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Desert Storm: A Retrospective on the War That Defined the 1990s

The Gulf war changed the course of history and shaped the Middle East

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Aditya Saikrishna
Aditya Saikrishna
I am 21 years old and an avid Motorsports enthusiast.

INDIA: On January 17th, 1991, Operation Desert Storm officially began, marking the start of the gulf war, a military campaign led by the United States and a coalition of other countries to liberate Kuwait from the control of Iraq. 

The operation lasted for a total of 42 days before the coalition forces won the war with a decisive victory, ultimately leading to the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait and the end of the Persian Gulf War.

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The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq on August 2, 1990, under the leadership of President Saddam Hussein, sparked the operation. 

Iraq had long-standing disputes with Kuwait over border disputes and oil production, and the world saw the invasion as an attempt by Iraq to gain control over Kuwait’s vast oil reserves. 

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The United Nations Security Council swiftly condemned the invasion and authorised the use of force to remove Iraq from Kuwait.

The United States, under the leadership of President George H.W. Bush, quickly assembled a coalition of countries to participate in the operation, including countries such as the United Kingdom, France, and Saudi Arabia. 

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General Norman Schwarzkopf led the coalition forces and commanded over 500,000 troops.

The operation began with a massive air campaign that targeted Iraq’s crucial military and economic targets, including air defence systems, communication networks, and military bases. 

The coalition forces also employed advanced technology, such as stealth bombers and cruise missiles, to evade Iraq’s air defences and deliver precision strikes.

After five weeks of intense air attacks, coalition forces launched a ground campaign to push Iraqi troops out of Kuwait.

Several critical engagements marked the ground campaign, including the Battle of Khafji, which saw coalition forces fight off a surprise attack by Iraqi troops. 

The coalition forces eventually drove the Iraqi army out of Kuwait and liberated the country.

History considered the operation a successful military operation, as the coalition forces achieved their objectives in a relatively short period of time and with minimal casualties. 

The coalition suffered around 150 deaths, while Iraq lost an estimated 25,000 troops. 

The operation also resulted in the capture of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and the destruction of much of Iraq’s military infrastructure.

However, the operation also had significant aftermaths for the region and the world. The war resulted in the displacement of many Kuwaiti citizens and the destruction of the country’s infrastructure. 

Additionally, the war increased tensions between the United States and Iraq, leading to a prolonged period of conflict between the two countries.

The modern world continues to feel the legacy of Operation Desert Storm, as the United States continues to be involved in the region and the threat of Iraq remains a concern for the international community. 

The operation also served as a reminder of the importance of international cooperation in addressing global security issues and the need for a proper retaliation against aggression and violations of international law.

Also Read: Family of Executed British-Iranian National ‘Prevented from Seeing Body’


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