30 Years ago, the United States led 40 countries in a coalition against Iraq. We now look back at the endeavor, and all those who served in Desert Storm.
Disputes over oil prices saw hostilities between Iraq and Kuwait flair in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Eventually, this turned to violence. Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, launched an invasion of the much smaller country of Kuwait towards the end of summer in 1990. The US tried to intervene with diplomacy, but to no avail. Saddam had waged a brutal and costly war with Iran in the previous decade. The annexation of Kuwait was seen as a bid to bolster Iraq’s depleted economy. The Iraqi and Iranian war had resulted in the loss of over 1.5 million lives.
On Jan. 17, 1991, Operation Desert Shield became Operation Desert Storm with one of the largest arial bombardments in history.
“The U.S. and 40 allied nations, including several Arab nations, flew more than 18,000 air deployment missions, more than 116,000 combat air sorties and dropped 88,500 tons of bombs.” (Source DoD)
Although, this was not the end of the conflict. Iraq still had refused to withdraw from Kuwait. As a result, we sent in a massive ground force. However, within 100 hours, the conflict was over.
On February 26 1991, Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz stated:
“I have the honour to notify you that the Iraqi Government reaffirms its agreement to comply fully with Security Council Resolution 660 and all other UN Security Council resolutions.”
Over 697,000 U.S. troops took part in this operation. Nearly 300 laid down their lives in the process. We will remember them.
Over 90,000 Marines participated in this single operation. Consequently, making it the largest operation in Marine Corps history. Did you or a loved one serve during this time? Tell us your memories in the comments below! Also, send in your stories for a chance to featured in a spotlight. Dan.Sharp@gruntstyle.com