Gulf War


The Gulf War (August 2, 1990 to February 28, 1991) was a military conflict fought between Iraq and international Coalition forces, led by the United States and sponsored by the United Nations, with the approval of its Security Council, through Resolution 678, authorizing the use of military force to achieve the liberation of Kuwait, occupied and annexed by the Iraqi armed forces under Saddam Hussein.

On August 2, 1990, the Iraqi army invaded and conquered Kuwait. This action brought immediate and vehement international condemnation, with the UN Security Council countries imposing economic sanctions against Iraq. With military support from British Premier Margaret Thatcher, U.S. President George H.W. Bush sent a huge number of U.S. armed forces soldiers into Saudi Arabia and urged friendly nations around the world to do the same. In the end, more than thirty countries contributed some military means to the Coalition, forming one of the largest military alliances the world has seen since World War II. Still, the overwhelming majority of the soldiers fighting in the war were American, with the United Kingdom, the Saudis, France, and Egypt also contributing several combat units. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia further assisted the Coalition with some $32 billion, with the war effort as a whole consuming more than $60 billion in total.

The Persian Gulf War was one of the largest military campaigns in modern history, with a huge mobilization of human and material resources in a short period of time, introducing several new means of warfare and sophisticated state-of-the-art technologies on the battlefield. New words were added to the global lexicon, such as stealth aircraft and smart bombs. This conflict was also one of the first to be shown live from the front lines with satellite transmission, catapulting the CNN television network and the “24-hour journalism” format to notoriety.

The war itself saw five weeks of intense aerial bombardment by the Coalition (from January 17 through February 24), followed by less than a hundred hours of ground campaigning that resulted in the rapid expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. In the end, Coalition allies scored an overwhelming victory, liberating Kuwait while inflicting heavy casualties on the Iraqis, although their own losses were minimal. On February 28, the international Coalition declared its objectives complete with the liberation of Kuwaiti territory and the withdrawal of Saddam’s troops, signing a cease-fire and ending hostilities. During the course of the war, the fighting was restricted to just Iraq, Kuwait, and the Saudi border regions. Iraq tried to draw Israel into the war by launching Scud missiles against its territory, aiming to try to cause a split between the Western powers and their Arab allies.

Tensions Iraq-Kuwait (borders, oil and debt)

Saddam Hussein’s decision to invade Kuwait was essentially an attempt to deal with the continued vulnerability of its economy and its consequent impact on public finances. By the end of the Iran-Iraq War in August 1988, the Iraqi economy was indeed on the verge of collapse and internally there were sectarian tensions across the country as well. The largest creditors of the nation’s debt were Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The Iraqi government tried to get these countries to forgive some of the debt, but they refused.

Besides the economic issue, the conflict between Iraq and Kuwait was also over territorial disputes. Kuwait was part of the province of Baçora at the time of the Ottoman Empire’s rule, which was then claimed as Iraqi territory. The Kuwaiti royal family had concluded a protectorate agreement with the United Kingdom in 1899, thus leaving the responsibility to the British to take care of the country’s foreign policy. The border between the two nations was then drawn by the British in 1922. The creation of an independent Kuwait took away the only outlet to the sea that Iraq had. The Kuwaitis rejected all attempts by the Iraqis to try to keep any provisions in the country. Saddam’s government, soon after the conflict with Iran, began accusing Kuwait of exceeding OPEC quotas for oil exports. The cartel at the time wanted to keep the price of the commodity at $18 dollars per barrel and discipline was needed. The UAE and Kuwait were overproducing. The result of the overproduction was a reduction in the barrel price to just $10, which represented a loss of $7 billion annually to Iraq, which was almost the exact amount of the payment to balance the deficit in 1989. Public spending and plans to rebuild the country’s internal infrastructure ended up being undermined, which caused the Iraqi economy to enter a strong recession. Jordan and Iraq tried to maintain price discipline, but with little success. The Iraqi government accused the Kuwaitis of waging ‘economic warfare’. Kuwait was also accused of drilling underground near the Iraqi border in disputed territories.

As the domestic economic crisis worsened, Saddam wanted to tighten his partnership with the Arab nations that supported him during the war against Iran. This move was supported by the United States, which believed that bringing the Iraqis closer to pro-Western Gulf states would help keep Iraq within the American sphere of influence. By 1989, the Iraqis’ main regional partner, Saudi Arabia, was interested in maintaining the level of friendship between the nations. The countries quickly signed non-interference and non-aggression agreements, followed by a treaty that said Iraq should provide Kuwait with drinking water for beverages and for irrigation. Development projects in Iraq turned out to be not very promising due to the growing public deficit, even after the demobilization of more than 200,000 soldiers. Saddam’s government also invested in the development of a national arms industry, but debt payments stole resources from the investments. Falling oil prices diminished Iraq’s main source of income, causing further resentment with OPEC and neighboring countries.

The repression of ethnic minorities in Iraq ultimately deteriorated the country’s relationship with its neighbors. The deteriorating relationship between nations in the region did not gain prominence outside the Middle East, due to events in Europe (such as the decline of the Soviet Union). The United States, however, began to change its stance with Iraq, condemning the human rights situation in that country, which was already known for massacres and torture. The British government had also condemned the execution of journalist Farzad Bazoft, who was a correspondent for the British newspaper The Observer. After Saddam’s statements that he would not hesitate to use chemical weapons against Israel if it attacked his territory, Washington cut off various funds to the country. The idea of a UN mission to investigate uprisings in the occupied Palestinian territories, which resulted in many deaths, was vetoed by the Americans, causing the Iraqi government to become skeptical of US foreign policy in the region.

In July 1990, Iraq continued to complain about Kuwait’s behavior, which was not respecting oil production quotas, and threatened to take direct military action. In the same month, the CIA (American intelligence agency) reported that the Iraqis had moved at least 30,000 troops to the country’s southern border. The US fleet in the Persian Gulf was then put on high alert. Saddam claimed that there was an anti-Iraqi conspiracy unfolding. Kuwait had begun to resume relations with Iran and Syria was talking more with Egypt. Hussein’s government launched formal charges against Kuwait in the Arab League, claiming that the country was suffering losses of $1 billion a year, and that Kuwaitis were illegally exploiting the Rumaila oil fields, and that debt between “Arab brothers” did not count. He threatened to use military force against Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (his main creditors) saying that politicians in these countries were taking inspiration from America to “undermine Arab interests and security.” In response to the threats, the US government sent several extra aircraft and ships to the region. Discussions in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, mediated by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on behalf of the Arab League, took place on July 31, 1990 but there was little progress.

