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Military


Operation Northern Watch
1998 Events

  • 28 December 1998 -- At approximately 1:30 p.m., Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were attacked by Iraqi surface-to-air missiles fired from sites in northern Iraq. The Iraqis fired three SAMs at Northern Watch aircraft; all missed. Although initial reports claimed that the planes retaliated by launching three HARMs, in fact three F-15Es each dropped two GBU-12 500-pound precision guided munitions (PGMs). Two of the F-15Es hit the SA-3 target site tracking radar and optical guidance unit. The other F-15E had one bomb hit the SA-3 missile site command and control van, and the other hitting the target site tracking radar and optical guidance unit. The other F-15E in the four-ship formation did not drop bombs because he did not have positive target identification. Video footage from U.S. aircraft responding in self-defense to Iraqi aggression on Dec. 28 show that coalition forces attacked the launch sites only after being fired upon. Video of the Iraqi missile firings clearly shows time of their fire prior to any release of coalition ordnance. The SA-3 site used both radar and optics when firing their offensive missiles.
  • 16-19 December 1998 -- Following an UNSCOM report detailing continued Iraqi obstruction, the US and Great Britain conducted a four-day aerial bombing campaign, nicknamed Desert Fox. Northern Watch aircraft did not participate.



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