News

NEWS RELEASE

HEADQUARTERS,
UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
Phone: (813) 828-5894; FAX: (813) 840-5629; DSN 968-5894


October 11, 1999

RELEASE NUMBER: 99-10-01

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COALITION AIRCRAFT RESPOND TO IRAQI PROVOCATIONS

MACDILL AFB, FL - At approximately 1:45 a.m. Eastern Standard Time today, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 "Hornet" and British Royal Air Force GR-1 "Tornado" aircraft enforcing the Southern No-Fly Zone used precision guided munitions to strike three Iraqi military radar sites and an Iraqi military communications site near Al Kut and An Nasiriyah.

The strikes came in response to recent incidents of Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery fire directed at coalition aircraft.

All coalition aircraft have returned safely and battle damage assessment is ongoing.

These hostile acts represent the latest of more than 440 provocations by Iraqi military forces in the no-fly zones, including over 140 No-Fly Zone violations and nearly 310 separate incidents involving Iraqi surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft artillery and target tracking radar illuminations against coalition aircraft since Operation Desert Fox.

Each of these communications and radar sites was targeted to further degrade Iraq's ability to jeopardize coalition pilots and aircraft enforcing the United Nations mandates.

Coalition aircraft do not target civilian populations or infrastructure and seek to avoid injury to civilians and damage to civilian facilities.

U.S. and coalition aircraft are part of Operation Southern Watch and are responsible for enforcing No-Fly Zones over southern Iraq. Our actions today are an appropriate response to the continued pattern of Iraqi provocations.