Second Gulf War
The Second Gulf War (also called First Iraq War , English (First) Gulf War or Gulf War I , Arabic حرب الخليج الثانية, DMG ḥarb al-ḫalīǧ al-farsi aṯ-ṯāniya ) (جنگ دوم خلیج فارس) began with the conquest of Kuwait by Iraq on August 2, 1990. On August 28, Kuwait was annexed by Iraq . From January 16, 1991, a coalition, led by the USA and legitimized by UN Security Council Resolution 678 , began fighting to liberate Kuwait.
In the Second Gulf War, Iraq faced the largest war coalition since World War II . In addition, the war was characterized by the unusually asymmetrical distribution of war victims, the unilateral disposition of the end of the war and the high degree of indirect environmental damage, for example from projectiles with depleted uranium .
The Second Gulf War also had peculiarities for the conditions in the Middle East, as it was the first conflict in which Arab states actively waged war against one another. Furthermore, the three non-Arab states in the region - Israel , Iran and Turkey - were directly affected by the events of internal Arab politics and were involved in them. Third was the Second Gulf War, the first major military deployment of the United States in the Middle East, two restricted operations in Lebanon ( Lebanon crisis in 1958 and 1982 apart -1984).
The end of the Cold War was of immediate importance for the event and course of the Second Gulf War as a security policy convention and as an epoch in world history. In addition to the damage caused by the war, the war itself had an impact on numerous aspects of international and Iraqi politics, above all on the conduct of the war and the political role of the media in the Western states involved. The cable broadcaster CNN established itself as an internationally known mass medium through its continuous reporting from the crisis area.
The naming of the war is inconsistent due to Iraqi involvement in several wars in the Persian Gulf. In the terminology used here, the First Gulf War was the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988. In the English-speaking world in particular, the Iran-Iraq war is usually not included in the count and this war is therefore called the First Gulf War . As a result, the 2003 invasion of Iraq is known as the Second Gulf War . The United States succeeded in popularizing the aliases of its two-stage military counter-attack both internally and in Europe. While Operation Desert Shield (" Operation Desert Shield ") intended to shield Saudi Arabia from Iraqi reprisals against its participation in the alliance, Operation Desert Storm (" Operation Desert Storm ") described the offensive against Iraq itself.
Before the First World War , Kuwait belonged to the Vilâyet Basra , an administrative unit within the Ottoman Empire , which, however, is not territorially identical to the area of today's southern Iraqi province of Basra . Kuwait never belonged to the state of Iraq, which was only founded after the First World War.
After the emirate gained independence from Great Britain in 1961, Iraq tried in vain to prevent its entry into the UN and the Arab League . In 1963 Iraq recognized Kuwait's independence, but subsequently border disputes arose again and again , as the border between the two states had never been clearly defined.
After the Iran-Iraq war , Iraq was heavily indebted to several Arab countries, including through a Kuwaiti loan of 80 billion US dollars . Iraq hoped to raise the price of oil by lowering the oil production quota regulated by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in order to be able to pay off its debts. Iraq accused Kuwait, among other things, of having exceeded its quotas and thus being partly responsible for the low oil price. This caused Iraq billions in costs.
In addition, Iraq claimed that Kuwait had benefited from the Iran-Iraq war for oil drilling and the construction of military posts on Iraqi soil near Kuwait, whereas the Iraqi state had served the common Arab cause by acting as a buffer against Iran . From this, Iraq derived the demand that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia must cancel their war debts or at least negotiate on them.
During the first Gulf War, Iraq enjoyed good relations with the United States and Europe (especially France and Germany ): The West gave Iraq massive military support in particular - despite (or possibly because of) Soviet influence, but above all out of fear before an expansion of the Islamic revolution in Iran to the Arabian Peninsula. Although the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China were among the main suppliers of arms of Iraq, the country could buy weapons from France, which among other airplanes of the type Mirage as well as anti-ship missiles of the type Exocet provided (although 1982 Falklands War possible side effects of such deliveries had shown). In addition, other western states supported the country with critical technology such as chemical and nuclear plants, the USA supplied Iraq with critical biotechnology and intelligence data on Iranian positions.
According to a list by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in Stockholm, the main supporters (in order of value of the deliveries) were the Soviet Union, France and China. In addition, the former Czechoslovakia, Poland, Brazil, Egypt, Denmark, the USA, Austria ( Noricum scandal ) and many other states (including the Federal Republic and the GDR) delivered weapons to Iraq.
Above all, the neighboring Arab states provided massive economic aid, which formed the basis for Iraq's later debt. After the war there were efforts within the US Congress to diplomatically and economically isolate Iraq because of the violations of human rights . High-ranking US senators such as Robert Dole , who told Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that "Congress does not represent US President George Bush senior or the administration" and that Bush vetoed any possible efforts regarding sanctions against Iraq, distanced themselves from these efforts (according to the Iraqi transcript of the Sifry meeting ).
At the beginning of 1990 there were signs of progress in the negotiations between Iran and Iraq on a final peace settlement. This gave Iraq another opportunity to make claims against Kuwait. In the spring of 1990, Kuwait offered Iraq to lease the islands of Bubiyan and al-Warba to Iraq for an unlimited period in exchange for final recognition of its independence . Negotiations on this question under the leadership of the Jordanian King Hussein I and the PLO chief Yasser Arafat failed in March 1990. On June 27, 1990, Iraq accused neighboring Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, far more than those within the framework of OPEC to promote the agreed amount of crude oil and thus to depress prices. This caused Iraq losses of 14 billion US dollars . Iraq also accused Kuwait of producing in the Rumailah oil field along the joint border from "Iraqi" oil fields. Iraq threatened Kuwait to enforce its demands militarily if necessary.
On 23 July 1990 appeared mirror an article titled Attacks Baghdad to Kuwait? which correctly interpreted the military maneuvers. At this point, Iraq had started to mobilize its army and station 30,000 men on the border with Kuwait, which was initially widely regarded as a means of pressure for the upcoming OPEC conference. The increase in the target price for crude oil decided at this conference was initially described as a breakthrough, but did not prevent the bilateral negotiations between Iraq and Kuwait from breaking off. Iraq then deployed armed forces totaling 100,000 soldiers on the borders of Kuwait and summoned the American ambassador April Glaspie to a meeting with President Saddam Hussein. During the meeting, Hussein outlined his allegations against Kuwait, assuring that he would not enter Kuwait before a new round of negotiations (see also). Although Glaspie expressed concern about the troop deployment, Hussein interpreted her statement that the US "had no opinion on intra-Arab disputes like your disagreements over the border with Kuwait" as approval for his further action. To emphasize this point, she also said at the meeting, the then Secretary of State of the United States " James Baker has instructed our official spokesman to emphasize this instruction" . The State Department of the United States announced to Iraq that the United States had no specific defense or security agreements with Kuwait (“no special defense or security commitments to Kuwait”) .
The occupation of Kuwait would have meant a considerable gain on the coast for Iraq. Despite its size of over 430,000 square kilometers, Iraq has only 58 kilometers of coastline, which puts it at a significant strategic and economic disadvantage compared to other Gulf countries. The much smaller Kuwait z. B. has 499 kilometers of coastline with an area of just 17,800 square kilometers. The final annexation of Kuwait would have increased the coastline almost tenfold. New ports would also have been added.
The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait
On August 2, 1990, Iraq attacked Kuwait with approximately 100,000 troops and captured strategic areas, including the palace of the Emir. The Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah fled to Saudi Arabia with his family. Soldiers looted medical facilities and usurped the media. Iraq held thousands of western tourists hostage and later tried to use them as bargaining chips. Iraq initially set up a “liberated” Kuwaiti puppet government under Alaa Hussein Ali - which he quickly dissolved, however - and on August 8 declared the annexation of Kuwait. During the invasion, Iraq looted gold worth 614 million euros. The gold was returned to Kuwait after the war on August 6, 1991.
Within hours of the start of the invasion of the adopted UN Security Council that Resolution 660 , condemning the invasion and demanding a withdrawal of Iraqi troops. On August 6, the Security Council passed Resolution 661 and imposed economic sanctions on Iraq. Thirteen members voted for the UN resolution, with Cuba and Yemen abstaining. The economic and financial embargo brought Iraqi crude oil exports to a standstill.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, seeing themselves as the next potential targets for Iraqi expansion, asked the US to station troops in their countries. On August 8, 1990, US President Bush immediately announced the beginning of an "overall defensive" military action to prevent Iraq from entering Saudi Arabia: Operation "Desert Shield". The US Defense Department possessed at the time satellite photos of large troop concentrations in Kuwait along the Saudi border.
The US Navy sent two carrier combat groups with the aircraft carriers USS Eisenhower and USS Independence to the region, where they were operational from August 8th. The military concentration continued and eventually reached a strength of 500,000 men.
Formation of the anti-Iraqi coalition
On August 9, 1990, the UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 662 , which declared the annexation of Kuwait by Iraq "null and void" and called for the restoration of Kuwait's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. On August 10, 1990, a special summit of the Arab League (excluding Tunisia) took place in Cairo . The member states condemned the Iraqi troop invasion of Kuwait by twelve votes to three (Iraq, Libya and the PLO), with five abstentions (Algeria, Yemen, Jordan, Mauritania and Sudan). The Arab League decided to set up a peacekeeping force to protect Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf countries. The countries of Egypt, Morocco and Syria carried the main burden.
The United States, under the leadership of US Secretary of State James Baker , then formed a united military alliance against Iraq, in which finally 34 countries participated: Afghanistan , Egypt , Argentina , Australia , Bahrain , Bangladesh , Denmark , France , Greece , Honduras , Italy , Canada , Qatar , Kuwait , Morocco , the Netherlands , Niger , Norway , Oman , Pakistan , Poland , Portugal , Saudi Arabia , Senegal , Spain , South Korea , Syria , Czechoslovakia , Turkey , Hungary , the United Arab Emirates , the United Kingdom and the United States itself. US troops represented 74 percent of 660,000 soldiers in the theater of war. A few of the alliance forces were reluctant to agree, some others believed the war was an intra-Arab affair, and still others feared an increase in American influence in Kuwait. Germany and Japan made significant financial contributions and provided military material.
Composition of the coalition forces
- United States : 575,000 soldiers
- United Kingdom : 53,462 soldiers ( Operation Granby )
- Saudi Arabia : 52,000 soldiers (only 20,000-40,000 took part in the liberation of Kuwait and the battle for Chafji )
- Turkey : 50,000 soldiers
- Egypt : 35,000 soldiers, including parts of an armored division, a tank brigade and an infantry brigade
- Syria : 17,000 soldiers, including an armored division
- France : 14,663 soldiers (Opération Daguet)
- Kuwait : 7,000 soldiers
- Pakistan : 5,500 soldiers
- Canada : 4,500 soldiers (Operation Friction)
- Spain : 3,000 soldiers
- Bangladesh : 2,000 soldiers
- Morocco : 2,000 soldiers
- Italy : 1,950 soldiers, 15 Panavia Tornado
- United Arab Emirates : 1,000 soldiers
- Oman : 950 soldiers
- Niger : 500 soldiers
- Belgium : 400 soldiers
- Bahrain : 200 soldiers
- Netherlands : 200 soldiers
- Czechoslovakia : 200 soldiers
- Poland : 200 soldiers
The active participation of the Bundeswehr in a military operation outside of NATO territory was not considered constitutional by large parts of the population at that time. In addition, the two-plus-four treaty was not ratified by the Soviet Union until March 4, 1991. Therefore, the federal government was limited to the deployment of a mine countermeasures Association of German Navy at first within the NATO area of operations south flank and the deployment of a combat air Alpha Jet of Fighter Bomber Wing 43 with 219 soldiers, two Bell UH-1D -Rettungshubschrauber and two ABC armored reconnaissance vehicle Fuchs as part of the operation Ace Guard in the Turkish Erhaç . In addition, Germany paid DM 16.9 billion and assumed around 15–20% of the costs. Arab neighboring countries were supported with around two billion DM to mitigate the consequences of the Iraq embargo.
Negotiations for an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait
On August 12, 1990, Saddam Hussein made an offer to withdraw, combining the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait with the withdrawal of troops from other illegally occupied Arab countries such as Syria from Lebanon and Israel from the territories occupied in 1967.
On August 16, 1990, the Iraqi government placed 4,500 British and 2,500 Americans in hotels. They should be relocated to strategically important facilities as "living shields" against a possible attack by the multinational peacekeeping force. On August 18, 1990, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 664 , which included the requirement that Iraq allow all foreign citizens detained in Iraq to leave the country. When Iraq began to deploy short- and medium-range missiles in Kuwait, US President Bush ordered the reservists to be mobilized on August 22nd.
On August 23, 1990, a former senior US official made another Iraqi offer. According to the documents, Iraq offered to withdraw from Kuwait and withdraw all foreign citizens in exchange for easing sanctions, guaranteed access to the Persian Gulf and full control of the Rumailah oil field (about two miles into Kuwaiti territory). Furthermore, the start of negotiations between Iraq and the USA on a mutually acceptable oil agreement, the national security interests of both countries, the stability of the Gulf region and a plan to alleviate Iraq's economic and financial problems were called for. The offer was described as serious and negotiable by a Middle East expert in the Bush administration.
On August 25, 1990, the UN Security Council passed resolution 665, with two abstentions (Cuba and Yemen), to enforce sanctions against Iraq using blockades limited to shipping. The UN Security Council thus authorized the coalition forces to take measures to enforce the embargo as part of Operation Desert Shield. At the end of August, 70 warships from eleven countries were in use.
On August 28, 1990, the Iraqi government officially declared Kuwait the 19th province of Iraq. All foreign women and children detained in Iraq were also allowed to leave the country. Numerous foreign guest workers also left the crisis area.
On September 5, 1990, the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein called for a “holy war” against the US presence in the Persian Gulf and for the overthrow of the Saudi Arabian King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
On September 13, 1990, the UN Security Council passed resolution 666 , which for humanitarian reasons provided for limited food transports to Iraq under international control.
On September 14, 1990, Iraqi soldiers entered the western embassies in Kuwait City. In Resolution 667, the UN Security Council condemned the attacks on diplomatic missions and once again demanded the release of all foreign nationals. France announced on the same day that it would move around 5,000 soldiers to Saudi Arabia in tanks, helicopters and around 30 Mirage-type fighter jets.
On September 25, 1990, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 670 , which extended the embargo to include air traffic.
On October 3, 1990 in Cairo the foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) condemned the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and called for the immediate withdrawal of the troops and the restoration of the status quo ante.
The staged testimony of a Kuwaiti diplomat's daughter (see incubator lie ) on October 10, 1990 before the US Congress about the alleged killing of newborns by Iraqi soldiers had a considerable influence on American public opinion and led to widespread support for a war effort.
The Saudi Arabian King Fahd and US Secretary of State James Baker agreed on November 6, 1990 that the US should take over command of Saudi Arabia's troops in the event of a war against Iraq.
