WASHINGTON — The Iraqi pilot who hit the U.S. frigate Stark with two missiles told his government he did not hear any radioed warnings from the vessel before firing his weapons, a congressman investigating the incident said today.
Rep. Bill Nichols (D-Ala.), chairman of the Armed Services investigations subcommittee, told reporters after a briefing by members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Iraqi officials also said it was a single plane, reconfigured to take one Exocet missile under each wing, that carried out the attack.
There had been speculation that two planes were involved in the May 17 attack.
"It's our understanding that the Iraqi pilot has been interviewed and he has given . . . to the Iraqis certain information as to what he heard or didn't hear in the way of messages, and he claims he never received a message, he did not hear any message," Nichols said.
Nichols said the first missile was fired 22 miles from the Stark in the Persian Gulf and "the second missile was fired some seven seconds later at about 15 miles. We're given to understand that it did come from one plane."