By: Tyler Brice, Mohammed Ullah, George Shannon
There was a war between Iran and Iraq and it had ended in a ceasefire in August 1988. Their foreign ambassadors met and peace seemed to be coming also the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was going to dissolve that conflict and return territory that his forces had long occupied. But two weeks later Hussein delivered a speech in which he accused the nation Kuwait of stealing crude oil from oil fields located along their border and he demanded that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia cancel out $30 billion of Iraq’s foreign debt, and he accused them of conspiring to keep oil prices down for Western oil-buying nations.
Invasion of Kuwait
On August 2, 1990 Hussein ordered the invasion of Kuwait. He thought that the Arab states would stand by his side in the invasion and not call in outside help to stop it but he was wrong. Most members of the Arab League condemned Iraq’s act of aggression and Saudi Arabia’s King along with Kuwait’s government turned to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for support.
The NATO Reaction
The U.S. President George H.W. Bush i condemned the invasion and so did Britain and the Soviet Union. And on August 3, the United Nations called for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. But on August 8, the Iraqi government annexed Kuwait–Hussein named it Iraq’s “19th province". After that U.S. fighter planes began arriving in Saudi Arabia as part of a military plan "Operation Desert Shield". Also troops were sent by NATO allies as well as Egypt and other Arab nations, designed to guard against a Iraqi attack on Saudi Arabia.
- On November 29, 1990, the U.N. commanded the use of all necessary force against Iraq if it did not remove itself from Kuwait. By January, the coalition/united nation forces prepared to face off against Iraq was about 750,000 which included 540,000 U.S. soldiers and forces from Britain, Germany, France, the Soviet Union,Egypt,Japan, and Saudi Arabia/
- -Iraq's allies consisted of Jordan, Algeria, Sudan, Yemen, and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
Beginning of the Gulf War
On January 17, 1991, a massive coalition air force hit Iraq’s air defenses and destroyed their communications networks and weapons plants. The coalition attack is known as Operation Desert Storm. After the attack the Iraqi air force was destroyed.
War on the Ground
By February, the coalition forces had their focus of air attacks toward Iraqi ground forces in Kuwait and southern Iraq. A massive allied ground offensive called Operation Desert Sabre, was started on February 24, with troops heading from northeastern Saudi Arabia into Kuwait and southern Iraq. Over the next days, coalition forces defeated the Iraqis and liberated Kuwait. Bush declared a ceasefire on February 28, ending the Persian Gulf War.
Aftermath of the War
The Gulf War was a victory for the coalition, but Kuwait and Iraq suffered enormous damage, and Saddam Hussein was not forced from power. But In 2002, the United States now led by President George W. Bush started a new U.N. resolution and called for the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq and then U.N. inspectors reentered Iraq. But Iraq was not agreeing with inspections and the United States and Britain began amassing forces on Iraq’s border. Then Bush issued an ultimatum demanding that Saddam Hussein step down from power and leave Iraq within 48 hours, under threat of war. Hussein refused, and the second Persian Gulf War was started.