U.S.-Iraq relations prior to the conflict

During most of the Cold War, Iraq was an ally of the Soviet Union. Relations with the United States were historically conflictive, on the one hand due to the close diplomatic relations and strong military support of the American nation for the state of Israel, and on the other hand Iraqi support for terrorist Arab and Palestinian groups such as Abu Nidal.

When Iraq decided to attack and invade its neighbor Iran and started the Iran-Iraq War, the United States maintained a neutral stance, which was changed following Operation Fath-ol-Mobeen, which was a successful counter-offensive in March 1982, executed by Iranian forces and which dangerously tipped the war in their favor. From then until 1990, the US government openly supported Iraq by providing food aid, military aid (weapons and intelligence), and dual-use technology that could be used for the development and manufacture of agricultural implements, but also for the development and manufacture of ballistic missiles, or for the development of weapons of mass destruction. Doing justice to the proverb “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” the Americans maintained a high level of diplomatic relations until the eve of the invasion, with the exception of a limited period immediately following the AM39 Exocet missile attack, allegedly mistaken when the frigate USS Stark (FFG-31) was hit.

On July 25 (six days before the invasion), Saddam receives in audience the US ambassador April Glaspie. She assured him that the United States would not intervene militarily in defense of Kuwait, because it has no defined position, nor does it interfere in diplomatic affairs exclusively between Arab countries.

Invading and annexing Kuwait by force turned out to be a huge miscalculation on the part of Saddam Hussein, which had catastrophic consequences for Iraq. The impulse to take this decision can be found in the aggressive nationalism that has always characterized and predominated Iraqi politics after the fall of the monarchy in 1958, more specifically in the impulsive and spiteful personality of its leader, who in eleven years of absolute power, tolerated no opposition to his plans, so little his image and greatness was overshadowed by others. Before the invasion in August 1990, the Iraqi army was believed to be the fourth largest in the world. Comprising a total of approximately one million regular soldiers, plus 450,000 reservists, with a vast combat experience, provided by eight years of armed conflict with neighboring Iran, and clearly influenced in its organization and doctrine by the Soviet model, it presented sufficient arguments to be considered a respectable adversary.

On July 21, 1990 the main road connecting Baisora and Kuwait began to become congested by military vehicles. Movements of military forces toward the common border between the two countries had begun. Initially three armored divisions, accompanied by four other infantry divisions, by the end of that same week approximately 100,000 soldiers supported by some two thousand T-54 armored

On the other side, there was the Kuwaiti Armed Forces, consisting of the 6th, 15th and 35th Mechanized Brigades, based in the north of the country, south of the country’s capital and in the west of the nation respectively, equipped with modern fighting cars at the time, Chieftains of British origin and M-84s produced under license in the former Yugoslavia. However their level of readiness was at the usual level in peacetime, due to the absence of much of the manpower on leave, in the week before the invasion, this level is further lowered to a paltry 25% readiness, in an attempt to appease the intentions of their northern neighbor.

In the early hours of August 2, three Iraqi Republican Guard divisions crossed the border line between the two countries leading and carrying out the established plan, eliminating all opposing resistance on their way to the capital. Simultaneously several helitransport and amphibious assaults were executed by Special Forces at key points in Kuwait city and strategic locations in various areas throughout the country, later consolidated by regular forces.

The Kuwaiti ground forces were not and could not be a serious challenge, reacting late and uncoordinated, apart from some resistance mostly due to individual acts of bravery, they were quickly overwhelmed or forced to retreat until they found shelter in Saudi Arabia. The air force was able to execute some limited attacks, but their aircraft also took refuge in the Saudi kingdom and or Bahrain.

It was all over in 12 hours. The royal family was safely ensconced in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, and Saddam Hussein was lord and master of the small state and all its wealth, which was immediately plundered.

Over the next six months the annexation of Kuwait is declared as the 19th Iraqi province and the positions and means employed in the defense, consisting of 590,000 soldiers, 4,000 armored personnel, 3,000 heavy artillery pieces and cannons, positioned deep throughout Kuwaiti territory and throughout southern Iraq, are consolidated. The army reserve had also been mobilized. With the signing of the peace agreements with neighboring Iran in September 1990, 10 more divisions were available from the common border between these two nations. Three divisions, Hammurobi, Medina, and Tawakalna of the Republican Guard, the army’s elite units, were still in reserve and on high readiness. Extensive minefields were laid out on the border with Saudi Arabia, supplemented by obstacles to the progression of vehicles and infantry, as well as fortifications of all kinds.

A brief chronology

Compiling data on crucial moments and their background in a non-exhaustive way, the time references reflect the official time in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

Initiatives to resolve the conflict diplomatically

Once the invasion was consummated, the first reaction of opposition to the events did not come from the Arab world as would be expected. The United States, which immediately froze Kuwaiti assets on American territory to prevent the Iraqis from using them, and the United Kingdom, are the first to react, soon followed by Germany, France, and Japan. Meeting in urgency given the gravity of the facts, the United Nations Security Council, approves resolution 660 with 14 votes in favor and Yemen’s abstention, strongly condemning the invasion and demanding an immediate and unconditional withdrawal, returning to the situation prior to the military aggression. For the first time and as a result of the thaw in international relations, but also because its leaders are busy dismantling a superpower, the still Soviet Union votes unconditionally on the side of the Western powers. On August 3, the Arab League passed its own resolution, demanding that the solution to the conflict be made within the league itself and called for no outside interference. Iraq and Libya were the only Arab nations to oppose the group’s resolution calling for the complete withdrawal of Saddam’s troops from Kuwait. The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) also opposed it and claimed to support Hussein. Yemen and Jordan, although allies of the West, opposed Western interference in the region’s internal affairs. Sudan also claimed to support Saddam.

On August 12, 1990, Saddam proposed to resolve all “occupations” in the region simultaneously. He stated that Israel should withdraw from the Palestinian territories, southern Syria, and Lebanon, and also called for the Syrian government to withdraw its troops from Lebanese territory. He also demanded the withdrawal of American forces from Saudi Arabia and suggested that it should be replaced by an “Arab force,” as long as it did not involve Egypt. Saddam ended by calling for an end to the embargoes and boycotts against him, and for the countries’ relations with Iraq to be normalized. Since the beginning of the crisis, US President Bush denied any kind of connection between what was happening in Kuwait and the Palestinian problem.

