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Cruise Missile Strike - 26 June 1993
Operation Southern Watch

Commencing at approximately 4:22 p.m. (EST) on 26 June 1993 US naval forces launched a Tomahawk cruise missile strike on the Iraqi Intelligence Service's (IIS) principal command and control complex in Baghdad. This facility is the headquarters for the IIS, which planned the failed attempt to assassinate former President Bush during his visit to Kuwait in April 1993. This US military action was completed upon impact of the missiles on target at approximately 6 p.m. (EST).

Operating under the U.S. Central Command, the USS PETERSON (DD 969) launched 14 missiles from its position in the Red Sea, while the USS CHANCELLORSVILLE (CG 62) in the Arabian Gulf launched nine missiles. The timing of this operation, with missiles striking at approximately 2:00 a.m. local Iraqi time, was chosen to minimize risks to innocent civilians.

President Clinton ordered this action after an investigation by US intelligence and law enforcement agencies, which concluded that the operation that threatened the life of President Bush in Kuwait City in April was directed and pursued by the Iraqi Intelligence Service in retaliation for the role of President Bush in the Gulf War. The Tomahawk was chosen for this mission because it could strike the target without risking the loss of aircraft or aircrews. Additionally, an aircraft carrier was not present in theater at the time.

US forces targeted 6 buildings in the complex and attempted to launch 25 Block II TLAM-C missiles, 23 of which (92 percent) were successfully launched and transitioned to cruise flight. Of the 23 Tomahawks launched, 16 missiles (69.6%) hit the target, Three (13.0%) struck a residential area, killing nine civilians and wounding 12, while four missiles (17.4%) were unaccounted for. Navy officials said that 3 of the 23 missiles that successfully launched missed their aim points in the Iraqi intelligence headquarters raid because they were incorrectly programmed due to a mission planning software error. The missiles struck the aim points for which they were programmed. If these missiles were counted, the success rate for the raid would be 12 percent higher.

Iraqi Intelligence Service Headquarters

Iraqi Intelligence Service Headquarters



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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:35:30 Zulu