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Cohen Calls Saddam's Bounty "Flailing Out"

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 1999 – Saddam Hussein's offer to pay a bounty for shooting down coalition air forces is another sign of the Iraqi dictator's growing frustration, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said Feb. 1.

"It reflects just another example of Saddam Hussein flailing out," he said at a Pentagon news briefing.

Hussein reportedly has offered to pay $14,000 to any Iraqi who shoots down a coalition plane, $5,600 for shooting down a missile, and $2,800 for capturing an enemy pilot, according to the Associated Press.

Since Operation Desert Fox ended in mid-December, Iraq has repeatedly violated U.N.-mandated no-fly zones and challenged coalition air patrols. Coalition aircraft have responded aggressively, attacking Iraqi air defense sites with missiles and precision-guided munitions.

"He has been hit harder than he expected to be hit with more severe damage done to his military than he anticipated. I think he has been greatly disappointed he hasn't seen an outpouring of sympathy . So he's looking for any way he can to strike out against the United States and Britain."

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