ALLIES SEARCHING TO DESTROY IRAQ'S SCUD LAUNCHERS STRATEGY: U.S. SAYS FLIERS WILL REDOUBLE EFFORTS TO PREVENT FURTHER MISSILE ATTACKS BY SADDAM. BUSH PRAISES ISRAEL.As war with Iraq entered its third day, allied warplanes were "searching assiduously" to find and destroy Iraq's mobile Scud missile launchers, Pentagon officials said.
That came after President Bush earlier Friday condemned Iraq for launching Scuds against Israel and said, "We are going to be redoubling our efforts in the darndest search-and-destroy effort ever" to destroy the missiles and prevent further attacks.Bush also praised Israel for showing restraint and staying out of the conflict so far to ensure that the alliance's Arab members would not bolt.
But Israel promised retaliation, especially if more attacks occurred.
"So far, so good," Bush said when he opened a brief news conference at the White House at noon. "We must be realistic. There will be losses, there will be obstacles along the way. And war is never cheap or easy.
"No one should doubt or question the ultimate success, because we will prevail," the president said. "But I don't want to see us get overly euphoric about all of this."
The Pentagon also said the war is proceeding almost exactly as planned, that high-tech gear never tested in war before is performing "beautifully" and constant air attacks throughout Iraq and Kuwait are continuing.
Lt. Gen. Tom Kelly, the Army chief of staff, told a press briefing, "The campaign continues to unfold acceptably. We are happy with the results we have achieved so far. Bear in mind, we have only been doing this a short time."
The target of most allied attention was destroying the Scud missile launchers to help protect Israel and keep the alliance solid.
"We are searching assiduously for all the Scud launchers," Kelly said. "You're never satisfied with your effort until you think you've gotten them all. But we think we're doing pretty well. . . . We're searching for them assiduously every way we can, and as soon as we see one we attack it."
He said part of the problem is that the launchers can be hidden inside buildings and moved frequently. He said that is why many allied planes are in the air constantly, trying to watch for any sign of them.
Bush said Friday that Saddam Hussein "is not going to pull a victory off by waging terrorist attacks (with seven Scuds hitting Israel early Friday) against a country that is not a participant in all of this . . .. This coalition is not going to fall apart. I'm convinced of that."
Kelly praised the high-tech weaponry as it received its first real test. "All of the assets that we have committed to the battle so far have performed stunningly well." He especially praised the cruise missile - which is made in part by such companies with Utah ties as Thiokol, Hercules and Litton.
But Kelly would not say that the allies have yet achieved total air supremacy because many Iraqi aircraft have been hidden in hardened underground bunkers and because many mobile Scud launchers still likely have not been found.
Kelly said that none of the four U.S. aircraft shot down was lost in dogfights. Meanwhile, U.S. aircraft have shot down eight Iraqi planes.
He said the latest U.S. plane shot down was a two-man A-6 "Intruder" bomber. The lost crew of another A-6 shot down earlier was identified Friday as Lt. Robert Wetzel, 30, and Lt. Jeffrey N. Zaun, 28.
The four downed U.S. planes are two A-6 bombers, an F-18 fighter-bomber and an F-15E fighter.
Kelly also urged against euphoria about early successes saying, "That large (Iraqi) army is still sitting there, and it has to be routed out."
Rear Adm. John M. McConnell, with the Defense Intelligence Agency, also told reporters that allies believe Saddam still has control over all of his armed forces despite the heavy bombardment against command and control systems.