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In fall 2002, the United States of America began preparations for a second invasion of Iraq. Part of the strategy was to increase the number of flights over the so-called "no-fly" zones. These zones exist to protect the minority Kurds of the north and the Muslim Shiites of the south. The Iraqis were aware of the increased surveillance and met it by targeting Coalition aircraft with radar and occasionally firing anti-aircraft artillery or missiles toward those aircraft. This caused an interesting and escalating chain reaction. As the Iraqis fired on the aircraft, more aircraft dropped warning leaflets against such actions, which led to increased anti-aircraft fire. This led to the bombing of such sites and continued escalation.
The Coalition had last dropped propaganda leaflets on Iraq in November 2001. However, on 3 October 2002 an American A10 "Warthog" fighter-bomber was fired upon by an Iraqi air defense command center in the "no-fly" zone in southern Iraq as it dropped 120,000 leaflets warning the Iraqi military and Baghdad against continuing to fire missiles and artillery at American and British jets. The front of the leaflet pictured a drawing of a warplane firing missiles at a radar site and an anti-aircraft battery on the ground. Arabic text read, "Iraqi ADA Beware! Do not track or fire on Coalition aircraft!" The back of the leaflet was all text: "Attention Iraqi Air Defense. The destruction experienced by your colleagues in other air defense locations is a response to your continuing aggression toward planes of the coalition forces. No tracking or firing on these aircraft will be tolerated. You could be next." In response to the anti-aircraft fire against the A10, the Coalition bombed an air defense and operations center near Tallil, about 160 miles southeast of Baghdad.
There are at least three versions of this first leaflet. The initial version was probably an experimental design and showed the jet, radar and SAM site as an outline drawing with no shading, texture, or depth. The rocket path appears as a single line. It is black and white. The propaganda text was directly over the illustration on this version, and the difficulty in reading the message was probably the cause for rejection of the design.
The second version was nearly identical to the first as far as shading depth and texture, but the text is now in the clear areas at the top and bottom of the leaflet. This version was coded ADA1a, (also IZD-1a) and might have been the first leaflet actually dropped since it was illustrated on the official Central Command (CENTCOM) site, though without comment.
|Leaflet Number: ADA1a|
The final version of the leaflet illustrates the jet, radar, and SAM site with shading, depth and texture. The colors seem to have bluish and gray tinges and the rocket contrail is white. This is certainly the final version of the leaflet. It is unknown if this third version is the anti-aircraft leaflet dropped on the first raid, but it is definitely the one that was dropped on later air strikes. It is coded IZD006.
|Leaflet Number: IZD006|
On 28 October, Coalition aircraft again dropped warning leaflets over southern Iraq. The front of this full-color leaflet pictures an armed Iraqi soldier at the far right, with an anti-aircraft gun in the background at the left. The artillery is firing at allied aircraft, the shells exploding far behind the jet fighter. The Arabic text above and below the vignette reads, "Before you engage Coalition aircraft, think about the consequences." The back of the leaflet shows the face of the soldier surrounded by smoke and debris from an allied bomb. At the lower right, a woman in a burqa holds two children. Text on the back reads, "Think about your family. Do what you must to survive." This leaflet is coded IZD1bd05.
|Leaflet Number: IZD1bd05|
The Coalition dropped a second full-color leaflet at the same time. There are three varieties of this leaflet. The only difference is the type of Iraqi anti-aircraft weapon. In one leaflet, there are two versions of an artillery piece firing shells; in the second, it is a tracked vehicle firing missiles. In all cases the illustration at the right shows the Iraqi weapon firing at the Coalition aircraft and the word "If." The picture at the left shows the aircraft firing a missile at the Iraqi weapon and the word "Then," (in later documents the word is translated as "Reaction"). The back of the leaflet shows the Coalition jet flying overhead while there is nothing but smoke and debris left of the anti-aircraft weapon, and the text "You decide."
In the first version of the artillery leaflet the cannon is closer to the foreground and the crew stand ready at their weapon. This leaflet is coded 020-01Dd. In the second variety of this same leaflet, the cannon is further away and a member of the crew flees before the Coalition rocket strikes the artillery piece. The second variety is coded 020-01Df. The code number of the leaflet showing the missile launcher is unknown.
Southern Watch aircraft dropped 180,000 leaflets. The Coalition dropped 120,000 over the southern city of Al Basrah and 60,000 over As Samawah. An aircraft malfunction caused the return of another 60,000 leaflets scheduled for dissemination over As Samawah.
|Leaflet Number: 020-01D1d|
|Leaflet Number: ????|
The third PSYOP drop in six weeks was on 8 November, when Coalition planes scattered leaflets over southern Iraq, once again urging the Iraqis not to fire on American and British warplanes. The allies dropped the same two leaflets that were dropped on 28 October, "Think about your family" and the "If…Then" artillery piece leaflet. The aircraft dropped 240,000 leaflets around the town of Al Amarah.
The fourth leaflet mission occurred on 17 November when Coalition aircraft dropped 120,000 leaflets near the town of Ar Rumaythah in southern Iraq. Once again, the aircraft dropped both the "Iraqi ADA Beware!" and the "If…Then" leaflet. The Iraqis responded with anti-aircraft fire, which led directly to the bombing of sites near the city of Mosul.
