war in iraq


No-Fly Zone strikes intensify

Iraqi gunners fire on planes patrolling the Southern No-Fly Zone

By Jim Garamone AFPS

March 19, 2003

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2003 - Coalition aircraft bombed a series of Iraqi targets today in response to Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery firing on the allied aircraft.

The Iraqi gunners fired on planes patrolling the Southern No-Fly Zone. In response, a coalition "strike package" hit communications, air defense and artillery sites.

Air Force officials in Southwest Asia would not say when the Iraqis fired on the coalition planes because they do not want to give away the response time.

To keep the Iraqis guessing, coalition leaders often delay responses so Iraqi officials cannot gain any intelligence. "But we also can have immediate responses (to provocations)," said a DoD official.

But allied aircraft also targeted long-range artillery on the Al Faw peninsula, long-range artillery positions near Az Zubayr and a surface-to-surface missile system near Al Basrah.

Officials said coalition aircraft hit these sites because they posed a danger to coalition ground forces in Kuwait.

Coalition officials are assessing damage to the areas now.


war in iraq