Was a military struggle fought principally in Kuwait and Iraq during January and February 1991. The crisis began in August 1990, when Iraq, led by President Saddam Hussein, invaded and annexed Kuwait. Between August and November the United Nations Security Council passed a series of resolutions that culminated in the demand that Iraq withdraw unconditionally from Kuwait by January 15, 1991. By that time, some 500,000 allied ground, air, and naval forceschiefly from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain, Egypt, Syria, and Francewere arrayed against an Iraqi army estimated at that time to number 540,000. Under the command of U.S. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the multinational coalition began intensive aerial bombardment of military targets in Iraq and Kuwait within 24 hours after the UN deadline expired, using advanced weaponry such as laser-guided bombs and cruise missiles, as well as conventional weapons.
After establishing air superiority, coalition forces disabled Iraq’s command and control centers, especially in Baghdad and Al Basrah of transport and communication between Baghdad and the troops in the field; and relentlessly attacked Iraq’s infantry, which was dug in along the Saudi-Kuwaiti border, and the 125,000-man Republican Guard in southeastern Iraq and northern Kuwait. Some Iraqi aircraft were shot down; many more were bombed in shelters or fled to Iran. Iraq retaliated by using mobile launchers to fire Scud missiles at Saudi Arabia and Israel, a noncombatant; the U.S. countered this threat with patriot antimissile missiles. In mid-February, with its military and civilian casualties rapidly mounting, Iraq signaled its willingness to withdraw from Kuwait.
A series of conditional Iraqi offers, mediated by the Soviet Union, were rejected by the coalition. Instead, allied forces began a coordinated air-land offensive, breaching Iraq’s main line of defense at the Saudi-Kuwaiti border and swiftly advancing through southern Iraq to outflank the main Iraqi force and cut off the Republican Guard’s principal avenue of retreat. Within 100 hours, the city of Kuwait had been liberated, and ten of thousands of Iraqi troops had deserted, surrendered, or been captured or killed. Coalition combat losses were astonishingly light: as of February 28, when offensive operations were suspended, only 149 allied troops had been killed and 513 wounded. Damage to Kuwait was extensive, however, as retreating Iraqi forces looted the capital and set fire to most of Kuwait’s oil wells. Iraqi representatives accepted allied terms for a provisional truce on March 3 and a permanent cease-fire on April 6.
Iraq agreed to pay reparations to Kuwait, reveal the location and extent of its stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and eliminate its weapons of mass destruction. Subsequently, however, UN inspectors complained that the Baghdad government was frustrating their attempts to monitor Iraqi compliance. The war in the Persian Gulf was a war of religios fervor, and cruel leadership. Desert Storm was the same type of war that had occured in this area for many years except for one fact. In Operation Desert Storm, sophisticated technology was used to end the war in a quick and timely manner.
In 1979 Saddam Hussien took control of Iraq, and immediatly set the tone for his rule by killing 21 of his cabinet members. He wanted to make his country whole once again so in 1990 he invaded Kuwait and in less than 4 hours he had taken Kuwait and controlled 24% of the worlds oil supplies. It seemed as if his next target was Saudi Arabia. This was where the United States entered after a call for protection by Saudi Arabia. The United States set a deadline, January 15, 1991 for all Iraq forces to be out of Kuwait, but Saddam ignored the deadline.
That triggered Desert Shield, or the build-up of troops in the region and eventually lead to Desert Storm, a all-out attack to free Kuwait. It can be clearly said that due to the extreme power and sophistication of the U.S. and her allies that Saddam and his tiny nation of 17 million people stood no chance against the military might that is the United States and its Allies. Chronology: Important Events 1990 Hussein accuses Kuwait on 17 July of oil overproduction and theft of oil from the Rumailia Oil Field. 1990 On 25 July US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, tells Hussien that the Iraq/Kuwaitt dispute is an Arab matter, not one that affects the United States.
1990 Hussein invades Kuwait on August 2. President Bush freezes Iraqi and Kuwatti assets. The United Nations calls on Hussien to withdraw. Aug 6,1990 Economic sanctions are authorized. Aug 7, 1990 Secretery of Defense Cheny visits Suadi Arabia. The 82nd Airborne and several fighter squadrons are dispatched.
Aug 8. 1990 Iraq annexes Kuwait Aug 9, 1990 The UN declare’s Iraq’s annexation invailid Aug 12, 1990 The USA announces intrediction program of Irai shipping. Aug 22, 1990 President Bush authorizes call up of reserves. Aug 25, 1990 Military interdiction authorized by the UN Sep 14, 1990 Iraqi forces storm a number of diplomatic missions in Kuwait City. Nov 8, 1990 Bush orders aditional deployments to give “offensive option” to US forces.
Nov 20, 1990 45 Democrats file suit in Washington to have President Bush first seek Congressional approval of military operations. (eventually thrown out) Nov 22, 1990 President Bush visits the troops for Thanksgiving. Nov 29, 1990 UN Security Council authorizes force if Iraq doesnt withdraw from Kuwait by midnight EST Janu. 15. Nov 30, 1990 Bush invites Tariq Aziz to Washington and offers to send Secretary of State James Baker to Baghdad. Jan 9, 1991 Baker and Aziz meet in Geneva. The meeting is 6 hrs, but no results.
Jan 12, 1991 Congress votes to allow for US troops to be used in offensive operations. Jan 15, 1991 The deadline set by the UN Resolution 678 for Iraq to withdraw. Jan 16, 1991 First US government statement of Operation Desert-Storm made. Marlin Fitzwater announces, “The liberation of Kuwait has begun..” US warplanes attack Baghdad, Kuwait and other military targets in Iraq. Jan 17, 1991 Iraq launches first SCUD Missle attack.
Jan 30, 1991 US forces in the Gulf exceed 500,000. Feb 6, 1991 Jordan King Hussein lashes out against American bombardments and supports Iraq. Feb 13, 1991 US Bombers destroy a bunker complex in Baghdad with several hundred citizens inside. Nearly 300 die. Feb 17, 1991 Tariq Aziz travels to Moscow to discuss possible negotiated end to the war.
Feb 22, 1991 President Bush issues an ultimatum of Feb 23 for Iraqi troops to withdraw from Kuwait. Feb 23, 1991 Ground war begins with Marines, Army and Arab forces moving into Iraq and Kuwait. Feb 25, 1991 Iraqi SCUD missle hits a US barracks in Saudi Arabia killing 27. Feb 26, 1991 Kuwaiti resistence leaders declare they are in control of Kuwait City. Feb 27, 1991 President Bush orders a cease fire effective at midnight Kuwaiti time.
Mar 3, 1991 Iraqi leaders formally accept cease fire terms Mar 4, 1991 Ten Allied POWs freed Mar 5, 1991 35 POWs released Mar 8, 1991 First US combat forces return home.