UNITED STATES EUROPEAN COMMAND -- Iraqi forces threatened Operation Northern Watch (ONW) coalition aircraft today. Iraqi forces launched surface-to-air missiles (SAM) and fired anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) from sites north of Mosul while ONW aircraft conducted routine enforcement of the Northern No-Fly Zone.
Coalition aircraft responded to the Iraqi attacks by dropping ordnance on elements of the Iraqi integrated air defense system.
All coalition aircraft departed the area safely.
Coalition aircraft have been enforcing the Northern No-Fly Zone for more than 10 years. Since Dec. 28, 1998, Saddam Hussein has opted to challenge this enforcement by firing at coalition aircraft with surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and anti-aircraft artillery and by targeting them with radar. Operation Northern Watch aircraft respond in self-defense to these threats, while continuing to enforce the No-fly Zone.
Today's response is the eighth since January 1, 2001. The last previous response was June 14.
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