The First Iraq War: Causes and Consequences
The first Iraq war was cruel, destroying and tragic, especially for common Kuwait people. Started by the brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein, who lead the country in 1979, this invasion had terrible consequences for Iraq, its army, buildings and life in the country. The reason of this war was a conflict between Kuwait and Iraq based on the long-standing dispute about the oil price and the territory. Being in charge, Hussein started to press his neighbor countries to raise oil prices. After they refused to do his bidding, the president of Iraq accused Kuwait of using the marginal Rumaila oil field. It was used as a cause of invasion and detonated a war.
Power of Iraqi Army and Economical Situation
At that point of time the army of Iraq was the strongest in the region. It included:
- from 750 to 900 thousand soldiers;
- more than 5 thousand of modern tanks T-72;
- heavy artillery, such as more than 7500 guns and mortars;
- more than 700 warplanes;
- over 500 tactical missile systems.
However, the country was exhausted and Iraq was heading towards default. Owing to increasing militarization, the standard of living in the country got worse. Thus, the head of Iraq decided to solve these problems at expense of the nearest countries and demanded 2.4 billion dollars compensation from Kuwait and 10 billion dollar debt relief additionally. At the same time, the army of Kuwait was well-equipped; however, it was not ready to such a lightning invasion.
On the second of August, 1990 the troops of Iraq trespassed Kuwait border. The attacks of the infantry were supported by raids of combat aviation. The army of Kuwait was not ready to defend the country. It was suddenly overwhelmed and the Emir’s Palace was occupied. The royal family together with the country officials escaped to the adjoining Saudi Arabia. The country operational aircraft also managed to relocate to the nearest state. Many guards of the palace, including the commander, were killed. Thousands of citizens of Kuwait were murdered or detained. Food and medical supplies were looted, people suffered from iniquities, brutalities and rape of Iraqi soldiers. The operation was unexpected and destructive; within one day the Iraqi troops annexed the whole Kuwait territory and took over mass media.
By the fourth of August, 1990, the whole territory of Kuwait was occupied by the Iraqi army. This invasion was immediately condemned by the entire world community. On the third of August the UN Security Council has passed the proper resolutions that condemned the actions of the Iraqi heads and encouraged the world community to proper and immediate reaction. Upon the Resolution 661 of the UNO, the operation Desert Shield started. The decision was supported by 34 countries that formed a coalition and forwarded the international forces to the territory. The document also embraced economical sanctions against Iraq, such as oil trade embargo and financial isolation.
Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm
On the 7th of August, 1990 the forces of coalition arrived to the threatened territory and they were ready to protect the citizens and the land. Unfortunately, as all requirements and offers of the UN Security Council were ignored by Iraq, the organization has adopted the final resolution, number 678 that demanded the country to withdraw its troops from Kuwait. The ultimatum expired on the 15th of January 1991 and on the 17th of January the air strike started. As a result of this operation, the principal weapon congestions, as well as bridges, structures and infrastructure of Iraq were destroyed. After the joining of the ground offensive on the 24th of February that liberated Kuwait city the war was not long-drawn-out and on the second of March the war ceased by defeat of Iraq.
Consequences of the War
The territory and the population of Kuwait were seriously damaged. Iraq suffered from economic sanctions that are in force till now. However, the occupational intentions of Iraq were not stopped. There was the long and cruel second Iraq war. The situation in the Persian Gulf remains tense till now.