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Coalition Planes Respond to Iraqi Provocations

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2002 – For the second day in a row, coalition fliers patrolling the Southern No-fly Zone responded to Iraqi fire.

Coalition aircraft dropped precision-guided munitions today on an air defense operations facility and integrated operations center near Al Kut about 95 miles southeast of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

The Iraqi air defense gunners began firing on a normal U.N.-sponsored patrol of the country. DoD officials said the coalition craft responded directly to the Iraqi missiles and the anti-aircraft artillery.

All coalition aircraft returned to bases safely, Central Command officials said. The planes fly as part of Operation Southern Watch.

On Nov. 6, Iraqi gunners also challenged the coalition aircraft. Coalition pilots dropped precision-guided munitions on two surface-to-air missile systems near Al Kut and a command and control communications facility near Tallil about 160 miles southeast of Baghdad. Again, all planes returned safely.

Before that, coalition strikes were in the Operation Northern Watch area on Oct. 30 when Iraqi gunners in the north fired on coalition aircraft.

Last responses in the southern no-fly zone were Oct. 22 against a command and control communications facility near Al Jarrah and an air defense operations center near Tallil.

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