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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Nov 27, 2001 RELEASE NUMBER: 01-11-07

MACDILL AFB, FL - In response to hostile Iraqi threats against Coalition aircraft monitoring the Southern No-Fly Zone, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to strike a command and control system in southern Iraq at approximately 3:15 a.m. EST.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

Coalition strikes in the No-Fly-Zones are executed as self-defense measures 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 also cease. The last Coalition strike in the Southern No-Fly Zone was against Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery sites on October 13.

To date, Iraq has fired anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles against Coalition aircraft on more than 1,050 occasions since December 1998, including more than 420 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.

This action was taken to reduce the threat to the coalition aircraft patrolling the Southern No-Fly Zone and has no connection with Operation Enduring Freedom.

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