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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Jan. 13, 2003
Release No: 03-01-11


MACDILL AFB, FL -- In response to Iraqi hostile threats against Coalition forces monitoring compliance of United Nations Security Council Resolutions in Southern Iraq, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to strike an Iraqi anti-ship missile launcher near Al Basrah, approximately 300 miles southeast of Baghdad, at approximately 4:10 a.m. EST.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

Coalition strikes in the Southern No-Fly, No-Drive Zone are executed as a self-defense measure in response to Iraqi hostile threats and acts against Coalition forces. The Coalition targeted the anti-ship missile launcher because it was a threat to Coalition maritime forces operating in the North Arabian Gulf.

The last Operation Southern Watch strike was Jan. 10 when Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons to target an Iraqi military air defense command and control site at Tallil, approximately 170 southeast of Baghdad, and four unmanned cable repeater sites that can be used for communications in targeting coalition aircraft. The cable repeater sites were located between Al Kut, approximately 95 miles southeast of Baghdad, and Al Basrah, approximately 245 miles southeast of Baghdad. The strikes occurred at approximately 7:15 a.m. EST.

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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