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Operation Desert Storm

George H Bush

Operation Desert Storm: George H Bush was the 41st American President who served in office from January 20, 1989 to January 20, 2001. One of the important events during his presidency was the 1991 Persian Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm.

Definition and Summary of the Operation Desert Storm
Summary and definition:
Operation Desert Storm (17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991), was the combat phase of the 1991 Gulf War fought against Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein. Operation Desert Storm was the codename for the US-led United Nations (UN) operation to liberate  oil rich Kuwait from the invasion forces of Iraq.

Operation Desert Storm began on January 17 1991 and lasted for 43 days, ending in victory on 28 February 1991 for  the United States and the coalition forces from Europe, Canada and Arab Nations. Operation Desert Storm received unprecedented television coverage as each night people from all over the world watched live pictures of the unfolding events of Operation Desert Storm.

When did Operation Desert Storm begin? Operation Desert Storm began on 17 January 1991 following the "wholly defensive" military build up to the conflict called Operation Desert Shield.

When did Operation Desert Storm end? Operation Desert Storm ended on 28 February 1991 with the collapse of Iraqi resistance to the US and Coalition military forces when President Bush declared suspension of offensive combat and laid out conditions for permanent cease-fire.

What were the goals of Operation Desert Storm? The goals of Operation Desert Storm were to force the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait and restore the Kuwaiti government, defeat the military capability of Iraq and destroy Iraq's ability to produce and employ weapons of mass destruction.

Who was the general in Operation Desert Storm? The name of the US general in Operation Desert Storm Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., nicknamed "Stormin' Norman", the commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM). General Schwarzkopf led all coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War. 

What caused Operation Desert Storm?
The conflict known as Operation Desert Storm was caused by Saddam Hussein's accusations that Kuwait was over-producing oil, causing oil prices to drop, costing Iraq an estimated $14 billion a year. This resulted in the Iraqi invasion and annexation of oil-rich Kuwait. The response to the invasion was the coalition military build-up in the Middle East known as 'Operation Desert Shield' (2 August 1990, to 16 January 1991) to prevent oil reserves falling under the control of Saddam Hussein. Iraq refused to withdraw from Kuwait which led to the 43 day conflict known as Operation Desert Storm.

The Persian Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm
Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm were the US operational codenames used during the Persian Gulf War. Operation Desert SHIELD was the period of a "wholly defensive" military build-up in Saudi Arabia, on the southern border of Iraq, by the United States. Operation Desert STORM was the codename given to the combat phase of the Persian Gulf War reflecting the 'Shock and Awe' or rapid dominance military tactics based on the use of overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force to destroy the enemy's will to fight.

What countries were involved in Operation Desert Storm?
A coalition of forces from 34 nations was formed from Canada, Europe and Arab Nations, led by the United States, in response to the aggression by Iraq. The coalition of countries involved in Operation Desert Storm were Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Portugal, Qatar, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Spain, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Operation Desert Storm: Military Forces
General Schwarzkopf commanded an international army of 1,200,000 during Operation Desert Storm, consisting of 500,000 U.S. troops and 700,000 troops from the coalition countries. The US provided 2,000 tanks 1800 aircraft and 120 ships. The coalition provided 190 ships and 1700 combat aircraft. Iraq had the world's fourth largest army at the time of the conflict consisting of 955,000 standing soldiers and over half a million paramilitary forces in the Popular Army.

Operation Desert Storm Facts: Timeline of Main Dates and Events

Jan. 17: Following 139 days of planning and buildup of Operation Desert Shield the conflict known as Operation Desert Storm began with a massive air war and missile attacks to destroy Iraq's military forces and civil infrastructure. The USS Missouri fired her first Tomahawk missile at Iraqi targets, followed by 27 additional missiles over the next five days.

