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How to complete the Denied Area Special Ops co-op mission in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Locate and destroy all four S.A.M. sites.

Denied Area is a cooperative spec ops mission in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, in which you and a teammate have to work your way from one end of a long valley to the other, destroying four S.A.M. sites along the way. Not only will you have to contend with a lot of Al-Qatala infantry, you’ll also be attacked by a number of enemy helicopters as you push through.

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Related: How to complete the Low Profile Special Ops co-op mission in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

How to destroy S.A.M. site A

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You should ideally approach the first compound quietly, picking off individual guards from long range so that no one raises the alarm. But it’s almost inevitable that at some point, the alarm will be raised, and enemies will come running. At this point, it’s best to be on a rooftop, picking off enemies from above and keeping one eye on any ladders or stairways that lead up to your position. Once the compound is clear, plant C4 on the S.A.M. site and get to a safe distance.

How to destroy S.A.M. site D

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Resupply at the armory on the north side of the compound (you might want to pick up a missile launcher here, as it’ll come in useful later), then find a vehicle and head further into the valley. When you get attacked by a helicopter, get out of your vehicle and fight back. A missile is probably overkill for this first chopper, as it’ll retreat if you simply snipe the infantry sitting on it.

Continue further into the valley, and snipe the various RPG launchers positioned in the buildings up ahead. There are enemies in and around most of the buildings ahead, so proceed systematically, clearing the buildings as a team, one-by-one. There’s a resupply station at the far end of the town, near the oil well.

Use a vehicle to proceed out of the town, and pretty soon, you’ll hear from Nik, and three more S.A.M. sites will be marked on your map and HUD. You can approach them in any order, but we don’t recommend doing it alphabetically. In fact, you should start with D, on the right. Approach the town carefully and systematically, sniping as many targets as you can before you move in, then clearing the buildings one at a time. Once you’re confident the area is secure, place C4 on the S.A.M. and find something to take cover behind.

How to destroy S.A.M. site B

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Get in a truck and drive off-road towards S.A.M. site B. About halfway there, you’ll be attacked by another chopper and a truck full of AQ. That missile launcher still isn’t essential for this chopper, as you can once again snipe the infantry on board, but there are a lot of them this time.

Approach S.A.M. site B in much the same way as you approached S.A.M. site D: systematically and cooperatively. Be especially sure to get rid of all the RPGs on rooftops and towers before you get close to the S.A.M. site itself. Once the area is secure, place a C4 charge on the S.A.M. and run.

How to destroy S.A.M. site C

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Resupply on the east side of town (and you should definitely pick up a missile launcher here), then find a vehicle and head for S.A.M. site C. This time you’ll be attacked by an attack helicopter, so there are no soldiers sitting on it, and you have to destroy it outright. This can be done by shooting its weak points with bullets, but it requires many bullets, so hopefully, you took our advice and brought a missile launcher.

S.A.M. site C is inside a very heavily defended compound, but fortunately, there’s a supply station just outside the front gate, so take out enemies through the gate, then keep retreating to resupply. As ever, once the area is clear, place C4 on the S.A.M. site and watch the fireworks.

How to get to the exfil location

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After you destroy the last S.A.M. site, you’ll be attacked by another attack helicopter, and this one is equipped with flares. This means it might take several attempts to hit it with missiles, but persist, and you’ll take it down. One strategy is to coordinate so that one teammate shoots a missile to trigger the flares, then the other shoots a missile as soon as the flares trigger. That second missile ought to hit the target. Once that last chopper is down, reaching the exfil location is a simple matter of getting a vehicle and driving it to the landing strip. You don’t have to fight your way through a hot LZ on this mission.

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Gavin Mackenzie
Gavin Mackenzie has been playing video games since the early 80s, and writing about them professionally since the late 90s. Having been a writer and editor on various British magazines including PLAY, GamesTM, and X360, he's now a freelance guides specialist at Gamepur.