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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


February 16, 2003
Release No: 03-02-13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

COALITION FORCES TARGET IRAQI COMMAND AND COMMUNICATION SITES


MacDill AFB, FL -- In response to Iraqi threats to Coalition aircraft monitoring compliance of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to target five 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 An Nasiriyah, located approximately 170 miles southeast of Baghdad, and between Al Kut and Al Basrah, located approximately 245 miles southeast of Baghdad. The strikes occurred at approximately 8:45 a.m. EST.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

Coalition strikes in the no-fly zone 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 violated the Southern No-Fly Zone.

The last Operation Southern Watch strike was on February 15, as Coalition aircraft used precision guided weapons to target two Iraqi military mobile surface to air missile (SAM) systems. The SAM systems were located near Al Basrah, approximately 245 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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