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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

February 22, 2003
Release Number: 03-02-18



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 six 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 2:45 p.m. EST.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

The Coalition executed today's strike after Iraqi air defenses fired anti-aircraft artillery at Coalition aircraft supporting Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.

In 2003, through Feb. 16, Iraqi air defense have fired at Coalition aircraft more than 100 times and violated the Southern No-Fly Zone three separate days. In the same period, Coalition aircraft supporting Operation Southern Watch have responded by striking Iraqi military targets more than 40 times.

The last Operation Southern Watch strike was on Feb. 18, when Coalition aircraft used precision guided weapons to target an Iraqi mobile air defense early-warning radar and a mobile multiple-rocket missile system. The radar and missile system were located near Al Basrah.

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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