UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
Phone: (813) 828-5894; FAX: (813) 840-5629; DSN 968-5894
July 30, 1999
RELEASE NUMBER: 99-07-03
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COALITION RESPONDS TO IRAQI PROVOCATION IN SOUTHERN NO-FLY ZONE
MACDILL AFB, FL - At approximately 1:50 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, July 30, 1999, coalition aircraft struck an Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery site and an Iraqi military communications site. The coalition strikes were conducted near Abu Sukhayr and Ad Darraji.
These strikes were in response to an increasing number of Iraqi violations of the southern no-fly zone; violations that are designed to lure coalition aircraft into known Iraqi missile and anti-aircraft artillery threat areas. The most recent violations took place yesterday and involved four Iraqi Air Force MiG-23 fighter aircraft that penetrated 35 miles into the no-fly zone. The Iraqis' flagrant no-fly zone violations occurred about an hour after yesterday's coalition air strikes against an Iraqi military radar site and three military communications sites.
This morning's air strikes also took place against a backdrop of numerous, recent incidents of Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery fire directed at patrolling coalition aircraft. The coalition strikes involved U.S. Air Force F-16 "Fighting Falcons," U.S. Navy FA-18 "Hornets" and F-14 "Tomcats," and Royal Air Force GR-1 aircraft. The coalition used precision-guided munitions and operated from land and sea bases in the Arabian Gulf area.
Damage assessment from the strikes is ongoing. All aircraft involved in the strikes have returned safely to their bases.
U.S. and coalition aircraft are part of Operation Southern Watch enforcing United Nations sanctions and restrictions of the no-fly zone in Iraq. As such, they continuously assess the level of threat posed by Iraqi forces and take actions that are necessary to reduce these threats and defend themselves.