AMMAN, JORDAN, JAN. 23 -- Baghdad Radio boasted tonight that "Iraqi will has remained unbroken" after a week of U.S. and allied air attacks, while a Western television reporter in the Iraqi capital reported that some markets there have reopened despite the bombing.
Cable News Network correspondent Peter Arnett, thought to be the only Western broadcast journalist still able to report from Baghdad, said that fresh fruit and produce were being sold again on the streets of Baghdad and that water trucks were filling up containers around the city. Arnett, who was allowed by Iraqi authorities to remain in the city after other Western journalists were forced to leave last week, has been filing daily reports that are subject to Iraqi censorship.
But while fresh food may be available, the Iraqi Oil Ministry broadcast an announcement today that it was suspending gasoline sales to private citizens, an indication that last week's allied air strikes, as reported, caused heavy damage to Iraqi petroleum refineries last week. The announcement said sales at gasoline stations across the country were being halted "for a short period."
In a detailed military communique on Baghdad Radio tonight, the Iraqi Defense Ministry also announced Tuesday's Scud missile attack on Israel, which left three people dead and nearly 100 injured. "For the sake of Palestine . . . for the sake of holy Jerusalem and in revenge for the crimes of Zionism," the broadcast said, "our missiles slammed against the city of Tel Aviv, the city of vice and usurpation, to disturb the sleep of the Zionists and blacken their night."
The communique said the missile attack was successful against the U.S. Patriot air defense system now deployed in Israel because of "the superior creativity of the Iraqi mind," which was a "component in the manufacture of these missiles."
The Defense Ministry said only a small portion of its forces had been used in the attack, adding that those held back would enter the battle at the right time. The defense department's daily newspaper added today that "These forces are ready to explode the lava of their anger on the invaders, their henchmen and the Arab traitors in the region."
Again today, two men, ostensibly American and Italian airmen captured by Iraqi forces, appeared on Baghdad television and said they had been afraid to take part in the allied attack, the state-run radio reported. "Myself and the other pilots talked about what interest the United States has for going to war," the radio quoted a man identified as U.S. Navy Lt. Jeffrey Zaun as saying. "And now, we wonder whether American blood can be so cheap in the eyes of our government officials."
"Our losses were very great," Zaun was said to have added. "I can tell you that this was one of the main reasons for the fear of American pilots flying against Iraqi defenses. We were talking together and we felt that Iraq has some of the best antiaircraft systems and the losses to these systems in some aircraft have been very great and were leading to American pilots objecting to being in this conflict."
In the first Iraqi television display of purportedly captured pilots Monday, men with badly bruised and cut faces read out anti-war statements apparently prepared by their captors. The exploitation of the presumed prisoners of war caused outrage in the West, and allied leaders denounced it as a war crime.
Iraq also claimed today to have captured another downed British pilot, identified as Robert Stewart, pilot of a Tornado fighter-bomber, the latest of more than 20 allied airmen Iraq says it has taken prisoner. It said all these "barbaric pilots" had been placed at "vital targets" around Iraq that might come under allied attack.
The military said Iraqi missiles set fire Tuesday to a Saudi oil complex at Abqaiq and hit the eastern Saudi port of Dhahran and the nearby allied air base, while saying allied bombers had hit hard at the Iraqi port of Basra and at nearby Faw.
The Iraqi News Agency said today that Baghdad had warned Turkey of unspecified "consequences" for allowing U.S. planes to bomb Iraq from a Turkish base.