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Coalition Forces Target Iraqi Radar Sites, Thousands More Leaflets Dropped

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2003 – Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons to attack Iraqi radar sites southwest of Baghdad March 13, U.S. Central Command officials reported.

The strikes, in the Southern No-fly Zone at about 4 p.m. Eastern time, were in response to another Iraqi violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 688. The coalition established the Southern No-fly Zone to ensure the safety of coalition aircraft monitoring Iraqi compliance with the U.N. resolution.

The Iraqis have continued to target coalition air patrols in the southern and northern zones despite the drops of hundreds of thousands of leaflets warning them of the immediate, deadly consequences of doing so.

Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery fired on coalition aircraft March 10. In response, coalition forces struck three unmanned, underground military communications sites near the Iraqi towns of Ad Diwaniyah, Dabnuni and Mamia.

CENTCOM officials said coalition aircraft never target civilian populations or infrastructure to avoid injury to civilians and damage to civilian facilities.

Also today, European Command officials said coalition aircraft in the north dropped 120,000 informational leaflets near Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery batteries at Ayn Zalah airfield. The flyers warned them about the deadly price of firing on coalition aircraft, which they've a history of doing, according to EUCOM.

The officials also reported another quarter-million leaflets were dropped March 13 on forces in the vicinity of Tall Afar and Saddam Lake.

The missions are the third and fourth leaflet drops the coalition during its 12-year history of enforcing the Northern No-fly Zone and monitoring Iraq's for compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Meanwhile, CENTCOM officials said Bagram Air Base hospital personnel treated two U.S. soldiers and two Afghans today. A spider bit one soldier; the other suffered dog bites. Both troops were treated and released.

A six-year old Afghan boy was medically evacuated from the Madr Valley, treated for abscessed tonsils and later released. The most serious injury, a three- year-old boy suffering from second-degree burns over 30 percent of his body, was flown from Kandahar to Bagram Air Base for treatment. He is listed in stable condition.

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