UNITED STATES EUROPEAN COMMAND (26 July 1999) -- Between approximately 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 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-10 and GBU-12 laser-guided bombs on a communication site north of Mosul. Equipment at this site is used to relay information from radars that in-turn target coalition aircraft.
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