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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


September 21, 2001 RELEASE NUMBER: 01-09-06

MACDILL AFB, FL - In response to hostile Iraqi threats against Coalition pilots and aircrews conducting routine monitoring the Southern No-Fly Zone, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to strike command and control vehicles and equipment in open fields in southern Iraq between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. EDT.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

Today's coalition strikes in the No-Fly Zones were executed as self-defense measures in response to Iraqi hostile threats and acts against Coalition aircrews and their aircraft and are not related to the President's campaign against terrorism. If Iraq were to cease its threatening actions, Coalition strikes would also cease. The last Coalition strike in the Southern No-Fly Zone was against Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery sites yesterday (September 20).

To date, Iraq has fired anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles against Coalition aircraft on more than 1,030 occasions since December 1998, including more than 400 in this calendar year. Iraqi aircraft have violated the Southern No-Fly Zone more than 160 times in 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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