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From defensive to offensive: Canada joins combat in Gulf War

Unlike any conflict before, the Gulf War of 1991 played out in a brave new world of biological warfare. A round-the-clock television audience was captivated by the flying missiles that lit up the night sky. Canadian troops, sent abroad for combat for the first time since the Korean War joined the Allied forces to fight Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. On the surface, the occupation ended swiftly and decisively as the Iraqi forces retreated. But as was evident over the next decade, the problems remained unresolved.

Their nicknames are D.W. and Hillbilly, two modest Canadian CF-18 fighter pilots stationed in Qatar. Tonight they embark on a historic assignment - for the first time since the Korean War Canadian forces will fire offensively in combat. In this television report, CBC cameras follow the crews of D.W. and Hillbilly as they prepare for their mission and as they return after successfully hitting an Iraqi ship.
• The Canadian Air force supplied combat air patrols, air transport and air-to-air refuelling. Over the course of the Gulf War, Canadian CF-18s fulfilled 56 bombing sorties against the Iraqi forces.

• Canada suffered no casualties in the Gulf War combat. 148 Americans perished in the battle, 31 per cent of whom were killed as a result of "friendly fire" accidents. It is estimated that more than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed.
Medium: Television
Program: The Journal
Broadcast Date: Jan. 30, 1991
Guest(s): Steve Hill, David Kendall
Host: Bill Cameron
Reporter: Kevin Tibbles
Duration: 10:15

Last updated: June 21, 2013

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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