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CNN Today

Iraqis Continue Protests Over Airstrikes

Aired February 19, 2001 - 2:33 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, three days after the U.S. and Britain attacked air defense installations on the outskirts of Baghdad, there are more protests in the streets and there are some indications of support and solidarity for the Iraqi people from some high-profile visitors to the country.

Here is CNN's Jane Arraf in Baghdad.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE ARRAF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iraqis were sent to the streets for a third day of protests to vow retribution for Friday's attack.

"Revenge, oh Saddam," these Baath Party members were encouraged to chant. U.S. and British bombs hit Baghdad, but it's the U.S. and Israel taking the brunt of the rage.

Iraq says it has continued to fire missiles and anti-aircraft guns in the southern no-fly zones since the attack.

GEN. SHAHEEN YASSIN, IRAQI AIR DEFENSE COMMANDER (through translator): Air defense is strong, and its fighters are valiant and patient.

ARRAF: To try to counter the air attacks, friendlier planes arrived Monday, this one chartered by far-right Russian leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, deputy speaker of the Russian Parliament, who is calling on Russia to lift sanctions on Iraq.

VLADIMIR ZHIRINOVSKY, DEPUTY SPEAKER, RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT (through translator): The day after the raid, as member of the Duma, I put forward to the Russian President a proposal unilaterally not to abide by the sanctions regime.

ARRAF: A dissident British member of parliament, George Galloway, came to apologize for his country's policy.

GEORGE GALLOWAY, BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: We're bombing these children in the north and south of the country every other day, and now we're bombing them in the capital at a time when the Middle East is already boiling with rage.

ARRAF: Iraq says two civilians were killed and more than 20 others wounded in the Friday attack, the first in Baghdad in more than two years.

(on camera): Iraq says it's expecting another U.S.-British attack. If it comes, it says it will retaliate not only against the U.S. and Britain, but against neighboring Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, from where the latest strikes were launched.

Jane Arraf, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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