On this day 32 years ago, the Persian Gulf War began. It was a long and difficult conflict that lasted for over 8 months and cost thousands of lives in the Middle East and beyond. The war began when Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait. Hussein’s forces quickly overwhelmed Kuwait’s military and he annexed the country in August of 1990.
What was happening In 1991: On the night of October 20th, 1991, Oakland, California was devastated by one of the largest and deadliest wildfires recorded in the state’s history. The fire swept through the hills of the city, consuming an estimated 3,200 homes and burning over 300,000 acres of land. In the aftermath of the inferno, 25 people were tragically killed and more than 15,000 were forced to evacuate their homes.
That same year, Boris Yeltsin was elected as Russia’s first president by popular vote. With his win, Yeltsin ushered in a new era of democracy in the former Soviet Union. He implemented sweeping economic reforms and cemented Russia’s transition to a market economy.
In the United States, the average income per year was $29,430. The economic recession of the early nineties had hit the country hard and the median income was lower than it had been in a decade. Many Americans were struggling to make ends meet and the cost of living was rising.
Operation Desert Storm On August 2nd, 1990, Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait. Saddam Hussein, the leader of Iraq, claimed that Kuwait was Iraq’s historic 19th province, and thus, it was rightfully theirs. The United Nations (UN) declared the invasion illegal and immediately imposed economic sanctions against Iraq. Iraq refused to leave Kuwait and the UN Security Council passed Resolution 678 authorizing the use of ‘all necessary means to force Iraq to comply.
In the weeks that followed, a large multinational coalition was created to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. Led by the United States, the coalition included forces from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, France, Britain, and other countries. On January 16th, 1991, this coalition launched a massive air campaign to liberate Kuwait. This campaign continued for several weeks with the coalition launching more than 100,000 sorties.
After two months of intense fighting, Operation Desert Storm was launched on February 24th, 1991. This ground offensive was successful in driving Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in just over four days. The war officially ended on February 28th and Kuwait was declared liberated.
The Persian Gulf War was a major conflict that had serious implications for the region, the United States, and the world. The war marked the first time since World War II that the United States had engaged in a major conflict in the Middle East. It also set the stage for future US military interventions in the region, which have continued to this day…….
*What are your thoughts on this event? What are your thoughts on how it affects society’s life today?