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DATE=1/12/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-244088 TITLE=IRAQ TUESDAY - L BYLINE=JIM RANDLE DATELINE=PENTAGON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A U-S WARPLANE FIRED A MISSILE AT A RADAR STATION IN NORTHERN IRAQ TUESDAY. U-S OFFICIALS SAY THEY DON'T YET KNOW IF THE WEAPON DAMAGED IRAQI AIR DEFENSES. THE U-S PILOT RETURNED SAFELY TO BASE. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON. TEXT: PENTAGON OFFICIALS SAY THE TARGET WAS AN IRAQI EARLY WARNING RADAR, LOCATED NEAR MOSUL. THE RADAR SYSTEM ALERTS IRAQI AIR DEFENSES TO THE APPROACH OF AIR CRAFT. U-S OFFICIALS SAY IT IS PART OF THE IRAQI AIR DEFENSES AND A THREAT TO U-S PLANES. SEVERAL EARLIER INCIDENTS BEGAN WHEN IRAQI MISSILE OPERATORS TARGETED ALLIED AIRCRAFT WITH ANOTHER KIND OF RADAR THAT GUIDES MISSILES. PENTAGON SPOKESMAN MIKE DOUBLEDAY SAYS TUESDAY'S INCIDENT IS NOT A CHANGE IN U-S POLICY. /// DOUBLEDAY ACT 71 /// IT IS OUR POLICY TO ENFORCE THE NO FLY ZONES AND TO TAKE MEASURES WE DEEM APPROPRIATE TO PROTECT OUR PILOTS AND AIR CREWS. WHAT'S CHANGED IN THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS IS A DECISION ON THE PART OF SADDAM HUSSEIN TO CHALLENGE THE NO FLY ZONES. ///END ACT /// CAPTAIN DOUBLEDAY SAYS IRAQI PLANES ENTERED THE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN NO FLY ZONES SEVEN TIMES TUESDAY, BUT DID NOT ENCOUNTER COALITION AIRCRAFT. SOME IRAQI PLANES APPARENTLY LANDED IN THE NO FLY ZONES. OFFICIALS SAY IRAQI AIRCRAFT HAVE FLOWN INTO THE FLIGHT EXCLUSION ZONES NEARLY 50 TIMES SINCE DECEMBER'S U-S LED ATTACKS ON SITES THOUGHT TO HIDE IRAQI WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. THE NO FLY ZONES WERE SET UP FOLLOWING THE 1991 GULF WAR TO PROTECT ETHNIC MINORITIES FROM IRAQI AIR ATTACKS. WASHINGTON SAYS U-N RESOLUTIONS BANNING IRAQI ATTACKS ON ITS OWN PEOPLE OR ITS NEIGHBORS ARE THE LEGAL BASIS FOR BANNING IRAQI PLANES FROM MORE THAN HALF OF IRAQI AIRSPACE. BAGHDAD SAYS THE NO FLY ZONES ARE ILLEGAL AND HAS PROMISED TO SHOOT DOWN U-S PLANES IN IRAQI SKIES. (SIGNED) NEB/JR/GE 12-Jan-99 3:58 PM EST (2058 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .