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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

March 13, 2003
Release Number: 03-03-19



SOUTHWEST ASIA -- In response to Iraqi threats while monitoring compliance of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to target a radar site in western Iraq, approximately 265 miles southwest of Baghdad. The strike occurred at approximately 4 p.m. EST.

Battle damage assessment is ongoing.

The Coalition executed today's strike because of an Iraqi violation of the Southern No-Fly Zone, threatening Coalition aircraft supporting Operation Southern Watch.

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 on March 10, when Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons to target three unmanned, underground military communication sites. The targeted sites were located near Ad Diwaniyah, Dabnuni and Mamia, ranging from 60 miles to 125 miles southeast of Baghdad. The Coalition executed those strikes after Iraqi forces fired anti-aircraft artillery at Coalition aircraft supporting Operation Southern Watch.

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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