Iraqi state TV resumes broadcasting after missile strike
LONDON - Iraqi state-controlled television has returned to the airwaves after being put off the air by a coalition Tomahawk missile attack early this morning.
The attack took Iraqi television off the air for more than six hours after satellite dishes on top of the Iraqi information ministry were destroyed when the building was hit.
The allies targeted the building as part of their effort to dismantle the command and control functions of the Iraqi regime. The information ministry is at the heart of distributing regime propaganda.
Last week, defence secretary Geoff Hoon had said that there will be no direct effort to take down Iraqi television, as allied forces did when dismantling Slobodan Milosevic's Serbian regime in 1998 during the Kosovo crises, which saw thousands of British and American troops enter the Yugoslav republic.
As a by-product of targeting command and control, Iraqi state television and radio has been hard hit since the attacks on Baghdad began over a week ago.
However, despite Hoon's comments, the US has said that Iraqi television is a key part of the Iraq's command and control, and US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld has come out in favour of knocking out the regime's ability to pump out propaganda.
News bulletins on Iraqi TV are read by announcers wearing a khaki uniform adopted by staff since the coalition efforts to remove Saddam began.
As well as the state television, many Iraqis have access to the government's satellite news service, which has also been hit by attacks. Through satellites, they also get international services such as the BBC.
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