— By Inal Ersan
DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri on Sunday
warned neighboring Turkey against supporting a U.S.-led war against
Baghdad, vowing "multiple harm" for Iraq's enemies.
"We hope that our Turk neighbors would realize their true
interest...Who seeks to harm Iraq, multiple harm would be inflicted
on him," Sabri told reporters on arriving in Damascus, en route to
an Arab meeting in Cairo.
Turkey's parliament agreed to allow U.S. aircraft to fly through
Turkish airspace to attack Iraq, but it denied Washington's request
to station 62,000 U.S. troops in Turkey.
Commenting on whether Iraq had captured any U.S. troops, Sabri
said, "Today when I left Baghdad, Iraqi fighters downed an American
aircraft...You know that on board there is one pilot or more.
Details about that will be announced later."
In an interview with Syrian television on Saturday, Sabri had
said: "Today, on my way here from Baghdad, we heard the sound of
explosions. We looked to the sky and we saw an American plane
falling from the sky after being hit by an Iraqi rocket. It fell in
front of us in the area of Abu Churayv."
The town is about 12 miles west of Baghdad.
The United States has not reported losing any warplanes in the
Sabri said his country would not need financial aid from fellow
Arabs after the stoppage of the U.N.-administered oil-for-food
program but it wanted Arab governments to take a stand alongside
SEEKS "TRUE ARAB STAND"
"(Iraq) wants a true stand. The Arab people took that stand but
we hope the regimes (will) take this stance," he said.
Sabri also vowed his country would continue fighting.
"Thank God we have enough faith and enough will to fight and live
and enough men, arms and supplies to fight for 13 more years," he
He earlier told Syrian television: "The Iraqi people will
fight...from border to border. All of the Iraqi population is armed.
There are seven million civilians with weapons apart from the armed
"The Zionist invaders thought that the Iraqi people, government
and troops would surrender, but they are mistaken," he said.
"We will defeat the invaders and teach them a lesson they will
never forget....God willing, we will turn the deserts of Iraq into
graveyards for the invaders."
He also said in the television interview, the U.S. and British
reports of victories in southern Iraq amounted to psychological
warfare. Iraqi forces aided by civilians were resisting, he
"They have taken civilians prisoners claiming that they are
soldiers, which they are not."
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