Iraq: August 25, 1999



The US has withdrawn its Patriot missiles from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey at the request of the Turkish government. Under an agreement with Ankara, the US will rush the missiles back to the base if there is a renewed threat of Iraqi missile attack. --Stephen V Cole

August 25; The Saudi Arabian Army currently consists of 75,000 troops with three Armored Brigades, five Mechanized Brigades, an Airborne Brigade, and the equivalent of an Aviation Brigade. The Saudis want to expand this force to 15 heavy and 3 airmobile brigades, with 90,000 troops. These will, for the first time, be organized into divisions. Backbone of the force will be 765 modern tanks. However, only 315 have been bought (all M1A2s) and most of those are in storage as there are not enough trained crews. The Saudis have a vast country with a small population, and military service is not highly regarded as a way to make a living. (Until 1987, two entire brigades of the Saudi Army were manned by Pakistanis and one by Moroccans.) --Stephen V Cole

August 23; U.S. warplanes bombed a radar site in northern Iraq.

August 19; Iraqi's improve SA-2: The Iraqi's have been firing an enhanced range version of the SA-2 Guideline missile at Allied fighters enforcing the no-fly zone. The missiles have been seen to be fired at ranges longer than the Iraqi guidance radars can cover. The increase in range is small and the missiles aren't considered to significantly enhance the threat. While the SA-2 is a very old system, having been a key threat during the Vietnam war, the extra range may have been an attempt to catch Allied planes by surprise. --Tom Trinko




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