On 28 November, Coalition aircraft dropped 360,000 leaflets on a communications site situated between Al Kut and Al Basrah in southern Iraq. This site had been attacked a week earlier on 22 November. The Coalition dropped three different leaflets. One leaflet pictured three American F16 "fighting Falcons" bombing fiber optic cables on the ground. The explosion and crater are illustrated. The next picture shows a truck bearing an Iraqi eagle symbol nearing the crater to repair the fiber optic cables. The same three F16s now drop bombs aimed directly at the repair truck. Text on the front of the leaflet is, "Military fiber optic cables have been targeted for destruction. Repairing them places your life at risk." The back of the leaflet shows a caricature of Saddam Hussein holding a map of Iraq and the text, "Military fiber optic cables are tools used by Saddam and his regime to suppress the Iraqi people." The leaflet is coded IZD011a.
|Leaflet Number: IZD011a|
The second full-color leaflet shows American F-16 fighters launching bombs over Iraq and the text, "Coalition Air Power can strike at will. Any time. Any place." Text on the back of the leaflet is "Coalition air power enforces the No-Fly Zones to protect the Iraqi people. Threatening these Coalition aircraft has a consequence. The attacks may destroy you or any location of Coalition choosing. Will it be you or your brother? You decide." This leaflet is coded 020-20D.
|Leaflet Number: 020-20D|
The third full-color leaflet shows F16s leaving the scene after bombing fiber optic cable on the ground. An arrow points to the cable with the text, "Military Fiber Optic cable." The back is all text and states, "For your safety. Stop repairing military fiber optic cable. You are risking your life. The cables are tools used to suppress the Iraqi people by Saddam and his regime, they are targeted for destruction." This leaflet is coded IZD009.
|Leaflet Number: IZD009|
Operation Southern Watch aircraft flying from Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey dropped the same three leaflets on 2 December over communication facilities located between Al Kut and An Nasiriyah in Southern Iraq. These sites had been bombed the previous day. The Coalition dropped 240,000 leaflets, 60,000 leaflets each in four fiberglass leaflet bombs. This was the sixth Coalition leaflet drop in two months.
At 0400 on 16 December, Coalition aircraft dropped 480,000 leaflets over six different locations in southern Iraq. There were six different leaflets. Only two of the leaflets were of a new design. The leaflets previously dropped are the "Iraqi ADA Beware…" (IZD006), "Coalition Airpower…" (020-20D), "Before you engage…" (IZD1bd05), and "Military Fiber Optic cables…" (IZD011a).
The first new full-color leaflet is very similar to the "Military Fiber Optic…" (IZD011a) leaflet dropped on 28 November. In fact, the back is identical. The front now shows a truck and a bulldozer about to repair destroyed fiber optic cable as three F-16s drop bombs on the site. Once again the text is "Military fiber optic cables have been targeted for destruction. Repairing them places your life at risk." A small arrow points to a broken cable with the text "Military Fiber Optic cable." This leaflet is coded IZD0010a.
|Leaflet Number: IZD0010a|
The second new leaflet pictures a map of Iraq and two radio transmitters. This "Information Radio" leaflet lists five frequencies that the Iraqi people can listen to between the hours of 1800 and 2300 daily to hear Coalition broadcasts. The frequencies are 756 KHZ AM, 693 KHZ AM, 9715 KHZ SW, 11292 KHZ SW, and 100.4 MHZ FM. The same message appears on both front and back. This leaflet is coded IZD001. The Coalition broadcasts began 12 December.
|Leaflet Number: IZD001|
The Coalition broadcast the usual Arabic music and news, and messages aimed at dividing the Iraqi people and military from Saddam Hussein. One message, broadcast from a United States Air Force EC-130E Commando Solo aircraft flying over Iraq said, “Saddam has built palace after palace for himself and has purchased a fleet of luxury cars all at the expense of the Iraqi people. This money would be much better suited to build libraries and schools. This money would have gone a long way to provide better food and medicine for the people of Iraq. The amount of money Saddam spends on himself in one day would be more than enough to feed a family for a year.”
On 21 December, Coalition forces dropped leaflets on southern Iraq for the eighth time in three months. The leaflet drop occurred between 0430 and 5000 over Al Amarah and As Samawah. Aircraft dropped 240,000 copies of the "Information Radio" leaflet (IZD001) over the two locations.
On 23 December, Coalition aircraft dropped 120,000 of the same "Information Radio" leaflets (IZD001) over both Ash Shatrah and Ar Rifai. The drop occurred at 0430.
It is interesting to chart the continued dropping of leaflets on a map of Iraq. The early drops all occur within a 200-mile diameter circle to the southeast of Baghdad. One wonders if this is the psychological preparation of the battlefield where the eventual ground attack will happen, or simply the scene of the most aggressive Iraqi targeting of aircraft.
A tenth leaflet mission took place on 27 December. Coalition aircraft disseminated the "Information Radio" leaflet (IZD001) at 0630 on three separate sites in southern Iraq; an area south of Ad Diwaniyah, Ar Rumaythah, and Qawam Al Hamzah. The aircraft dropped 240,000 leaflets.
Coalition aircraft dropped the same "Information Radio" leaflet (IZD001) again on 28 December at 0800 over the towns of Al Majarr al Kabir and Qal At Sukkar. The fighter-bombers dropped 120,000 leaflets.
On 2 January, Coalition aircraft leafleted Iraq for the twelfth time in three months. At 0515, the aircraft distributed 480,000 copies of a newly designed full-color "Information Radio" leaflet over Al Basrah and An Nasiriyah in the southeastern corner of Iraq. This leaflet depicts a radio tower in the center and small portable radios to the left and right. The text is the same as the previous radio leaflet IZD001. The text is "Information Radio 1800-2300 daily. 756 KHZ AM, 693 KHZ AM, 9715 KHZ SW, 11292 KHZ SW, 100.4 MHZ FM." The same message appears on both front and back. The leaflet bears the same design as one dropped over Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002 (AFD06). However, the Afghan leaflet is gray with black text. The full color no-fly leaflet to Iraq is coded IZD002.
|Leaflet Number: IZD002|
The thirteenth leaflet mission of the "No-fly" campaign occurred on 4 January at 0615. Coalition aircraft dropped 240,000 of the new "Information radio" leaflets (IZD002) over Al Amarah and As Samawah.
