BBC ON THIS DAY | 28 | 1991: Jubilation follows Gulf War ceasefire

28 Feb

1991: Jubilation follows Gulf War ceasefire
The guns are silent and the war is over in the Gulf.

In Context

Iraq had refused to comply with the UN ultimatum for its troops to withdraw from Kuwait after its invasion in August 1990 and on 16 January 1991, Operation Desert Storm began.

The Allies launched a devastating and sustained aerial bombardment involving cruise missiles launched from US warships and US, British and Saudi Arabian fighter planes, bombers and helicopters.

After more than a month of intensive air attacks, the Allies launched a land offensive, on 24 February.

One day later, the Iraqis began retreating. On 28 February, President George Bush declared victory.

Kuwait was liberated but Saddam Hussein remained in power and turned his wrath on the Kurd and Shiite communities.

Tensions between Iraq and the US continued as ceasefire agreements were violated and UN weapons inspectors prevented from doing their job.

In March 2003 George Bush’s son, George W, launched an attack on Iraq in spite of worldwide opposition to war. Backed by British and Australian forces, the aim was to topple Saddam Hussein and eliminate any weapons of mass destruction.

Within a month, the Baghdad regime had been toppled and the Americans were claiming victory but there was no sign of any weapons of mass destruction.

Saddam Hussein was captured alive after several months in hiding in December 2003.

American-led coalition forces continue to occupy Iraq. On 28 June 2004 when power was officially handed back to the Iraqi authorities and elections held in February 2005.

Following a trial in an Iraqi court Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death and executed in December 2006.


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