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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

February 17, 2003
Release Number: 03-02-14



SOUTHWEST ASIA -- 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 a mobile air-defense early-warning radar that provided information to the Iraqi air-defense network. The radar was located near Ar Rutbah, approximately 250 miles southwest of Baghdad. The strike occurred at approximately 4:10 p.m., EST.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

The Coalition executed today's strike after Iraqi forces moved the mobile radar into the Southern No-Fly Zone where it was a threat to Coalition aircraft supporting Operation Southern Watch.

The last Operation Southern Watch strike was on February 16, when Coalition aircraft used precision guided weapons to target five cable repeater stations 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.

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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