History

Iraq Invades Kuwait

On August 2nd 1990, at approximately 2AM local time, Iraqi military crossed into Kuwait and began their assault on the country. Being an oil-rich nation, Kuwait fell in the crosshair of Iraq and due to their relatively smaller armed forced, they were quickly overwhelmed by Iraq. Those forces who survived the first onslaught quickly retreated to Saudi Arabia. This included the emir of Kuwait who along with several other government leaders and their families fled to Saudi.

It took only hours for the Iraqi forces to capture Kuwait city and once captured they immediately set up a provincial government. At the time, simply by gaining control over Kuwait, Iraq had acquired 20% of the world’s oil reserves and along with it a substantial part of the Persian Gulf coastline.

2nd August is also monumental because the UN made an immediate declaration condemning the war and invasion. They made a demand to Iraq to withdraw immediate and imposed a ban of trade with Iraq in four days.

By August 9th, US forces had entered into the war as they landed on Saudi soil to mount an assault on the invading Iraqi army. During the time it took for other nations to get involved in the defence of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein had amassed a total of 300,000 troops in Kuwait. As for the UN, it took a long time and finally on November 29th, the Security Council passed a unanimous resolution to use force in its attempts at stopping Iraq’s movement. Naturally, Iraq refused the order and 700,000 allied troops led by US armed forces stood ready to move in.

The date for the official Gulf War commencement was January 16, 1991. Called Operation Desert Storm, the defending forces for Kuwait comprised primarily of American soldiers and then a collective of other nations. US carriers released their aircrafts that began bombing strategic locations across Iraq. Baghdad was under siege as images of the war were streamed live to the whole world. As the war continued nearly 32 countries stepped in and joined forces. A total of six weeks for the allied forces who engaged in several air manoeuvres, strategic strikes and more finally culminated in a swift retreat for the oppressing forces to move out of Kuwait.

During this time Iraq could do nothing against the aerial bombardments and retaliated by launching SCUD missiles into Saudi Arabia and Israel. It hopped that Israel would enter the war and thus prevent the other Arab nations from engaging but Israel on behest of the UN council stayed clear of any involvement.

The date was February 24th when ground forces finally began their assault on the occupying Iraqi army. Thanks to poor weaponry and outdated supplies, the Iraqi forces were quickly overwhelmed and in just a single day 10,000 troops were held as prisoners. On the same day a US air force base was established inside Iraq and in just four days, Kuwait was liberated! Finally, on February 28th, President George Bush declared cease fire and April 3rd was when UN passed the Resolution 687 offering specific conditions based on which the conflict could come to a proper end. Iraq agreed to the conditions three days after ending its siege and Kuwait gained back its freedom.

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