The Gulf War

The Gulf War (Desert Storm) refers to the First Gulf War and its operational name of Operation Desert Storm. This conflict started in August 1990 and finished in February 1991, but the Operation Desert Storm continued until it was officially ended on the 30th November 1995.

Today you are going to find out about the First Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm, the causes of the war and a whole load of other information you probably never knew about this conflict.

Causes of the Gulf War

After the Iraq-Iran War Iraq was near bankruptcy and asked Kuwait who had lent Iraq money would relinquish the debt. Kuwait said no and said they still want to money paid back.

Gulf War photo collage. Via Wikimedia Commons

The next step was for Iraq to say that Kuwait was taking more oil than its OPEC quota allowed; by doing this it meant that oil dropped by quite a few dollars a barrel. As Iraq’s main economy was from oil this put Iraq in an even more difficult financial position.

The next accusation was that Kuwait was drilling on an angle thus entering Iraqi oilfields over the countries border and stealing oil. All these accusations went without foundation and no action was taken.

Iraq’s next form of action was to ask the oil countries of to cut their OPEC quotas to drive oil prices up and help the recovery of the Iraq economy. Within a short time Kuwait actually did the opposite and asked to increase their quota, this was the final straw for Iraq.

On August 2nd 1990 Iraq started its invasion of Kuwait.

After the invasion many UN resolutions were passed and Iraq was given time to withdraw. Iraq ignored all mandates and resolutions thrown at them so on the 17th January 1991 a UN backed coalition of forces from many different countries started the Gulf War.

The Gulf War – Operation Desert Storm

The first action in the Gulf War happened in the early hours of the 17th January 1991 when American Bombers attacked key targets in Iraq. Coalition forces also started sorties over Iraq attacking military targets.

Saddam Hussein straight away went on the offensive and started firing SCUD missiles against Saudi Arabia, Israel and other pro-U.S. countries. Nearly all these SCUD missiles didn’t achieve their targets and were harmless.

Before the end of January 1991 the coalition forces had a combined force of just fewer than one million soldiers waiting in the Gulf, ready to go into action.

In February Iraq had an ultimatum to leave Kuwait; they reneged and never did so. When this happened, the might of all coalition nations was unleashed as one million soldiers were sent into Iraq and Kuwait. By the 26th February Kuwait was back in the control of the Kuwaiti forces.

On the 27th February a ceasefire was confirmed by President George W. Bush and agreed by Iraqi leaders within days.

While the Gulf War was complete in February 1991 many thought the conflict was over but Operation Desert Storm continued and officially ended on the 30th November 1995 as coalition troops did not withdraw from Iraq for a long while after.

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