Air Force News

Coalition aircraft respond to being targeted

Released: 13 Jan 1999

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Coalition aircraft responded with air-to-ground missiles Jan. 13 after Iraqi missile batteries "illuminated," or targeted, the airplanes on radar and possibly launched a surface-t o-air missile.

The aircraft were conducting routine enforcement of the northern no-fly zone when they were illuminated by several Iraqi surface-to-air missile systems. A U.S. European Command statement said, "There are indications that coalition aircraft were fired upon by at least one Iraqi surface-to-air missile."

Acting in self-defense, coalition aircrews fired precision guided missiles and high-speed anti-radiation missiles. The AGM-88 HARM is an air-to-surface tactical missile designed to seek and destroy enemy radar-equipped air defense systems.

The incidents occurred near the town of Mosul. There was no damage to coalition aircraft.

Initial indications are that two precision guided missiles were direct hits on Iraqi SAM sites. Additional damage to Iraqi forces is currently being assessed.

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


* Operation Northern Watch
* U.S. European Command