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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 069-01
February 16, 2001

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ON AIR STRIKES IN IRAQ TODAY

In the aftermath of today's airstrikes in Iraq, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said,

"The objective of today's mission by coalition forces was to degrade Iraqi air defense capabilities and thus reduce the threat posed to coalition aircraft and aircrews. The specifics of the mission were planned by the military commander in the field, and were presented to and approved by the national command authorities. The administration intends to enforce the no-fly zones in Iraq and will take appropriate steps to reduce the threats to coalition forces engaged in this mission."