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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


November 20, 2002

Release 02-11-10

MACDILL AFB, FL -- In response to Iraqi hostile acts against Coalition aircraft monitoring the Southern No-Fly Zone, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to target three unmanned air defense communications facilities.

The facilities were located between Al Kut and Al Basrah. Al Kut is approximately 100 miles southeast of Baghdad and Al Basrah is approximately 245 miles southeast of Baghdad. The strikes occurred at about 6 a.m. EST.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

Coalition strikes in the No-Fly Zones are executed as a self-defense measure in response to Iraqi hostile threats and acts against Coalition forces and their aircraft. Today's strike came after Iraqi air defenses fired surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery at coalition aircraft.

The last Coalition strikes in the Southern No-Fly Zone were November 18, against two air defense communications facilities and one air defense radar facility.

Iraqi air defense forces have fired at Coalition aircraft six out of seven days since the acceptance by Iraq of UN resolution 1441.

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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