In resolution 678 of the UN Security Council of November 29, 1990, the latter authorized the member states of the United Nations to use “all necessary means to support and implement resolution 660”, provided that Iraq did not submit to the UN by January 15, 1991 Follow resolutions.
On December 6, 1990, Saddam Hussein ordered the release of some 3,000 Western hostages still held in Iraq. US President George Bush welcomed this move, but stated that it would not change the US determination to undo the occupation of Kuwait.
On December 24, 1990, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein threatened that Israel would be the first target of an attack should coalition forces attack.
On December 26, 1990, the Soviet Union sent two emissaries to Baghdad to enable the 1700 experts and officials still in Iraq to return before the ultimatum expired.
On January 2, 1991, at the request of Turkey, the NATO North Atlantic Council decided to deploy parts of the air component of the Allied Command Europe Mobile Forces (AMF) of more than 40 fighter jets from Belgium, Germany (including 18 Alpha Jet ) and Italy to Turkey.
On January 2, 1991, US officials disclosed another offer to withdraw from Iraq in late December 1990. The proposal offered to withdraw from Kuwait if, in return, the US would refrain from attacking during the withdrawal, foreign troops would leave the region, an agreement on the Palestine problem would be reached and nuclear weapons banned from the region. Unnamed US officials described the offer as "interesting" as it refrained from border negotiations and showed Iraqi interest in resolving the conflict on a negotiated basis. The offer was immediately rejected by the US government because it contained conditions for withdrawal.
Various options for a peaceful solution to the conflict were considered, but none were implemented. The United States insisted that the only acceptable peace condition was the full and unconditional withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait. Iraq insisted that the withdrawal from Kuwait must be combined with a simultaneous withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon and Israeli troops from the West Bank , Gaza Strip , the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon. French proposals to link the Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait with the convening of a general Middle East conference failed because of the veto of the USA and Great Britain.
On January 12, 1991, the US Congress decided to expel Iraq from Kuwait using military force. With 250 to 183 votes in the House of Representatives and 52 to 47 votes in the Senate, the people's representatives authorized the president to undertake a military operation to enforce UN Resolution 678.
On January 14, 1991, the 250 members of the Iraqi "Revolutionary Command Council" voted by acclamation for war.
Course of war
On January 17, 1991 at 3:00 am local time, corresponding to January 16, 7:00 pm US East Coast time , one day after January 15, the deadline specified in Resolution 678 , the alliance launched a massive aerial warfare ; this was the beginning of Operation Desert Storm . The coalition forces flew around 1,300 attacks on targets in Iraq in the first 20 hours with over 750 fighter jets and bombers. They used precision-guided ammunition , cluster bombs , daisy cutters and cruise missiles . On the first night of the war, Iraq lost all control centers of its air forces as well as all radar systems and a large part of its anti-aircraft missile positions . Large parts of the Iraqi warplanes were devastated. The Iraqi Air Force managed to kill only two kills during the entire war: On January 17th, the pilot Zuhair Dawood was able to intercept Scott Speicher's F / A-18 with his MiG-25PDS about 150 kilometers west of Baghdad and with an R-40RD guided missile shoot down. In addition, MiG-29 and MiG-23 pilots were able to damage three F-111s and one B-52 . However, these successes were nowhere near enough to seriously endanger the Allied operations.
At the time of the provisional ceasefire, the US allies later reported their own losses as a total of 23, according to other information 30, shot down and crashed machines, the Iraqi side announced around 300.
The following day, January 18, eight R-17 rockets were fired at Israel for the first time from Iraq . During the war, 40 R-17s were fired at Israel and 46 at Saudi Arabia, killing two Israelis and 28 US soldiers in a barracks in Saudi Arabia.
On January 19, 1991, the United States sent MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft missiles to Israel. Israel was also able to prevent further damage through a disinformation campaign: The publicly accessible media reported locations of impacts that were significantly further west than the real impacts. Iraqi military therefore assumed that their missiles had flown too far and adjusted further missiles to a shorter flight distance, with the result that they missed their target and hit outside Israeli territory. A similar approach had already contributed to reducing the damage caused by V1 and V2 missiles in the London area during World War II .
Iraqi pilots managed to escape to Iran on January 27, 1991 with a total of 144 MiG-23 and MiG-29 , according to other information . Iran informed UN Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar on January 28th and also informed that the pilots would not be allowed to use the fighter planes until the fighting ceased. On February 6, an American F-15C from Captain Thomas Dietz of the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing with AIM-9 Sidewinder guided missiles shot down two Iraqi MiG-21s .
From February 7, special forces, including the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta (Airborne) and the British Special Air Service , operated behind enemy lines as far as the Syrian border to locate and close mobile R-17 launch systems destroy it or mark it as a target for air strikes. For example, near the city of Al-Qa'im , the Iraqi units tried to camouflage their mobile launch systems in a phosphate mine.
The coalition's military air superiority was quickly established. The air forces flew extensive attacks without encountering substantial resistance. The air war was directed at military targets such as the Iraqi Republican Guard in Kuwait, air defense systems, R-17 missile systems, military aircraft and airfields, espionage systems and the navy. At the same time, it aimed at facilities that could be useful to both the military and civilians: electricity, communications, port facilities, oil refineries and pipelines, railways, and bridges. The energy supply of the industrialized country was destroyed. At the end of the war, electricity production was four percent of the pre-war level, months later it was 20 to 25 percent.
