Day 22 Wednesday, February 6, 1991
In an effort to alleviate casualties, it was announced Wednesday that allied forces had begun spreading some 14 million leaflets instructing Iraqi troops on the proper procedure for surrender. The leaflets, in Arabic and English, contained instructions and cartoons on asking Iraqis to give themselves up and avoid being killed by the massive air strikes. Although it may be difficult to prove that the leaflets brought over deserters, a number of the Iraqis taken prisoner have had the papers folded and kept in their pockets should their surrender become necessary.
Nowhere have the economic sanctions and anti-imperialism feelings been felt harder than in Jordan. King Hussein, long considered an ally and personal friend of President Bush, bowed to the overwhelming pressure on the part of the Jordanian people and condemned forcibly the American air war and civilian casualties. Sharing a large border with Iraq, Jordan has lost considerable economic trade as a result of the U.N. sanctions. The people of Iraq consider the war against Saddam Hussein to be a war against all Arabs and have pledged considerable assistance to the Iraqi government. In some cases, pieces of shot down allied planes were auctioned off in the Jordanian capital of Amman for thousands of dollars to be given to Iraqi war relief. With this sort of support for Iraq, many western analysts felt King Hussein would have to support Saddam Hussein or face a possible revolt by his own people.
Day 23 Thursday, February 7, 1991
The U.S.S. Wisconsin joined in the shelling of Kuwait on Thursday, firing her giant sixteen-inch guns in combat for the first time since Korea. The Wisconsin was targeting an Iraqi artillery unit which was causing difficulty for allied forces on the front lines.
The air war continued with allied commanders stating that more concentration would not be given to Iraqi forces in Kuwait. Although these units have been targeted since the early days of the war, this new emphasis is seen as a precursor to the coming ground war, with allied air power seeking out and destroying individual Iraqi tanks and vehicles instead of concentrating on large command and control targets.
In Texas, a number of Louisiana National Guard members were declared absent without leave (AWOL) from their training at Fort Hood. As part of the total force concept, reservists were to fill in the gaps in active duty combat units to round out the force. This "desertion," along with problems with other Guard and Reserve units, have caused some in the Congress to question the policy of using Guard and Reserve units for combat purposes.
President Bush ordered a review of foreign aid to Jordan following King Hussein's support of Iraq. The United States gives Jordan approximately $50 million a year, but this figure is likely to be cut as a result of this order. Rumors that Jordan was going to break relations with the United States were quickly discounted in Amman leading many to believe that Jordan does not want to ruin long-term relations with the U.S.
Day 24 Friday, February 8, 1991
The air war continued over Iraq with total sorties now over 55,00. U.S. officials, who have been reluctant to talk about the damage inflicted by the air war, reported at least 600tanks destroyed by allied air power since the beginning of the war. Briefers also reported supplies to the Iraqis in Kuwait have been cut by 90% thanks to the destruction of several key bridges on the supply line to Kuwait. Iraq's Air Force continued fleeing the battle with almost 140 planes now in Iran.
Day 25 Saturday, February 9, 1991
Secretary of Defense Cheney and General Collin Powell met with the allied military command for nine hours in the Saudi war room to discuss the progress of the war and necessity of a ground war. At the briefing, Cheney and Powell were given dozens of scenarios for a U.S. attack and possible reactions from Saddam Hussein. Although given a positive briefing on the state of the air war, allied commanders reportedly asked for a few more days of air raids to continue weakening the Iraqi defenders.
U.S. officials increased their estimate of Iraqi tank damage to 750 tanks, 600armored personnel carriers, and 650 artillery pieces destroyed. Allied commanders also revealed that captured Iraqi prisoners have indicated "execution battalions" are active in Kuwait to deter or kill possible deserters. Most of the air attacks on Saturday were directed against Iraqi front line troops and the port city of Basra in Southern Iraq. Navy aircraft reported taking out a Silkworm missile site that could threaten the allied fleet in the Northern Gulf.
Iraq's only offensive action on Friday was another SCUD toward Israel, the 30th since the war started. The missile was hit by a Patriot, but debris landed in a Tel Aviv neighborhood, injuring 26 and causing considerable damage.
