Liberation of Kuwait campaign
The Liberation of Kuwait was a U. S.-led military operation to retake Kuwait from Iraq after the massive air campaign, between 24–28 February 1991. U. S. troops and the Coalition entered to find the Iraqis surrendering en masse. The majority of the fighting took place in Iraq, rather than Kuwait; the operation is part of what is known as the Gulf War. A force composed of 40 amphibious assault ships was stationed off the coast of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, it was the largest such force. Days before the attack, an amphibious force made repeated feint attacks and landings at Kuwait City, attempting to fool the Iraqis into thinking the Coalition would attack via amphibious assault. Instead, the troops were to enter by the southern border of Kuwait; the Coalition forces based there soon became accustomed to the constant Scud missile threats, chemical missile threats, near-constant shelling by Iraqi artillery. When the first troops began the assault, they were warned that casualties could be as many as one in three.
At 4 a.m. on 24 February, after being shelled for months and under the constant threat of a gas attack, the U. S. 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions crossed into Kuwait. They maneuvered around vast systems of barbed wire and trenches. Once into Kuwait, they headed towards Kuwait City; the troops themselves encountered little resistance and, apart from several minor tank battles, were met by surrendering soldiers. The general pattern was that Coalition troops would encounter Iraqi soldiers who would put up a brief fight before deciding to surrender. On 27 February, Saddam Hussein issued a retreat order to his troops in Kuwait; when the U. S. Marines arrived at Kuwait International Airport, they encountered fierce resistance, it took them several hours to gain control and secure the airport; as part of the retreat order, the Iraqis carried out a "scorched earth" policy that included setting hundreds of oil wells on fire in an effort to destroy the Kuwaiti economy. After the battle at Kuwait International Airport, the U.
S. Marines stopped at the outskirts of Kuwait City, allowing their Coalition allies to take and occupy Kuwait City ending combat operations in the Kuwaiti theater of the war. After four days of fighting, all Iraqi troops were expelled from Kuwait, ending a nearly seven-month occupation of Kuwait by Iraq. A little over 1,100 casualties were suffered by the Coalition. Estimates of Iraqi casualties range from 30,000 to 150,000. Iraq lost thousands of vehicles, while the advancing Coalition lost few. Liberation of Kuwait Bibliography of the Desert Shield and Desert Storm compiled by the United States Army Center of Military History
Draining of the Mesopotamian Marshes
The draining of the Mesopotamian Marshes occurred in Iraq and to a smaller degree in Iran between the 1950s and 1990s to clear large areas of the marshes in the Tigris-Euphrates river system. Covering an area of around 20,000 km2, the main sub-marshes, the Hawizeh and Hammar marshes and all three were drained at different times for different reasons; the draining of the marshes was undertaken for political ends, namely to force the Ma'dan people, or Marsh Arabs, out of the area through water diversion tactics and to punish them for their role in the 1991 uprising against Saddam Hussein's government. However, the government's stated reasoning was to reclaim land for agriculture and exterminate a breeding ground for mosquitoes; the displacement of more than 200,000 of the Ma'dan and the associated state-sponsored campaign of violence against them has led the United States and others to describe the draining of the marshes as genocide or ethnic cleansing. The draining of the Mesopotamian Marshes has been described by the United Nations as a "tragic human and environmental catastrophe" on par with the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest and by other observers as one of the worst environmental disasters of the 20th century.
Since the time of the Sumer, agriculture in Mesopotamia involved major melioration, including drainage and building of irrigation canals. After the collapse of the Mesopotamian civilization and the Arab conquest the territory was derelict, which resulted in the restoration of the original wetland conditions; the wetlands were populated by the Marsh Arabs, or Ma'dan, who grew rice and grazed buffalo on the natural vegetation. At times, the marshes have served as a refuge for escaped slaves and serfs, such as during the Zanj Rebellion; the British colonial administrators were the first to attempt to drain the marshes, motivated by their role as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and lack of apparent economic value, as well as the potential use of the water for irrigation. Prepared in 1951, The Haigh Report outlined a series of sluices and canals on the lower ends of the Tigris and Euphrates that would drain water for agriculture; these notably included the Main Outfall Drain, a large canal referred to as the Third River, the Nasiriyah Drainage Pump Station.