Jan. 18: The first scud missiles from Iraq strike Israel and Saudi Arabia. Scud missiles are a type of long-range surface-to-surface guided missile that is fired from a mobile launcher. General Schwarzkopf announces to the media that the military action by the Operation Desert Storm coalition was "just about exactly as we had intended it to go".

Jan. 19: Scud missiles explode in Tel Aviv, Israel and the government, fearing missiles could be the filled with nerve agents such as sarin,  issue gas masks to Israeli citizens. The Battle of Ad-Dawrah was a naval engagement victory for the coalition.

Jan. 20: Nine Scud missiles fired at Saudi Arabia are intercepted. General Schwarzkopf announced that  Iraq's nuclear test reactors had been destroyed

Jan. 21: The Iraqi mobile Scud missile launchers that were hidden in desert areas continued to pose a threat. The U.S. announces more than 8,000 sorties in the first five days of Operation Desert Storm.

Jan. 22: Iraq began retreating from Kuwait and began an  "environmental war", blowing up over 700 Kuwaiti oil wells as part of a scorched earth policy. Iraqi forces continue to launch scud missiles.

Jan. 23: President George H. Bush urges the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein should be brought to justice, suggesting that removal of the president of Iraq could be a goal

Jan. 24: The Battle for Qurah and Umm al Maradim, were several naval and land battles for control over the islands off the coast of Kuwait fought between 24–29 January 1991 during Operation Desert Storm

Jan. 25: Iraq begins another element of "environmental war" by pumping millions of gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf.

Jan. 26: The oil release causes massive environmental damage throughout the Persian Gulf and two great oil slicks are reported in Saudi Arabia. The USS Louisville is first submarine to launch a cruise missile in combat. (A cruise missile is a guided missile launched against terrestrial targets at cruise speed)

Jan. 27: General Schwarzkopf reports that the Operation Desert Storm coalition has total air superiority in Iraq and are reducing the Iraqi Scud threat. The coalition bomb Iraq-held oil wells in Kuwait to stop Iraq from dumping more oil into the Persian Gulf.

Jan. 28: Concerns continue to grow about the "environmental war" being waged by the Iraqi's and the possible use of chemical warfare during Operation Desert Storm.

Jan. 29: Iraqi forces invade Saudi territory and Khafji is captured. U.S. Marines and Saudis engage Iraq in a ground Battle of Khafji which is eventually won by coalition forces.

Jan. 30: Attacks by scores of Iraqi tanks and thousands of troops in Saudi Arabia are countered by U.S. Marines, Saudi and Qatari troops.

Jan. 31: Iraq is forced to withdraw from Saudi Arabia.

Feb. 01: US Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney warns that the United States would retaliate if Iraq used chemical or unconventional weapons during the Gulf War. The Coalition forces bomb a ten mile-long column of Iraqi armored vehicles headed into Saudi Arabia.

Feb. 02: The Battle of Bubiyan naval engagement ended in a Coalition victory with Iraqi Naval Forces destroyed.

Feb. 03: The massive Operation Desert Storm coalition air campaign continues and reaches over 40,000 sorties.

Feb. 04: U.S.S. Missouri shells Iraqi positions with 16-inch guns

Feb. 05: Allies fly 2,000 sorties, targeting Iraqi Republican Guards and bridges. Radio Baghdad broadcasting in coded messages, calls for worldwide attacks against coalition interests

Feb. 06: King Hussein of Jordan raises objections to the U.S. heavy bombardment of neighboring Iraq. Iraq announced it was breaking diplomatic ties with U.S., UK, France, Italy, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Feb. 07: Allied air attacks against Iraqi troops in Kuwait increase dramatically with 2600 sorties flown.

Feb. 08: 2500 sorties are flown targeting bridges and troops. Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell and Dick Cheney arrive in Saudi Arabia for consultations. General Schwarzkopf confirms that CENTCOM has destroyed over 600 tanks during Operation Desert Storm.

