October 15, 1999 (by Lieven Dewitte) - U.S. warplanes attacked a surface-to-air missile battery in Iraq's southern no-fly zone Saturday after it was moved into a position that threatened American and British aircraft.
Six Air Force F-16 Falcons and two Navy F/A-18 Hornets used a variety of precision-guided weapons to strike the SAM
battery southeast of Baghdad near Al Kut at about 7:30 a. m. EDT, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.
The Central Command, which oversees operations in the no-fly zone in southern Iraq, said the planes returned safely to their bases in southwest Asia and to the carrier USS Constellation. It said the Iraqi's movement of the battery and an associated radar system violates United Nations Security Council resolutions. The SAM battery was targeted to further degrade Iraq's ability to jeopardize coalition pilots and aircraft enforcing United Nations mandates, " the Central Command said.
U.S. and British planes patrol two no-fly zones over Iraq's north and south. The zones were imposed by the western countries after the 1991 Gulf War to protect opponents of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Baghdad does not recognize the no-fly zones.