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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

March 9, 2003
Release Number: 03-03-12



SOUTHWEST ASIA - 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 today to target five unmanned, underground military communication sites.
The communication sites were located near An Numinayah, approximately 60 miles southeast of Baghdad. The Coalition struck those targets at approximately 3 p.m. EST.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

The Coalition struck the communications sites after Iraqi forces fired a surface-to-air missile earlier in the day at Coalition aircraft supporting Operation Southern Watch. The communication sites enhanced Iraqi forces' ability to command and control air defenses that threaten Coalition aircraft.
So far this year, Iraqi air defenses have fired either surface-to-air missiles or anti-aircraft artillery at Operation Southern Watch Coalition aircraft more than 110 times.

The last Operation Southern Watch strike was on March 8, when Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons to target Iraqi military communication sites.

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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