Propaganda leaflets and radio broadcasts were not the only media used to send messages to the people of Iraq. About 11 January, the U.S. Military began an e-mail campaign urging military and civilian leaders in Iraq to abandon Saddam Hussein. Iraqi authorities blocked the incoming e-mails in an apparent attempt to stop the messages from spreading throughout the country. One of the messages was, "Iraqi chemical, biological and nuclear weapons violate Iraq's commitment to agreements and United Nations resolutions. Iraq has been isolated because of this behavior. The United States and it allies want to liberate the Iraqi people from Saddam's injustice, and for Iraq to become a respected member of the international community. Iraq's future depends on you."
Coalition forces flew the fourteenth leaflet mission on 13 January. Aircraft dropped 240,000 "Information Radio" leaflets (IZD002) about 0710 over An Najaf. An Najaf features a number of Shiite Moslem shrines including the golden-domed shrine of Ali.
Allied aircraft dropped the "Information Radio" leaflet (IZD002) over Al Kut at 0345 on 18 January. The fourth PSYOP mission of 2003 consisted of 180,000 leaflets.
In the fifth PSYOP mission of the new year, U.S. and British aircraft dropped 360,000 "Information Radio" leaflets over six different cities in Southern Iraq on 19 January at 0716. The targets were Ar Rumaythah, Qawam Al Hamzah, Ash Shatrah, Ar Rifai, Qal at Sukkar and Al Majarr.
With the invasion of Iraq predicted as just weeks away, on 23 January at approximately 1230 Coalition aircraft dropped 240,000 leaflets over a communication facility near Al Amarah in full daylight. The leaflets, IZD009 and IZD011a warned the Iraqis not to repair fiber optic cables.
CBS News "Eye on America" broadcast a short television report on psychological Operations over Iraq on 23 January. The segment pictured M129 leaflet bombs loaded with rolls of the no-fly zone leaflets. The commentator discussed the accuracy of the Coalition targeting. He stated that Iraq was the recipient of over three million warning leaflets as of that date.
Coalition forces dropped the "Information Radio" leaflet (IZD002) on 24 January at 0715 over communication facilities near An Najaf. At the same time they leafleted Umm Qasr and Az Zubayr, both located on the Al Faw Peninsula, the part of Iraq closest to the Persian Gulf. This drop consisted of 360,000 leaflets.
Saddam Hussein commented on the alleged futility of the Coalition leaflet campaign during a 27 January speech to senior army officers. Iraqi state television broadcast excerpts of the meeting. Saddam stated, "The enemies think that people are eager to read their leaflets...” and "Your brothers among the people and the armed forces stage what resembles a ceremony after collecting and burning these leaflets...." History indicates that when a nation publicly attacks psychological operations it is a sign that the propaganda is effective.
Five different leaflets were included in the 480,000 dropped over southern Iraq by Coalition aircraft on January 30 at 1145. Targeted were the towns of An Nasiriyah, As Samawah, Qal At Sukkar, Al Basrah, and Umm Qasr. Four of the leaflets had been previously distributed, the military fiber optic cables…(IZD011a and IZD010a), Coalition air power…(020-20D), and Information radio…(IZD001).
The one new leaflet is coded IZD027 and warns the people of Iraq to stay away from sites where Saddam Hussein might hide military vehicles and personnel. School children visit the Shaheed (Martyr’s Monument) at the front-right of the full-color leaflet. This quarter-billion dollar blue-tile monument commemorates the Iraqi dead in the Iraq-Iran war. At the left of the leaflet, Coalition jets are shown firing rockets at Iraqi tanks hiding near the monument. Text on the back of the leaflet is “Coalition forces do not wish to harm the noble people of Iraq. To insure your safety, avoid areas occupied by military personnel.” Coalition aircraft dropped similar leaflets showing Iraqi weapons hiding near mosques and in schoolyards during the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991.
|Leaflet Number: IZD027|
Coalition aircraft flew PSYOP missions for the second straight day when they dropped 360,000 leaflets over Al Kut at 0230 on 31 January. They dropped two different leaflets. Besides the first information radio leaflet (IZD001), U.S. aircraft also dropped a third variety of the radio leaflet (IZD003). This new full-color leaflet depicts a radio antenna at the left and the CENTCOM stations and frequencies in the center. The right of the leaflet pictures a map of Iraq. As in all the radio leaflets, the front and back are identical.
|Leaflet Number: IZD003|
At 1330 on the same day, Coalition aircraft dropped another 840,000 leaflets in and around An Nasiriyah, Al Amarah, and Al Basrah. The drop consisted of seven different leaflets, "For your safety..." (IZD-009), "Military fiber optic cables..." (IZD-010a and IZD-011a), "Coalition air power..." (020-20D), "Information radio..." (IZD-001 and IZD-003), and "Coalition forces do not wish..." (IZD-027). This was by far the most significant day of the PSYOP campaign. The aircraft dropped 1,200,000 leaflets over four locations in southern Iraq within eleven hours.
Coalition aircraft dropped 360,000 leaflets near Al Amarah and Ar Rumaylah at 0110 on 1 February. They dropped three different leaflets, all “fiber optic cables” varieties, (IZD-009, IZD-010a, and IZD-011a). This was the 12th leaflet drop by Coalition aircraft in 2003 and the 23rd since the Coalition began leaflet drops in October 2002.
Coalition aircraft dropped 420,000 leaflets over several locations near Al Hayy at 0200 on 2 February. The leaflet mix was made up of "Military fiber optic cables...' (IZD-009, IZD-010a, and IZD-011a), "Coalition air power..." (020-20D), and "Coalition forces do not wish..." (IZD-027). CENTCOM announced that the aircraft also dropped an information radio leaflet. The identity of that leaflet is unknown. Kut Al Hayy Airbase has one main runway measuring 9,800 feet with hardened aircraft shelters at each end.
