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Kut

Kut [variants: Kut al Imara, Kut al `Amarah, Kut-al-Almarah, Kut-al-Imarah] is in southern Iraq, on the banks of the river Tigris. It is a port and a market center for grains, dates, fruit, and vegetables. Kut (an Arabic word for fort, which rhymes with foot) is located 170 km (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad, inside a southern "no-fly'' zone set up by the United States and is patrolled by U.S. and British jets.

The Iraqi marshes cover a large area between the Tigris and the Euphrates, stretching from Kut in the north to Basra in the south. This vast expanse of marshland dotted with shallow lagoons occupied a total area of about 10,00 sq. km. and was the home of many species of water birds. The Marsh Arabs who inhabited the area built houses known as sarifas, which are constructed of reeds with elaborate latticework entrances. The main mode of transport through the reedy waterways was a long, slim canoe, known as a mashuf.

Much of the town of Kut was destroyed during World War I. During World War I Turkey was a German ally, and thus an enemy of the British. The British campaign against the Turks in Iraq 1914-1918 included the seige of Kut. The British advance into central Iraq was delayed for a time by their defeat at Kut, when the garrison under General Townsend surrendered unconditionally to the Turks on 29th April 1916 after a siege lasting 140 days. Despite the setback at Kut, described as "the most abject capitulation in Britain's military history," the British campaign in Mesopotamia continued. General Maude captured Kut in February 1917, entering Baghdad on 11th March. A number of British soldiers are buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Kut War Cemetery in Iraq.

The Kut barrage (completed 1939) diverts water into irrigation channels. Upon completion in early 1943 of a rail spur from Kut al Imara to Ba'quba, the Khanaqin Lift consisted of barge from Basra to Kut al Imara, rail from there to Khanaqin, and road to Tabriz. In 1996 Russia and China signed deals to tap Iraqi oil fields, with few objections by the United States, presumably because both said they would respect the UN embargo. Russia will develop the West Qurna oil field, Iraq's largest oil pool. China will concentrate on the Ahdab field near Kut, also in oil-rich southern Iraq.

On 03 September 1996 a US missile attack hit surface-to-air missile sites and radar installations near the Tallil air base in southwestern Iraq, the Euphrates River city of Nasiriyah, al-Iskandariyah and al-Kut.

In July 1997, the Iranian armed opposition Mujahedin-e-Khalq [MEK] announced that Iranian agents attacked their military training camp in Kut, Iraq, with ten mini-katyusha rockets.

On 29 September 1997 eight Iranian warplanes raided targets inside Iraqi territory in Daiyla and Kut provinces. Several buildings at a base near Kut, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, sustained some damage. Iranian attacks were believed to be directed at bases in Iraq that belong to an Iranian opposition group, The Mujahedeen Khalq, or People's Warriors. the attacks were simultaneous, with five Phantom fighter-bombers striking a base near the city of Kut, 105 miles southeast of Baghdad, and four jets hitting a base near the town of Jalula (130 km northeast of Baghdad)

On 11 April 1999 US Navy F/A-18 "Hornets" struck two Iraqi Surface-to-Air Missile sites about 100 miles south of Baghdad near Al Kut and Ad Diwaniyah. The strikes were in response to illumination of coalition aircraft by targeting radar and a subsequent surface-to-air missile attack on coalition aircraft in the Southern no-fly-zone on 10 April, and in response to anti-aircraft-artillery fire on 11 April 1999.

On 16 June 1999 US Navy F/A-18 "Hornet" and British Royal Air Force GR-1 "Tornado" aircraft enforcing the Southern No-Fly Zone used precision guided munitions to strike three Iraqi military targets in Southern Iraq. In response to Iraqi Anti-Aircraft Artillery fire directed at aircraft patrolling the Southern No-Fly Zone earlier today, Coalition aircraft struck an Iraqi Surface-to-Air Missile site approximately 130 miles southeast of Baghdad near Al Kut Al Hay, and two Iraqi military radar sites approximately 170 and 150 miles southeast of Baghdad in the vicinity of Al Amarah and As Samawah.