In addition, the drinking water supply was deliberately destroyed over a large area, which caused particularly severe suffering to the civilian population. Bombs destroyed the control systems of all major dams, most pumping stations and numerous sewage treatment plants. The wastewater flowed directly into the Tigris , from which the civilian population had to take drinking water, which resulted in the spread of epidemic diseases.
In most cases, the allies avoided attacking purely civilian targets. On February 13, 1991, however, over 400 civilians were killed in an air raid on an air raid shelter in the Al-Amiriya district of Baghdad . The US government stated that the bunker was a legitimate military target and regretted the loss of life.
Iraq directed its rocket attacks on the Alliance's military bases in Saudi Arabia and on Israel in the hope of drawing Israel directly into the war and thus convincing the other Arab states to leave the Alliance. This strategy failed. Israel did not claim the coalition and the Arab states remained in the alliance, with the exception of Jordan , which remained officially neutral.
The Iraqi Air Force was found to be completely incapable of intervening effectively in combat operations on the ground or in the air. Among other things, this was a direct result of the early and intensive bombing of their airfields. Many aircraft were housed in resilient shelters , but these were effectively switched off by bunker-breaking bombs, mostly of the BLU-109 type . In addition, the runways as well as the taxiways and aprons of the airfields were attacked, so that the still intact machines could not take off and were easy targets for further attacks. The remaining combat aircraft that could take off and oppose the Allies were confronted with a numerically and technically superior enemy. The F-15C Eagles of the US Air Force were primarily responsible for ensuring air superiority . They captured many targets either with their own long-range radar or were instructed by the E-3 AWACS machines and put on an interception course. During the war, the F-15 shot down 31 Iraqi fighter jets and three helicopters without suffering any losses. Another five kills were due to other types of aircraft such as the F / A-18 , F-14 and A-10 . The Iraqi Air Force mainly lost aircraft of the Mirage F1 (9), MiG-21 (4), MiG-23 (8), MiG-25 (2), MiG-29 (5), Sukhoi Su-22 (4) and Su-25 (2). For the first time in history, the majority of battles were fought at great distances ( Beyond Visual Range ) with long-range guided missiles. The F-15 successfully used the AIM-7 Sparrow , which was very inefficient in the Vietnam War . This is mainly due to improvements to the weapon, new radars, sophisticated systems for friend-foe detection and improved training of the pilots. The AIM-9 was used in the rare air battles at short range .
At the beginning of the war, Iraq had a fully integrated, computer-aided air defense system which had been procured from France and was called "Kari". It connected the headquarters in Baghdad with four sector operations centers, which in turn were networked with 17 interception centers. A total of around 500 radars worked in this system. The following table provides information on the number and location of some Iraqi SAM batteries before the start of the war:
|Location||S-75||S-125 Neva||2K12 cub||9K33 Osa||Roland 2||total|
|Mosul / Kirkuk||1||12||0||1||2||16|
H-2 and H-3
|Tahil / Jalibah||1||0||0||0||2||3|
ready for use
In the short-range segment, in addition to highly mobile anti-aircraft missile tanks of the type 9K31 Strela-1 and 9K35 Strela-10, there were also around 4000 anti-aircraft gun tanks, mostly of the type ZSU-23-4 Schilka. In addition, large quantities of shoulder-supported MANPADS of the type 9K32 Strela-2 and 9K34 Strela-3 were available, which were mainly used by mobile associations in the field.
During the Gulf War, the air defense proved to be much more effective than the air force in repelling the Allies, who lost a total of 37 aircraft, including 28 from the USA, and 5 helicopters to ground fire. The following list breaks down the events in more detail: The Allied air forces flew around 116,000 sorties during the Gulf War.
|Radar - FlaRak||9||6th|
The long-range radar-guided anti-aircraft missiles were only relatively effective in the first days of the war. One reason for this was the intensive electronic countermeasures the Allies took with the EF-111 and EA-6B and their powerful AN / ALQ-99 jamming systems. In addition, a large number of SEAD missions were flown in parallel , as a result of which a large part of the radar systems were mostly destroyed by AGM-88-HARM guided weapons. By holding down or destroying the long-range radar-guided anti-aircraft missiles, the Allied aircraft were soon able to move freely at heights of over ten kilometers.
To support the ground troops by means of close air support , however, many machines had to leave this safe altitude and sink to a few kilometers above ground. This brought them within range of the infrared guided anti-aircraft missiles. Although these did not have a long range, in most cases they did not emit any radar emissions and were very mobile so that they were not easy to detect. A warning of approaching missiles was usually only possible by viewing the exhaust lane of the launched guided missiles, so that the pilots had little time to react and evade. The situation was similar with the numerous anti-aircraft guns (flak), which could often only emit imprecise barrage , but which occasionally led to hits and kills. Due to their large number and covert operations, infrared guided anti-aircraft missiles and flak remained a constant threat to low-flying aircraft until the end of the war. Overall, the air defense was only able to stop or disturb the Allies to a limited extent.
