Iraq says it forced US spy plane to land


Iraq said today its air defences had forced an unmanned US spy plane on a mission over northern Iraq to land.

"At 9.30 a.m. (6.30 a.m. Irish time) on May 26th an unmanned plane violated our air space in the northern part of the country to carry out spy activities", Iraqi radio quoted a military spokesman as saying.

"The plane was monitored by our air defences, it was controlled by our means and forced to land inside our territory," he said.

US and British planes are patrolling two no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq imposed after the 1991 Gulf War.

Defence sources in neighbouring Kuwait said yesterday that an unmanned US reconnaissance plane involved in sorties over Iraq had crashed on Saturday in a desert area of northern Kuwait.

There was no immediate confirmation from US officials on the Kuwait crash.