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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

March 10, 2003
Release Number: 03-03-15



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 three unmanned, underground military communication sites. The communication sites enhanced Iraqi forces' ability to command and control air defenses that threaten Coalition aircraft.

The targeted sites were located near Ad Diwaniyah, Dabnuni and Mamia and ranged from 60 miles to 125 miles southeast of Baghdad. The Coalition struck those targets at approximately 6:30 p.m. EST.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

The Coalition struck the communications sites after Iraqi forces fired anti-aircraft artillery at Coalition aircraft supporting Operation Southern Watch. So far this year, Iraqi air defenses have fired either surface-to-air missiles or anti-aircraft artillery at OSW Coalition aircraft more than 110 times.

The last OSW strike was earlier in the day March 10, when Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons to target a target-acquisition surface-to-air radar system. The Coalition struck this target after Iraqi forces moved it into the Southern No-Fly Zone below the 33rd Parallel in southern Iraq, where it was a threat to 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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