On 24 June 1999 U.S. Navy F-14s and F/A-18s, U.S. Air Force F-16s, and British Royal Air Force GR-1s patrolling the Southern No-Fly Zone used precision guided munitions to strike five military targets in Southern Iraq. In response to Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery fire, Coalition aircraft struck four military communications sites approximately 170 miles southeast of Baghdad near Ash Shatrah, and a surface-to-air missile (SAM) site in the vicinity of Kut Al Hayy, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad.

On October 16, 1999 six US Air Force F-16 "Falcons" and two U.S. Navy F/A-18 "Hornets" enforcing the Southern No-Fly Zone used a variety of precision-guided weapons to strike a surface-to-air missile battery near Al Kut. The strikes came in response to the recent Iraqi movement of the SAM battery into a position threatening coalition aircraft. The Iraqis' movement of the SAM battery and associated radar system constituted a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and international demarches.

On July 28, 1999, coalition aircraft struck three Iraqi military communication sites and one Iraqi military radar site. The strikes were conducted near the towns of Al Jarrah, Al Kut, and Al Numinayah. The strikes came in response to numerous, recent incidents of Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery fire directed at coalition aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone, as well as several Iraqi aircraft violations of the no-fly-zone.

On 16 August 1999 U.S. Navy F/A-18 "Hornet" and F-14 "Tomcat" aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone used precision guided munitions to strike an Iraqi surface-to-air missile and radar site near Al Kut, approximately 100 miles southeast of Baghdad.

On 17 August 1999 U.S. Air Force F-16 "Fighting Falcon," U.S. Navy F/A-18 "Hornet" and F-14 "Tomcat" and British GR-1 "Tornado" aircraft enforcing the Southern No-Fly Zone used precision guided munitions to strike four Iraqi military radar sites and a surface-to-air missile site in southern Iraq. Coalition aircraft struck two military radar sites and a surface-to-air missile site in Al Kut, a military radar site near Jassan, and a military radar site in the vicinity of Ali Al Gharbi.

On 27 September 1999 U.S. Air Force F-16 "Falcons," U.S. Navy F/A-18 "Hornets" and F-14 "Tomcats," and British Royal Air Force GR-1 "Tornadoes" enforcing the Southern No-Fly Zone used precision guided munitions to strike Iraqi military communications sites near the cities of Al Amarah and Al Kut and a radar site in the vicinity of Tallil.

On 11 October 1999 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 "Hornet" and British Royal Air Force GR-1 "Tornado" aircraft enforcing the Southern No-Fly Zone used precision guided munitions to strike three Iraqi military radar sites and an Iraqi military communications site near Al Kut and An Nasiriyah.

On 16 October 1999 six U.S. Air Force F-16 "Falcons" and two U.S. Navy F/A-18 "Hornets" enforcing the Southern No-Fly Zone used a variety of precision-guided weapons to strike a surface-to-air missile battery near Al Kut. The strikes came in response to the recent Iraqi movement of the SAM battery into a position threatening coalition aircraft.

On 10 January 2000 US Central Command said American planes struck three Iraqi radar sites and two anti-aircraft gun sites at Samawa, Kut, and Amara in southern Iraq.

On 19 April 2001 Iran attacked a number of Mujahedin-e-Khalq [MEK] facilities in Iraq, including Camp Ashraf, north of Baghdad, Camp Anzali in Jalawla, Camp Faezeh in Kut, Camp Habib in Basra, Camp Homayoun in Al-Amarah and Camp Bonyad Alavi in Mansourieh. A Revolutionary Guards commander said the missile attack against bases of the opposition People's Mojahedin Organization in Iraq was a "warning" to the heavily armed group to cease its attacks in Iran. As many as 77 surface-to- surface Scud missiles were fired by Iran at seven Mojahedin camps and Iraqi cities of Jalawla, Khalis, Meqdadieh, Kut, Al-Amarah and Basra. As many as 27 missiles hit Basra, one hit Al-Amarah, seven hit Kut, 13 hit Khalis, five hit Meqdadieh and 24 hit Jalawla.





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