Iraq formally cut ties with the United States on Saturday. Since the United States had previously expelled most of the Iraqi embassy staff for fears of terrorism and due to the presence of Iraqi diplomats at the United Nations in New York should the U.S. need to negotiate, the practical effect was minimal.
Some concern was given to a speech by Soviet President Gorbachev that the air war may be "going to far." This statement was brought about by the obvious attempt of allied bombers to destroy the entire Iraqi army, much of it Soviet-supplied and trained, in the process of liberating Kuwait. Gorbachev appealed to Saddam Hussein to remove his forces from Kuwait, but many saw this statement as a clear backing off from the allied military policy. Analysts speculated that his statement was made necessary by the growing strength of the military in his own country and the positive relations the Soviet Union has had, and wishes to maintain in the Arab world. The Soviets also dispatched diplomats to Iran to seek a negotiated settlement to the crisis.
Day 26 Sunday, February 10, 1991
The air war took advantage of clear weather and the allies launched almost 2,800missions against the Iraqis. U.S. B-52's were launched for the first time from bases in Fairford, England where Prime Minister John Major gave permission for the United States to use British soil to launch combat operations. The constant bombardment on the well-entrenched foot soldiers brought another 75 deserters across the Saudi border. To date, 1,00 deserters and P.O.W.'s were in Saudi detention camps.
Day 27 Monday, February 11, 1991
Secretary Cheney and Collin Powell returned to Washington to report their findings to the President. Both suggested that the air war continue as allied commanders reported they still had a number of targets to attack. The coalition has destroyed approximately 20% of the Iraqi armor in the KTO, although 50% is considered the desirable number before land operations commence. Both men also noted, barring some diplomatic solution, a ground war would become a necessity. Military officials said no date had been set for the ground war to commence.
Emerging from the meeting, President Bush spoke to reporters in the Rose Garden and said "the air campaign has been very effective and will continue for awhile." Bush went on to state that the war was being fought on "our timetable" and he would not be pressed into a ground offensive before his military commanders recommend one.
In the KTO, three SCUDs were launched, one each at Israel and Saudi Arabia. The Patriot system intercepted the one bound for Riyadh, but falling debris injured several civilians.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens spoke with President Bush on the damage being caused by the SCUD missile attacks. Arens reminded Bush of the tremendous pressure put on Israel because of its restraint and the President reportedly extended his thanks for Israel's policy and urged the Israelis to continue standing up in the face of Iraqi aggression. Arens also met with Secretary of Defense Cheney and Vice-President Quayle.
In Baghdad, a Soviet emissary met with Saddam Hussein to press for a diplomatic solution to the three-week-old war. The Soviets called on Hussein to withdraw, assuring him he would not suffer retribution if he was to pull out, but spokesmen were not hopeful Saddam Hussein would accept this plan.
Day 28 Tuesday, February 12, 1991
Demonstrating close coordination, elements of the 1st Marine Division combined their fire with U.S. airstrikes and sea bombardments to hit Iraqi positions in Kuwait. The allies hit the Iraqis for several hours, but upon cessation of the attack, the Iraqis began to return fire, albeit undirected. Later in the day, the 2nd Marine division teamed up with the U.S.S. Missouri and Saudi artillery to attack the Iraqi artillery that was firing on their position and effectively neutralized it. Inside Kuwait, reports came out of Iraqi forces igniting oil wells and some fifty are noticed aflame on U.S. reconnaissance photos.
Finishing meetings with the Soviet representative, Saddam Hussein spoke on Baghdad radio and said he was willing to work with the Soviets, but vowed to keep fighting until the "aggressors" were destroyed. Gorbachev's emissary returned to Moscow where the Soviet government, although discouraged, is still are committed to negotiating some agreement.
Week Four Report
- Sorties to date:
- Total U.S. Aircraft Losses to date (combat):
- Total Allied Aircraft Losses to date (combat):
- Total U.S. Casualties to date:
- 12 Killed in Action, 27 Missing in Action, 8 Prisoners of War
- Iraqi Aircraft destroyed:
- Iraqi Aircraft in Iran:
- Iraqis Held as P.O.W.'s:
- SCUD's launched to date:
- Against Israel:
- Against Saudi Arabia:
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