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Iraqi no-fly zones

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No-fly zone detail

The United States, United Kingdom and France proclaimed the no-fly zones (NFZs) in Iraq after the 1991 Persian Gulf War to protect Kurds in the north and Shiite Muslims in the south. Iraqi aircraft were forbidden from flying inside the zones. The policy was enforced by US, UK and French aircraft patrols until France withdrew in 1996.

The United States and Britain argued that the patrols were authorized under U.N. Security Council Resolution 688, adopted April 5, 1991. The text "condemns the repression of the Iraqi civilian population in many parts of Iraq", but does not specifically mention no-fly zones. Regardless of the legal status, the northern no-fly zone was often credited for giving the parts of the Kurdish region of Iraq de-facto independence after the First Gulf War.

The NFZs effectively ceased to exist with the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003.

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