On August 31, 1996, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ordered 30-40,000 Iraqi troops to invade the city of Erbil in Kurdish northern Iraq during the Kurdish civil war. At the time, such action placed Saddam Hussein in violation of United Nations resolutions forbidding the repression of Iraq's ethnic minorities, something that Hussein had done in 1988 and 1991. In response to this latest incursion, the United States launched 27 cruise missiles at selected targets near Al-Kut, Al-Iskandariyah, An Nasiriyah, and Tallil. Thirteen of the missiles were air launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) launched from USAF B-52 "Stratofortress" bombers based at Andersen AFB, Guam. The remaining fourteen missiles were Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) launched from Navy cruiser USS Shiloh and destroyer USS Laboon. In addition, the Southern "No-Fly" zone, established over Iraq after the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War, was extended from the 32d parallel to the 33d parallel.
Read the article by Paul K. White: Airpower and a Decade of Containment, in the Joint Force Quarterly, Winter 2000-2001.
Capt Gregory Ball, USAFR, Ph.D.