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Study Notes

First Gulf War

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

The First Gulf War, codenamed Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm was a war held in the Middle East in response to the actions of Iraq when it invaded Kuwait in 1990. The was fought between Iraq under Saddam Hussein and Coalition Forces lead by the United States. The coalition forces contained military forces from the US, Britain, Kuwait, Canada, France, Saudi Arabia and many others. Of the 900,000+ coalition soldiers, the US contributed 700,000 of them.

President Bush in arriving for Thanksgiving in Saudi Arabia

In August 1990, Saddam Hussein ordered Iraqi armed forces into Kuwait and occupied the country. The move resulted in international condemnation and economic sanctions being implemented against Iraq. Almost immediately the US under President Bush deployed US military forces to Saudi Arabia to sure up the Kuwait/Saudi border.

In order to push the Iraqi forces back from Kuwait, coalition forces instigated an air campaign which continued for 5 weeks. Targets were selected and bombed repeatedly throughout the period, before being followed up by ground forced. Around 100 hours after the use of ground forces, a ceasefire was declared and the campaign over.

After the war had concluded, US officials believed that Saddam would be overthrown in a coup, but when this did not happen the CIA attempted to initiate a coup using cells in Iraq, but the regime supressed this effort.

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