Neither were completed under British rule: they were revived by the Ba'athist government. During the 1970s, the expansion of irrigation projects had begun to disrupt the flow of water to the marshes. Part of the Hammar Marsh was drained in 1985 during efforts to prepare the area for oil exploration. By the mid 1980s, the marshes had become a refuge for elements persecuted by the Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein, a low-level insurgency had developed against the drainage and resettlement projects, led by Sheik Abdul Kerim Mahud al-Muhammadawi of the Al bu Muhammad under the nom de guerre Abu Hatim. After the First Gulf War, the Iraqi government revived a program to divert the flow of the Tigris River and the Euphrates River away from the marshes; the marshes had served as a base for a Shi’a insurrection against Saddam Hussein's Sunni-led Ba'athist regime, so Hussein drained the marshes to deny their use by insurgents and to punish the Ma'dan for their participation in the uprising. The flow southwards from the distributary streams of the Tigris was blocked by large embankments and discharged into the Al-Amarah or Glory Canal, resulting in the loss of two-thirds of the Central Marshes by as early as 1993.
A further canal, the Prosperity Canal, was constructed to prevent any overflow into the marsh from the main channel of the Tigris as it ran southwards from Qalat Saleh. By the late 1990s, the Central Marsh had become desiccated, suffering the most severe damage of the three main areas of wetland. By 2000, the United Nations Environment Programme estimated that 90% of the marshlands had disappeared; the Central Marshes stretched between Nasiriyah, Al-'Uzair and Al-Qurnah and were fed by the Tigris and its distributaries. They were characterised by tall qasab reeds but included a number of freshwater lakes, of which the largest were the Haur az-Zikri and Umm al-Binni; the marshes support breeding populations of the Basra reed-warbler and marbled teal, along with several other species of non-breeding birds. It was feared that the Levant darter, a subspecies of the African darter, the maxwelli subspecies of the smooth-coated otter had disappeared but small and threatened populations remain of both.
It is feared that the Bunn's short-tailed bandicoot rat, which had only been described from specimens obtained in the Central Marshes, is extinct. A study by the Wetland Ecosystem Research Group at Royal Holloway, University of London concluded that thousands of fish and waterfowl died as the waters receded, that the central Qurnah marshes'essentially no longer exist as an ecosystem'. According to a 2001 United Nations Environmental Programme report, the projects resulted in: The loss of a migration area for birds migrating from Eurasia to Africa, consequent decrease in bird populations in areas such as Ukraine and the Caucasus Probable extinction of several plant and animal species endemic to the Marshes Higher soil salinity in the Marshes and adjacent areas, resulting in loss of dairy production and rice cultivation. Desertification of over 7,500 square miles. Saltwater intrusion and increased flow of pollutants into the Shatt-al-Arab waterway, causing disruption of fisheries in the Persian Gulf
Battle of Khafji
The Battle of Khafji was the first major ground engagement of the Persian Gulf War. It took place in and around the Saudi Arabian city of Khafji, from 29 January to 1 February 1991 and marked the culmination of the Coalition's air campaign over Kuwait and Iraq, which had begun on 17 January 1991. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who had tried and failed to draw Coalition troops into costly ground engagements by shelling Saudi Arabian positions and oil storage tanks and firing Scud surface-to-surface missiles at Israel, ordered the invasion of Saudi Arabia from southern Kuwait; the 1st and 5th Mechanized Divisions and 3rd Armored Division were ordered to conduct a multi-pronged invasion toward Khafji, engaging Saudi Arabian, U. S. forces along the coastline. These three divisions, damaged by Coalition aircraft in the preceding days, attacked on 29 January. Most of their attacks were repulsed by U. S. Marines as well as U. S. Army Rangers and Coalition aircraft, but one of the Iraqi columns occupied Khafji on the night of 29–30 January.
Between 30 January and 1 February, two Saudi Arabian National Guard battalions and two Kuwaiti tank companies attempted to retake control of the city, aided by Coalition aircraft and U. S. artillery. By 1 February, the city had been recaptured at the cost of 43 Coalition servicemen dead and 52 wounded. Iraqi Army fatalities numbered between 60 and 300, while an estimated 400 were captured as prisoners of war. Although the invasion of Khafji was a propaganda victory for the Ba'athist Iraqi regime, it was swiftly recaptured by Saudi Arabian ground forces; the battle serves as a modern demonstration that air power in a supporting role to ground forces can be of great assistance in halting and defeating a major ground operation. On 2 August 1990, the Iraqi Army occupied the neighboring state of Kuwait; the invasion, which followed the inconclusive Iran–Iraq War and three decades of political conflict with Kuwait, offered Saddam Hussein the opportunity to distract political dissent at home and add Kuwait's oil resources to Iraq's own, a boon in a time of declining petroleum prices.