On August 23, Saddam appeared on his country’s state television alongside Western hostages whose exit visas had been denied by the Baghdad government. In the video, he appeared next to Stuart Lockwood, a British child, and asked if he was getting his milk. The Iraqi president had hoped to use these hostages as human shields at a bombing site. Eventually they were released, before hostilities began.

Eventually, the United States and its allies firmed up their position that there would be no negotiation with Iraq and that they would not listen to any of their complaints unless they withdrew unconditionally from Kuwait. U.S. Secretary of State James Baker met with Saddam’s minister, Tariq Aziz, in Geneva, Switzerland, in early 1991, and the two talked for a few minutes but no proposal was made.

On November 29, 1990, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 678 which gave Iraq until January 15, 1991 to withdraw its troops from Kuwait. In case of refusal, the Coalition member countries would have the authority to use “all necessary means” to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwaiti territory.

The reasons for the coalition’s military intervention

The United States and the UN gave various justifications for their involvement in the conflict, the one that resonated most was the violation of Kuwait’s territorial integrity. In addition, the Americans wanted to support Saudi Arabia, their most important ally in the region and a major oil producer. Soon after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, U.S. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney made the first of several visits to Saudi Arabia. During a speech before Congress on September 11, 1990, President George H.W. Bush said about the reasons for the war: “In three days, 120,000 Iraqi troops and 850 tanks invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia. That’s when I decided to act against this aggression.”

Other justifications, which weighed on public opinion in the West, were the constant human rights violations and abuses committed by Saddam Hussein’s forces. There were also reports of the use of chemical and biological weapons, which the Iraqi dictator had used on a large scale against the Iranians during the previous conflict and against the Kurds in the north during Operation Al-Anfal.

Operation Desert Shield

One of the Coalition’s main concerns was protecting Saudi Arabia. After the conquest of Kuwait, the Iraqi army was extremely close to the Saudi oil fields. If these fields were taken, along with those of the Kuwaitis, and the reserves that Iraq had, this would give Saddam control of most of the world’s oil reserves. The Iraqis had several grievances with the Saudis. Saudi Arabia had lent $26 billion to Iraq to fight Iran. The Saudis had supported the Iraqis during this conflict because they feared the advancing influence of the Iranian Shiite revolution and there was a fear that the Shiite populations in Sunni ruled countries (such as Iraq and Saudi Arabia) would rebel as well. After the war, Saddam believed that he should not pay back the amount that was lent to him, because he had already done so much fighting in the arduous war against Iran.

After the invasion of Kuwait, Saddam began to verbally attack the Saudis. He said that the Saudi government, supported by the Americans, were the illegitimate and unworthy guardians of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Strangely enough, the Iraqi dictator ended up using the same anti-Saudi arguments that Iran used.

Using parts of the Carter Doctrine and fearing that Iraqi forces might attack Saudi Arabia, U.S. President George H.W. Bush announced that the United States had launched a “defensive mission” to protect the territory from its Saudi allies. The mission had been called “Operation Desert Shield. This operation officially began on August 7, 1990 when the first American troops landed in Saudi Arabia with the blessing of King Fahd, who had already asked for American military assistance. The next day, Iraq declared Kuwait as the 19th province of the country and Saddam then appointed his cousin, Ali Hassan Al-Majid, as its military governor.

In early August, the United States Navy dispatched two naval battle groups to the Gulf, each led by a super aircraft carrier: the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the USS Independence. Two battleships, the USS Missouri and the USS Wisconsin were also deployed to the region. A total of 48 U.S. Air Force F-15 fighters were sent to Saudi Arabia and immediately began patrolling the Saudi-Iraqi border. An additional force of 36 F-15s A-Ds were dispatched. This latest grouping was stationed at Al Kharj air base, about an hour from Riyadh. During the war, these aircraft would be responsible for shooting down at least 11 enemy fighters in combat. There were also two U.S. Air National Guard squadrons at Kharj, consisting of 24 F-16s that would fly more than 2,000 hours on combat missions and fire nearly two tons of ammunition. Another 24 F-16s were deployed and performed bombing missions, primarily. The number of troops on the ground gradually increased, reaching 543,000 troops, a number twice that used in the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The US Armed Forces have five main commands, which coordinate the projection of forces in specific regions of the globe. The Persian Gulf area is assigned to US Central Command (CENTCOM), which roughly corresponds to: Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, the entire Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Ethiopia, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Formed in 1979, when Iran was given hostile status following the US embassy hostage crisis, it did not yet have military forces assigned at the time of the Saudi request for help

Due to the excellence of US combat brigade training, closely linked to the indispensable flexibility of employment in a wide variety of theaters of operations, almost all of the forces had one or more combat training sessions in a desert environment.

In 1990, the U.S. Army, which had become demoralized and in ruins two decades earlier after the Vietnam War, reinvented itself to rebuild on the basis of an all-volunteer, highly professionalized force with stronger and more competent leadership, as well as new doctrine and more realistic training, capable of fighting any enemy anywhere in the world. While the army displayed new equipment (such as the M1 Abrams war tank) and new infantry tactics, the air force also brought new weapons to the battlefield. Smart bombs dropped from F-117 stealth aircraft caused great devastation in Iraq during the war, and because this aircraft was nearly invisible to radar the Iraqis were unable to retaliate effectively. The navy, meanwhile, used the lethal, advanced BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles on a large scale for the first time. To protect its allies from rockets fired from Iraq, the United States also used MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft batteries for the first time. New electronic warfare technologies were also used.

The deployment of U.S. Navy ships to the Persian Gulf area was undoubtedly a complex demonstration of maritime power projection and the largest concentration of naval units with a single objective, until then. Acquired the naval supremacy against a navy without meaning, its most valuable contribution and of enormous strategic importance, was to convince the Iraqi military command, that a large amphibious landing would be about to occur, which never happened, forcing the dispersion of important forces for the protection of coastal space. Of paramount importance to the success of this illusion was the demonstration of the presence among the coalition naval forces, of the 2,200 Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Force and all their heavy equipment, including support, assault and combat support aircraft, aboard five major amphibious assault ships. Significant emphasis was also placed on mine collection and deactivation (mine sweeping), an attitude not seen since World War II, but which was necessitated by the Iraqi navy’s undermining of international waters in an attempt to block the main access corridors to its coast.