On 6 Feb, Coalition aircraft dropped leaflets at approximately 0230 near Al Basrah, Az Zubayr, Umm Qasr and An Nasiriyah. The Coalition dropped 480,000 leaflets. The leaflet mix consisted of the "Information radio..." (IZD-001) and the "Coalition forces do not wish..." (IZD-027).
Coalition aircraft dropped 480,000 leaflets at 0500 on 8 February near An Nu'maniyah, Al Kut, Al Amarah and Al Qurnah. Like the drop of 6 February, the mix consisted of the "Information radio..." (IZD-001) and the "Coalition forces do not wish..." (IZD-027) leaflets.
The Reuters News Service reported 10 February that the Coalition had prepared a highly classified leaflet that warns ship owners of confiscation of their vessel if they attempt to help Iraqi leaders to escape. The front of the leaflet depicts a Coalition warship near an Iraqi cargo ship with a helicopter on station overhead. The text is, "Do not help the Iraqi military or leaders of the regime to flee." The back bears the warning, "The coalition forces are here to obstruct the Iraqi leadership who try to flee. If you provide logistics or help or support to these people you will expose yourselves and your crew to danger, and risk the seizure of your ships. If you notice opponents escaping, inform the coalition forces. Do not let Saddam's regime escape justice." The leaflet is coded IZD-048.
|Leaflet Number: IZD048|
The Coalition has not disseminated this leaflet. Purloined copies surfaced in Manama, the capital of Bahrain and home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.
Coalition aircraft increased the psychological pressure on 12 February with a massive drop of 480,000 leaflets over central and southern Iraq. Separate missions dropped leaflets over Al Hillah, Al Qasim, Madhatiyah, Al Hashimiyah at 0325, and Safwan, Al Basrah and Az Zubayr at 0600. There were five leaflets in the mix. Among those dropped previously was the “Information Radio…” (IZD-001), “Coalition forces do not wish…” (IZD-027), “Coalition air power…” (020-20D), and the “Iraqi ADA beware…” (IZD-006).
The aircraft dropped one new leaflet. American PSYOP routinely depicts heavy bombers as a military threat. No such leaflet had been prepared so far in this campaign. The new leaflet shows an ominous parked B-52 Stratofortress with a full load of bombs displayed on the ground. Bombs frame the photograph at the left and right. The text is, “Attacking Coalition aircraft invites your destruction.” The back of the full-color leaflet shows a "smart bomb" falling through the air and the text, “Do not fire at Coalition aircraft. If you choose to fire, you will be destroyed. Coalition forces will attack you with overwhelming force. The choice is yours.” The B52 is a 50-year old bomber first flown in 1952. The “H” model flies current missions. It can carry up to 108 conventional bombs, 84 internally and 24 under the wings.
|Leaflet Number: IZD028|
On the same date, the Pentagon announced that over 150,000 reservists had been activated for service. This is the biggest call-up since 265,000 were mobilized during the 1991 Gulf War. U.S. troops, both regular and reservists, now number more than 130,000 in the gulf region. Nearly half are in Kuwait, neighboring Iraq. The Navy will have six or seven aircraft carriers within striking distance of Iraq by the end of February. By the latter part of February, the size of the U.S. force is likely to exceed 200,000 troops. The dark of the moon will be 3 March, perfect flying weather for stealth aircraft.
USA Today reported on 13 February that naval aircraft of the aircraft carrier USS Constellation were dropping leaflets over Iraq in retrofitted Vietnam-era cluster bombs refitted with fiberglass canisters. Leaflets were identified that warned Iraqis not to use biological or chemical weapons and warning Iraqis that Saddam will attempt to poison the environment and ruin their livelihood by dumping oil. These leaflets are unknown. We assume that reporters on the Constellation saw them.
On 14 February, Operation Southern Watch aircraft dropped 360,000 leaflets over Shalhah, Al Qurnah, and Al Madina at about 1400 in a daylight raid. The aircraft dropped three leaflets, all information radio types (IZD-001, IZD-002 and IZD-003).
Coalition aircraft dropped 180,000 information radio leaflets (IZD-001) at 0345 on 23 February. The leaflet drop occurred on and around the Al Faw Peninsula near Umm Qasr, Safwan and Al Faw. At the same time, the United States escalated the pressure on Iraq by announcing that B-52 Stratofortress bombers conducted the first in a number of planned training missions in the North Arabian Gulf region. B52s flew carpet-bombing missions with great effect against massed Iraqi Army divisions stationed along the Kuwaiti-Saudi border during the Persian Gulf War.
The Coalition escalated the PSYOP campaign on 24 February when they dropped a mix of eight leaflets on five areas in southern Iraq. The operation commenced at 0500 and targeted locations near Al Kut, Az Zubayr, the Qalat Salih airbase, Salman Az Azhir and Al Basrah.
For the first time, three of the leaflets mentioned "weapons of mass destruction." Although the current air operations against Iraq are based on the belief that Iraq continues to build and conceal such weapons, no propaganda leaflet mentioned this term before 24 February. The Coalition privately informed Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War that any use of such weapons would lead to immediate retaliation. This is the first time such threats have appeared in print, although the leaflets do not mention retaliation in kind.
