OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM

INVASION
Invasion

Prior to invasion, US-led Coalition forces involved in the 1991 Persian Gulf War
had been engaged in a low-level conflict with Iraq, enforcing Iraqi no-fly zones.
Iraqi air-defense installations were engaged on a fairly regular basis after
repeatedly targeting and firing upon US and UK air patrols. In mid-2002, the US
began to change its response strategy, more carefully selecting targets in the
southern part of the country in order to disrupt the military command structure
in Iraq. A change in enforcement tactics was acknowledged at the time, but it
was not made public that this was part of a plan known as Operation Southern
Focus.

The tonnage of US bombs dropped increased from 0 in March 2002 and 0.3 in
April 2002 to between 7 and 14 tons per month in May-August, reaching a
pre-war peak of 54.6 tons in September - prior to Congress' 11 October
authorization of the invasion. The September attacks included a 5 September
100-aircraft attack on the main air defense site in western Iraq. According to an
editorial in The New Statesman this was "Located at the furthest extreme of the
southern no-fly zone, far away from the areas that needed to be patrolled to
prevent attacks on the Shias, it was destroyed not because it was a threat to
the patrols, but to allow allied special forces operating from Jordan to enter Iraq
undetected."
ALL INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT WAS OBTAINED THROUGH WIKIPEDIA AT www.wikipedia.org