The Liberation of Kuwait

The Liberation of Kuwait

   The Middle East has been a land of conflict for most of human history. Many nations have fought over the course of the history of the Middle East, such as the Crusades, World War 1,and one of the most recent wars in American history, the Gulf War. The war itself was not a battle to gain resources, but to ensure that a nation would remain free from the grips of a brutal Middle Eastern dictator. 

   On the 2nd of August 1990, Saddam Hussein, the leader of Iraq, annexed Kuwait. Many members of the UN pressed for immediate action against the invasion. However, others believed that a peaceful option could make the Iraqis back down. A method attempted was placing heavy economic sanctions on Iraq in hopes to deter their invasion. This did not deter Hussein, since he had been receiving supplies from the Soviet Union. 

   The UN sent an ultimatum to Iraq, demanding his forces withdraw from Kuwait or face military action. Believing that the UN was bluffing, Hussein denied their ultimatum. 

   The UN was not lying.

   A coalition was formed to combat Iraq, with a total of 38 nations joining it. The liberation of Kuwait began on the 24th of February 1991, with the U.S. primarily leading the mission.

   Forty ships were stationed off the coast of Kuwait City, making Saddam believe that a potential invasion would come from the coast. Several amphibious attacks were made from the sea to help deceive the Iraq forces from the true attack point, which would be from the south. At 4 a.m. on Feb. 24, the first and second Marine divisions, along with several companies from the other coalition members and tanks from the British army, crossed the Kuwait border and marched towards Kuwait City. 

   The advance of the coalition forces were swift and easy because many members of the Iraqi army upon encountering coalition forces surrendered without putting up a fight. On Feb. 27, Hussein issued a retreat order to all Iraqi forces. However, not all Iraqi forces received this order, and once coalition forces reached the Kuwait International Airport, they were met with heavy resistance. It took seven hours for U.S. marines to secure the airport. 

   During their retreat, Iraqi forces tried their best to ruin the Kuwait economy by destroying oil fields they came across. 

   The liberation of Kuwait was a resounding success. Kuwait regained its independence, Saddam Hussein’s hopes to annex Kuwait were crushed, and it proved that the UN can unite nations around the world to fight for freedom of oppressed people.


Liberation of Kuwait campaign – Wikipedia

Kuwait, US remember liberation 25 years later | Article | The United States Army