The first new leaflet is coded IZD-017b. The front depicts the surrender of a number of Iraqi soldiers while Coalition aircraft attack and destroy their missile launcher in the background. Rifles and helmets lay scattered on the ground. Text is, "Surface to surface missiles have been targeted for destruction." The back is all text, "FOR YOUR SAFETY. Abandon your weapons system. Whether manned or unmanned, these weapon systems will be destroyed." This leaflet is very similar to a number that were disseminated during the Gulf War when Iraqi soldiers were shown walking away from tanks or personal weapons with surrender leaflets held over their heads. This is the first leaflet in the current campaign that brings up the specter of a mass surrender of troops.
|Leaflet Number: IZD017B|
This is also the first leaflet that specifically targets ground-to-ground missile systems. The meaning was made clear just one day later when Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons to target a mobile surface-to-surface missile system near Al Basrah. The strike occurred after Iraqi forces moved the mobile missile system within range of Coalition forces in Kuwait. The warplanes attacked an Astros-2 ground rocket launcher, which has a range of up to 56 miles. Such systems can fire volleys of rockets, a deadly threat to ground forces and armor.
Leaflet IZD-019 shows a group of Iraqi soldiers standing in line wearing gasmasks and full protective gear. A mushroom shaped fireball is in the background. The symbol for biological hazard is at the lower left. Text is, "Do not use weapons of mass destruction." The back is all text; "Any unit that chooses to use weapons of mass destruction will face swift and severe retribution by Coalition forces. Unit commanders will be held accountable if weapons of mass destruction are used."
|Leaflet Number: IZD019|
Leaflet IZD-019a is similar. It pictures a group of Iraqi soldiers wearing gasmasks and full protective gear in a smoky combat scene. The symbol for radiation hazard is at the lower left. Text is "Nobody benefits from the use of weapons of mass destruction." The back is all text; "Any unit that chooses to use weapons of mass destruction will face swift and severe retribution by Coalition forces. Unit commanders will be held accountable if weapons of mass destruction are used."
|Leaflet Number: IZD019A|
The final new leaflet is IZD-038. It shows a satellite over Iraq spotting drums of hazardous chemicals and a scud missile on a mobile launcher. Text is, "We can see everything. Do not use nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons." The back is all text, "Do not attempt to use nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. The Coalition has superior satellite technology, which allows Coalition forces to see the preparation and transportation on nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. Unit commanders will be held accountable for non-compliance.” This leaflet implies that the Coalition sees all. In fact, during the Gulf War the Coalition was unable to find mobile scud launchers despite an enormous number of aircraft sorties assigned to that mission.
|Leaflet Number: IZD038|
Aircraft also dropped the information radio leaflets (IZD-001, IZD-002, and IZD-003) and the "Coalition forces do not wish..." leaflet (IZD-027) during the 24 February mission. The aircraft dropped 360,000 leaflets.
In addition to leaflets and radio, American cyber-warfare specialists waged an e-mail campaign directed at Iraq's political, military, and economic leadership. The recipients were urged to break with Saddam Hussein's government. The Pentagon also announced that calls were made to the cell-phones of specially selected officials inside Iraq.
Coalition aircraft dropped 240,000 leaflets over Al Hafayan, An Nasiriyah, Ar Rumaylah and Al Basrah at 0445 on 27 February. The aircraft dropped the information radio leaflet (IZD-001) and the "Coalition forces do not wish" leaflet (IZD-027).
A new leaflet was dropped that encouraged Iraqi military forces to desert their weapons, go "absent without leave," and return to their families. Since there has been no invasion of Iraq, no "fog of war" with displaced persons roaming the countryside, one would expect that such actions would lead to an immediate courts martial and possible death penalty.
The front of the full-color leaflet shows an Iraqi solder at the left and a group of soldiers at the right. In the center, we can just make out what appears to be a dead Iraqi Soldier. Text is, "Do not risk your life - and the lives of your comrades." The back of the leaflet shows a young boy in school at the left, and a family at the right. Text is "Leave now and go home - Watch your children learn, grow and prosper."
|Leaflet Number: IZD057|
On 28 February, Coalition aircraft dropped 120,000 leaflets over Az Zubayr and Al Basrah. The fighter-bombers dropped three leaflets during the 0445 raid. They were the information radio (IZD-002), "For your safety..." (IZD-017b), and the "We can see everything..." (IZD-038) leaflets.
The British Broadcasting Corporation reported on 1 March that the CIA was supporting the use of clandestine radio broadcasts against Saddam Hussein. "Radio Tikrit" is linked to the Iraqi National Accord (INA), a London-based opposition group. The INA operates two other stations allegedly funded by the CIA, Radio of the Land of the Two Rivers and Al-Mustaqbal (The Future). Al-Mustaqbal broadcasts from the same location in Kuwait used by the Voice of America.
Radio Tikrit (named after President Saddam Hussein's birthplace) started in early February as a black clandestine station. It complemented "the wise leadership of President Saddam Hussein". By late February the message changed to a vehemently anti-Saddam Hussein line. “Black” radio normally attacks the leader or the political party in power, but strives to complement and be friendly toward the civilian population of an enemy country.
The Coalition dropped 360,000 leaflets over An Nasiriyah, Rumaylah, and Al Basrah between 0815 and 0930 on 1 March. The Coalition dropped six types of leaflets.
The aircraft disseminated the “Do not risk your life…” (IZD-057), “We can see everything…” (IZD-038), and “The Coalition forces do not wish…” (IZD-027). In addition, there were three information radio leaflets dropped. The first is familiar, (IZD-001). The second and third radio leaflets are new. These full color leaflets are the first radio leaflets to have different vignettes on the front and back.