In response, the United Nations began to pass a series of resolutions demanding the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Afraid that Saudi Arabia would be invaded next, the Saudi Arabian government requested immediate military aid; as a result, the United States began marshalling forces from a variety of nations, styled the Coalition, on the Arabian peninsula. Saddam Hussein attempted to deter Coalition military action by threatening Kuwait's and Iraq's petroleum production and export. In December 1990, Iraq experimented with the use of explosives to destroy wellheads in the area of the Ahmadi loading complex, developing their capability to destroy Kuwait's petroleum infrastructure on a large scale. On 16 January, Iraqi artillery destroyed an oil storage tank in Khafji, Saudi Arabia, on 19 January the pumps at the Ahmadi loading complex were opened, pouring crude oil into the Persian Gulf; the oil flowed into the sea at a rate of 200,000 barrels a day, becoming one of the worst ecological disasters to that date.
Despite these Iraqi threats, the Coalition launched a 38-day aerial campaign on 17 January 1991. Flying an estimated 2,000 sorties a day, Coalition aircraft crippled the Iraqi air defense systems and destroyed the Iraqi Air Force, whose daily sortie rate plummeted from a prewar level of an estimated 200 per day to none by 17 January. On the third day of the campaign, many Iraqi pilots fled across the Iranian border in their aircraft rather than be destroyed; the air campaign targeted command-and-control sites, bridges and petroleum storage facilities. Saddam Hussein, believed to have said, "The air force has never decided a war," worried that the air campaign would erode Iraq's national morale; the Iraqi leader believed that the United States would not be willing to lose many troops in action, therefore sought to draw Coalition ground troops into a decisive battle. In an attempt to provoke a ground battle, he directed Iraqi forces to launch Scud missiles against Israel, while continuing to threaten the destruction of oilfields in Kuwait.
These efforts were unsuccessful in provoking a large ground battle, so Saddam Hussein decided to launch a limited offensive into Saudi Arabia with the aim of inflicting heavy losses on the Coalition armies. As the air campaign continued, the Coalition's expectations of an Iraqi offensive decreased; as a result, the United States redeployed the XVIII Airborne Corps and the VII Corps 480 kilometers to the west. The Coalition's leadership believed that should an Iraqi force go on the offensive, it would be launched from the al-Wafra oil fields, in Southern Kuwait; the Iraqi Army had between 350,000 and 500,000 soldiers in theater, organized into 51 divisions, including eight Republican Guard divisions. Republican Guard units received the newest equipment; the Iraqi Army in the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations included nine heavy divisions, composed of professional soldiers, but with weapons of a lesser grade than those issued to the Republican Guard. Most non-Republican Guard armored units had older tank designs the T-55 or its Chinese equivalents, the Type 59 and Type 69.
The remaining 34 divisions were composed of poorly trained conscripts. These divisions were deployed to channel the Coalition's forces through a number of break points along the front, allowing the Iraqi Army's heavy divisions and the Republican Guard units to isolate them and counterattack. However, the Iraqis left their western flank open, failing to account
Australian Active Service Medal
The Australian Active Service Medal is an Australian military decoration. It was authorised on 13 September 1988 to recognise prescribed service in "warlike" operations, backdated to February 1975, it is awarded with a clasp to denote the prescribed operation and subsequent awards of the medal are made in the form of additional clasps. In 2012, it was announced that the medal would no longer be issued for future operations, with the AASM and the Australian Service Medal being replaced by the Australian Operational Service Medal; the AASM is a circular nickel-silver medal ensigned with the Crown of St Edward. The obverse has a Federation Star within a wreath of mimosa and bears a laurel wreath surrounding the inscription'FOR ACTIVE SERVICE'; the medal ribbon is 32 millimetres wide and has a central red stripe to symbolise the danger of warlike operations. It is flanked by stripes of silver-green which in turn are flanked by stripes of light green, dark green and brown; the ribbon bar consists of a strip of full-sized ribbon with no emblem.
