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Operation Desert Fox

Volume 597: debated on Tuesday 23 February 1999

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International Herald Tribune on 22 December 1998, the United States and British air strikes demolished Iraq's "two main factories for producing parts for short-range missiles permitted by the United Nations"; if so, whether these demolitions were intended; and, if so, on what grounds they were justified. [HL996]

The objective of Operation Desert Fox was to reduce substantially Saddam's ability to threaten his neighbours, in particular by degrading his weapons of mass destruction capability, including control and delivery systems, and his wider military capability. Coalition aircraft attacked and severely damaged research and production facilities associated with the development of Iraqi ballistic missile systems. In addition, we attacked facilities associated with air defence missile systems to degrade Saddam's ability to threaten Coalition aircraft.