Aircraft Respond to Iraqi Provocation
By Jim Garamone,
March 19, 2003 – Coalition aircraft bombed a series of Iraqi
targets today in response to Iraqi anti- aircraft artillery firing
on the allied aircraft.
gunners fired on planes patrolling the Southern No-Fly Zone. In
response, a coalition "strike package" hit communications,
air defense and artillery sites.
officials in Southwest Asia would not say when the Iraqis fired
on the coalition planes because they do not want to give away
the response time.
To keep the
Iraqis guessing, coalition leaders often delay responses so Iraqi
officials cannot gain any intelligence. "But we also can
have immediate responses (to provocations)," said a DoD official.
aircraft used precision-guided munitions to hit communication
sites near Ash Shuaybah, Mudaysis and Ruwayshid. They also hit
a mobile early-warning radar and an air defense command center
at an Iraqi air base in western Iraq. The planes also hit an air
traffic control radar near Al Basrah.
In the past,
coalition aircraft hit these types of targets if provoked by the
aircraft also targeted long-range artillery on the Al Faw peninsula,
long-range artillery positions near Az Zubayr and a surface-to-surface
missile system near Al Basrah.
said coalition aircraft hit these sites because they posed a danger
to coalition ground forces in Kuwait.
officials are assessing damage to the areas now.