The following clasps were authorised for issue with the AASM: 1 day of service with the United Nations Peacekeeping activities in the former Yugoslavia from 12 January 1992 to 24 January 1997. 1 day of service with the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia from 20 October 1991 to 7 October 1993. 1 day of service with the: United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor, Operation Faber, from 16 September 1999 to 23 February 2000. ADF contribution to the International Force for East Timor, Operation Warden, from 16 September 1999 to 10 April 2000. See INTERFET Medal. UN mandated International Force for East Timor, Operation Stabilise, from 16 September 1999 to 23 February 2000. United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, Operation Tanager, from 20 February 2000 to 19 May 2002. United Nations Mission of Support to East Timor, Operation Citadel, from 20 May 2002 to 17 August 2003. 1 day of service as part of the International Coalition Against Terror: with the ADF contribution deployed overseas to the United States-led military response to international terrorism, Operation Slipper, from 11 October 2001 to 5 December 2002, from 1 January 2009 to the present.
In Diego Garcia from 11 October 2001 to 1 August 2002. as part of the ADF Support to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Operation Palate, from 18 April 2003 to 4 July 2004. as part of the ADF Support to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Operation Palate II, from 27 June 2005 to the present. See Afghanistan Medal. 1 day of service in the area comprising Iraq for service as a member of the ADF assigned for service to: Operation Jural with the United Kingdom elements of the coalition force from 30 June 1991 to 12 January 2003. Operation Provide Comfort with the United States elements of the coalition force from 11 August 1991 to 15 December 1996. Operation Bolton with the United Kingdom elements of the coalition force from 31 August 1992 to 12 January 2003. Operation Southern Watch with the United States elements of the coalition force from 31 August 1992 to 12 January 2003. Operation Northern Watch with the United States elements of the coalition force from 1 January 1997 to 12 January 2003.
1 day of service in the Middle East Area as part of the: ADF contribution deployed overseas to the United States-led military coalition operations to remove the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, Operation Falconer, from 18 March 2003 to 22 July 2003. ADF participation in United States-led coalition in Iraq, to support the effort to assist with the rehabilitation of Iraq, to remove the threat posed to world security by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability, Operation Catalyst, from 16 July 2003 to 31 July 2009. ADF participation to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Operation Riverbank, from 21 July 2008. ADF participation to the provision of security in Iraq, Operation Kruger, from 1 January 2009. See Iraq Medal. Service with the multinational deployment in the Persian Gulf from 17 January 1991 to 28 February 1991. Service on HMAS Canberra during Operation Damask VI from 13–19 January 1993. Service of 1 or more days with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation in southern Lebanon from 12 July 2006 to 14 August 2006.
30 days of service with the United Nations Transitional Assistance Group from 18 February 1989 to 10 April 1990. 1 day of service with the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda, Operation Tamar, from 25 July 1994 to 8 March 1996. Service of 1 or more days with the International Military Advisory and Training Team or attached to British forces involved in Operation Husky from 15 January 2001 to 28 February 2003. 1 day of service with the: Battalion Group for Operation Solace as a part of UNOSOM I from 10 January 1993 to 21 May 1993. Naval Component for Operation Solace from 10 January 1993 to 21 May 1993. Land components of the United Nations Operation in Somalia II from 1 May 1993 to 28 March 1995. Air components of the United Nations Operation in Somalia II from 1 May 1993 to 28 March 1995. 1 day of service associated with RAAF activities with Transport Support Flight Butterworth or HQ Richmond Detachment'S' to UNICEF, from 29 March 1975 to 28 April 1975. Recipients of the Australian Active Service Medal are entitled to the issue of the Returned from Active Service Badge.
The RASB is the only campaign service badge awarded post-World War II. It is worn on the left lapel and only in civilian attire, to reflect that the recipient has been involved in warlike service; the brass badge has a serial number with a prefi
Highway of Death
The Highway of Death is a six-lane highway between Kuwait and Iraq known as Highway 80. It runs from Kuwait City to the border town of Safwan in Iraq and on to the Iraqi city of Basra; the road had been used by Iraqi armored divisions for the 1990 Invasion of Kuwait. The road was repaired after the Persian Gulf War and used by U. S. and British forces in the initial stages of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. During the American led coalition offensive in the Persian Gulf War, Canadian and French aircraft and ground forces attacked retreating Iraqi military personnel attempting to leave Kuwait on the night of February 26–27, 1991, resulting in the destruction of hundreds of vehicles and the deaths of many of their occupants. Between 1,400 and 2,000 vehicles were abandoned on the main Highway 80 north of Al Jahra; the scenes of devastation on the road are some of the most recognizable images of the war, it has been suggested that they were a factor in President George H. W. Bush's decision to declare a cessation of hostilities the next day.
