COALITION AIRCRAFT STRIKE SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILE SITE
May 18, 2001 RELEASE NUMBER: 01-05-01
MACDILL AFB, FL - In response to recent Iraqi hostile threats against Coalition aircraft monitoring the Southern No-Fly Zone, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to strike a surface to air missile site in southern Iraq at approximately 3:45 a.m. EST.
Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.
Coalition strikes in the No-Fly Zones are executed as a self-defense measure in response to Iraqi hostile threats and acts against Coalition forces and their aircraft. If Iraq were to cease its threatening actions, Coalition strikes would cease as well. The last Coalition strike in the Southern No-Fly Zone was against a mobile early warning radar on April 19.
To date, there have been more than 850 separate incidents of Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery fire directed against Coalition aircraft since December 1998, including more than 220 in this calendar year. Iraqi aircraft violated the Southern No-Fly Zone more than 160 times during the same period.
Coalition aircraft never target civilian populations or infrastructure and go to painstaking lengths to avoid injury to civilians and damage to civilian facilities.
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