The Gulf war

9 September 1990 - 15 July 2009
Military personnel

On 2 August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait on the premise that the latter’s oil policies would have an adverse effect on the Iraqi economy. Furthermore, Iraq claimed that the tiny oil state had for years been stealing oil from the Rumaila oilfield on the border between the 2 countries.

On the very day of the invasion, the Security Council demanded the unconditional withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. A few days later, the Council passed resolution 661 imposing a full trade embargo against Iraq, and called upon UN member states that same month to use force if necessary to uphold the embargo.

Offensive against Iraq

A large number of countries responded to the UN resolution and sent ships to enforce the embargo. In the months that followed, the US-led anti-Iraqi coalition increased its military combat power in the Gulf region. Because of Iraq’s failure to withdraw from Kuwait despite the show of force, the UNSC authorised the anti-Iraqi coalition in resolution 678 of 29 November 1990 to use necessary force to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait. The air offensive began during the night of 16-17 January 1991. The 2nd phase of Desert Storm, the ground offensive, started on 23 February. On 28 February, after a 100 hours of land warfare, the Iraqi government requested a ceasefire.