The front of IZD-061 shows four radio antenna and the text, “! ATTENTION ! In times of crisis, tune in to “Information Radio” for important news and information. 756 KHZ AM, 690 KHZ AM, 100.4 MHZ FM, 9715 KHZ SW, 11292 KHZ SW.” The reverse shows two hands clasping in front of a desert-style camouflage background. Text is, “Coalition forces support the people of Iraq in their desire to remove Saddam and his regime. The Coalition wishes no harm to the innocent Iraqi civilians.
|Leaflet Number: IZD061|
The front of IZD-071 is almost identical to IZD-003. It shows an antenna at left and a map of Iraq at the right. The text is, “Information Radio. 756 KHZ AM, 693 KHZ AM, 9715 KHZ SW, 11292 KHZ SW, 100.4 MHZ FM.” The reverse shows antenna at left and right and the text, “The Coalition stands with the Iraqi people against Saddam. For your safety stay in your homes and away from military targets. The Coalition does not target civilians. Listen to information.”
|Leaflet Number: IZD071|
At the same time on 1 March, the United States European Command headquartered in Germany reported dropping 240,000 leaflets over northern Iraq near the city of Mosul at about 0845. The aircraft flew from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. This was the first use of leaflets in the north of Iraq.
The Operation Northern Watch aircraft dropped a leaflet similar to the “Iraqi ADA Beware…” (IZD-006). However, this leaflet was in full color and now showed bright red flames at the site of the missile tracking system. The front of the leaflet pictured a drawing of a warplane firing missiles at a radar site and an anti-aircraft battery on the ground. Arabic text is, "Iraqi ADA Beware! Do not track or fire on Coalition aircraft!" The back of the leaflet is all text: "Attention Iraqi Air Defense. Any hostile action by Iraqi air defenses toward coalition aircraft will be answered by immediate retaliation. Iraqi air defense positions which fire on coalition aircraft or activate air defense radar will be attacked and destroyed.” The code number of the leaflet is IZD-007.
|Leaflet Number: IZD007|
Coalition aircraft dropped 420,000 leaflets over Al Amarah, Az Zubayr, Abu Hayyah, Al Uthaylat, Qalat Salih and Al Kut between 0500 and 0845 on 4 March. The leaflet mix consisted of "Information radio... (IZD-002), "Do not risk your life..." (IZD-057, and "For your safety... (IZD-017b).
The largest single Coalition PSYOP operation of the current campaign occurred on 5-6 March when 660,000 leaflets were disseminated over 11 different locations located about 220-250 miles southeast of Baghdad. The raid began at 2300 and ended at 0100. Allied aircraft have dropped more than 10 million leaflets over Iraq since October 2002. The Coalition dropped six of the leaflets previously. They are the information radio leaflets (IZD-001, IZD-002, and IZD-003), Coalition forces do not wish..." (IZD-027), "Do not risk your life..." (IZD-057), and "Do not use weapons of mass destruction..." (IZD-019).
The first new full-color leaflet is coded IZD-045a. The front of the leaflet shows what appears to be an Iraqi warship laying mines on the ocean floor. The text is, "Any vessels suspected of mining the Khor Abd Allah or Umm Qasr waterways will be destroyed." The back of the leaflet shows a small commercial vessel on fire, having struck one of the hidden mines. The text is, "Mining the Khor Abd Allah or Umm Qasr waterways will not affect Coalition Vessels. They will only harm the Iraqi people. Mines were a constant menace during the first Persian Gulf War. On 19 February 1991, two U.S. warships struck mines within several hours of each other. The U.S.S. Tripoli, a helicopter assault ship, and the U.S.S. Princeton, an AEGIS cruiser, both suffered minimal damage.
|Leaflet Number: IZD045A|
The second new full-color leaflet shows a handsome Iraqi family at the left and a dirty oil-covered waterway at the right. Text on the front is "Dumping oil poisons Iraqi waterways, as well as your family's future." The back is all text, "DO NOT RELEASE OIL INTO WATERWAYS! Dumping oil in the waterways will ruin the chance for economic recovery. It will kill or taint the sea life, which feeds your family. Saddam has 0poisoned your waterways before. You must not aid him in doing it again." The leaflet is coded IZD-046.
In January 1991, Iraqi forces in Kuwait in a fit of mindless vandalism opened valves at oil terminals and spilled more than 6 million barrels into the Persian Gulf. The Coalition wants the terminals and the oil supply protected since the sale of oil will finance the rebuilding of Iraq after the projected Coalition attack.
|Leaflet Number: IZD046|
On 8 March, Coalition aircraft released 720,000 leaflets over military sites, barracks, and headquarters located near Az Zubayr, Al Basrah, Al Amarah, and on the Al Faw peninsula. The aircraft dropped the information radio leaflets (IZD-001, IZD-002 and IZD-003). CENTCOM reported that they also dropped leaflets encouraging Iraqi troops not to risk their lives against Coalition forces, and not to use weapons of mass destruction. These leaflets are not identified but are likely IZD-057 and IZD-017b.
Coalition aircraft disseminated 180,000 leaflets on several locations south of Baghdad on 9 March. Two of the leaflets are known, "Do not use weapons of mass destruction..." (IZD-019), and "The Coalition does not wish..." (IZD-027). One new leaflet was dropped. The front of this full-color leaflet shows a tank with its cannon lowered as two Coalition aircraft fly by. The text is, "Do not take an offensive posture and you will not be destroyed." On the back of the leaflet the tank has raised it's main gun. The Coalition aircraft immediately turn and destroy the tank with rockets. The text is, "Take an offensive posture and you will be destroyed." The number of this leaflet is IZD-005.
|Leaflet Number: IZD005|
Another record was set of 10 March when Southern Watch aircraft dropped approximately 900,000 leaflets in three raids over several locations south of Baghdad near Al Basrah. The aircraft dropped eight different leaflets, three of which were new.
CENTCOM announced that one of the raids dropped 480,000 leaflets over Al Hillah at 0300. The specific targets of the two additional raids are unknown.
