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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


January 20, 2001 RELEASE NUMBER: 01-01-04

MACDILL AFB, FL - In response to Iraqi violations of anti-aircraft artillery and surface to air missile fire today, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH aircraft used precision-guided weapons to strike radar systems and anti-aircraft artillery sites today in southern Iraq at approximately 8:15 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

All coalition aircraft returned safely and target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

The sites were targeted to further degrade Iraq's ability to jeopardize coalition pilots and aircraft enforcing United Nations' mandates. The last coalition strike in the Southern No-Fly Zone was against an Iraqi AAA site on January 15.

To date, there have been more than 640 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 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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