On February 22, 1991, Iraq agreed to a ceasefire proposed by the Soviet Union. The agreement required Iraq to return its troops to pre-invasion positions within three weeks, followed by a ceasefire, and further required the UN Security Council to monitor the ceasefire and withdrawal. The US declined these proposals, but pledged not to attack the withdrawal of Iraqi troops and gave Iraq an ultimatum to withdraw from Kuwait by February 23, 1991 at 12:00 p.m. New York time (6:00 p.m. CET).
On February 24, 1991 at 4:00 a.m. local time (February 23, 8:00 p.m. EST ) , the U.S. began its ground war. Soon after, a convoy of Marines penetrated deep into Iraqi territory and captured thousands of deserted Iraqi soldiers who were weakened and demoralized by the extensive air war.
One of the main fears that Iraq might use chemical weapons did not materialize. The Allied advance was much faster than the US generals expected. On February 26, Iraqi forces officially began withdrawing from Kuwait, setting fire to the Kuwaiti oil fields as they left and opening the locking bars at Kuwaiti oil terminals, spilling huge amounts of oil into the Persian Gulf and causing an environmental disaster. A long convoy of Iraqi troops - including many Iraqi civilians - withdrew along the main Iraq-Kuwait route. This convoy was bombed for hours by the allies and the road was known as the " Highway of Death ". The bombing of retreating troops and trapped civilians was classified as a war crime by a commission that included former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark .
A hundred hours after the ground invasion, Kuwait City was liberated on February 27th, and President Bush announced a ceasefire on February 28th the following night.
Coalition Forces Commander in Chief General Norman Schwarzkopf stated that 29 Iraqi divisions were incapacitated and approximately 3,008 main battle tanks, 1,879 of the 2,870 armored vehicles and 2,140 of the 3,100 artillery pieces destroyed. 63,000 Iraqi soldiers were held prisoners of war.
The investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published in The New Yorker magazine in 2000 that an American association led by two-star General Barry McCaffrey was involved in several massacres of Iraqi units that had already surrendered and of civilians. McCaffrey publicly defended himself against the allegations, which, however, are supported by a large number of interviews conducted by Hersh. Hersh also showed in his 32-page article that several previous military investigations into the allegations had been inadequate and one-sided.
A peace conference was held in southern Iraq, in a small area across the border that the Allies had occupied. At the conference, Iraq negotiated the use of armed helicopters on its own side of the current border. Soon after, these helicopters and a large part of the Iraqi armed forces were on their way to fight a Shiite uprising in the south.
In the north, Kurdish leaders trusted American assurances that the US would support a popular uprising and began fighting in hopes of sparking an attack. However, when American support failed to materialize, the Iraqi generals were able to destroy the Kurdish units unmolested with brutal consistency. Millions of Kurds then fled over the mountains to the Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iran. As a result, under US pressure, the so-called no - fly zones in northern and southern Iraq (see below) were set up in order to be able to prevent attacks from the air. In Kuwait, the emir was reinstated and the conservative government took action against suspected Iraqi collaborators . This particularly affected Palestinians , who had hoped for support from Saddam in the fight against Israel and therefore had worked in large numbers with the Iraqi troops. Several hundred thousand people had to leave the country.
On March 3, the ceasefire agreement took place in the southern Iraqi city of Safwan.
On March 5, 1991, the Iraqi “Revolutionary Command” canceled the annexation of Kuwait.
On April 12, 1991, the ceasefire between Iraq and coalition forces came into effect, officially ending the war.
On May 28, 1991, the US Department of Defense announced that 464,000 US soldiers from Operation Desert Storm had since left the Persian Gulf region. However, around 76,000 soldiers remained stationed in the area.
The US policy on media and press freedom was much more restrictive than in previous armed conflicts. Most of the press information came from briefings organized by the military . Only selected journalists were allowed on-site visits or were given permission to interview soldiers. These discussions were always carried out in the presence of trained press officers and were dependent on both prior approval by the military and subsequent censorship . In addition, the journalists were only granted limited visas to stay in the war zones. The selected journalists, so-called embedded journalists , were henceforth tied into a media pool that was almost completely controlled by the American armed forces. The act was supposed to protect sensitive information from being discovered by Iraq. In practice it became apparent that it was used to protect information about political embarrassment from detection by the public. These policies were massively weighed down by the military's experience of the Vietnam War , which was believed to be lost because of public opposition within the United States.
At the same time the presence of this war and its simultaneity was new. Many American journalists remained stationed in the Iraqi capital Baghdad during the war, and the arrival of the rockets was broadcast almost in full on the evening television and radio news such as CNN , due to an agreed synchronization with the military: The reporter had received a tip to “open your eyes wide at the time in question, it will be worthwhile”.