Many Iraqi forces, however escaped across the Euphrates river, the U. S. Defense Intelligence Agency estimated that upwards of 70,000 to 80,000 troops from defeated divisions in Kuwait might have fled into Basra, evading capture; the attack began when A-6 Intruder attack jets of the United States Marine Corps' 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing blocked the head and tail of the column on Highway 80, bombarding a massive vehicle column of Iraqi Regular Army forces with Mk-20 Rockeye II cluster bombs boxing in the Iraqi forces in an enormous traffic jam as the turkey shoot began in earnest, setting up targets for subsequent airstrikes. Over the next 10 hours, scores of U. S. Marine and U. S. Air Force aircraft and U. S. Navy pilots from USS Ranger attacked the convoy using a variety of weapons. Vehicles surviving the air attacks were engaged by arriving coalition ground units, while most of the vehicles that managed to evade the traffic jam and continued to drive on the road north were targeted individually.
The road bottle-neck near the Mutla Ridge police station was reduced to a long uninterrupted line of more than 300 stuck and abandoned vehicles sometimes called the Mile of Death. The wreckage found on the highway consisted of at least 28 tanks and other armored vehicles with many more commandeered civilian cars and buses filled with stolen Kuwaiti property; the death toll from the attack remains unknown. British journalist Robert Fisk said he "lost count of the Iraqi corpses crammed into the smoldering wreckage or slumped face down in the sand" at the main site and saw hundreds of corpses strewn up the road all the way to the Iraqi border. American journalist Bob Drogin reported seeing "scores" of dead soldiers "in and around the vehicles and bloated in the drifting desert sands." A 2003 study by the Project on Defense Alternatives estimated fewer than 10,000 people rode in the cut-off main caravan. According to PDA, the repeated low estimate of the numbers killed in the attack is 200–300 reported by journalist Michael Kelly, but a minimum death toll of at least 500–600 seems more plausible.
In 1993, The Washington Post interviewed an Iraqi survivor of the attacks: There were hundreds of cars destroyed, soldiers screaming. It was nighttime as the bombs fell, lighting up charred cars, bodies on the side of the road and soldiers sprawled on the ground, hit by cluster bombs as they tried to escape from their vehicles. I saw hundreds of soldiers like this. We arrived on foot. Iraqi forces including the elite Iraqi Republican Guard's 1st Armored Division Hammurabi were trying to either redeploy or escape on and near Highway 8, the continuation of Highway 80 in Iraq, they were engaged over a much larger area in smaller groups by U. S. artillery units and a battalion of AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships operating under the command of General Barry McCaffrey. Hundreds of predominantly military Iraqi vehicles grouped in defensive formations of a dozen vehicles were systematically destroyed along a 50-mile stretch of the highway and nearby desert. PDA estimated the number killed there to be in the range of 300–400 or more, bringing the total number of fatalities along both highways to at least 800 or 1,000.
A large column composed of remnants of the Hammurabi Division attempting to withdraw to safety in Baghdad were engaged and obliterated deep inside Iraqi territory by Gen. McCaffrey's forces a few days on March 2, in a post-war "turkey shoot"-style incident known as Battle of Rumaila; the attacks became controversial, with some commentators arguing that they represented disproportionate use of force, saying that the Iraqi forces were retreating from Kuwait in compliance with the original UN Resolution 660 of August 2, 1990, that the column included Kuwaiti hostages and civilian refugees. The refugees were reported to have included women and children family members of pro-Iraqi, PLO-aligned Palestinian militants and Kuwaiti collaborators who had fled shortly before the returning Kuwaiti authorities pressured nearly 200,000 Palestinians to leave Kuwait. Activist and former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark argued that these attacks violated the Third Geneva Convention, Common Article 3, which outlaws the killing of soldiers who "are out of combat."
