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Combat Actions Occur in Afghanistan, Iraq

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2002 – A B-52 Stratofortress dropped precision-guided munitions in support of U.S. special operations forces that came under attack Dec. 1 in Afghanistan.

There were also two incidents in Iraq, said DoD officials.

In Afghanistan, U.S. troops were patrolling outside Shindand in Herat Province, near the border with Iran. A group of armed Afghans opened fire on the patrol. The special operators returned fire and called for close-air support. The B-52 dropped seven 2,000-pound bombs, and the patrol broke contact. There were no American casualties.

In another incident, six rockets or rocket-propelled grenades impacted near the airfield at Forward Operating Base Salerno. All were duds. Soldiers investigating found a truck with a rocket-launching rack. They detained five people in the vicinity for further questioning.

Operation Northern Watch aircraft dropped precision-guided bombs Dec. 2 on elements of the Iraqi air defense system after Iraqi gunners fired on coalition patrol aircraft.

The U.S. and British planes hit an anti-aircraft artillery site 10 miles east of Mosul. All aircraft returned safely. The last incident in the north was Nov. 28. Since January, Operation Northern Watch aircraft have flown 99 days and been shot at on 78 of them. Coalition aircraft have replied to the Iraqi provocation 17 times.

Operation Northern Watch enforcement continues.

In the Southern No-fly Zone, Iraqi gunners fired on coalition aircraft on Dec. 1. Coalition aircraft dropped precision-guided weapons on Iraqi air defense facilities located between Tallil, 170 miles southeast of Baghdad and al-Basrah, approximately 240 miles southeast of Baghdad.

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