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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq threatens coalition aircraft

October 9, 2002

UNITED STATES EUROPEAN COMMAND (October 9, 2002) -- Iraqi forces threatened Operation Northern Watch (ONW) coalition aircraft in the Northern No-Fly zone northwest of Mosul.

Coalition aircraft responded to the Iraqi threat and engaged the imminently hostile surface-to-air missile (SAM) system by dropping precision guided munitions. All coalition aircraft departed the area safely.

Coalition aircraft have been enforcing the Northern No-Fly Zone for more than 10 years. Since Dec. 28, 1998, Saddam Hussein has opted to challenge this enforcement by firing at coalition aircraft with SAMs and anti-aircraft artillery and by targeting them with radar. Operation Northern Watch aircraft respond in self-defense to these threats, while continuing to enforce the No-fly Zone.

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