Clark included it in his 1991 report WAR CRIMES: A Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq to the Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal. Ad
Ba'athist Iraq, formally the Iraqi Republic, covers the history of Iraq between 1968 and 2003, during the period of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party's rule. This period began with high economic growth and soaring prosperity, but ended with Iraq facing social and economic stagnation; the average annual income decreased because of several external factors, several internal policies of the government. Iraqi President Abdul Rahman Arif, Iraqi Prime Minister Tahir Yahya, were ousted during the 17 July coup d'état led by Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr of the Ba'ath Party, which had held power in 1963 and was led by al-Bakr, its leader, Saddam Hussein. Saddam through his post as de facto chief of the party's intelligence services, became the country's de facto leader by the mid-1970s, became de jure leader in 1979 when he succeeded al-Bakr in office as President. During al-Bakr's de jure rule, the country's economy grew, Iraq's standing within the Arab world increased. However, several internal factors were threatening the country's stability, among them the country's conflict with Iran and factions within Iraq's own Shia Muslim community.
An external problem was the border conflict with Iran. Saddam became the President of Iraq, Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, Prime Minister and General Secretary of the Regional Command of the Ba'ath Party in 1979, during a wave of anti-government protests in Iraq led by Shias; the Ba'ath Party, secular in nature, harshly repressed the protests. Another policy change was Iraq's foreign policy towards a Shia Muslim country. Deteriorating relations led to the Iran–Iraq War, which started in 1980 when Iraq launched a full-scale invasion of Iran. Following the 1979 Iranian revolution, the Iraqis believed the Iranians to be weak, thus an easy target for their military; this notion proved to be incorrect, the war lasted for eight years. Iraq's economy deteriorated during the war, the country became dependent on foreign donations to fund their war effort; the war ended in a stalemate when a ceasefire was reached in 1988, which resulted in a status quo ante bellum. When the war ended, Iraq found itself in the midst of an economic depression, owed millions of dollars to foreign countries, was unable to repay its creditors.
Kuwait, which had deliberately increased oil output following the war, reducing international oil prices, further weakened the Iraqi economy. In response to this, Saddam threatened Kuwait that, unless it reduced its oil output, Iraq would invade. Negotiations broke down, on 2 August 1990, Iraq launched an invasion of Kuwait; the resulting international response led to the Persian Gulf War. The United Nations initiated economic sanctions in the war's aftermath to weaken the Ba'athist Iraqi regime; the country's economic conditions worsened during the 1990s, at the turn of the 21st century, Iraq's economy started to grow again as several states ignored the UN's sanctions. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks of 2001, the United States initiated a Global War on Terrorism, labelled Iraq as a part of an "Axis of Evil". In 2003, U. S. and coalition forces invaded Iraq, the Ba'athist Iraqi regime was deposed less than a month later. In contrast to previous coups d'état in Iraq's history, the 1968 coup, referred to as the 17 July Revolution, according to Con Coughlin, "a civil affair".
The coup started in the early hours of 17 July, when a number of military units and civilian ba'athists seized several key government and military buildings. All telephone lines were cut at 03:00, by which time several tanks had been commanded to halt in front of the Presidential Palace. Abdul Rahman Arif, the then-President of Iraq, first knew of the coup when jubilant members of the Republican Guard started shooting into the air in "a premature triumph". Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, the leader of the operation, told Arif about his situation through military communication hardware at the base of operations. Arif asked for more time; as he soon found out, the odds were against him, he surrendered. Arif told him that he was willing to resign. Al-Bakr's deputies, Hardan al-Tikriti and Saleh Omar al-Ali, were ordered to give Arif this message in person. Arif and his wife and son were sent on the first available flight to London, UK; that morning, a ba'athist broadcast announced that a new government had been established.
The coup was carried out with such ease. The coup succeeded because of contributions made by the military; the Ba'ath Party managed to make a deal with Abd ar-Razzaq an-Naif, the deputy head of military intelligence, Ibrahim Daud, the head of the Republican Guard. Both Naif and Daud knew that the long-term survival of Arif's and Tahir Yahya's government looked bleak, but knew that the ba'athists needed them if the coup was to be successful. For his participation in the coup, Naif demanded to be given the post of Prime Minister after the coup as a reward, a symbol for his strength. Daud was "rewarded" with a post. However, not everything was going according to Daud's plan.
Operation Southern Watch
Operation Southern Watch was an air-centric military operation conducted by the United States Department of Defense from Summer 1992 to Spring 2003. United States Central Command's Joint Task Force Southwest Asia had the mission of monitoring and controlling the airspace south of the 32nd Parallel in southern and south-central Iraq during the period following the end of the 1991 Gulf War until the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Operation Southern Watch began on 27 August 1992 with the stated purpose of ensuring Iraqi compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 of 5 April 1991, which demanded that Iraq, "...immediately end this repression and express the hope in the same context that an open dialogue will take place to ensure that the human and political rights of all Iraqi citizens are respected." Nothing in the resolution spelled out Operation Southern Watch. Following the end of Operation Desert Storm, Iraqi bombing and strafing attacks against the Shi’ite Muslims in Southern Iraq during the remainder of 1991 and into 1992 indicated that Saddam Hussein chose not to comply with the resolution.
