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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

March 3, 2003
Release Number: 03-03-03


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


COALITION FORCES TARGET IRAQI COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES, AIR DEFENSE FACILITY


MACDILL AFB, FL -- In response to Iraqi hostile actions toward Coalition aircraft monitoring compliance of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons yesterday to target four Iraqi military communications facilities and an air defense facility. The Coalition struck the targets at approximately 6 p.m. EST.

The communication facilities were located near Al Kut, approximately 95 miles southeast of Baghdad; the air defense facility was located near Al Basrah, approximately 245 miles southeast of Baghdad.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

The Coalition struck the targets after Iraqi forces fired anti-aircraft artillery earlier in the day at Coalition aircraft supporting Operation Southern Watch. The specific targets were struck because the enhanced Iraq's integrated air defense network.

The last Operation Southern Watch strike was on March 1, when Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons to target military communications sites and a mobile early warning radar. Those strikes were also in response to Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery being directed toward coalition aircraft.

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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