On the eve of the invasion of Kuwait, the Iraqi army had one million men at arms. In total there were about 47 infantry divisions, plus 9 armored divisions and several mechanized brigades at their disposal. In addition, there were the twelve Republican Guard divisions. This high number of troops did not necessarily translate into quality, as most of these combatants were newly recruited conscripts with little formal training, while the veterans were fatigued after eight years of war against Iran. In addition, Saddam Hussein did not trust the officers in his army. During the previous war, he had several generals and officers (some remarkably competent) executed.

In the war against Iran, Saddam’s forces were supplied with huge amounts of weapons from the Soviet Union, China, the United States, Brazil, and several other countries. Although well-armed by this factor, this also meant that the equipment used by the Iraqi army was not standardized, creating an inhomogeneous and consequently inefficient force. The Republican Guard units were the best prepared and best paid and therefore were also the most loyal. The rest of the troops were poorly equipped (as the army was too large, everyone lacked modern equipment) and there was also the problem of lack of motivation. Most of the mechanized units in the army had old second-hand tanks, many imported from China, such as Type 59 and Type 69, and others were armored tanks manufactured in the former Soviet Union between the 1950s and 1970s, such as the T-55 and T-72 tanks. Such tanks were not equipped with very modern technology, such as night vision or guided laser sighting, which made the Iraqi machinery very outdated compared to those in the West, limiting their capability and performance on the modern battlefield. On the other side, the Allies possessed modern war tanks, such as the American M1 Abrams and the British Challenger 1. In addition, the Coalition forces had superior aircraft technologically and in greater numbers, as well as a better equipped and better trained army overall.

Iraqi armor crews used outdated, old penetration ammunition against the modern Chobham armor used by American and British tanks. The result was disastrous, with Allied vehicles being hit by sporadic gunfire and surviving, while Iraqi tanks were slaughtered. In addition, there were problems in central command. Saddam’s army officers did not have many technical skills, and since they also did not have as much operational freedom to make decisions (strategy was made by Hussein), this left the Iraqi forces without the ability to adapt to new scenarios on the modern battlefield. In addition, Saddam did not anticipate the air power of the allied air forces, when planes, especially American and British, destroyed checkpoints and communication, which limited the Iraqi ability to mount a cohesive defense.

Coalition Formation

The international consensus on the seriousness of Saddam Hussein’s aggression and the acceptance that the United States was the linchpin in crafting the response, providing the military leadership and the efforts necessary to hold together an alliance of countries unprecedented in world history, galvanized nations to act quickly and in force.

To secure economic support, James Baker, the American Secretary of State, traveled to dozens of countries. Saudi Arabia was the first country to be visited and quickly agreed to not only support financially, but also make its territory available to Coalition forces. Egypt, Syria, and Oman were the other Middle Eastern countries to support the Americans. Several Western European nations, such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, and especially the United Kingdom, also sent either troops or equipment to the front lines. In all, 34 countries participated in the Coalition at some level. This was the largest military coalition assembled since World War II. Some nations, such as Japan and Germany chose to make financial contributions, helping with $10 billion and $6.6 billion, respectively. Overall, about 73% of the 956,600 Coalition troops sent to fight Iraq were from the United States.

Air campaign

The war began with a massive aerial bombing campaign on January 17, 1991. It was more than 100,000 strikes and raids, with at least 88,500 tons of bombs dropped from the air and quickly destroyed Iraq’s military infrastructure, causing collateral damage to the country’s civilian infrastructure as well. The air campaign was commanded by General Chuck Horner.

One day after passing the deadline set by UN Resolution 678 demanding the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait, the Coalition forces launched a massive air campaign against Iraq, thus starting “Operation Desert Storm”. The first priority was to destroy the Iraqi air force and its anti-aircraft defense installations. Most of the raids came out of bases in Saudi Arabia or Coalition aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.

The next targets for Coalition aircraft and cruise missiles were the command and communications facilities of Saddam’s forces. The Iraqi dictator personally commanded every aspect of his army’s strategy and spontaneous decisions by officers were discouraged. With his communication buildings and listening posts destroyed it eventually limited the ability of the Iraqi forces to respond.

The third phase of bombing was the biggest. Air strikes were launched against targets of military importance, in Iraq and also in Kuwait. The main targets were Scud missile launching bases, ammunition depots, and weapons research and manufacturing centers. About a third of the air strikes by coalition aircraft were against Scuds, which were launched from mobile bases and were therefore difficult to locate. British and American special forces invaded western Iraq to help locate and destroy such launch pads.

Iraqi anti-aircraft defenses, including small arms, cannons and rockets, were found to be ineffective, most of the time. Some 75 aircraft were reportedly lost during the more than 100,000 airborne outbreaks, 44 of these losses were by Iraqi fire (two actually happened when coalition aircraft crashed into the ground during maneuvers to evade enemy fire). Only one Allied aircraft was lost in combat with Iraqi fighters. In comparison, the air losses suffered by Iraq were very high, with several aircraft being shot down or destroyed on the ground.

Iraqi Retaliation (Patriot vs Scud)

In the final third of the Iran-Iraq war the use of ballistic missiles was common practice, so one would expect that in the Gulf war their use was inevitable as well. For the first time in an armed conflict the MIM-104 Patriot missile is employed in ballistic missile defense. This weapon, whose original function is to intercept aircraft at long range and high altitude, has since 1988 undergone a program of upgrades known as PAC-1 (Patriot Advanced Capability-1), which gave it a limited capability against ballistic missiles. It was, however, the most effective weapon available to the coalition forces to counter the threat posed by the locally built variants of the Scud B (Russian designation, R-11 to R-17) and FROG-7 (Russian designation, 9K52 Luna-M) missiles, and several batteries were used to defend cities, military bases with a large concentration of ground or air assets, and possible targets of high strategic value.

Saddam Hussein counted on being able to open significant gaps in the coalition of international forces formed to reverse the annexation of Kuwait, by launching ballistic missiles against Israeli territory, reinforcing his credentials as the only Arab leader capable of facing and fighting the Zionist enemy. Saddam, by admitting even as very likely the attack on Israel, if hostilities were unleashed, put the American leadership under pressure, if on the one hand the Israel Defense Forces were by themselves capable of dealing with the Iraqi threat, they had never until then failed to respond in the same coin to an attack against their territory, which if it happened would at least and undoubtedly cause disunity within the coalition, perhaps even transform a war of liberation into a conflict between several Arab countries and Israel. By the express intervention of George H.W. Bush, it was determined that unprecedented measures would be implemented to persuade Israeli leaders not to exercise their right to respond with fire to the attacks. These included the President’s own assurance that Scud missile delivery systems would be a priority target, the establishment of a direct line of communications facilitating immediate and frequent contact, the early warning of a missile attack which gave the population five minutes to retreat to emergency shelters before impact, plus the deployment from Europe of four MIM-104 Patriot missile batteries and their respective US army operators, implemented in record time.

