Causes Of The Persian Gulf War  

The first Persian Gulf War, also called Operation Desert Storm, was a war fought between the Coalition Forces and Iraq. The time span of the war was from 2 August 1990 to 28 February 1991. The location of this theater was mainly in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. The coalition forces were moved in on the behest of the United Nation and the US spearheaded the force. The coalition was composed of 32 nations. But the major players were the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Egypt.


This war was a result of occupation of Kuwait by Iraq.  Iraq had always staked claim on Kuwait since it was regarded as a Province of the Ottoman Empire of Basra. Later, Kuwait was under the governance of the British rule till 1899. On being declared independent, Briton marked its borders and did not make it an integral part of Iraq.

The dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, stated that Kuwait was trying to suppress Iraq’s economy by over-producing oil thereby under-pricing it in the global market. He also claimed that Kuwait was illegally pumping out oil from its oil fields located in Rumaila. The Iraqi forces first occupied the Kuwait city by moving along the highway. They caught the Kuwaitis unaware. They moved southwards while another contingent of ground forces which was moving westward turned to launch attacks from the east in order to cut off the city of Kuwait from the southern portion of the country.  

This move to invade and occupy Kuwait was condemned by the UN and trade embargoes were sanctioned against Iraq.

The assistance of the US was sought when the Iraqi forces moved southwards and deployed its armies bordering Saudi Arabia’s oil fields. The UN gave 15 January 1991 as the deadline for Saddam Hussein to withdraw his forces from occupied Kuwait. On 18 January 1991, Operation Desert Storm was initiated when Saddam refused to exit. The coalition forces were led by Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf.

The campaign saw both aerial and ground attacks by the coalition forces.  The aerial attacks were launched first to mow down the civil and military installations and infrastructure. Saddam tried in vain to expand the theater of war and involve Israel and Saudi Arabia as well by launching scud missiles. The coalition forces entered Iraq on 24 February and within the next 4 days defeated the Iraqi forces. Cease fire was declared by President Bush on 28 February and Kuwait was liberated. Most Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait ended up surrendering or fled from the region.

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