In order to justify the war, some atrocity reports - later exposed as falsifications - were launched in the mass media. In particular, the so-called incubator lie became known: the Iraqi troops were accused of tearing babies from incubators in Kuwaiti hospitals and thereby murdering them. After the war, it turned out that a New York PR firm had distributed this misinformation on behalf of the Kuwait-funded US organization Citizens for a Free Kuwait . Fifteen-year-old Nijirah al-Sabah, who, as an alleged nurse, tearfully reported to the US Congress about the infant murders, was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the USA. An alleged surgeon who witnessed the United Nations was in fact a dentist and later admitted to lying. Still, many of the reports of Iraqi war crimes - e. B. Looting, arrests, kidnappings and executions - the truth.
Precision guided ammunition (PGMs, also known as Smart Bombs ) such as the US Air Force's AGM-130 guided missile were first presented as the key that allowed military strikes with a minimum of civilian casualties. Certain buildings in central Baghdad could now be bombed while journalists in their hotels watched the cruise missiles in flight. However, the proportion of "intelligent" bombs was only about 7.4% of all bombs used by the coalition. In addition, far fewer of these bombs hit their target as accurately as the military reported in the public media. Other bombing attacks have been carried out with cluster bombs , which emit smaller bombs called bomblets, and daisy cutters , 15,000-pound bombs, with a destruction radius of up to 100 meters. As in Vietnam, most of the bombs were dropped by B-52 bombers in the form of bomb carpets and hit large areas.
R-17 missiles were used by the Iraqi side . These are short-range ballistic missiles that had been developed in the Soviet Union and no longer corresponded to the technical standards of the time. Rockets were fired against Saudi Arabia and Israel. Some resulted in numerous casualties, while others caused little damage. Israel feared attacks with chemical and biological warheads on these missiles, but they were not used. The coalition's efforts to eliminate the R-17 launch pads or to shoot down the R-17 in flight with MIM-104 Patriot missiles were less effective than the military leaders at the time would have us believe.
The Global Navigational System (GPS) was a means by which coalition units could navigate the desert without being detected by enemy troops. The warning and control system ( AWACS ) and satellite communications were just as important in strategically planning and monitoring the enemy who had nothing to counter it.
From the ground, the US Army deployed mobile jammers in operation "Sand Cancer" , which were directed against the shortwave connections of the Iraqi army.
Sacrifices and losses
The number of Gulf War victims is controversial. Details are only available for the casualties and losses of the Allied forces.
During Operation Desert Storm, the Allies killed 237 and wounded 776 through combat operations. In addition, 138 soldiers died in accidents and 2,978 were wounded from the start of Desert Shield to the end of operations.
|country||dead||wounded||Losses of war material|
|United States||148 killed,
137 “killed by accidents and other
|467||41 aircraft (including 27 in combat), 16 helicopters (including 6 in combat),
23 M1 Abrams main battle tanks , 20 M2 Bradley armored personnel carriers ,
an artillery cannon and damage to the guided missile cruiser USS Princeton
and the amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli from sea mines.
|United Kingdom||47||6th||10 aircraft (including 6 in combat)|
|Saudi Arabia||18th||20th||3 aircraft (including 1 in combat)|
|Arab contingents||13th||43||1 plane in combat|
|Italy||-||-||1 plane in combat|
The Iraqi casualty figures are highly controversial. Some claim a low number of 1,500 soldiers killed, some as high as 200,000. Many scientists put a number around 25,000 to 75,000. The number of soldiers wounded is largely unknown. US forces took 71,204 Iraqi prisoners of war. Estimates of the civilian death toll range up to 35,000. Iraqi civil defense authorities today put civilian casualties at 2,278 people, mostly in Baghdad, which was bombed for seven weeks.
The balance sheet for the collateral damage must remain incomplete . From the Allied 320 tons projectiles were depleted uranium ( Depleted Uranium , "DU") fired, especially of the A-10-Erdkampfflugzeugen and the M1 battle tanks. British tanks shot about a ton.
The radiating proportion of uranium-235 in depleted uranium is only about 0.3%, but it is still half as high as in natural uranium. The half-life of uranium-235 is 700 million years. This is believed to have led to an increase in cancer rates and damage to the genome of the affected population. Critics attribute the sharp rise in the number of severely deformed newborns in southern Iraq to this. Furthermore, the depleted uranium is suspected to have caused the Gulf War Syndrome and to be responsible for the deformities in the children of American Gulf War veterans. These connections are disputed by the British and American sides, who accuse the advocates of this thesis to be unscientific. The UK has set up a commission of experts, the Depleted Uranium Oversight Board , on this subject . The statement of the Royal Society is differentiated .
|country||dead||wounded||Losses of war material|
|Iraq||unknown, estimated 1,500 to 75,000,
at least 2,278 to 35,000 civilian casualties
|unknown||117 aircraft (thereof 41 in air combat) and 7 helicopters, 137 (according to other information 144) aircraft were flown to Iran by fleeing pilots on January 27, 1991 ,
3,700 to 4,280 combat and armored personnel carriers, 2,400 to 2,870 other armored vehicles,
2,600 up to 3,110 guns and howitzers, 19 ships sunk and 6 damaged.
According to US data, 42 Iraqi divisions are said to have been made inefficient for combat operations.
71,204 Iraqi soldiers were captured in Saudi Arabia.
According to Israeli figures, the total number of civilian casualties among the population was 74. Of these, two people died directly, four died indirectly from asphyxiation when using gas masks, and the rest from heart attacks.
