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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

January 17, 2003
Release 03-01-13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

COALITION FORCES TARGET IRAQI MILITARY COMMUNICATION SITES


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 cable repeater sites that are part of Iraq's military air defense command and control system. The sites were located between Al Kut, approximately 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, and An Nasiriyah, approximately 170 miles southeast of Baghdad. The strikes occurred at approximately 1:15 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 air defense forces fired anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles at Coalition aircraft patrolling the Southern No-Fly zone.

The last Operation Southern Watch strike was January 13, when Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons to strike an Iraqi anti-ship missile launcher near Al Basrah, approximately 300 miles southeast of Baghdad.

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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