CNN reporter Chris Lawrence, NBC reporter Richard Engel, and now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton implied that there was a no-fly zone over Iraq during the 1991 uprising. All seem to be unaware that a no-fly zone over southern Iraq was enforced 17 months after the uprisings began in March, 1991. Mr. Engel said the no-fly zone in Iraq did "not apply" to low-flying helicopters. In fact the US allowed Saddam's peeps to fly helicopters during the uprising:
at the Safwan negotiations, Schwarzkopf carelessly authorized the Iraqis to use helicopter gunships on their side of the cease-fire line. The Iraqi generals were so surprised by that concession—which permitted them to strafe and rocket Kurds and Shiites from the air—that one of the Iraqi generals incredulously asked: "So you mean even the helicopters that are armed can fly in the Iraqi skies?"
It's interesting when smart people don't get the facts right, or make comparisons that don't work. The US dropped 250,000 bombs and missles on Iraq during 40 consecutive days and nights in 1991. The first thing US & allied pilots did was to destroy Saddam's SAMs and radar installations. They made sure American pilots could fly planes and helicopters over Kuwait and Iraq without being fired on, and then US troops marched into Kuwait and Iraq, almost all the way to Baghdad. Kuwait was liberated and the cease-fire with Saddam was signed on Feb. 28. Then the uprisings began and the rebels were slaughtered by Saddam's helicopter gunships. I guess Richard Engel's statement (of the three mentioned here) comes closest to the truth: the no-fly zone "did not apply" to low-flying helicopters. LOL!
If there was a real no-fly zone over Iraq during the 1991 uprisings, one that "included" low-flying helicopters, the uprising might have succeeded.