Coalition Forces Target Iraqi Military Communication Sites

January 19, 2003

MACDILL AFB, TAMPA — In response to Iraqi hostile acts against Coalition aircraft monitoring compliance of United Nations Security Council Resolutions over Southern Iraq, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to target eight unmanned cable repeater sites that are part of Iraq’s military air defense command and control system. The sites were located between Al Kut, approximately 95 miles southeast of Baghdad, and An Nasiriyah, approximately 170 miles southeast of Baghdad. The strikes occurred at approximately 7:10 a.m. EST.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

Coalition strikes in the no-fly zones are executed as a self-defense measure in response to Iraqi hostile threats and acts against Coalition forces and their aircraft. The Coalition executed today’s strike after Iraqi air defense forces fired anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles at Coalition aircraft patrolling the Southern No-Fly zone.

The last Operation Southern Watch strike was January 17, when Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons to strike cable repeaters also located between Al Kut and An Nasiriyah.

Coalition aircraft never target civilian populations or infrastructure and go to painstaking lengths to avoid injury to civilians and damage to civilian facilities.