On 17 May 1987, an Iraqi Mirage F1 attack aircraft launched two Exocet missiles at the USS Stark, a Perry class frigate. The first struck the port side of the ship and failed to explode, though it left burning propellant in its wake; the second struck moments later in approximately the same place and penetrated through to crew quarters, where it exploded, killing 37 crew members and leaving 21 injured. Whether or not Iraqi leadership authorised the attack is still unknown. Initial claims by the Iraqi government (that Stark was inside the Iran–Iraq War zone) were shown to be false, and the motives and orders of the pilot remain unanswered. Though American officials claimed that the pilot who attacked Stark had been executed, an ex-Iraqi Air Force commander since stated he had not been punished, and was still alive at the time. The attack remains the only successful anti-ship missile strike on an American warship. Due to the extensive political and military cooperation between the Iraqis and Americans by 1987, the attack had little effect on relations between the two countries. -Wikipedia: Iran-Iraq War
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