Iraq had two versions of the R-17 (Scud B) missile in its inventory, the al-Hussein with a range of 600 to 650 km and the al-Abbas which had a range of 750 to 900 km, both versions were Iraqi modifications of the original Soviet missile, they consisted essentially of reducing the weight of the payload and increasing the rate of fuel burn, resulting in longer range but lower lethality, lower accuracy and less reliability than the original model. It ceased to be an effective tactical weapon, and became a useful weapon of terror, derived from not knowing in advance the exact site of impact, nor the type of warhead carried, which could be conventional high explosive, bacteriological or chemical.

The intelligence services provided an estimate, which proved to be wrong and misjudged, of the existence of 600 Scud missiles and their variants, 36 mobile launchers and 28 fixed launching ramps in the west of the country, plus some ramps used for training purposes near missile production or maintenance facilities. While the initial effort to destroy the missile production and servicing sites, was successful, the same was not true of the fixed launching ramps, which were apparently not used, serving as bait for the coalition bombardments helping to create the illusion, after being destroyed, that Iraq’s retaliatory capability had been severely diminished. In fact the Iraqi gamble, against all expectations, fell entirely on mobile launchers, which proved quite difficult to locate and destroy. As a result, the initial hope of military officials to put out of action, or significantly reduce, the threat posed by ballistic missile launches against Israel, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain during the early hours of the air campaign proved to be an illusion.

The Iraqi army made a huge effort to ensure that the number of available launchers and their location remained undetermined. Making intensive use of decoy measures and or using fake targets (decoys) with great realism, some originating in the former East Germany. Also the tactics used by the Iraqi crews surprised the coalition military analysts, such as the use and exploitation of geographical irregularities, ravines, culverts for water runoff and underpasses in the highways, as well as extremely well camouflaged underground reinforced shelters near the air bases, inside densely populated areas and along the main roads. Based on the experience gained in the war with Iran, the procedures for launching and dispersing the missiles were reduced to half the standard 90 minutes used by the Soviet Army. Both situations were unknown to the coalition forces.

Given the ineffectiveness of the strategy of destroying the missile launching platforms, it was modified. For 24 hours straight, every day, there were now dedicated air patrols (Scud patrols) in the detection and destruction of the Scuds. The general idea was that combat aircraft flying over a given area of action could locate an infrared or electromagnetic emission using on-board sensors when a missile was fired, and proceed to destroy the carrier

Israel continued to be targeted, and its military leaders pressed harder to be involved in solving the problem, threatening to take unilateral initiatives. Effective alternatives were needed. Again, Israel proposed intervention in Iraqi territory with regular forces, a solution rejected by U.S. Generals Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf, but U.S. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney considered the possibility of involving Special Forces, with the mission of acting undercover in Iraq, locating targets at night and hiding during the day. Even against Schwarzkopf’s skepticism, their employment was approved, joining and sharing the area of operations since February 7, 1990, with the British forces of the Special Air Service (SAS), already operating since January 20, a situation that Schwarzkopf himself was unaware of.

A total of 49 Scud missiles were fired at Saudi Arabia, of which 38 were intercepted. Israel was hit by 39 Scud, but only ten managed to impact the ground, the failures to intercept were attributed to the scarce availability of Patriot missile batteries. In the final phase of the conflict the new AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles were urgently dispatched to the front line, even though the final phase of testing was not yet completed, for use on the F-15 C

Battle of Khafji

Khafji, at the time of the events, was a Saudi city on the coastline near the Kuwaiti border, with approximately 85,000 inhabitants, who had been evacuated following frequent Iraqi artillery shelling. Unpredictably, at 11 pm on January 29, 1991, patrols from the 3rd Regiment of the 1st Marine Division reported several nearby Iraqi military columns, supported by several hundred armored personnel, coming from the border area, progressing into Saudi territory and engaged heavy Saudi National Guard and Marine forces, who responded supported by an intense air and artillery attack. However, and despite heavy losses in men and material, they managed to reach the city of Khafji and consolidate positions.

Two units of American Marines, composed of six elements each, carrying out reconnaissance actions inside the city, were caught by surprise, unable to retreat in time, and were trapped. During the next 36 hours, divided by the roofs of several houses, they identified and guided the allied artillery by radio, which pounded the Iraqi units relentlessly. Three days after the initial attack in early February, the Iraqi forces had already stampeded in disarray.

The initial air campaign against Iraq lasted approximately five weeks and was considered very successful. Military bases, Iraqi defensive positions, as well as hangars, command and communication posts, radar antennas and Scud missile launch pads were completely or partially destroyed by the bombing raids. The air superiority on the part of the Coalition was mainly due to its extremely advanced technology. This allowed Allied aircraft to fly without facing much resistance, so they executed their missions with deadly efficiency. The superiority, however, was not only in the air, but also on the ground: the Allied battle tanks, the American M1 Abrams, the British Challenger 1 and the Kuwaiti M-84AB were vastly superior to the models used by the Iraqis (such as the Chinese Type 69 and the Soviet T-72). In addition, the Western tank crews were better trained and even had more capable officers.

One of the advantages the Coalition had was the precise use of the GPS system, which helped to better organize air strikes and, above all, also helped the infantry to better position themselves and move more efficiently in unfamiliar territory. With satellite imagery and the freedom to use reconnaissance aircraft without being harassed, the coalition troops had more maneuverability and a better ability to adapt to adverse scenarios. This eliminated the need for a “big battle” as the allies knew where the enemy was and where their weaknesses and strengths were, knowing where and when to strike and in a way that would cause extensive damage without taking too much risk.

Liberation of Kuwait

To distract Iraqi forces, the Allied military launched air and naval attacks against the Kuwaiti coast, making the enemy think that the main offensive would be through the central part of the country.