The cost of the war to the United States was estimated by Congress to be about $ 61.1 billion. Of these costs, $ 52 billion was paid by various other states, including $ 36 billion by Kuwait , Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Germany contributed purely financially with 17.9 billion DM. (Also called: " checkbook diplomacy ", since the Federal Republic did not actively participate with soldiers in the war). The US government incurred a cost of US $ 423,000 for each US soldier killed.
In 1990, the UN imposed economic sanctions on Iraq . As of late 1996, Iraq was allowed to import certain products under the oil-for-food program . A UNICEF report researched in 1998 that the sanctions resulted in an increase of 90,000 deaths per year (IAC), particularly among young children and babies.
On May 15, 1991 the International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA) began inspecting the facilities of the Iraqi nuclear program for the possible manufacture of nuclear weapons under the terms of the ceasefire .
A UN Weapons Inquiry Commission (UNSCOM) was set up on June 3, 1991 to oversee Iraq's compliance with weapons restrictions and the destruction of ballistic missiles. Iraq accepted some and refused other gun controls on certain facilities. In 1997, he expelled all US members of the control team, claiming that the United States was using the controls as a means of espionage . The espionage allegations were confirmed after research by some media. The US government responded that they had carried out actions such as eavesdropping, but that they were not intended to be espionage. The team returned during an even more turbulent period between 1997 and 1999 and was replaced by new inspectors, with controls starting in 2002.
Prior to 1997, the inspection team encountered some sort of evidence of the continuation of Iraq's biological weapons program in one location and resistance in many other locations. A weapon inspection team member, Scott Ritter , a US Marine until 1998, alleged the United States blocked inspections because it did not want a scale comparison with Iraq. He also alleged that the CIA was using the weapons inspection teams as a cover for covert activities inside Iraq.
Uprising and no-fly zones
On March 3, 1991, it became known that Shiite rebels in southern Iraq had captured the second largest city of Basra and that it had been recaptured by Iraqi army units two days later. In the north of the country, Kurdish rebels controlled the city of Sulaimaniyya , and later briefly the city of Kirkuk . Thousands of Kurds fled to Turkey, Iran and Syria before a massive Iraqi military operation in northern Iraq.
On April 5, 1991, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 688 condemning the repression of the Kurds and other minorities in Iraq. On April 9, the Security Council added resolution 689 to the measure by sending an observer force to the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border. The UNIKOM -Beobachtertruppe guarded from 17 April 1440 soldiers from 34 states the demilitarized zone between Iraq and Kuwait.
On July 17, 1991, 500 people were killed in heavy fighting between Iraqi government troops and Kurdish fighters in Sulaimaniyya and Erbil . Only two days earlier, the last 3,000 soldiers of the coalition forces in northern Iraq had been withdrawn.
In response to the uprisings in the north and south and the Iraqi countermeasures, no-fly zones were established with reference to UN resolution 688 in order to protect the Shiite and Kurdish populations in northern and southern Iraq. These no-fly zones were monitored primarily by the US and UK through Operations Northern Watch and Southern Watch . The high points of these missions were Operation Desert Strike in September 1996 and Operation Desert Fox from December 17-20, 1998.
On March 1, 1991, the Kuwaiti state oil company announced that 950 oil wells had been burned or otherwise sabotaged by Iraq, e.g. B. by mining. Later analyzes showed that 730 springs alone had been set on fire, many of which burned for months. Around 1.5 billion barrels or 240 billion liters of crude oil were burned in an uncontrolled manner, which caused severe environmental damage . In addition, the Persian Gulf was contaminated by around 1.7 billion liters of spilled oil.
Many returning coalition soldiers reported illnesses following their participation in the Gulf War - a phenomenon known as Gulf War Syndrome . There has been widespread speculation and false reports about the causes (and existence) of this syndrome due to possible claims for damages.
The Palestinian support for Iraq resulted in the displacement of the Palestinians from Kuwait in 1991 . Around 450,000 Palestinians had to leave Kuwait within a few days. The disaster, comparable to the Nakba , had consequences insofar as the Palestinian organization PLO, no longer supported by the Gulf states, began secret negotiations with Israel that led to the Oslo Accords . It was only after Arafat's death that Palestinian leaders were ready to apologize for supporting Hussein.
The People's Republic of China was taken by surprise by the swift Alliance victory, and the coalition's ease of victory prompted a change in military thinking. There was a technical modernization in the People's Liberation Army, which used equipment similar to the Iraqi army.
In Saudi Arabia, the stationing of American troops sparked a political crisis because many Islamic scholars in the country viewed it as a desecration of sacred ground. They joined together in the so-called Sahwa group and expressed their protest against the Saudi ruling house and the clergy who had allowed this stationing in sermons, books and critical memoranda. By the mid-1990s, almost all of the movement's leaders were jailed. The continued military presence of the Americans in Saudi Arabia also served as a justification for the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 . On the other hand, Iraq, and especially Saddam Hussein, have also been publicly portrayed as targets for the United States' war on terrorism. This led to the Iraq war in 2003 .
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