Air Force News

Northern Watch aircraft respond against Iraqi missile site

Released: 7 Jan 1999

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Coalition aircraft have again struck a Iraqi surface-to-air missile site, this time after ground radar illuminated the fighters passing near by.

At about 3:15 a.m. EST Jan. 7, ac cording to a U.S. European Command statement, "Saddam Hussein once again violated cease-fire accords and acted aggressively by "illuminating" a coalition aircraft with a surface-to-air missile-tracking radar. The aircraft was conducting routine enforcement of the northern no-fly zone over Iraq."

The Air Force F-16, acting in self-defense, fired a high-speed anti-radiation missile against the ground-based missile radar site in an effort to prevent any offensive fire. There was no damage to coalition aircraft, and all aircrews returned safely to base.

Damage to Iraqi forces is currently being assessed.

"Coalition forces assigned to Operation Northern Watch will continue to enforce the northern no-fly zone," said the EUCOM statement. "As always, coalition pilots will act in self-defense if they are threatened."

U.S. European Command forces currently participating in Operation Northern Watch include:

-- About 20 fighter aircraft (including F-15C's, F-15E's and F-16CJs);

-- About 18 support aircraft (including EA-6B's, Airborne Warning and Control Systems, tankers, helicopters and logistical support); and

-- About 1,400 people.

The United States, Turkey and England participate in this combined joint task force.


* EA-6B
* E-3 Sentry (AWACS)
* F-15 Eagle
* F-16 Fighting Falcon
* Operation Northern Watch
* U.S. European Command