Tap to Read ➤

Desert Storm Facts

Kundan Pandey Mar 7, 2020
A study of the operation desert storm facts, that was one of the most unique armed conflicts of the 20th century will give you an insight about contemporary history and Middle Eastern affairs with various other countries, during those decades and in the subsequent years.
The operation desert storm is by far, one of the most decisive battles ever fought by the US army, as it led to significant changes in the social, economical, and political landscape of the world.
The history of desert storm has various facets attached to it, as it led to the involvement of many Muslim and international countries with the UN participating in the negotiation processes. Besides various implications of the desert storm operation, the international arena realized the domination of the US in its warfare and arm strength.

Facts About Operation Desert Storm

The conflict desert storm, also called Mother of all Battles by Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein or more popularly known as Second Gulf War was a war raged against the Iraqi military force by the US led coalition forces and this war lasted from August 2, 1990 - February 28, 1991.
Generally, there is an air of confusion between First Gulf War and Second Gulf War.
The First Gulf War was a war between Iraq and Iran that was fought between September 1980 to August 1988. So, the Iran - Iraq conflict is known as the First Gulf war and the US allies - Iraq war of 1990 - 91 is called the Second Gulf War or the Persian Gulf War.
The main reason that triggered this war was the Kuwait invasion by Iraqi military forces in August 1990.
There are various reasons that directly or indirectly compelled Iraq leader Hussein to invade Kuwait. In the First Gulf War against Iran, Baghdad emerged as a powerful military establishment, as it got various loan sanctions from foreign nations, including US$ 14 billion from Kuwait.
The number of troops in Iraqi military forces increased from 242,250 to 1,200,000.
After the First Gulf War and in the interim of two year period before the beginning of Operation Desert Storm, relations between Iraq and Kuwait were spoiled as Iraq accused Kuwait of undermining Iraq's economy by decreasing oil prices in international market.
It is to be noted that Kuwait has nearly two-thirds of global oil reserves. After First Gulf War, Iraq started taking a dominating leadership role in Arab countries and this is what alienated Iraq from the US.
Not surprising, US was definitely getting agitated by such a stance of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Eventually, US saw the hidden dangers of letting some unfriendly nation take control of oil reserves and so it declared war against Iraq and named it as Operation Desert Storm.
The US opposition of Kuwait's invasion by Iraq was emphatically welcomed by the international community and this weakened Iraq's position, not only militarily but also politically and economically.
The US amassed huge number of allies that consisted of 28 Muslim countries and 7,50,000 troops to launch a war against Iraq.
The then US President George H. W. Bush (Senior) got amazing political support from his allies and that concluded the US influence and diplomacy in managing international affairs.
The United Nations Security Council condemned Iraqi invasion of Kuwait to which Iraq did not pay any heed.

Facts about the war

✦ In the war, Iraq lost its 36 fixed air wing aircraft in air to air fight.
✦ 6 Iraqi helicopters were destroyed by US army.
✦ 19 Iraqi naval ships sunk and 6 were damaged severely.
✦ 137 Iraqi aircraft were made to flow to Iran.
✦ No US losses occurred in air to air fights however, in other forms, there was some losses.
✦ US lost 23 helicopters in 5 combat and 18 non-combat operations.
✦ Nearly 70,000 Iraqi prisoners released to Saudi control.

Desert Storm Timeline

On August 2, 1990 the Iraqi Republican Guard with its infantry, armor and tanks invaded Kuwait. The US started deploying its forces by 7th August and it increased international pressure on Iraq. The UN warned Iraq few times and gave an ultimatum on November 2, 1990.
In the ultimatum, the UN stipulated that if Iraqi military forces are not removed from Kuwait by Jan 15, 1991, the US led allies will be forced to drive out the Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Saddam Hussein did not step back and finally US allies fought with all their power in a war that lasted for 42 days.
Here is a timeline of operation desert storm:

✦ Invasion of Kuwait by Iraq on August 2, 1990.
✦ It started on August 7, 1990.
✦ On August 7,1990 US eagle fighters arrive in Saudi Arabia.
✦ The air phase of this operation began on Jan 17, 1991.
✦ Use of scud missiles by Iraq to attack Israel.
✦ US Patriot missiles answer the scud missiles of Iraq by intercepting them at Dhahran in Saudi Arabia, on Jan 17, 1991.
✦ Iraq harms oil reserves, creates oil slick in Gulf on Jan 25, 1991.
✦ Iraq attacks Khafji in Saudi Arabia on Jan 29, 1991.
✦ On Jan 31, 1991 first female US soldier is made prisoner by Iraqi forces.
✦ 700 oil wells in Kuwait ignited by Iraqis.
✦ The ground battle rages in full swing from Feb 24, 1991.
✦ 25 US soldiers killed by Iraqi scud missiles on Feb 25, 1991 in Dhahran.
✦ In Safwan, Iraq on March 1, 1991 cease fire terms negotiated.
✦ Various military forces redeployment plans started to be implemented from March 17, 1991.
✦ Relief and refugee camps for Kurdish Refugees in Turkey and Northern Iraq, on April 5, 1991.
✦ On April 6th, 1991 Iraq officially accepts cease fire that takes effect from April 11, 1991.
✦ UN takes responsibility of various refugee camps and relief foods and packages by US are sent to Iraq.
The desert storm war, was a major shift of political power in Arab countries with the US becoming a crucial part of decision-making on various things in Middle East issues along with other members of world community.
As Arab countries have developed into prosperous countries and oil has become the decider of world economy, we can view in this context, how the operation desert storm caused a major impact on the future of this essential market commodity.