HC Deb 08 November 1999 vol 337 c401W
34. Mr. Clapham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on UK forces' involvement in patrolling the no-fly zone in northern and southern Iraq. [96156]

Mr. Hoon

Coalition patrols of the no fly zones remain an essential humanitarian task in support of UN Security Council Resolution 688 as they prevent Saddam Hussein from using his airforce against the Iraqi people in the north and south. Since the end of Operation Desert Fox last December, Saddam has waged a systematic campaign against coalition aircraft carrying out these patrols. Some 215 Iraqi aircraft have violated the No Fly Zones, and there have been over 500 other direct threats against our aircrew, including missile attacks and heavy anti-aircraft fire. Coalition responses are limited strictly to proportionate action in self-defence against Iraqi weapons and facilities which pose a direct threat to our forces.

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