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The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq (1990)

In the summer of 1990, relations between Iraq and Kuwait deteriorated sharply due to disputes around oil prices.

May 30, 1990, the last day of the summit of heads of Arab States, the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein said that some Gulf countries began to produce more oil established by OPEC quota, bringing the price of a barrel of oil fell to $ 7, while the negotiated price of a barrel of oil was 18 dollars. Saddam Hussein noted that the fall in the price of each barrel for just one dollar means the loss of Iraq one billion dollars annually. This, in his opinion, in the current economic conditions of Iraq was equivalent to "act of war".

At that meeting Saddam Hussein not call directly those Arab countries that were hostile to Iraq policy. However, he said that has now reached the stage when it is no longer possible to tolerate the pressure. Saddam Hussein hinted that it is still possible to find a mutually acceptable way, if the price of oil to raise up to $ 25 per barrel.

July 15 Minister of foreign Affairs of Iraq, Tariq Aziz sent to the Secretary General of the Arab League a Memorandum on 37 pages, which specifically accused Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates of overproduction of oil. In addition, the document contained other claim of Iraq to Kuwait. In particular, the issue of Iraq's debt to Kuwait Aziz spoke in such a way that the debt is the "help" of Kuwait to Iraq during the war with Iran and therefore should not be treated as "debt", but rather should be annulled.

Aziz accused Kuwait that, over the period from 1980 to 1990 last pumped oil in the amount of $ 2.4 billion from the Iraqi oil in the Rumaila pool. Such actions of Kuwait are equal "act of war" against Iraq, aimed at "bringing the Iraqi economy to a state of collapse."

July 17, 1990, Saddam Hussein made a speech in which he stated that the Arab Gulf States joined in the anti-Iraqi conspiracy to maintain control of oil prices. The next day, Saddam Hussein accused Kuwait that he illegally produced oil from the disputed area of the Rumaila oil field on the Iraq-Kuwaiti border, and placed there his military posts. Kuwait, in turn, made accusations against Iraq's occupation of border areas of their country and the illegal exploitation of oil fields.

July 24, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as a mediator visited Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and on July 25 announced the agreement of Iraq and Kuwait to sit down at the negotiating table.

However, agreeing to talks with Kuwait, Iraq was not going to abandon the use of force. 24 July in the South bordering Kuwait region were deployed 30 thousand troops and 200 tanks, and in a week the number of Iraqi troops in the area reached 100 thousand people.

1 Aug 1990 in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) began the Iraq-Kuwait negotiations, but two hours later, they were interrupted. Baghdad was nominated for a number of obviously impracticable requirements to Kuwait, hoping that the last pay off from them. Kuwait rejected the demands monetary ransom and territorial concessions.

2 August 1990 at 2: 00 am local time Iraq invaded Kuwait. According to Western estimates, the invasion force of Iraq amounted to 120 thousand men and 350 tanks. By the end of the day almost all of Kuwait's territory was under the control of Iraqi forces. Out of the 950 oil wells in Kuwait, the Iraqis set fire to about 600, they had damaged pipelines, pumping stations, oil terminals, all major oil refining complexes.

Power in occupied Kuwait were transferred to the Baghdad protege of Colonel Ala Hussein Ali, who led the "Free provisional government of Kuwait".

August 8 "Free provisional government of Kuwait" addressed to Hussein with a request: "Kuwait needs to return to the bosom of the Motherland – the great Iraq." This "request" was granted, and Iraq announced the inclusion of Kuwait in the country on the rights nineteenth province.

The Iraqi aggression against Kuwait with the condemnation was received throughout the world. On 2 August the UN Security Council passed resolution 660 condemning the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and demanded "immediate and unconditional" withdrawal of all Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The UN Security Council called on the parties to begin an "immediate, intensive negotiations for the resolution of existing differences between them".

On 3 August the Soviet Union, like most other countries, condemned the actions of the Iraqi army. In the corresponding statement of the Soviet government, announced the decision to suspend the supply to Iraq of arms and military equipment. However, the USSR believed that the conflict between the two Arab States could have and should have been solved by peaceful means of their own, without the intervention of third countries.

During August – November 1990 between the Soviet Union, the US, Iraq, and several Arab and Western European States have held several rounds of consultations, exchanges of views and negotiations at various levels with the aim to find a political solution to the crisis deepens in the Gulf.

Despite all the efforts of the UN and some countries accepted mediation in the middle East conflict, the crisis deepened and the situation became deadlock. In less than four months since Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the Security Council adopted eleven resolutions, but Saddam Hussein continues to ignore world opinion. When it became clear that voluntary Iraq will not leave Kuwait, November 29, 1990 was adopted by the twelfth resolution number 678. It declared that Iraq until 15 January 1991 complied with previous UN resolutions, the Security Council will be forced "to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660".

Since the second half of December 1990, the chances for a peaceful settlement of the crisis in the Persian Gulf practically did not remain. In their speeches, in Baghdad, in an interview, Saddam Hussein declared the immutability of the policy of Iraq towards Kuwait.

15 January 1991 the US President George Bush signed a Directive authorizing the attack on Iraq on January 17, "if at the last minute there will be no diplomatic breakthrough."

January 17, 1991, at midnight GMT, the coalition headed by the USA and UN sanctions launched an operation to oust Iraqi troops from Kuwait ("operation desert Storm").

The main role in achieving victory was played by the aviation coalition, shock results which have provided ground forces achieve promptly the goals of the war. 27 Feb multinational forces completely liberated Kuwait and came to the area of Basra in southern Iraq. February 28, the military operations were stopped, on 6 March signed an armistice. The sovereignty of Kuwait was restored.

The material is based on information from open sources