WASHINGTON – For the second time in three days, U.S. and British warplanes dropped propaganda leaflets over southern Iraq on Saturday that provide the radio frequencies broadcasting messages urging Iraqis to oppose President Saddam Hussein.
The U.S. Central Command said 240,000 leaflets were dropped early Saturday over the cities of Al Amarah and As Samawah, both about 170 miles southeast of Baghdad. It was the 13th time in three months that coalition air crews have dropped leaflets, the command said.
The messages, broadcast nightly, include information on U.N. weapons inspections. The broadcasts are part of the U.S. military's psychological operations in preparation for a possible war with Iraq.
It was at least the second time in two weeks that leaflets were dropped over the two cities, which are in the southern Iraq region patrolled by U.S. and British planes to keep Iraqi forces from attacking Shiite Muslims.
Central Command said later Saturday that coalition aircraft also used precision-guided weapons Saturday to target three Iraqi military air defense cable repeater sites about 170 miles southeast of Baghdad after Iraqi air defense forces fired multiple anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles at coalition aircraft patrolling the Southern no-fly Zone.
The previous stike had come Thursday against air defense cable repeaters southeast of Al Kut.
Coalition aircraft carried out 78 similar attacks in 2002.