Military forces from Saudi Arabia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France participated in Operation Southern Watch. The commander of JTF-SWA, an aeronautically rated United States Air Force Major General, assisted by an aeronautically designated United States Navy Rear Admiral, reported directly to the Commander, United States Central Command. Military engagements in Southern Watch occurred with regularity, with Coalition aircraft being shot at by Iraqi air defense forces utilizing surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery, although such incidents were only reported in the Western press occasionally. An intensification was noted prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, though it was said at the time to just be in response to increasing activity by Iraqi air-defense forces, it is now known that this increased activity occurred during an operation known as Operation Southern Focus. At first, Iraqi forces did not attack Coalition aircraft. However, after the United Nations voted to maintain sanctions against Iraq, Iraqi forces began to fire on the aircraft and American E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft reported an unusual amount of Iraqi Air Force activity.
On 27 December 1992, a lone Iraqi MiG-25 Foxbat crossed into the no-fly zone and flew towards a flight of USAF F-15 Eagles before turning north and using its superior speed to outrun the pursuing Eagles. In the day, several Iraqi fighters dodged back and forth across the 32nd parallel, staying out of missile range of American fighters. However, an Iraqi MiG-25 crossed too far and was trapped inside the 32nd parallel by a flight of USAF F-16 Falcons of the 33rd Fighter Squadron. After intelligence verified the aircraft was hostile, the fighter pilot received clearance to fire; the lead plane piloted by then-Lieutenant Colonel Gary North, USAF, fired a missile which destroyed the Iraqi fighter. This was the first combat kill by an F-16 in USAF service, the first combat kill using the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. On 17 January 1993, a USAF F-16C destroyed an Iraqi MiG-23 Flogger with an AMRAAM missile for the second USAF aerial victory. On 7 January 1993, Iraq agreed to American and French demands to withdraw their surface-to-air missiles from below the 32nd parallel.
However, they did not remove all of them, U. S. President George H. W. Bush ordered U. S. aircraft to bomb the remaining missile sites. On 13 January, more than 100 American and French aircraft attacked Iraqi missile sites near Nasiriyah, Najaf, Al-Amarah. Around half the Iraqi sites south of the 32nd parallel were hit. On 29 June, a USAF F-4G Phantom II destroyed an Iraqi radar which had illuminated it, a month two U. S. Navy EA-6B Prowlers fired AGM-88 HARM missiles at more Iraqi radars; the first nine months of 1994 were quiet, the USAF began to withdraw forces from the region. In October, Saddam deployed two divisions of Iraqi Republican Guard troops to the Kuwaiti border after demanding that UN sanctions were to be lifted, precipitating Operation Vigilant Warrior, the rushing of American troops to the Persian Gulf region. Saddam withdrew the Iraqi Republican Guard out of the Kuwati border due to massive American military buildup; this served to increase Coalition contain Iraqi aggression. On 25 June 1996, terrorists bombed the U.
S. base at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia which housed personnel at King Abdulaziz Air Base supporting Operation Southern Watch. The attack injured an additional 372 people; this event led to a re-alignment of American forces in Saudi Arabia from Khobar Towers to Prince Sultan Air Base and Eskan Village, with both installations located away from population centers. In August 1996, Iraqi forces invaded the Kurdish regions of northern Iraq and American forces responded with Operation Desert Strike against targets in southern Iraq; as a result, the no-fly zone was extended north to the 33rd parallel. This marked renewed conflict with Iraqi air defenses and several more radars were destroyed by F-16 fighters. On 15 December 1998, France suspended participation in the no-fly zones, arguing that they had been maintained for too long and were ineffective. On 16 December, U. S. President Bill Clinton ordered execution of Operation Desert Fox, a four-day air campaign against targets all over Iraq, citing Iraq's failure to comply with UNSC Resolutions.
This resulted in an increased level of combat in the no-fly zones which lasted until 2003. On 30 December 1998, Iraqi SA-6 missile sites fired 6 to 8 surface-to-air missiles at American military aircraft. USAF F-16s responded