Thu, Mar 20, 2003
Coalition aircraft bombed a series of Iraqi
targets, Wednesday, in response to Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery
firing on the allied aircraft. The Iraqi gunners fired on planes
patrolling the Southern No-Fly Zone. In response, a coalition
"strike package" hit communications, air defense and artillery
Air Force 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
"But we also can have immediate responses (to provocations),"
said a DoD official.
The coalition 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
In the past, coalition aircraft hit these types of targets if
provoked by the Iraqis. But allied 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.
Officials said coalition aircraft hit these sites because they
posed a danger to coalition ground forces in Kuwait. Coalition
officials are assessing damage to the areas now.
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