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[] U.S. Strikes Iraqi TV, Satellite Communications,

U.S. Strikes Iraqi TV, Satellite Communications 

Tue March 25, 2003 11:59 PM ET 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and British forces used missiles and air
strikes to hit Iraqi television, a key telecommunications site and
Baghdad satellite communications early on Wednesday, U.S. defense
officials said.

"Not long before daybreak, the coalition struck Iraq's main television
station, as well as a key telecommunications vault and Baghdad satellite
communications, damaging the regime's command and control capability,"
said one official.

Tomahawk land-delivered missiles and air delivered ordnance were used in
what officials described as an important strike that damaged a "key"
part of Iraq's overall command and control operations.

Battle damage assessment was continuing, said one official.

Reuters witnesses reported that about 40 large explosions struck the
southern outskirts of the Iraqi capital and another hit an area housing
the television center.

On Wednesday morning, Iraq's satellite television was showing either a
blank screen or sporadic still pictures which suggested technicians were
struggling to bring it back. A Reuters Television News camera on the
roof of the Information Ministry ceased broadcasting after the raid.

There has been widespread speculation that the United States could use
the war in Iraq to debut high-powered microwave weapons, a new class of
weapons that use a burst of electromagnetic energy to disable or destroy
the electronics that control everything from an enemy's radar to its

U.S. defense officials said they had no information that a so-called
"E-bomb" had been used in Wednesday's strike. 

They said the raid was aimed at eliminating the system Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein uses to communicate with the Iraqi people and troops,
citing the broadcast this week of gripping images of U.S. prisoners of
war and the bloodied corpses of what Iraq said were U.S. troops.

The Iraqi leadership widely uses television to rally people against the
invasion and carry news conferences.

U.S. defense officials noted that air strikes were used to knock Iraqi
television off the air during the first Gulf War in 1991.

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