Feb. 09: 2400 sorties are flown, the Operation Desert Storm total is now over 57,000 sorties. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev warns the allied offensive threatens to exceed UN mandate, publicly appeals to Saddam Hussein to "show realism."

Feb. 10: 2800 sorties against bridges and Iraqi troops. Saddam pledges victory and praises his people for “steadfastness, faith and light in the chests of Iraqis.”

Feb. 11: Allies fly 2600 sorties and emphasize attempts to avoid civilian casualties. President Bush says allies will continue with "very, very effective" air campaign "for a while" before beginning ground operations in Operation Desert Storm.

Feb. 12: The coalition conducts heavy bombardment of Baghdad and begin combined land-sea-air operations against Iraqis in Kuwait

Feb. 13: An allied missile lands on an air-raid shelter in Baghdad, killing nearly 400 people. The Bush administration asserts that it was a military target. Dick Cheney states that Saddam Hussein is "deliberately placing civilians in harm's way."

Feb. 14: The Pentagon announces that coalition  allied planes have destroyed at least 1,300 of Iraq’s 4,280 tanks, 800 of Iraq’s 2,870 armored vehicles and 1,100 of Iraq’s 3,110 artillery pieces.

Feb. 15: Iraq proposes withdrawal of forces from Kuwait. President George H. Bush rejects offer as a "cruel hoax." seeking an unconditional surrender.

Feb. 16: Abdul Amir al-Anbari, Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations states that Iraq will use weapons of mass destruction if U.S. bombing continues. All U.S. ground forces are in position to launch the ground .

Feb. 17: U.S. military and intelligence officials estimate that 15% of Iraq’s military forces in Kuwait have been killed or wounded. Signs are growing that allied offensive may be imminent.

Feb. 18: U.S.S. Tripoli and U.S.S. Princeton strike mines. U.S. ground forces are said to be "ready and waiting."

Feb. 19: General Schwarzkopf says allies are destroying more than 100 Iraqi tanks every day. President Bush rejects a Soviet-Iraqi peace plan that would allow three weeks for their withdrawal from Kuwait.

Feb. 20: The 5 day Battle of Wadi Al-Batin ends in victory for the Coalition.  U.S. forces report destruction of 450-500 tanks in intensive ground action. General Schwarzkopf is quoted as saying Iraq’s military is on the "verge of collapse".

Feb. 21: Defense Secretary Dick Cheney says allies are preparing "one of the largest land assaults of modern times". Saddam Hussein delivers a defiant speech in Baghdad.

Feb. 22: President Bush issues a 24-hour ultimatum to Iraq to begin an "immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait" or face a coalition ground attack within one week.

Feb. 23: Stealth fighters attack Iraqi intelligence headquarters

Feb. 24: U.S. ground attack commences in Kuwait and Iraq. Coalition forces launch a combined ground, air and sea assault which overwhelms the Iraqi army within 100 hours.

Feb. 25: Saudi-led Arab forces attacked Kuwait City,  two U.S. Marine Corps divisions struck at the oil fields, and the VII Corps and XVIII Airborne Corps on the left flank struck  cut off the Iraqi forces from the west, which would later be known as the "Left Hook" maneuver of General Schwarzkopf.

Feb. 26: The Battle of 73 Easting and the Battle of Al Busayyah were decisive tank victories for the coalition. Saddam Hussein announces Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait, but still refuses to accept all the UN resolutions passed against it. Coalition forces bombed thousands of vehicles  littering the “Highway of Death”.

Feb. 27: The U.S. 1st Armored Division fought the tank Battle of Medina Ridge against Iraqi's outside Basra, Iraq. It was the largest tank battle in US history and ended in a decisive victory for the United States. The Battle of Kuwait International Airport led the 1st Marine Division straight into Kuwait City. Coalition forces liberate Kuwait City. President Bush declares a cease-fire for February 28

Feb. 28: With the total collapse of Iraqi resistance Operation Desert Storm is brought to a conclusion and the first Gulf War ends.

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