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Timeline of Gulf War (1990–1991)

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The timeline of the Gulf War details the dates of the major events of the 1990–91 war, which began with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 and concluded after the Liberation of Kuwait by Coalition forces and Iraq agreeing to United Nations' demands on 28 February 1991. The war officially concluded with the signing of the armistice on 11 April 1991. Major events in the aftermath include anti-Saddam Hussein uprisings in Iraq, massacres against the Kurds by the regime, Iraq formally recognizing the sovereignty of Kuwait in 1994 and eventually ending its cooperation with the United Nations Special Commission in 1998.[1][2][3][4][5]




  • 9 January: United States Secretary of State James Baker meets Foreign Minister of Iraq Tariq Aziz at the Geneva Conference in Hotel InterContinental without any solution.
  • January 12: U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing the use of military force in Iraq and Kuwait. The votes were 52-47 in the U.S. Senate and 250-183 in the House of Representatives. These were the closest margins in authorizing force by the Congress since the War of 1812.
  • 12 January: United Nations Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar meets Saddam Hussein in Baghdad without any agreement with the Government of Iraq on withdrawing from Kuwait.
  • 12 January: Soviet special envoy Yevgeny Primakov meets Saddam Hussein in Baghdad about the possible Coalition invasion of Kuwait.
  • 15 January: Saddam Hussein announces that Iraq will consider withdrawing its troops from Kuwait under some conditions.
  • 15 January: 580,000 Coalition troops are stationed in the Gulf region against 540,000 Iraqi troops.
  • 15 January: First U.S. government statement of Operation Desert Storm made.
  • 15 January: Iraq ignores all UN resolutions.
  • January 16: Coalition forces lead by the U.S. start deploying into Kuwait through the Persian Gulf and the Saudi Arabian border, starting the first official infantry combat.
  • 17 January: Foreign Minister of Iraq Tariq Aziz meets President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow where they discuss the Soviet peace plan.
  • 17 January: Operation Desert Storm is launched. First air attacks are launched on Iraq and Kuwait.
  • 18 January, 01:00 GMT: Iraq fires 12 scud missiles at Israeli cities of Haifa and Tel Aviv, killing 12 people. United States tells Israel not to retaliate to the scud attack due to the risk of expanding the war and causing the collapse of the Arab Coalition. The U.S. deploys Patriot missiles to Israel and Saudi Arabia.
  • 21 January: Foreign Minister of Iraq Tariq Aziz accepts the Soviet peace plan. President Bush refuses the peace plan as unrealistic for the coalition.
  • 22 January: Iraq burns Kuwaiti oil fields. About 600 oil fields are on fire.
  • 24 January: Iraq continues to burn Kuwaiti oil fields and dumps the oil into the Persian Gulf.
  • 24 January: Coalition forces capture the small Kuwaiti island of Qaruh.
  • 25 January: Iraqi troops dumped millions of gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf.
  • 29 January: United States and the Soviet Union offer a ceasefire to Iraq if it withdraws all its troops from Kuwait.
  • 29 January: Iraqi forces invaded the town of Khafji in Saudi Arabia. Iraqi forces were soon engaged by Saudi Arabian and Qatari troops with help from U.S. Marines.
  • 30 January: Coalition starts its first land operations in Kuwait and Southern Iraq.
  • 1 February: Iraqi forces are driven out of Saudi Arabia.
  • 22 February: U.S. President George H. W. Bush issues a 24-hour ultimatum: Iraq must withdraw from Kuwait to avoid start of a ground war.
  • 23 February: President of the United States George H.W. Bush calls on Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait before starting Operation Desert Storm