The first new full-color leaflet depicts an Iraqi mother with child at the right and a smiling Saddam Hussein at the left. The text is “As your family struggles to survive – He lives in splendor.” The back of the leaflet shows happy Iraqi citizens at the right and a stern-faced Iraqi military officer at the left. The text is “Who needs you more? Your family or the regime? Return to your home and family.” The leaflet is coded IZD-050. This type of propaganda is a common theme of American PSYOP. During WWII, allied propagandists regularly attacked Nazi Party officials for the way they lived in luxury and were unaffected by rationing and deprivation. During the recent Kosovo campaign, the allies regularly attacked the family of Slobodan Milosevic for owning luxurious villas and yachts while the Serbian people starved. Good propaganda never attacks the enemy population, only their leaders.
|Leaflet Number: IZD050|
The second new full-color leaflet is coded IZD-070. The front pictures an oil refinery with a father and child at the upper left. The text is “ The oil industry is your livelihood! Your family depends on your livelihood.” The back of the leaflet depicts and Iraqi family looking at a burning oil refinery. The text is “If the oil industry is destroyed, your livelihood will be RUINED! Help to prevent the sabotage of the Iraqi oil industry! Your family depends on it!”
|Leaflet Number: IZD070|
The final full-color leaflet shows an Iraqi soldier guarding an oil refinery at the right, and a civilian oil worker at the left. The text is, “Attention Iraqi military. Do not destroy Iraqi oil wells or production facilities.” The back shows an Iraqi family watching burning oil fields and facilities. The text is “Destroying Iraqi oil fields and production facilities will not hinder Coalition operations. Those who commit or assist in such acts will be held accountable.” The leaflet is coded IZD-072.
|Leaflet Number: IZD072|
In February 1991, while in full retreat from allied forces that evicted Iraq from Kuwait, the Iraqis blew up 732 Kuwaiti wells, setting 650 of them aflame. Although the destruction of the Kuwaiti oil fields was certainly simple vindictiveness on the part of Saddam Hussein, there was talk at the time that the Iraqis believed that allied tanks could not see through the smoke from the burning oil wells. The Coalition is reminding the Iraqis that the smoke will not hinder operations.
The European Command (EUCOM) announced on the same day that Northern Watch aircraft dropped leaflets near anti-aircraft batteries at 0925. The aircraft dropped 240,000 leaflets on locations south of Tall Afar and southwest of Saddam Lake. This is the second PSYOP mission flown from Incirlik AFB in Turkey during the current emergency. The leaflet is the same "Do not track or fire on coalition aircraft..." (IZD-007) dropped on 1 March.
On 11 March, the United States increased the psychological pressure on Iraq by testing the 21,000-pound massive ordnance airburst bomb (MOAB) at Eglin Air Force Base in northwest Florida. Defense officials suggested the test was a message to Iraq about the might of the U.S. military. A C-131 Samaritan aircraft dropped the MOAB, privately known in military circles as "The mother of all bombs,” from the back of its cargo bay. Global positioning satellites guide the bomb. It spreads a flammable mist over the target then ignites it, producing a highly destructive blast.
The MOAB is a precision-guided modernization improvement to the 15,000-pound "BLU-82," or Daisy Cutter. American aircraft dropped leaflets picturing the BLU-82 during Operation Desert Storm in Iraq and during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (AFD62b). This new bomb will surely appear on future Coalition PSYOP. An even larger bomb, weighing 30,000 pounds, is currently on the drawing board.
The same day Coalition aircraft dropped 120,000 leaflets over several locations between Baghdad and Al Basrah at 0700. The leaflet mix consisted of "Information radio" (IZD-002), "He lives in splendor..." (IZD-050), "Do not risk your life..." (IZD-057), and a new leaflet coded IZD-002a. This leaflet is an information radio leaflet identical to IZD-002.
Operation Northern Watch aircraft flying from Incirlik AFB in Turkey dropped 240,000 leaflets south of Tall Afar and southwest of Saddam Lake at about 0841 on 13 March. Coalition aircraft raided the same locations on 10 March. Both have a history of anti-aircraft artillery firing on coalition jets. The leaflet was one previously dropped over southern Iraq, "Before you engage coalition aircraft…” (IZD1bd05).
Coalition aircraft flying from Incirlik AFB in Turkey dropped 120,000 leaflets on anti-aircraft batteries and troops stationed near the Ayn Zalah airfield at 0850 on 14 March. The leaflet "Before you engage coalition aircraft..."(IZD1bd05) was dropped for the second straight day.
Southern Watch aircraft dropped 960,000 leaflets over Al Iskandariyah, An Nasiriyah, Tallil and Qalat Salih on 15 March. The mix consisted of seven unidentified leaflet.
On 16 March, Coalition aircraft dropped 240,000 leaflets over military and civilian sites at four locations south of the 33rd Parallel. The aircraft dropped leaflets IZD-002, IZD-002a, IZD-003, IZD-019, IZD-019a, IZD-038, IZD-050 and IZD-057. At the same time, the United States escalated the conflict by using a B-1B bomber to attack two anti-aircraft radar sites in western Iraq. This is the first use of the strategic heavy bomber in the current operation.
President Bush spoke to the world on 17 March and gave Saddam Hussein 48 hours to leave Iraq or face attack. He stated that the United States was ready to take unilateral action against Iraq even as the United Nations debated the subject, and France, Germany, and Russia threatened a veto. On the same day, Coalition aircraft set a new record when they dropped 1,440,000 leaflets over nearly 20 different locations in Southern Iraq. The aircraft dropped leaflets IZD-002a, IZD-003, IZD-016, IZD-025, IZD-038, IZD-050, IZD-057 and IZD-2502. Three of the leaflets are new. They are IZD-016, IZD-025 and IZD-2502.
