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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

December 27, 2002
Release 02-12-21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

COALITION FORCES TARGET IRAQI MILITARY COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

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 an Iraqi military air defense command and control system which supported highly mobile surface-to-air (SAM) missile systems. The system was located near Al Kut, approximately 95 miles southeast of Baghdad. The strike occurred at approximately 2:00 p.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 forces moved the system into the Southern No-Fly zone. Its presence was a threat to Coalition aircraft.

The last Operation Southern Watch strike was Dec. 26, when Coalition aircraft in the Southern No-Fly Zone targeted Iraqi air defense command and control and communication facilities. The sites were located near Tallil in southern Iraq.

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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