US and British warplanes Wednesday attacked civilian targets in five provinces in the two "no-fly" zones in Iraq over the past 22 hours, an Iraqi air-defense command spokesman said.
A total of 50 armed sorties of the coalition warplanes coming from Turkey entered into the "no-fly" zone in northern Iraq, and attacked Iraq's "civil and services installations" in Ninawa Province, the official INA news agency quoted the spokesman as saying.
Meanwhile, 72 armed sorties of the coalition warplanes coming from Kuwait flew over the "no-fly" zone in southern Iraq, and attacked civilian targets in the provinces of Basra, Maysan, Kut and Dhi Qar, the spokesman added.
The Iraqi surface-to-air missiles and other anti-aircraft weapons fired back at the coalition warplanes and forced them to retreat to their bases in Kuwait, the spokesman said.
In the past days, the coalition warplanes have reportedly intensified their air raids on Iraq's surface-to-air, surface-to-surface missiles and radar systems.
The United States and Britain established two "no-fly" zones in northern and southern Iraq under the pretext of protecting Kurds in the north and Shiite Muslims in the south.
Iraq regularly accuses US and British warplanes patrolling the two "no-fly" zones of bombing Iraqi civilian targets, but Washington and London said they only hit military installations.
Iraq does not recognize the two exclusive zones, saying they are not mentioned in any relevant UN resolutions.