Kuwait recalls Iraqi invasion after 33 years

KUWAIT: In a historically unforgotten epic, most countries stood united as a single group to stand by Kuwait’s leadership, government and people against the heinous Iraqi invasion on Aug 2, 1990. This black day remains engraved in the minds and memories of the Kuwaiti people for good, including new generations that learn about all relevant painful details from their parents and grandparents. On that day, Iraqi forces advanced into Kuwaiti territories in a dreadful aggression that ruthlessly targeted the occupation of the country, undermined its freedom and attempted to wipe out its legitimacy, using the most abhorrent methods of murdering, detaining and torturing civilians, striking at civilian and military locations and dispossessing and intimidating people.

Despite the painfulness of the Iraqi invasion, let alone its catastrophic ramifications and impacts on all aspects of life in the country, Kuwaitis have been trying hard to bury the hatchet and turn over a new chapter of good relationships, neighborliness, and joint interests. Remembering 33 years since the Iraqi invasion, the Kuwaiti people will always remain grateful to countries worldwide, mainly the United States, Gulf, Arab and friendly countries, for their highly commended efforts against oppression and their support for Kuwait’s liberation.

Immediately following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) held an emergency session, as requested by many countries, on August 3, 1990, and adopted Resolution 660 that condemned the invasion and called on Iraq to pull its forces out of Kuwait immediately and unconditionally. The US and Soviet Union deplored the Iraqi move and called on Baghdad to immediately withdraw its forces from Kuwait. The foreign ministers of Muslim countries met in Cairo to adopt a statement urging the Iraqi army to leave Kuwaiti territories, while Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ambassadors convened in New York to denounce the Iraqi invasion and demand Iraqi army pullout.

KUWAIT: Beaches were barricaded and used as military hideouts by Iraqi forces during the invasion. – KUNA photos

Only a few days after the Iraqi military action, the US tabled a draft resolution to the UNSC imposing comprehensive economic and military sanctions on Iraq in a bid to force it to withdraw from Kuwait in line with the UNSC resolution adopted just a few hours following the invasion. As developments went on, peace-loving countries had to dispatch forces to the region, and immediately, various world capitals had contracts to mobilize an international coalition, particularly after the UNSC adopted a third resolution on the occupation of Kuwait, Resolution 662, in which the UN underlined its categorical opposition to Iraq’s decision to annex Kuwait as being “void”.

Only several weeks following the Iraqi invasion, Arab and international vanguard forces began to flow to Saudi lands as part of an international coalition to liberate Kuwait. Afterwards, the five major countries of the UNSC agreed on a draft resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq due to its reluctance to pull out of Kuwait. In late November 1990, the UNSC adopted several resolutions related to Iraq, mainly Resolution 677, which warned Iraq of the consequences of its attempts to wipe out the identity of Kuwait and settle Iraqis in Kuwait, stressing the significance of keeping smuggled copies of Kuwait’s population registry.

The UNSC, then, adopted Resolution 678, which authorizes all necessary means to ensure compliance with previous resolutions and gives Iraq a deadline until January 15, 1991, to pull its forces out of Kuwait, or it would be at war with the international coalition forces. At the dawn of January 7, 1991, the international coalition’s forces commenced their major attack on Iraqi military and strategic sites in Kuwait and Iraq as a prelude to the liberation of Kuwait. They launched an air attack on Iraqi military facilities and bases, public facilities, bridges, water, and electricity stations, as well as 60 military bases.

The international coalition started preparations for a ground attack on Iraqi forces in Kuwait, with then US President George Bush having greenlit the coalition forces’ commander Norman Schwarzkopf, to launch the ground attack shortly before the end of the UN deadline. Consequently, the Iraqi army collapsed under the international forces’ strikes, and the Kuwaiti forces began to return to the country on February 26, 1991. Remembering the invasion after 33 years, Kuwaitis would remain grateful to the late Saudi King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud for having hosted the Kuwaiti leadership and people, along with the Egyptian leadership for having supported Kuwait from the very beginning of the invasion. – KUNA

The post Kuwait recalls Iraqi invasion after 33 years appeared first on Kuwait Times.

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