For months, American units were being deployed in Saudi Arabia, and early in the operation, they began to be attacked by Iraqi artillery, as well as sporadic Scud missiles. On February 24, 1991, the 1st and 2nd U.S. Marine Divisions, accompanied by the army’s 1st Armored Battalion, crossed the Kuwaiti border and moved toward the capital of the country. They encountered trenches, barbed wire and minefields, but these positions were poorly defended and were overcome quickly in a matter of hours. There were clashes with Iraqi tanks, however there was no large scale battle and the resistance imposed by Iraqi infantry soldiers was small, well below expectations. On the contrary, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi military personnel chose to surrender before firing a single shot. Even so, Iraqi anti-aircraft defenses managed to shoot down nine American aircraft. Meanwhile, a second invasion force (consisting mainly of Arab soldiers) came in from the east, also meeting little resistance and suffering few casualties.

Despite the success of the initial phase of the ground incursion by Coalition forces, there were fears that Iraqi Republican Guard units might escape intact. It was then decided to send British mechanized divisions to reinforce the front line in Kuwait (15 hours ahead of schedule), plus additional American units. Protected by a huge artillery barrage, the Allied infantry was advancing. In the vanguard were more than 150,000 troops and 1,500 tanks. On direct orders from Saddam, the Iraqi army troops that were stationed in central Kuwait launched a massive counterattack. The ensuing battle was intense, but the Americans and British repulsed their enemies (suffering few casualties in the process). By this time, the Iraqi forces had suffered huge losses and with their military infrastructure damaged by the aerial bombardments (which destroyed communication and control buildings), thus hindering their ability to mount a cohesive defense. Crushing any resistance they encountered along the way, the Allied troops continued to advance towards Kuwait City, enjoying vast air superiority.

Kuwaiti military personnel were given the task of leading the attack against the occupied capital of the country. The Iraqi troops stationed there offered little resistance and many were captured. Only one Kuwaiti soldier died and one plane was shot down. The fight for the city was short lived and quickly the Allies took over the region. On February 27, three days after the ground offensive began, Saddam ordered what was left of his troops to evacuate Kuwait, and then President Bush declared the country liberated. However, an Iraqi military unit did not get the message and remained entrenched at Kuwait International Airport. There was intense fighting in the area and it was only ended when American Marines arrived. Within a few hours they were able to take control of the airport. It took only four days of fighting for Kuwait to be retaken. As they retreated toward Baghdad, Iraqi military units adopted a scorched earth tactic, destroying everything in their path. In particular, the oil fields in northern Kuwait were set on fire. Overall more than 700 wells were burned, and in addition landmines were placed in the area to make it difficult to put out the fire.

Coalition forces invade southern Iraq

The ground phase of the operation was officially called Desert Sabre. The first Coalition units to enter Iraq were members of the British Special Air Service’s B Squadron in late January 1991. The men of this group advanced behind enemy lines and collected vital intelligence information by primarily detecting the mobile Scud launcher bases. They would have to destroy these launchers and also the fiber optic communication lines and pass more information to the Allied troops in the vanguard. The destruction of the Scuds was very important as Saddam was purposely targeting Israel, hoping that Israel would retaliate. The Iraqi leader hoped that an Israeli attack on an Arab country would weaken the Coalition, which contained several Muslim-majority countries.

American infantry troops launched against southern Iraq on February 15, 1991 and were followed by reinforcements soon after. Iraqi forces in the region were unprepared and poorly armed, and others were desperately fleeing toward Baghdad. Between February 15 and 20, American and British troops engaged Iraqi military personnel in the battle of Wadi Al-Batin inside Iraq. This was the first of two small offensives launched by the 1st Battalion of the 5th American Cavalry Regiment. This was actually a distraction attack, to make the Iraqis think that the allies would attack through that region. There was a short but fierce firefight and the Americans retreated. Three Americans were killed and nine others wounded, but they managed to take 40 prisoners and destroyed five enemy tanks. The main objective, to deceive the Iraqis, was also achieved. Taking advantage of the chaos in the Iraqi lines, elements of the XVIII American Parachute Corps attacked Iraqi troops from the west. On February 22, Iraq stated that it would agree to a ceasefire agreement proposed by the Soviets. Such an agreement signed the withdrawal of Iraqi troops and required them to return to their pre-invasion positions, all supervised by UN Security Council inspectors.

The Coalition, however, denied the ceasefire agreement proposed by the Soviet Union, but guaranteed that it would not attack the retreating Iraqi military forces and even gave Saddam 24 hours to withdraw his troops, without demanding conditions. On February 23, 1991, after brief fighting, about 500 Iraqi soldiers surrendered. The next day, American and British war tanks crossed the Kuwaiti border, beginning a full-scale invasion of southern Iraq. Thousands of prisoners were taken on the way. Iraqi resistance was light and only 4 American soldiers were killed by enemy fire that day.

A second American invasion force, led by elements of the Army’s VII Corps and units of the 2nd Armored Regiment, attacked Iraq on February 24, pressing the enemy through western Kuwait, surprising Saddam’s troops. Simultaneously, soldiers from the XVIII US Parachute Corps launched themselves over the southern region into the unprotected desert, followed by men and armor from two American divisions. A French armored division protected the left flank of the maneuver.

The troops of the French 6th Armored Division attacked the Iraqi infantry without suffering as many losses and managed to take numerous prisoners, securing the flank of the Allied invading force, preventing enemy counterattacks. Already on the right flank, a British armored division also reported progress. Once the allies managed to penetrate the first Iraqi defenses, they moved towards the east of the country in order to attack a unit of the Iraqi Republican Guard, Hussein’s elite troop. The fighting was fierce and the Iraqis suffered heavy casualties. However, unlike other clashes, the Iraqi troops did not surrender in large numbers just when the battle began to be lost. Even so, Iraqi infantry losses were many, and several tanks were destroyed in direct combat with Allied armored personnel. In comparison, American casualties were extremely low, losing only one Bradley Armored Carrier (VCI). Soon after, Coalition forces proceeded for another 10 km without facing resistance, capturing their objectives in less than three hours. They then took 500 more prisoners and inflicted several enemy casualties, defeating units of the 26th Iraqi Infantry Division. It was reported that one American soldier was killed in a landmine explosion and five others were wounded in a friendly fire incident. In addition, 30 more were wounded in battle. In the meantime, British troops attacked men from the dreaded Medina Division and seized a Republican Guard logistics base. In those two days some of the fiercest battles of the war were fought, and in one of them the British destroyed at least 40 enemy tanks and captured the leader of the enemy division.

