows Revenge, Says National Press

The government-controlled media lashed out against the U.S. and Britain today for the attack.

Iraqi television broadcast an official statement sayingplanes had struck targets on the outskirts of Baghdad. "We will fight them in the air, on land and sea and their aggression will achieve nothing but failure," it said.

Thestatement also blamed Kuwait and Saudi Arabia which haveprovided bases for coalition forces in the region.

In the Qadissiya newspaper, President George W. Bush the "son of thesnake," referring to his father President George Bush who led the Gulf War against Iraq in 1991.

"The Americans' and Britons' new, savage crime will not passunpunished and without decisive retaliation," the paper said in a front-page editorial. "We will teach the new American administration and the Zionist entity (Israel) lessons on Jihad (holy war) andsteadfastness."

Although the United States said their planes attacked the radar systems near the capital city, Qadissiya said that the Western-led attacks targets were to civilians.

The government-sponsored newspaper al-Jumhouriya called the attack a "cowardly act" and "another failing action by the tyrantrulers of the criminal American administration."