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1993

President Clinton punishes Iraq for plot to kill George H.W. Bush

In retaliation for an Iraqi plot to assassinate former U.S. President George H.W. Bush during his April visit to Kuwait, President Bill Clinton orders U.S. warships to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles at Iraqi intelligence headquarters in downtown Baghdad.

On April 13, 1993, the day before George Bush was scheduled to visit Kuwait and be honored for his victory in the Persian Gulf War, Kuwaiti authorities foiled a car-bomb plot to assassinate him. Fourteen suspects, most of them Iraqi nationals, were arrested, and the next day their massive car bomb was discovered in Kuwait City. Citing “compelling evidence” of the direct involvement of Iraqi intelligence in the assassination attempt, President Clinton ordered a retaliatory attack against their alleged headquarters in the Iraqi capital on June 26. Twenty-three Tomahawk missiles, each costing more than a million dollars, were fired off the USS Peterson in the Red Sea and the cruiser USS Chancellorsville in the Persian Gulf, destroying the building and, according to Iraqi accounts, killing several civilians.

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