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Desert Storm / War on CNN Live

17.1.1991 / 28.2.1991

Grandsons of Cyrus was rising, U.S. and Soviet Union feared Iranian domination of Middle East. They determined to support Iraq who had a shia minorites that could be provoked by Iran’s new  Shia Leader Humeyni. Thus, 20th century’s longest war was began when Iraq invaded Iran via air and land on 22 September 1980. although in the begining Iraq hoped to take advantage Iran’s revolutionary chaos, Iran succeded in defence in spite of U.S and Soviet Union’s support of Iraq. When the war came to an end after 8 years there were two severely injured countries.

Iraq had got into dept to finance the war during 8 years. Their biggest financers were Kuwait and Suudi Arabia. As a result of the war, Iraq had world’s 4th biggest military and a deep dept. Iraq’s biggest product and their only chance to get rid of this dept was oil. However, it is impossible to control oil market by themselves, while they were trying to increase oil price as $18 for a barrel by diciplined and controlled market; Kuwait and Arab Emirates were trying to reduce war’s economical effects by overproducing it. So, barrel price decreased to $10.

Iraq, Saddam Huseyin, relied on his military and he thought that Kuwait and Arab Emirates could be commanded if he put forward his military. Saddam, firstly would like to limited oil producing in Kuwait and threatened Kuwait with military action if they would not comply the quote. Temperature was rising, Iraq was losing his allies and the most important ally U.S. declared that they were not ally with Saddam’s Iraq no longer because of Iraq’s inappropriate human rights actions and execution of The Observer journalist (agent) Farzad Bazoft.

On 31th July 1990, Iraq and Kuwait delegations assembled in Jeddah, Iraq demanded $10M from Kuwait because of their illegal horizantal usage of oil resources from Ramallah which was Iraq’s land. However Kuwait rejected and on 02 August 1990 Saddam Huseyin’s forces invaded Kuwait.

At that point lets look to the players, their roles, situations and interests.

Iraq: They had a largest Arab military however lack of stable economy because of long war with Iran. They had modern weapons like SCUDs, most of them were Soviet labelled and gained during Saddam’s revolution as a support from Soviet Union.

Soviet Union: Soviet’s were at the back of Saddam while he was converting Iraq from British ally into arab socialist and nationalist state. However mid of 1980’s were Soviet’s nightmare, they begand to collapse and they could not pay attention to their interests in middle east.   

U.S.: United States used Iraq as a knife which cut the wind of Iran Revolution. On the other hand power of Iraq’s military was reduced. While Soviet’s power on middle east was decreasing U.S. began to control oil more freely.  

Israel: Israel was a wolf among the sheeps which was dropped from sky suddenly in 1949. Israel’s the most important interest was security, although Egypt threat was eliminated in 1967 in 6 Days War, Iraq with large army and a commander whose movements were unpredictable and coulde be unsense, was still big threat.   

Kuwait and Arab Emirates: They had rich oil reserves and they only wanted to sell their oils for a best price.

U.S. immediately organized multinational coalition to restore Kuwait sovereignety. Coalition forces, Desert Shield, was consisted of 32 countries. While many of them attended in with approxiemetly 500 / 1000 personals as technician, engineer or back up personal, U.S (697.000) – Saudi Arabia (60.000 – 100.000) – U.K. (53.462) – Egypt (20.000) – France (18.000) – Syria (14.500) – Morocco (13.000) – Oman (6.300) – Canada (4.600) – United Arab Emirates (4.300) and Qatar (2.600) played active role in battles. Beside of this Saddam were searching support to his campaing and he also tried to gain Arab support by bombard Israel.

For 2 weeks, coalition aircraft roamed at will across Iraq and Kuwait, destroying much of Iraq’s armor and personnel. Still convinced that his army could not be beaten, Hussein launched an attack on U.S. lines near Kuwait on 29 January. Although it was a surprise, staunch defense by the U.S. Marines being attacked, as well as response by airpower, quickly broke up the attack. The poor Iraqi performance convinced the Marines on the ground that their enemy was overrated, but such an assessment never reached the high command. Instead, more U.S. troops arrived from Germany, fleshing out the force necessary for the planned offensive. Another deadline for Iraqi withdrawal came and went, and on 24 February coalition leaders were convinced that the time had come to launch the land campaign.

U.S. and French troops firstly cut the reinforcement way of Iraq invasion by passind through the desert  and landing on the Euphrates River. And then German and United Kingdom forces made their way to the North and then to the East. Iraq forces were static and they did not expect flanking movement because of the difficulty of desert transition.

Although coalition forces had an oppurtunity to capture Saddam, they could not but Saddam’s forces were beaten and Saddam asked for ceasefire at 28th February.

Saddam was beaten but he was still alive and he quickly strengthed his army and suppressed Northern Kurdish revolt and southern shia revolts.

On the other hand Kuwait was libareted, oilfield fires which were lightened while Iraq’s troops were withdrawing, were brought under control.

Desert Storm has therefore been depicted as a huge military success with mixed or negative political results. Debates are still going on as to the wisdom of stopping the war so soon, of not capturing Baghdad, of not ensuring Saddam Hussein’s downfall.

The process of declining One of the middle east’s biggest army which was developed by Soviet’s and U.S.’s aids was began. Process would end with George Bush (son of George W.Bush) campaign and army would been dispanded under the new Iraq regime. However, its ruins would be united again and formed ISIS.

Desert Storm was remembered by many people as a war which people could watch it from TV as star wars. Night vision cameras, green lights of rockets and bullets. Unfortunately more than 35.000 people died and 75.000 people were wounded but it was seen as Holywood film.