Five Days in London
Rudy Guliani's Recommend Reading.
Desert Fox was the codename for a series of strikes launched a) following the explusion of United Nation's Weapons Inspectors and/or b) in the midst of the impeachment effort of President Clinton. I'll let you be the judge as to why it took place, and why it ended almost as quickly as it began.
Since "Desert Fox" there have been a number of incidents involving Allied aircraft in the "no fly" zones of Iraq, so many that I created a new page detailing those events.
December 19th--The Final Day
2:08 EST Final attacks take place over Iraq.
Sunrise (Iraq)--Ramadan starts in Iraq.
8:08 EST Some of the heaviest attacks in Baghdad area take place.
12:00noon EST Cohen briefs press on curernt military status
11:30 EST Saddam Hussein makes first televised statement since attacks
8:04 EST Cruise missiles arrive in Baghdad
7:26 EST Russia recalls their ambassador from the United States
4:34 EST Air raid sirens in Baghdad
2:03 EST Cruise missiles land in Baghdad
9:55 EST Air raid sirens again in Baghdad
8:00 EST Defense Secretary Cohen briefs Congress
6:00 EST President Clinton announces Operation Desert Fox
5:21 EST Tony Blair announces British involvement
5:11 EST White House announces "Substantial Military Action."
4:56 EST "Thuds" reported of loud explosions in Baghdad
4:51 EST Anti-aircraft Fire in Baghdad
4:00 EST Air raid sirens sound in Iraq
NOTE: Baghdad Time = (EST + 8) (i.e. Midnight Baghdad = 4:00PM EST)
January 25 saw the tenth air attack in the no-fly zone since the end of Operation Desert Fox.
January 5 saw the first US air-to-air combat since 1993, with US fighters engaging Iraqi Migs and Mirage fighters in the no-fly zone. The American aircraft launched Phoenix air-to-air missiles, at $1,000,000 per, at the Iraqi plane, but failed to score a hit. For reasons unknown, however, the Iraqi aircraft crashed due either to pilot error or low fuel. Following the airstrikes, Iraq announced they would no longer recognize the Northern and Southern no-fly zones.
December 19 was the start of the Moslem holy month of Ramadan, a fact that has been cited as a reason for starting the attacks on the day they did. Nonetheless, airstrikes continued on this fourth day, with attacks being carried out on new targets and secondary strikes being launched on targets that were not completely destroyed in earlier waves of sorties. The USS Carl Vinson also arrived in the Gulf today, doubling the number of Navy aircraft in the region available for strikes. At the end of the day, the US announced they were ceasing operations in the region, after approximately 600sorties and 400cruise missile attacks. For the next few weeks, bomb damage assessment will be conducted and the White House and refused to rule out additional attacks.
The New York Times reported in their December 18 issue (Friday) that President Clinton approved the basic outlines of this attack on Sunday, December 13, three days before Richard Butler and UNSCOM evacuated Iraq. This follows on the heels of a Washington Times article that ran on Thursday alleging a similar timeline. This will certainly be used by those who question the dates of the White House attacks in the growing debate over this mission. Secretary Cohen also announced that more cruise missiles have been used in this attack than in all of the Gulf War. The Pentagon also released a detailed target list.
On December 17, additional attacks were launched. However, approximately 250 of the 350 cruise missiles on board ships have already been used in the first strike, so other assets were called upon, including Air Launched Cruise Missiles from B-52s operating out of Diego Garcia. The ALCM comtained a 2,00 lbs warhead, unlike the Tomahawk missiles fired from ships which had 1,00 lbs warheads. 100ALCMs were fired on the second night. British aircraft also came into play this evening, launching airstrikes against Iraq from bases in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. For the first time, the B-1 Lancer bomber was used in combat, operating out of bases in Bahrain. 200sorties, both combat and support, were launched today. Targets included air fields, air defense systems and surface-to-air missile sites. The aircraft carrier USS CARL VINSON with its battle group of six surface ships should be on station within the next 24 hours.
The strikes on December 16th apparently were divided into two waves. The first wave included upto 200cruise missiles launched from cruisers and other ships in the Gulf region. A second wave of F/A-18 Hornets and F-14 Super Tomcats attacked the headquarters of Iraqi Security Police, one of the eight Presidential Palaces of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi Intelligence Headquarters, and other targets around Iraq. Iraq has claimed that the attacks also included the house of Saddam Hussein's daughter, several industrial facilities currently being monitored by the UN via cameras, and residential neighborhoods. Howerver, it is possible some of these areas were struck by falling anti-aircraft missiles, as was the case during the Gulf War. It was also later disclosed that Lt. Kendra Williams and First Lt. Chery Lamoureux (USAF) became two of the first women pilots to take part in combat, following a decision several years ago to allow women to fly in combat aircraft.
More to come soon...
Casualties (Iraqi Claims):
- "Thousands killed and thousands more wounded" (Iraqi Claim 12-21-98)
- 25 Iraqis Civilians Killed (12-17-98)
- 75 Iraqis Wounded (12-17-98)
- 62 Iraqi Military Killed (12-19-98)
- No allied casualties
US Forces in the Region
- 24,100 military personnel
- 29 Navy Ships, including two carriers
- 240+ Military Aircraft
- 2 Navy Ships
- 18 Tornados in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
UNSCOM (United Nations)
Defenselink (Pentagon Public Affairs)
Centcomm (Command of Forces)
Gulf War Special Sites
BBC Special Report