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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


April 12, 2001 RELEASE NUMBER: 01-04-01

MACDILL, AFB, FL - In response to anti-aircraft artillery fire yesterday against coalition aircraft in Iraq's southern no-fly zone, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH coalition aircraft today used precision-guided weapons to strike an anti-aircraft artillery site in southern Iraq at approximately 10:45 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

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

The site was targeted to further degrade Iraq's ability to jeopardize coalition aircraft and aircrews enforcing United Nations' mandates. The last coalition strike in the Southern No-Fly Zone was against an Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery site on March 30.

To date, there have been more than 800 separate incidents of Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery fire directed against coalition aircraft since December 1998, including more than 170 in this calendar year alone. 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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