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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq attacks ONW aircraft monitoring No-Fly zone

November 18, 2002

UNITED STATES EUROPEAN COMMAND -- Iraqi forces threatened Operation Northern Watch (ONW) coalition aircraft today. Iraqi forces fired anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) from sites northeast of Mosul while ONW aircraft conducted routine enforcement of the Northern No-Fly Zone.

Coalition aircraft responded in self-defense to the Iraqi attacks by dropping precision guided munitions on elements of the Iraqi integrated air defense system.

All coalition aircraft departed the area safely.

Coalition aircraft have been enforcing the Northern No-Fly Zone for more than 11 years. Since Dec. 28, 1998, Saddam Hussein has opted to challenge this enforcement by firing at coalition aircraft with surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and anti-aircraft artillery by targeting them with radar. Operation Northern Watch aircraft responded in self-defense to these threats, while continuing to enforce the No-Fly Zone.

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