Menu

ARCHIVE

Iraqi Missiles Fired at U.S. Troops Intercepted

Iraq fired missiles into Kuwait in a series of apparently ineffectual counterattacks against U.S. troops and Kuwaiti civilians Thursday, forcing American soldiers to put on gas masks and chemical protective suits. Fox News has learned from Coalition Defense officials that at least one of the missiles fired was a Scud.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries or damage, and there was no evidence the missiles had chemical or biological warheads.

Soldiers were given the all-clear after several minutes.

Details of the attacks were difficult to establish because of security restrictions on U.S. reporters accompanying American troops and the confusion over repeated missile alerts.

A British military spokesman, Lt. Col. Ronnie McCourt, confirmed three missiles were fired by the Iraqis into Kuwait, including one Scud that was intercepted by a Patriot. Col. Youssef al-Mullah, spokesman for the Kuwaiti military, said four missiles were fired at Kuwait.

The missile attacks came hours after the U.S. air strike on Baghdad.

Missiles landed near U.S. troops, one of them falling near the men of A Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment. They were eating lunch when they heard the missile land in the desert before they actually heard the locomotive-like roar of the rocket flying through the air.

The men swiftly put on their masks and their protective suits, then waited in the desert heat for about 20 minutes before the all-clear crackled over the radio.

The men returned to cleaning their weapons, reading books and waiting for their part of the war to begin.

"I know what I'll be using as a pillow tonight," Staff Sgt. Bryce Ivings of Sarasota, Fla., said of his protective suit.

At Camp New Jersey -- a second encampment in the Kuwaiti desert where soldiers put on their protective gear because of a missile attack -- officers said the missile appeared to be an Al Samoud 2, which is smaller than a Scud.

Kuwaiti army commanders also announced a missile was launched at Kuwait City at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Air raid sirens sounded in the Kuwaiti capital.

Earlier, in what appeared to be a separate attack, Kuwaiti Defense Minister Sheik Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah told The Kuwait News Agency two Iraqi missiles fell on the border with Iraq. There were no casualties or damage, another official told KUNA.

Shops and restaurants in the city remained open and there were still cars and pedestrians on the streets.

Hassan al-Matrouk, a lawyer, went to a supermarket to buy some food after the sirens wailed two times.

"The first time, we went into the safe room we had prepared at home. My wife and children were afraid. The second time, they went into the room and I stayed in the living room watching television," said the 48-year-old Kuwaiti.

"I believe he will use chemical weapons against us and that will be a stupid decision, because it will lead to attacking Baghdad with nuclear weapons."

The government announced it was closing Kuwait University and public schools for a week starting Saturday, which is the first day of the week here.