Leaflet IZD-2502 depicts three Coalition troopers and a vehicle “buttoned up” in preparation for a chemical or biological attack. The text is, “Coalition forces are prepared and well trained to defend themselves against chemical weapon attacks.” The back of the leaflet pictures dead children at the left and right, and a group of Iraqis carrying a casket in the center. The text is, “Your comrades and innocent Iraqi people will be victims if Saddam uses chemical weapons. Don’t be a part of this crime. Unit commanders will be held accountable for the use of chemical weapons.”
|Leaflet Number: IZD2502|
Meanwhile, U.S. forces started to psychologically prepare the people of Basrah for the projected invasion. PSYOP specialists took part in radio broadcasts and leaflet drops in and around Basrah to inform residents that the attacking forces will make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. Soldiers will have packets of food to pass out to children, and medics will provide care to Iraqis in need. In addition, the Pentagon dispatched a 60-member disaster response team that will enter Basrah with the American and British troops.
Earlier, a spokesman of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of several anti-Saddam Hussein groups, spoke of plans to use radio and television broadcasts and leaflets to offer Iraqi soldiers a general amnesty at war’s end. Among the anti-Saddam groups are the Shiite Muslim faction Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq; the Iraqi National Congress, and the two main Kurdish groups: the PUK and the Kurdistan Democratic Party. At the same time, Reuters reported that the United States is faxing messages to Baghdad residents urging them to help U.S. soldiers and pilots in the event of war. The faxes also instructed them to tune into Coalition Arabic-language radio stations.
On 18 March, the Coalition dropped 1,980,000 leaflets over 29 locations across southeastern Iraq. The leaflet raid set another record and brought the total number of leaflets to more than 17 million this year. The mix consisted of 13 different leaflets. Those dropped previously are IZD-001, IZD-002a, IZD-017b, IZD-019, IZD-027, IZD-038, IZD-050, IZD-057, IZD-070, IZD-071, and IZD-072. The new leaflets are IZD-001c and IZD-036.
IZD-001c is nearly identical to the information radio leaflet IZD-001. The difference is that the new leaflet increases the time that Coalition radio stations are on the air. The original leaflet depicted a map of Iraq and two radio transmitters. It listed five frequencies that the Iraqi people could listen to between the hours of 1800 and 2300 daily to hear Coalition broadcasts. The frequencies were 756 KHZ AM, 693 KHZ AM, 9715 KHZ SW, 11292 KHZ SW, and 100.4 MHZ FM. The new leaflet deletes the text “1800-2300 Daily” at the upper left and right. It now lists the times next to each individual frequency. The text is, “756 KHZ AM - 1800-1200, 690 KHZ AM - 1800-2300, 9715 KHZ SW - 24 hours a day, 11292 KHZ SW – 1800-1200, and 100.4 MHZ FM – 1800-2300. Notice also that the 693 KHZ is now 690 KHZ.
|Leaflet Number: IZD001c|
IZD-036 depicts armed Coalition soldiers at the right and left and the text “Do not interfere with Coalition Forces. Coalition Special Operation Forces do not wish to harm or injure non-combatants.” The back of the leaflet pictures a helicopter unloading armed Coalition troops. The text is, “For your safety do not interfere with Coalition Forces. Coalition Special Operation Forces are here to end the oppressive rule of Saddam’s regime and liberate the people of Iraq.”
|Leaflet Number: IZD036|
Coalition aircraft dropped leaflets over Iraqi troop locations on 19 March. This was the final day of the Bush 48-hour offer for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq to prevent a war. One leaflet coded IZD-069 was new. This is the first leaflet with a "capitulation" message and is an attempt by Coalition forces to minimize Iraqi casualties if military conflict occurs.
The leaflet depicts a group of Iraqi tanks and armored vehicles with a white flag tied to their antennae at the right, and a group of unarmed Iraqi soldiers at the left. Between them is an arrow overprinted "1 Kilometer." Text above the vignette reads, "To avoid destruction, follow Coalition guidelines." The back of the leaflet is all in text. It tells the Iraqi military, “For your safety follow these Coalition Guidelines. Park vehicles in squares, no larger than battalion size. Stow artillery and Air Defense Systems in travel configuration. Display white flags on vehicles. No visible man portable air defense systems. Personnel must gather in groups, a minimum of one kilometer away from their vehicles. Officers may retain their sidearms; others must disarm. Do not approach Coalition forces. Wait for further instructions.”
|Leaflet Number: IZD069|
At the same time, it became clear the US military hoped that the Iraqi armed forces would not fight to defend their country. Reuters reported that U.S. officials saw “scattered signs that some Iraqi army units in southern Iraq will lay down their arms rather than oppose a looming invasion by American and British troops.” As the George Bush deadline for Saddam’s exile approached, thousands of Coalition soldiers, armor and vehicles crowded the roads leading to the Iraqi border. It was a clear warning to Saddam Hussein that the war was just hours away.
CENTCOM released a dispatch early in the evening of 19 March that told the press that "Night operations video of F-117 Nighthawks and F-15E Strike Eagles from an air base in the Middle East will be available at midnight tonight." The implication of this dispatch was that there would be stealth aircraft attack film available that same night. A possible clue that an attack was in preparation.
At 2215, EST President George W. Bush went on national television and stated that the air war against Iraq had begun in earnest. Coalition intelligence had received information that indicated that the Iraqi high command, perhaps including Saddam Hussein, were meeting in Baghdad. The first attack of Operation Iraq Freedom consisted of two phases. The USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Cowpens (CG 63), USS Montpelier (SSN 765), and USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) took part in launching about 40 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) at the alleged meeting site. At the same time, two F111 Nighthawk (Stealth) fighter-bombers dropped 2000-pound "bunker-buster" bombs.
Since the No-Fly Zone warning phase is now officially over and the "shooting war" has begun, this article is concluded. We will continue to monitor the PSYOP during Operation Iraqi Freedom in a different article.
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