GULF WAR 2: STEALTH BOMBERS IN PRECISION ATTACK ON BAGHDAD: STRIKE AT SADDAM; 40 Cruise Missiles Fired in Bid to Kill Iraqi Leader after Intelligence Tip-Off

The Mirror (London, England), March 20, 2003 | Go to article overview

GULF WAR 2: STEALTH BOMBERS IN PRECISION ATTACK ON BAGHDAD: STRIKE AT SADDAM; 40 Cruise Missiles Fired in Bid to Kill Iraqi Leader after Intelligence Tip-Off


Byline: RICHARD WALLACE in Washington and BOB ROBERTS at US Central Command, Qatar

FORTY Cruise missiles pounded Baghdad just before dawn today as America launched a surprise attack in an attempt to wipe out Saddam Hussein.

Jets roared over the city as air raid sirens blared and yellow and white anti-aircraft tracers raked the sky.

One explosion raised a huge fireball in the south of the city.

The same target appeared to have been hit three or four times.

The terrifying attack was later described by Pentagon sources as a "decapitation attempt to take out the Iraqi leadership."

It had been deliberately targeted on Saddam after a tip-off from CIA intelligence sources.

One official said: "If he is dead it will save an awful lot of bloodshed."

It is believed the decision to carry out the surgical strike was taken after a four-hour meeting just 40 minutes before the deadline for war expired.

The Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from ships in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.

They have a range of 700 miles and are designed to pierce command bunkers and heavily protected military HQs.

Moments after the attack, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters in Washington: "The opening stages of the disarmament of the Iraqi regime have begun."

And President Bush went on TV to announce the biggest pre-emptive strike in American history.

The action began 90 minutes after the deadline for Saddam to leave Iraq had passed.

And it came so suddenly that even British military chiefs were taken by surprise.

A British spokesman at the central command post Camp As Sayliyah admitted: "We were not expecting it."

Within hours, there were unconfirmed reports that two Iraqi divisions, the 11th and 51st, were preparing to surrender.

It was also claimed hundreds of soldiers had heeded warnings from American leafleting campaigns to park their cars in military bases and take cover inside.

More than 250,000 British and US troops backed by 1,000 warplanes were already in attack position when the first missiles were fired.

At Central Command in the Qatari desert US and UK forces were on full alert as American F18 warplanes patrolled overhead.

US Commander General Tommy Franks and his UK equivalent Air Marshal Brian Burridge were in their control room studying satellite images and reconnaissance photos.

But a senior military source said it may be some time before a full-scale conflict began.

"There will be some people who will be getting over-excited," he added. But we will remain calm."

British commanders are expecting a series of precision strikes at specific targets before any massive aerial bombardment. Former US Secretary of defence William Cohen said that there were indications that there were traitors in Saddam's camp, tipping off the allies about his movements.

"That would be very worrying for him," he said.

As expected, Saddam and his sons Uday and Qusay defied the ultimatum to quit the country by 4am local time (0100 GMT) despite a last-minute offer of asylum from Bahrain.

Mr Bush was given the news as he dined with wife Laura.

Earlier, he signed off battle orders leaving it up to US commanders when to launch the second Gulf War in 12 years.

Tony Blair was told of the American plans to bring forward the start of the war by launching the missile strike. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

GULF WAR 2: STEALTH BOMBERS IN PRECISION ATTACK ON BAGHDAD: STRIKE AT SADDAM; 40 Cruise Missiles Fired in Bid to Kill Iraqi Leader after Intelligence Tip-Off
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.