Target Iraqi No-Fly Zone Violations
T. Rhem, AFPS
WASHINGTON- While world attention focuses on
the looming possibility of war with Iraq, American and coalition
aircrews patrolling the Northern and Southern No-fly zones over
that country face potential conflict with the Iraqi military every
Coalition aircraft have used precision-guided
weapons in March to strike four Iraqi military communications
facilities and an air-defense facility, according to a U.S. Central
CENTCOM officials reported the Iraqi communications
facilities were located at Al Kut, about 95 miles southeast of
Baghdad, while the air- defense facility was near Al Basrah, roughly
245 miles southeast of Baghdad. Officials are still determining
the extent of the damage.
In other strikes, coalition aircraft hit Iraqi
military communication sites March 1 near An Numinayah, about
70 miles southeast of Baghdad, and a mobile early-warning radar
near An Nasiriyah, about 170 miles southeast of Baghdad.
They struck these sites after Iraqi forces fired
anti-aircraft artillery earlier in the day at coalition aircraft
supporting Operation Southern Watch. They struck the radar after
Iraqi forces moved a related highly mobile surface-to-air missile
system into the Southern No fly Zone, according to CENTCOM.
Coalition forces also dropped leaflets in both
the Northern and Southern No-fly zones over the weekend. U.S.
European Command officials said this is the first time such leaflets
were dropped in the northern zone.
EUCOM, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, is
responsible for monitoring and enforcing the Northern No-fly Zone.
A March 1 EUCOM release said Operation Northern Watch aircraft
from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, dropped about 240,000 of the leaflets
on sites northeast of Mosul that have a history of firing on coalition
aircraft with the aid of anti-aircraft radar. The EUCOM release
also details the messages on the leaflets that were dropped.
"Do not track or fire on coalition aircraft,"
the front states in Arabic. The back reads, "Any hostile
action by Iraqi air defenses toward coalition aircraft will be
answered by immediate retaliation. Iraqi air defense positions
which fire on coalition aircraft or activate air defense radar
will be attacked and destroyed."
To view the leaflets dropped on northern Iraq,
Six different types of leaflets were dropped
into southern Iraq early March 1, CENTCOM officials reported.
Three contained information on how Iraqis can tune to radio news
and information that coalition forces are broadcasting via U.S.
Commando Solo aircraft. The broadcasts contain information about
U.S. Security Council Resolution 1441 and Saddam Hussein’s atrocities.
Other leaflets were aimed at Iraqi troops, telling
them not to position weapon systems near national landmarks and
urging troops not to fight coalition forces. A leaflet tells soldiers,
"Leave now, go home, and learn, grow, prosper."
Yet another leaflet reflects the American wish
to not harm Iraqi civilians, whom Hussein has used as "human
shields" in the past. "Coalition forces do not wish
to harm the noble people of Iraq," this leaflet states in
Arabic. "To ensure your safety, avoid areas occupied by military
To see images and translations of the leaflets
dropped over southern Iraq, visit the U.S. Central Command’s Web