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|1993 cruise missile strikes on Iraq|
|Part of Iraqi no-fly zones conflict and the Persian Gulf Conflicts|
|Commanders and leaders|
Bill Clinton |
23 cruise missiles
|Casualties and losses|
|9 civilians killed (Iraqi sources)|
The cruise missiles strike on Iraq in June 1993 were ordered by U.S. President Bill Clinton as both a retaliation and a warning triggered by the attempted assassination by alleged Iraqi agents on former U.S. President George H. W. Bush while on a visit to Kuwait from 14–16 April 1993.
On the night of 13 April 1993, a day before George H. W. Bush was scheduled to visit Kuwait City to commemorate the international coalition victory against Iraq in the Persian Gulf War, Kuwaiti authorities arrested 17 persons suspected in the plot to kill Bush using explosives hidden in a Toyota Landcruiser.
The Kuwaitis recovered the Landcruiser, which contained between 80 and 90 kilograms of plastic explosives, composed mostly of RDX, connected to a detonator (the Bush device or Bush explosive device). They also recovered ten cube-shaped plastic explosive devices with detonators (the cube-bombs) from the Landcruiser.
Clinton was convinced the attack was masterminded by the Iraqi Intelligence Service by two alleged pieces of evidence. First, the suspects in the plot made detailed confessions to FBI agents in Kuwait However, the defendants retracted the confessions and said they had been beaten into a fabricated confession.
Second, FBI and CIA bomb experts claimed the captured car bombs to be made in Iraq, including a 175-pound car bomb found in Kuwait City on 14 April. However, these explosives were mass produced throughout the Middle East and not only Iraq.
In October 1993, New Yorker investigative journalist Seymour Hersh assailed the US government’s case as "seriously flawed', noting that seven bomb experts had told him that the devices were mass-produced and probably not even manufactured in Iraq. Ultimately, an analysis by the CIA's Counter Terrorism Center concluded the assassination plot was most likely fabricated by Kuwaiti authorities. CIA analysts concluded that the Kuwaiti government "may have then decided to claim this (smuggling) operation was directed against Bush" in explaining the origins of the alleged assassination plot.
Between 1AM and 2AM local time on 26 June/June 27, 1993, 23 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched by two US Navy warships into downtown Baghdad. These hit a building which was believed to be the headquarters of the Iraqi Intelligence Service in the Mansour district of Baghdad. Iraq claimed that nine civilians were killed in the attack and three civilian houses destroyed. The missiles were fired from the destroyer USS Peterson in the Red Sea and the cruiser USS Chancellorsville in the Persian Gulf.