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U.S. Forces Again Strike Iraqi Missile Site

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30, 1998 – For the second time in three days, coalition air forces came under Iraqi attack Dec. 30, and returned fire against a missile site.

The latest incident -- this one over southern Iraq -- occurred at about 9:30 a.m. local time, near the town of Talil. A coalition British GR-1 Tornado pilot flying an Operation Southern Watch mission saw the launch of six to eight surface-to-air missiles from an air defense site, said a Joint Task Force Southwest Asia spokesman.

U.S. Air Force F-16CJ, F-16CG and EA-6B aircraft fired two high-speed anti-radiation missiles at the radars and dropped several GBU-12 500-pound precision guided munitions. All coalition aircraft returned to bases safely. Officials are conducting battle damage assessment.

U.S. and British aircraft are part of Operation Southern Watch. The operation enforces United Nations sanctions and restrictions of the no-fly zone south of the 33rd parallel in Iraq. Aircrews are authorized to use force in self- defense.

Two days earlier, coalition aircraft came under similar attack from an air defense site north of the town of Mosul in northern Iraq. In that encounter, coalition forces responded with anti-radiation missiles and precision-guided munitions. Pentagon officials said that site was destroyed. (From an Air Force News Service release)

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