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Old November 18th, 2012, 11:18 PM   #1

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Iraqi bombing of Israel, 1991


Few days ago I was reading an article about how Hamas developed their rocket range and how they hit Tel Aviv. From that article I also learned that last time Tel Aviv got bombed was 21 years ago by Saddam Hussein.

What do you guys think about this? What was Saddam's relationship with Israel and why did Saddam bombed Tel Aviv? What was reaction of Israel?
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Old November 18th, 2012, 11:33 PM   #2

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He bombed Israel in a vague attmept to get them to declare war on him, in the hope that an Israeli DOW on Iraq would be enough for the other Arab countries to forget about their coalition against him for invading Kuwait and turn their attention towards Israel.

It was only the Dipolmatic efforts of George Bush and the shipment of Scuds to Israel that prevented an Israeli DoW.

I need a source for this but I remember being told that Israel could pick up to 100 targets in Iraq for the Americans to bomb in return for them not to DoW on Iraq. Hence why several bridges in the West of Iraq were destroyed when they would've been of no strategic value to an invasion force coming from the South.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 12:07 AM   #3

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They didn't supply Israel with Scuds, they were given the patriot missile system.
I think the press and bigwigs of the time said it was a missile shield type defence, I read here and there later on that the patriot missiles didn't score a single hit against the Scuds.

Last edited by pablo668; November 19th, 2012 at 01:16 AM.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 12:43 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo668 View Post
The didn't supply Israel with Scuds, they were given the patriot missile system.
I think the press and bigwigs of the time said it was a missile shield type defence, I read here and there later on that the patriot missiles didn't score a single hit against the Scuds.
Dammit I feel stupid, yes of course they did. The Scuds were coming from Iraq. Wether or not the Patriot missiles worked didn't matter they provided a physcological boost tothe Israelis and made them feel that they were capable of defending themselves with out a DoW on Iraq.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 12:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawnmowerman View Post
Dammit I feel stupid, yes of course they did. The Scuds were coming from Iraq. Wether or not the Patriot missiles worked didn't matter they provided a physcological boost tothe Israelis and made them feel that they were capable of defending themselves with out a DoW on Iraq.
I agree with you, They did.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 01:04 AM   #6

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As said Saddam wanted to involve in some way Israel in a regional conflict to generate troubles to the Arab passive and active support to the coalition.

I would say it was a typical example of the "mess strategy", but with very little possibilities to succeed.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 01:17 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawnmowerman View Post
Dammit I feel stupid, yes of course they did. The Scuds were coming from Iraq. Wether or not the Patriot missiles worked didn't matter they provided a physcological boost tothe Israelis and made them feel that they were capable of defending themselves with out a DoW on Iraq.
Don't sweat it, I didn't proof read very well either!
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Old November 19th, 2012, 02:33 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawnmowerman View Post
He bombed Israel in a vague attmept to get them to declare war on him, in the hope that an Israeli DOW on Iraq would be enough for the other Arab countries to forget about their coalition against him for invading Kuwait and turn their attention towards Israel.

It was only the Dipolmatic efforts of George Bush and the shipment of Scuds to Israel that prevented an Israeli DoW.

I need a source for this but I remember being told that Israel could pick up to 100 targets in Iraq for the Americans to bomb in return for them not to DoW on Iraq. Hence why several bridges in the West of Iraq were destroyed when they would've been of no strategic value to an invasion force coming from the South.
A little correction, Iraq fired Scuds over Israel. What US gave to Israel were Patriots

MIM-104 Patriot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old November 19th, 2012, 09:31 AM   #9

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The 1991 SCUD attacks on Israel were an attempt to provoke the IDF into launching airstrikes in retaliation. Jordan had threatened to join Iraq if Israeli planes overflew Jordan airspace.
Most of the SCUDs did not even carry explosive warheads but had concrete as payload. The main targets were Tel Aviv and the nuclear facility at Dimona near Beersheva. One SCUD fell inside the (huge) perimiter of the nuke base but had a concrete warhead and a couple fell in or near TA, a block of apartments was hit with a couple of fatalities IIRC. Most fell in the desert or in agricultural land on the central plain. I was there at the time and can say for certain that the Israelis didn't give a damn about the SCUDS, everyone had gasmasks and access to shelters and once the threat of chemical warfare was seen as a bluff the missiles were treated with outright derision.

The Patriot missile defense system was a bit of a dud too. The Jerusalem post initially claimed that all SCUDS were destroyed. The next day they said 80%, then 60% and it reduced on a daily basis after that. I don't know the final figures but none of the patriots that I saw launched (4-5) connected with their targets.
The Israelis blamed the patriot system, saying it was inaccurate. The US blamed the Israeli missile crews, saying they did not follow procedure and took shortcuts in the targeting process.

The real danger, at least from the Israeli viewpoint was the threat of land attack from Jordan, Lebanon etc.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 10:40 AM   #10

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Although Geo Bush the First claimed while visting the Raytheon factory during the First Gulf War that the Patriot missile had a 99% success rate ("42 scuds fired, 41 hits"), the Patriot was a complete and utter dud and it downed not a single missile. Many Scuds broke up in mid-air for one of two reasons, they were shoddily build and instead of explosive warheads some carried concrete as a crude attempt to penetrate hardened targets--like the Diamona nuclear facility and every miss or break-up was claimed as a Patriot "success". Actually 43 were fired an one that Bush didn't claim hit a barracks in Dahan and killed twenty-eight members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, the other landed in a populated area of Israel (after breaking up in mid air) and killed one Israeli.
One of the reasons for its failure involved schoolboy physics. The Patriot relied on satellite and AWACS detection of long range missile launches with data being sent to the Patriot battery via satellite link. As anyone who has a GPS knows, time travels slower in orbit compared to the Earth's surface, the adjustments that are made automatically in your car sat-nav were not considered by the Mighty Pentagon, Raytheon, Hughes Aerospace or RCA and the clocks on the Patriot Batteries quickly went out of sync with the clocks on the early warning systems resulting in the missiles aiming for where the incoming target WAS a few second before. Aerospace engineers knew of this problem before the Gulf War but were told to shut up while Raytheon took new orders for the systems.
This problem was probably solved by 2003 in time for the second Gulf War, however, the system only encountered short range missiles. It was however highly effective in shooting down friendly aircraft including an RAF Tornado and a USN F/A18 killing the crews and continuing the US Army's long tradition of shooting at their friends.
A Patriot battery locked onto a USAF F-16, but the clever pilot shot back and destroyed the Patriot battery after which the US Army stopped shooting at friends and allies.
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