Persian Gulf Showdown

DESERT STORM NOTEBOOK

February 01, 1991

Israel warns Jordan: Don't interfere with retaliatory strike

Israel, awaiting its moment to hit back at Iraq, warned Jordan today not to stand in its way.

Maj. Gen. Avihu Bin-Nun, Israel's air force commander, said Jordan would "lose everything" if it attempted to prevent Israeli aircraft crossing its air space to retaliate for Iraqi missile attacks.

"We believe and hope that if we have to act, the Jordanians will know the limits. We hope they will not cross this boundary because if they do, they will lose everything," Bin-Nun told Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper in an interview.

"We need to [fly over Jordan] in order to save time . . . to accomplish our mission," he said. Asked what Israel would do if Jordan did not understand, Bin-Nun replied: "There will be no Jordanian air force."

Israel has so far heeded requests from the United States to hold back retaliation again Iraq, which has fired 27 Scud missiles at Israel since the Gulf War erupted.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said today that Israel's armed forces were waiting for the go-ahead to strike.

U.S. MINES IN KUWAIT

As the high-tech war in the Persian Gulf comes down to earth, U.S. and allied ground troops face an old-fashioned but formidable obstacle lurking under the sands of Kuwait: more than half a million mines, some of them American-made.

Intelligence gathered by U.S. photo reconnaissance satellites and aircraft shows mines strewn across a stretch of desert about 40 miles long and one-half mile wide, between Iraqi positions in Kuwait and the Saudi Arabian border, according to Pentagon analysts reviewing the reconnaissance data. None would speak for attribution.

BUSH VISITING 3 BASES

President Bush is saluting U.S. troops and their families at three Southern military bases, as his administration signals it won't be provoked into a premature ground war with Iraq. The president was flying today to two bases in North Carolina and one in Georgia that have deployed troops to the Persian Gulf. He also planned to meet privately with families of U.S. prisoners of war. It was Bush's first trip outside the Washington area this year and his first visit to military installations since he spent Thanksgiving Day with troops in the gulf region.

BRIEFLY NOTED

In Tehran, Iran is hosting officials from Iraq, France, Algeria and Yemen to find ways to end the war, U.S. television and newspapers reported yesterday. . . . Frantic efforts to fight the world's largest oil spill were falling apart yesterday as Saudi Arabian officials conceded that they don't have enough equipment or time to protect either drinking water or wildlife in the Persian Gulf. . .

U.S.-made mines found in Kuwait as ground fighting starts

As the high-tech war in the Persian Gulf comes down to earth, U.S. and allied ground troops face an old-fashioned but formidable obstacle lurking under the sands of Kuwait: more than half a million mines, some of them American-made.

Intelligence gathered by U.S. photo reconnaissance satellites and aircraft shows mines strewn across a stretch of desert about 40 miles long and one-half mile wide, between Iraqi positions in Kuwait and the Saudi Arabian border, according to Pentagon analysts reviewing the reconnaissance data. None would speak for attribution.

C-130 DATES TO '50s

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules of the type said to have been lost over Kuwait is a heavily armed, four-engine gunship specially equipped for a wide variety of combat and support missions. These include close-air support, armed reconnaissance, and search and recovery. The basic transport model of the C-130 has been an Air Force workhorse since the mid-1950s and is expected to remain in the inventory into the next century. Under the nickname "Spectre," the C-130 gunship played a role in the war in Vietnam. It also was employed in the invasion of Grenada, using what the Air Force called "surgically accurate firepower" to support ground forces.

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