baghdad says us violates airspace, fears tricks

  1. 3,363 Posts.
    28 Feb 2003 20:29
    Baghdad says US violates airspace, fears tricks


    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Iraq complained to the United Nations on Friday that U.S. helicopters had violated its airspace and raised concerns Washington might be trying to fabricate evidence that Baghdad possessed illicit arms.

    "The danger of these hostile practices lies in the context of the attempts by the United States of America to cobble together any excuse to put into practice its plans against Iraq," Iraqi U.N. Ambassador Mohammed Aldouri said in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    Aldouri said a group of U.S. helicopters had crossed into Iraq and violated its airspace during the period Feb. 11-14 in the area of Maqar an Na'am and Nukhayb near Ar'ar on Baghdad's southern border with Saudi Arabia.

    He gave no further details but said Iraq feared the aircraft might "drop some proscribed substance or scatter it somewhere inside Iraqi territory in order to fabricate pretexts to attack it by alleging that Iraq has buried proscribed substances and is in material breach of Security Council resolutions."

    Aldouri called the alleged violation "a flagrant encroachment on Iraq's territory and independence" and urged Annan to "take the necessary measures to put an end to these practices."

    The U.S. Mission to the United Nations and the U.S. military had no immediate comment on the letter.

    U.S. President George W. Bush has accused Baghdad of failing to rid itself of any weapons of mass destruction in line with U.N. resolutions. The United States has massed troops to the region and warned that Washington would disarm Baghdad by force if it failed to do so on its own.

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