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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


February 11, 2001 RELEASE NUMBER: 01-02-01

MACDILL, AFB, FL - In response to anti-aircraft artillery fire today against coalition aircraft in Iraq's southern no-fly zone, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH aircraft struck anti-aircraft artillery sites in southern Iraq at approximately 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. All coalition aircraft returned safely.

The sites were targeted to further degrade Iraq's ability to threaten coalition aircraft and aircrews enforcing United Nations' mandates. The last coalition strike in the Southern No-Fly Zone was against Iraqi surface-to-air missile systems on January 28.

To date, there have been more than 690 separate incidents of Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery fire directed against coalition aircraft 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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