World Thirty years later, the Gulf War is still debating between Iraq and Kuwait

13:10  02 august  2020
13:10  02 august  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

Gulf War Fast Facts

  Gulf War Fast Facts Read CNN's Fast Facts about the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War, an international conflict codenamed Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. © MIKE NELSON/AFP/Getty Images FactsThe Allied coalition was made up of 39 countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirate

Weeks later , Hussein had annexed Kuwait and pronounced it Iraq 's 19th province. "From Kuwait 's perspective, Iraq has always harboured an expansionist agenda towards A major long-term effect of the Gulf War was that it paved the way for greater US security and military presence in the region.

But Kuwait rejected the charges and replied that it was Iraq that was trying to drill oil wells in its territory. Several disputes have involved the two On July 20, the Arab League and Saudi Arabia initiated mediations to resolve the crisis, but these failed and the dialogues between Iraq and Kuwait

Des soldats saoudiens au Koweït, prenant par à l'assaut de la coalition contre l'Irak, lors du deuxième jour de la guerre du Golfe, le 25 février 1991. © Christophe SIMON / AFP Saudi soldiers in Kuwait, attacking the coalition against Iraq, during the second Gulf War day, February 25, 1991.

In a lightning offensive from August 2-4, Iraq invaded its neighbor, Kuwait, in 1990, with an occupation that then lasted for seven months. While the reasons for the aggression of what dictator Saddam Hussein called Iraq’s "19th province" are still debated, the wounds of the first Gulf War that followed remain alive 30 years later.

Several unofficial reasons are given at the time to justify the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq by Saddam Hussein. Among these, Iraq's inability to repay the $ 80 billion borrowed from Kuwait or the fact that Baghdad also considered Kuwait to be historically part of its territory.

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Tensions spiral after Iraq accuses Kuwait of stealing petrol in 1990, leading to the Gulf war . More than a decade later , in 2003, Kuwait serves as a bridgehead for the US-led invasion of Iraq . Violent clashes with heavy weaponry break out in Kuwait City between Kuwaiti units and the Iraqi army.

This disparity between high Iraqi expectations for rewards from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) matched their lack of response and empathy Its ramifications led to Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, which later triggered the crippling multilateral sanctions on Iraq , and arguably

But anyway, this Iraqi aggression will lead to the first Gulf War, in particular with the intervention of a coalition of the United Nations Organization (UN) led by Washington and "which will be good obviously a disaster for the Iraqi army ”, as David Rigoulet Roze, associate researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS), points out.

" The beginning of the end " for Iraq: embargo, invasion, war, crisis, corruption, jihadism…

Thirty years later, the Iraqis are unanimous: the invasion on August 2, 1990 and the occupation ended on March 2 of the following year by a coalition led by Washington "signed the beginning of the end" for their country. From Baghdad to Basra, from Kirkuk to Babylon, "We've been cursed since the invasion of Kuwait, we haven't known a single day of calm," Oum Sarah, a retired schoolteacher in Baghdad, told AFP.

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Start studying The Gulf War . Learn vocabulary, terms and more with flashcards, games and other study tools. -Saddam attacked Kuwait realizing that no other countries would most likely react to the situation -he thought that countries would condemn it and complain about it, but that no one would

The capital falls that morning and Kuwait 's head of state Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad Al-Sabah flees to Saudi Arabia. His brother Fahd is killed as Iraqi troops seize Two days later , the former US president George HW Bush announces he is sending troops to Saudi Arabia. Iraq closes its borders to foreigners.

Because since that date, the country has experienced an embargo, an American invasion, civil war, sectarian violence and jihadist breakthroughs , among others.

Financial crisis and an avenue of endemic corruption

It all started four days after the entry of Iraqi troops into Kuwait. The UN decrees an embargo from which the Iraqis will only emerge with another invasion: that of the Americans, who end up putting an end to the regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003. During this blockade, the Iraqi dinar, which was worth three dollars, is divided by ... 9,000!

The salary of Jassem Mohammed, a teacher in Kout, in the south, was then no more than ... the price of "a chicken" at the market. So, on certain days, "we even ate the hay of the animals", adds Yasser Saffar, 44 years old. Above all, continues Jassem Mohammed, "the embargo has changed mentalities" and offered an avenue for corruption, endemic today in Iraq where officials claim their small salaries to solicit bribes.

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Saddam Hussein demanded Saudi Arabia and Kuwait forgive $ 30 billion in Iraqi debt, which he saw a After the Gulf War started, he concluded Iraq ’s peace with Iran and raised his occupying force Iraq conscripted three fourths of men between ages 15 and 49. Even so, Iraq ’s Air Force was large

Within the next thirty years Japan and Germany will almost certainly become nuclear powers, as a Iraq 's national aspirations (including its designs on Kuwait ) long pre-date Saddam Hussein, and they will Before the Gulf War some foreign-policy analysts warned that a conflict would have long-term

A prosperous but bereaved Kuwait

But the wounds have not completely closed in Kuwait either. For as Iraq sank into the doldrums, with army soldiers forced to do odd jobs to make ends meet, Kuwait prospered economically.

Many families still mourn their dead or missing, the former prisoners still talk about the torture they suffered. In mid-2019, bodies found in mass graves in southern Iraq were brought back to Kuwait.

Some Kuwaitis admit to "still having trouble being clear about feelings towards the Iraqis", as said Chourouq Qabazard, the daughter of Ahmed Qabazard, one of the figures of the Kuwaiti "resistance" who was tortured and then executed. For years, his family has turned his house, which was partially destroyed by the Iraqis, into a small museum of the horrors of the occupation.

Relations are reestablished despite disputes

After more than 20 years, relations between the two countries are reestablishing, l he opponents of the former dictator Saddam Hussein now in power in Baghdad . In 30 years, Baghdad has paid 43.6 billion euros from the bill presented by the UN to compensate for the losses of the emirate. And Iraq, which is going through the worst economic crisis in recent history, still owes € 3.3 billion.

In 2018, Kuwait also hosted a conference to rebuild Iraq and was the first country to pay into the common pot, an amount of two billion dollars.

But disputes persist: Iraq still does not recognize the maritime border established in 1993, which blocks its vital access to the Gulf, and the remains of hundreds of missing remain in limbo.

(With AFP)

Brent Scowcroft, longtime Bush confidant and former national security adviser, dies at 95 .
Brent Scowcroft, a former national security adviser and longtime confidant of former President George H.W. Bush, has died, a spokesman for the 41st president's foundation said Friday. He was 95. Scowcroft died Thursday of natural causes, the spokesman, Jim McGrath said in a statement. A former Air Force general, he served as national security adviser under both Bush and President Gerald Ford, and was a key figure during the Gulf War and the last days of the Cold War.He was viewed as promoting a "realist" foreign policy that valued overseas alliances.

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