Sun, Mar 30, 2003
Aussies Sting Saddam
Australian F/A-18 Hornet fighter-bombers have
dropped 2,000-pound laser-guided bombs on Iraqi Republican Guard
units on the road to Baghdad. Defence Force personnel Friday said
the fighter aircraft were engaged in defensive and offensive
attacks to help capture the capital.
The attacks occurred over the past 48 hours, in support of US
army in its advance on Baghdad. "They have conducted counter-air
strike and defensive missions," Brigadier Mike Hannan (ADF) said of
the F/A-18s, which have been engaged in air attacks for seven
consecutive days. "The strike missions were aimed at enemy military
targets and close air support was provided after aircraft were
redirected from defensive counter-air tasks." The main coalition
air effort is dedicated to attacking the fierce Republican Guard,
which is protecting Baghdad to the south.
Other Hornets carrying 500-pound laser-guided bombs conducted
counter-air tasks protecting allied aircraft. One was diverted to
assist with offensive strikes against the Guard, among the most
loyal of Saddam Hussein's troops.
No More Troops For Now
Prime Minister John Howard Friday ruled out committing any more
troops to the conflict, even as the US prepare to deploy a further
130,000 by the end of April. Howard also said the military
operation was going "extremely well." Brigadier Hannan refused to
be drawn on whether Australian military chiefs were concerned about
the strong resistance from Iraqi troops.
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