Meanwhile, the Americans attacked Iraqi villages in Al Busayyah province. Although they faced fierce resistance, no casualties were reported among the allied forces, but they managed to impose severe losses on Iraqi forces and took several prisoners. On February 25, 1991, a Scud missile hit an American base in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Some 28 Allied servicemen were killed, in what became the largest number of Americans killed by enemy “fire” in a single day in the war.

Coalition advances were much smoother and faster than the American generals anticipated, with enemy resistance being smaller and less effective than anticipated. Iraqi troops were weakened, disorganized, and leaderless. With their command and control posts destroyed and their supply lines under constant air strikes, they simply had no way to respond. With that, by February 26, Iraqi forces had stampeded en masse from Kuwait, setting fire to at least 737 oil fields along the way (on Saddam’s orders, as a form of retaliation). As they withdrew from Kuwait, heading north, the Iraqi troops formed a long convoy. Although they were clearly retreating, the convoy was intensely attacked from the air. Hundreds of military personnel (and some civilians as well) were killed. Several vehicles were destroyed and the devastation caused made the area known as the “Highway of Death”. American, French and British planes continued to pursue the retreating Iraqi units as they tried to reach Baghdad. However, while the Coalition military leaders wanted to continue on the offensive, the political leadership in the West decided to order their forces to stand down and retreat back to the Kuwaiti border.

Officially, on February 28, one hundred hours after ground operations began, the American president, George H. W. Bush, declared a cease-fire and claimed that Kuwait had been liberated and was safe again. Thus, the “mother of all battles” that Saddam preached ended up never happening. In the end, coalition forces destroyed the Iraqi army in just four days of ground combat.

The end of hostilities

In the southern territories of Iraq, which were occupied by coalition troops, there was a conference between the military leadership of the countries involved and a ceasefire agreement was signed. At the conference, Iraq was allowed to fly military helicopters near the border, since the civilian infrastructure on the ground had deteriorated. Soon, these helicopters and what was left of the Iraqi military went to fight to quell Shiite insurgencies in the south. Although Western leaders supported the anti-Saddam insurgents with rhetoric, there was not much direct military support and the rebellion was crushed.

In the north, the Kurds also started a large-scale rebellion, hoping that the Americans would come to their support. However, the United States again failed to interfere and Saddam’s army managed to quell the uprisings, killing 200,000 people in the process. Thousands of Kurds fled to the mountains and the extreme northern region. The humanitarian crisis throughout Iraq escalated considerably in the following months. The International Community finally resolved to respond and to prevent further ethnic repression, two no-fly zones (the Northern Watch and Southern Watch operations) were imposed over Iraq, in addition to heavy economic sanctions. In Kuwait, the regime of Emir Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah was put back in power and several Kuwaiti citizens accused of collaborating with the occupation were arrested. Eventually, some 400,000 people were expelled from the country, including a large number of Palestinians, in retaliation for the PLO’s support of Hussein. Yasser Arafat, the leader of this organization, did not apologize for his support of Iraq, but after his death, the leader of Fatah and president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, formally apologized to Kuwait on behalf of his people in 2004.

One of the most controversial decisions made by the coalition was the order given by the Bush administration not to invade Baghdad and overthrow Saddam from power. The American political leadership made this decision because they believed that moving north and conquering Iraq, being an occupying force on Arab soil, would ultimately fragment the alliance formed in the war, alienating the support of the Islamic Gulf countries. Moreover, they figured that the human and financial cost would not be worth it.

Rather than direct military action, the United States hoped that an internal revolt would topple Saddam, without American involvement. The CIA, however, provided support to the insurgents and worked throughout the 1990s to try to weaken the Iraqi regime, but without success.

On March 10, 1991, the approximately 540,000 American soldiers began returning home from the Persian Gulf. Interestingly, ten years later, the United States would invade Iraq in 2003. The American efforts were led by George W. Bush, son of President George H.W., and his vice president, Dick Cheney, who curiously had been one of the most active voices in defending the decision not to invade Iraq in the First Gulf War.

In 1992, then US Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney said, “I imagine that if we had invaded Iraq, we would have troops in Baghdad to this day. We would have had to run that country. We would have no way out. And the last point that needs to be made is the question of casualties. I don’t believe that you could do all this without the United States suffering great losses and although everybody was impressed by the low cost of the conflict, for the family of the 146 Americans killed, this war was not cheap. The question in my mind was how many more American casualties was Saddam (Hussein) worth? And the answer was not many. So I believe we made the right decision, both the decision to kick him out of Kuwait, but also the decision that the president made that we had already achieved our objectives and that we would not be stuck in trying to take and rule Iraq.”


More than 1,000 Kuwaiti civilians died in the conflict. Another 600 disappeared during the Iraqi occupation, with 375 later found buried in mass graves. The increase in the intensity of Allied bombing by aircraft and cruise missiles eventually caused controversy as the number of civilian casualties inflicted was getting too high. In the first 24 hours of Operation Desert Storm, more than 1,000 air strikes were launched, focusing mainly on the Baghdad region. The city suffered from the heavy bombing, as it was the heart of the Saddam regime and home to the Command and Control Center of the Iraqi armed forces. Many civilians ended up dying in these attacks.

In another incident, two American stealth aircraft bombed a bunker in Amiriyah, Baghdad, causing the death of 408 civilians who were in the shelter. Images of the burned and mutilated bodies were shown on television and eventually caused much controversy. The United States claimed that the building was also used for military purposes and that the civilians were put there as human shields, but there is no proof of this.

Saddam’s regime claimed that the civilian losses suffered by his country were sky-high in an attempt to gain sympathy from other Islamic countries. The Iraqi government estimated that 2,300 civilians died during the air campaign. An alternative study stated that 3,664 Iraqi civilians died in the allied bombings. Other research estimated that 3,500 civilians died from the air raids and another 100,000 suffered from the direct consequences of the war.


The losses suffered by Saddam Hussein’s forces are to this day unknown, but are believed to have been very high. Some estimates say that between 20,000 and 35,000 soldiers died in combat. According to a US Air Force report, more than 10,000 Iraqi troops died in the five weeks of aerial bombardments, and another 10,000 died fighting on the ground. In addition to the loss in lives, Iraq’s military and civilian infrastructure after the conflict was in ruins.

An alternative study estimated that between 20,000 and 26,000 Iraqi soldiers died in combat, with another 75,000 being wounded. Thousands were taken prisoner.


