Coalition aircraft respond to Iraqi ground fire

UNITED STATES EUROPEAN COMMAND (18 July 1999) -- Between approximately 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Iraqi time today, Operation Northern Watch (ONW) aircraft were shot at by Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery fire. Responding in self-defense, U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles and F-16CJ Fighting Falcons dropped GBU-12 laser-guided bombs on command and control sites south of Mosul.

Damage to Iraqi forces is currently being assessed. All coalition aircraft departed the area safely.

Coalition aircraft have been enforcing the Northern No-fly Zone for more than eight years. Since Dec. 28, 1998, Saddam Hussein has opted to challenge this enforcement by targeting coalition aircraft with radar, surface-to-air missile systems and anti-aircraft artillery. Operation Northern Watch aircraft will respond in self-defense to these threats while continuing to enforce the no-fly zone.

The Combined Task Force Combined Information Bureau can be reached at 
90-322-316-3704 or DSN: 314-676-3704