MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- In response to recent Iraqi hostile threats against coalition aircraft monitoring the southern no-fly zone, Operation Southern Watch coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons Aug. 28 to strike command and control sites in southern Iraq.
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. If Iraq were to cease its threatening actions, coalition strikes would cease as well, U.S. Central Command officials said.
The last coalition strike in the southern no-fly zone was against an Iraqi mobile early warning radar system Aug. 25.
To date, there have been more than 1,010 separate incidents of Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery fire directed against coalition aircraft since December 1998, including more than 375 in 2001. Iraqi aircraft violated the southern no-fly zone more than 160 times during the same period.
Coalition aircraft never target civilian populations or infrastructure and go to painstaking lengths to avoid injury to civilians and damage to civilian facilities, officials said.
Coalition Forces Strike Iraqi Command, Control Sites