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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

NEWS RELEASE
HEADQUARTERS,
UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
Phone: (813) 828-5894; FAX: (813) 840-5629; DSN 968-5894


March 14, 2000

RELEASE NUMBER: 00-03-02

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


COALITION AIRCRAFT STRIKE IRAQI SAM BATTERIES


MACDILL AFB, FL - - At approximately 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time today, U.S. Navy F/A-18 "Hornet" and F-14 "Tomcat," aircraft enforcing the Southern No-Fly Zone used precision guided munitions to strike two Iraqi surface-to-air missile batteries near Abu Sukhayr and Al Numaniya in southern Iraq.

Over the course of the last month, Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missile fire have increased in an attempt to shoot down coalition aircraft patrolling the No-Fly Zone. Iraqi military forces continue to position SAM and AAA batteries in areas that pose a direct threat to the safety of coalition aircrews.

The two sites were targeted today to further degrade Iraq's ability to jeopardize coalition pilots and aircraft enforcing United Nations' mandates.

To date, there have been more than 460 separate incidents of Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery fire directed against coalition pilots since December 1998. Iraqi aircraft violated the Southern No-Fly Zone more than 150 times during the same period.

Coalition aircraft do not target civilian populations or infrastructure and seek to avoid injury to civilians and damage to civilian facilities.









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