The U.S. Department of Defense stated that the United States suffered 148 deaths in the conflict (35 due to friendly fire). Another 145 Americans died in accidents. The UK, meanwhile, reported 47 deaths suffered (9 due to friendly fire), France 2 fatalities, and other Coalition countries, not including Kuwait, lost 37 soldiers (18 Saudis, 1 Egyptian, 6 Arab-Israelis, and 3 Qataris).

The largest incident of Coalition losses due to enemy fire occurred on February 25, 1991, when an Iraqi Al Hussein missile struck an American base in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 28 reservists from Pennsylvania. In total, coalition losses from friendly fire reached 44, and another 57 were wounded.

The largest accident involving Coalition forces occurred on March 21, 1991, when a Saudi C-130H plane crashed near the airport in Ras Al-Mishab, Saudi Arabia. Some 92 Senegalese soldiers died, along with the entire crew of 6 Saudis.

Some 776 Coalition troops were wounded, including 458 Americans.

In all, 190 Allied soldiers were killed in direct combat against Iraqi military personnel (113 of which were American), the rest of the 379 casualties suffered by the Coalition were the results of accidents or friendly fire. However, the number of total losses turned out to be much lower than anticipated. About three female soldiers were killed in the war.

Although the number of casualties suffered by enemy fire among Coalition forces was quite low, there were a substantial number of fatalities that occurred through friendly fire. Of the 146 American soldiers killed, about 24% of them died by friendly fire (35 soldiers in total). Another 11 died while handling ammunition. About 9 British servicemen died in a friendly fire incident in which a US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II ended up mistakenly destroying two Warrior armored personnel carriers (VCI).

The financial cost suffered by the United States was high. In total, according to Congress, the Americans spent $61.1 billion on the war. About $52 billion was reportedly paid by various Arab nations: $36 billion by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and other Persian Gulf countries. About $16 billion was given by Germany and Japan. About 25% of the Saudi payment was in the form of services to the allied troops, such as food and transportation. Since the Americans had by far the largest army, they ended up spending considerably more than any other country.

The war was highly televised. For the first time in history, people all over the world saw live images of the bombing, the ships launching cruise missiles, and the fighters coming off the aircraft carriers. The media showed firsthand the advance of the Allied forces and all their firepower.

In the United States, anchors from the “big three” television stations began their major newspapers with stories about the conflict. ABC’s Peter Jennings, CBS’s Dan Rather, and NBC’s Tom Brokaw covered extensively the beginning of the bombing campaign on the evening of January 16, 1991. ABC News correspondent Gary Shepard, reporting directly from Baghdad, spoke with Jennings about how calm the city was. But moments later, Shepard was reporting the falling bombs and the sky lit up with anti-aircraft gun fire. On CBS, the public could see correspondent Allen Pizzey, who was also live from the Iraqi capital, reporting on the beginning of hostilities. Mike Boettcher of “NBC Nightly News” reported the unusual intense activity at the Allied air base he was at in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Moments later, Brokaw announced to viewers that the bombing had begun.

However, it was the cable news network CNN that provided the most notorious coverage of the war and is cited to this day as the biggest moment in the station’s history, launching it internationally. CNN correspondents John Holliman, Peter Arnett and Bernard Shaw reported all events live in Baghdad. They were in the famous Al-Rashid hotel when the air raids began. The broadcaster had convinced the Iraqi regime to allow them to have a permanent audio facility to connect with their headquarters. Because the telecommunications buildings had been bombed from the start by Coalition planes, CNN, with its exclusive cable service, was able to stay on the air, broadcasting real-time information to the public. While bombs were falling on the Iraqi capital, war correspondent Peter Arnett remained live, describing what was happening first hand and exclusively on American TV. Thus, it can be said that the Gulf War was the first war televised live on television in history.

In the UK, the BBC devoted much of its core content, both radio and TV, to covering the war. A dedicated radio network, Radio 4 News FM, was set up to cover the conflict 24 hours a day, but had to shut down along with the war in February 1991.

The print media also covered the war. Time magazine released a special issue to talk about the conflict, on January 28, 1991, with the headline “WAR IN THE GULF” with a picture of Baghdad being bombed.

A CBS News reporting team (David Green and Andy Thompson), broadcast via satellite the entry of the first Arab troops into Kuwait City in February 2014. Days earlier, the Iraqi government had allowed Western journalists back to cover the war directly from its soil.

While the mass media was accused of being biased and pro-Western, the alternative media was the only media that even criticized the conflict. Deep Dish Television showed segments by independent producers from the United States and abroad, creating a special called “The Gulf Crisis TV Project.” The first episode of this series, “War, Oil and Power” was released in late 1990, before the open war actually started. Another segment, called “News World Order” focused on showing the alleged complicity of the media in promoting the war and their reactions. In San Francisco, Paper Tiger Television West produced a show for cable TV showing anti-war demonstrations, actions by artists, intellectuals, and protesters who spoke out against mainstream media coverage, which they said supported the war.


  1. Guerra do Golfo
  2. Gulf War
  3. Os gastos em armamento para os dois antagonistas terá sido no mínimo de US$ 150 bilhões de dólares.[9]
  4. No entanto o diretor da CIA no final de julho informa o presidente Bush, de que a invasão está iminente e aproximadamente 100 mil soldados se encontram a postos junto à fronteira comum.[31]
  5. Outras fontes situam o início da campanha aérea às 2h e 48m locais, com os primeiros ataques desenvolvidos pela companhia “bravo” equipada com AH-64 Apache.[39]
  6. La Argentina participó a través del Operativo Alfil de la Armada Argentina.
  7. ^ 2010 World Almanac and Book of Facts, Pg. 176, Published 2009, Published by World Almanac Books; ISBN 1-60057-105-0; di questi, 200 erano kuwaitiani ( fonte qui (archiviato dall’url originale il 6 ottobre 2014).)
  8. ^ Persian Gulf War, MSN Encarta
  9. ^ The Use of Terror during Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait (archiviato dall’url originale il 24 gennaio 2005)., The Jewish Agency for Israel, 24 gennaio 2005
  10. ^ “The Wages of War: Iraqi Combatant and Noncombatant Fatalities in the 2003 Conflict” (archiviato dall’url originale il 4 gennaio 2016)., Project on Defense Alternatives, 9 maggio 2009
  11. ^ Fetter, Steve; Lewis, George N.; Gronlund, Lisbeth (28 gennaio 1993), “Why were Casualties so low?” (PDF) (archiviato dall’url originale il 14 luglio 2015)., Nature, Londra
  12. a b Saddam Hussein: The Truth, documentaire
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