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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

March 10, 2003
Release Number: 03-03-14



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 target acquisition surface-to-air radar system, located approximately 230 miles west of Baghdad, and south of Ar Rutbah. The strike occurred at approximately 9:00 a.m., EST.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

The Coalition executed today's strike after Iraqi forces moved the highly mobile radar system, which is associated with a surface-to-air missile system, below the 33rd Parallel into the Southern No-Fly Zone where it was a threat to Coalition aircraft supporting Operation Southern Watch. The radar system allows Iraqi air defense to locate, track and target Coalition aircraft.

The Coalition established the Southern No-Fly zone to ensure the safety of coalition aircraft monitoring Iraqi compliance with UN Resolution 688, which forbids the repression of the Iraqi people. The no-fly zone not only protects Coalition aircrews, but also the people of southern Iraq.

The last Operation Southern Watch strike was yesterday on March 9, when Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons to target five unmanned, underground military communication sites, located near An Numinayah, approximately 60 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.

For more information on this release, contact JTF-SWA at 966-1-478-1100. At the prompt dial 434-3779.

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