February 28, 2003
Release Number: 03-02-28
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COALITION FORCES TARGET IRAQI AIR-DEFENSE RADARS, SAM SYSTEM
MACDILL AFB, FL – In response to Iraqi threats to Coalition aircraft monitoring
compliance of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, Operation SOUTHERN
WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to target
three mobile air-defense early-warning radars and a surface-to-air missile
system in southern Iraq, south of the 33rd Parallel. The radars and SAM
system were located near An Nasiriyah, approximately 170 miles southwest
of Baghdad. The strike occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m., EST.
Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.
The Coalition executed today’s strike after Iraqi forces moved the highly
mobile radars and SAM system below the 33rd Parallel into the Southern
No-Fly Zone where it was a threat to Coalition aircraft supporting Operation
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 Feb. 27, when Coalition
aircraft used precision-guided weapons to target an early-warning radar
and a communications facility near Al Basrah, approximately 250 miles
southeast of Baghdad.
Coalition aircraft never target civilian populations or infrastructure
and go to painstaking lengths to avoid injury to civilians and damage
to civilian facilities.