|Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
31 Dec. 1998 - 6 Jan. 1999
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
Iraq defiantIRAQ has vowed to fire at any aircraft that violates its airspace, including the no-fly zones established in northern and southern Iraq by Western allies following the 1991 Gulf War.
Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan said on Tuesday that Iraqi aircraft were flying in these zones and claimed that the no-fly prohibition was imposed without UN Security Council endorsement. Ramadan also said Iraq would fire anti-aircraft guns on US or British planes that patrol Iraqi skies, AP reported.
US and British officials expressed scepticism about Ramadan's assertion and said they will continue to enforce the no-fly zones and take action should the rules of engagement be breached.
The new confrontation overshadowed a closed-door Security Council meeting late Tuesday as Russia delayed submitting a new version of a draft statement on Iraq pending further consultations with other Council members to resolve differences on the text.
Trial scenarioUS HOUSE prosecutors have said they wanted to call witnesses at President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial, which could get its ceremonial start on 7 January. Earnest proceedings are to begin on 11 January under a blueprint that Senate Republican majority leader Trent Lott proposed to Democrats following a strategy session held on Tuesday.
Although no one was discussing names publicly, AP reported that potential witnesses could include Monica Lewinsky, the ex-White House intern.
Post-mortemBRITAIN and Australia yesterday demanded an explanation from Yemeni authorities a day after four hostages, three Britons and one Australian, were killed when Yemeni security forces stormed the kidnappers' hideout. British Foreign Office Minister Baroness Liz Symons wanted to know whether the shooting was triggered by a bungled rescue operation or if the Yemeni authorities staged the operation knowing that the hostages were already being killed.
Meanwhile, the British embassy in Sanaa said that an American and a Briton were recovering following surgery on gunshot wounds. They were among a group of 16, including 12 Britons, kidnapped on Monday in the Abyan area.
Yemen's Interior Ministry said the hideout was stormed after the kidnappers had killed three hostages. The kidnappers are believed to be Islamist militants targeting American and British tourists and demanding the release of a member of the Islamic