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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


December 20, 2002

Release 02-12-11

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- In response to Iraqi acts against Coalition aircraft monitoring compliance of United Nations Security Council Resolutions over Southern Iraq, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to target two Iraqi air defense communication facilities. The sites were located near An Nasiriyah and Al Basrah in southern Iraq. The strikes occurred at approximately 2:30 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. The Coalition executed today's strike after Iraqi military aircraft flew into the Southern No-Fly zone.

The last Operation Southern Watch strike was Dec. 18, when Coalition aircraft in the Southern No-Fly Zone targeted an Iraqi air defense radar site south of Al Kut.

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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