  • 24 February: Ground war begins when U.S.-led Coalition forces invaded Iraq and Kuwait at around 4 a.m. Baghdad time. Special Air Service was the first to enter Iraqi territory.
  • 25 February: 20,000 Iraqi troops surrender to the coalition. By the end of February, about 100,000 Iraqi troops will have surrendered.
  • 25 February: Iraq launches scud missile attacks to Dhahran in Saudi Arabia which kills 28 American troops and injures 98 civilians.
  • 26 February: President of Iraq Saddam Hussein announces that Iraq will withdraw from Kuwait totally and accept the UN resolution. Saddam still does not renounce Iraqi claims over Kuwait.
  • 26 February: About 10,000 retreating Iraqi troops are killed when Coalition aircraft bombed their stolen civilian and military vehicles. This becomes known as the Highway of Death.
  • 26 February: Iraqi troops flee from Kuwait City.
  • 27 February: U.S. Marines and Saudi Arabian troops entered Kuwait City.
  • 27 February: 101st Airborne Division is less than 250 km far from Baghdad over Highway 8.[6]
  • 27 February: President Bush announced that the Liberation of Kuwait has started and the cessation of hostilities will end at 04:00 GMT the same day
  • 27 February: Coalition announces that they have destroyed almost half of the all Iraqi divisions and 500,000 Iraqi troops has been taken as PWOs.
  • 28 February: President of the United States George H.W. Bush announces the ceasefire, that Kuwait is free and Iraqi Army is defeated.
  • 28 February: Iraq announces that it will accept all UN resolutions.
  • 1 March: Half of the Republican Guard tanks have escaped.[7]
  • 1 March: A cease-fire plan is negotiated in Safwan, Iraq.
  • 3 March: Iraq accepts the terms of a ceasefire from the U.N. Security Council.
  • 6 March: Shiia rebellion starts in Basra.
  • 13 March: Secretary of State of the United States James Baker meets President of Syria Hafez Al-Assad in Damascus to discuss future Middle East issues.
  • 14 March: Anti-Saddam rebellions continue in Iraq.
  • 26 March: White House announces that Iraqi helicopters will not be shot down.[8]
  • 30 March: First Arab League summit starts in Cairo after the Kuwaiti invasion. An Iraqi delegation also takes part in the summit.
  • 3 April: Iraqi army massacres Kurds in Northern Iraq.
  • 11 April: Armistice is signed between the Coalition and Iraqi Army.
  • 7 April: Kuwaiti Emir promises elections in Kuwait in 1992
  • 14 April: Emir of Kuwait Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah returns to Kuwait.
  • 17 April: U.S. troops enter Northern Iraq from Turkey to protect Kurdish refugees.
  • 21 April: General Schwarzkopf returns to USA.[9]
  • May: Bush extends pre-war economic sanctions "until Saddam Hussein is out of power".[6]
  • 15 June: 29 people[clarification needed] are accused of co-operating with the Iraqi forces, and are executed in Kuwait.
  • 16 August: UN repeals some Iraqi sanctions; Iraq is allowed to produce oil, limited to about USD$1.6 billion per barrel.
  • 30 August: Kuwaiti Air Force attacks Iraqi destroyer in the Gulf.
  • 7 November: The final Kuwaiti oil fire is extinguished.



  • 26: August: No-fly zone is established in Southern Iraq.



  • 10 November: Iraq recognises Kuwaiti independence and the borders it shares with Iraq.





  1. ^ Leena Hybinette (toimittaja). VUOSI 91. KG Bertmark Kustannus Oy. (in Finnish)
  2. ^ Leena Hybinette (toimittaja). VUOSI 90. KG Bertmark Kustannus Oy. (in Finnish)
  3. ^ Leena Hybinette (toimittaja) (1990). Vuoden uutistapahtumat kuvina 1990. Saarijärvi: Gummerus Oy. (in Finnish)
  4. ^ "Timeline: War in the Gulf". BBC News Middle East.
  5. ^ "BBC On This Day: 1991: Iraqi Scud missiles hit Israel". BBC.
  6. ^ a b Wawro, Geoffrey (2011-01-22). "Desert Storm Turns Twenty: What Really Happened in 1991, and Why it Matters, Part II of II". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  7. ^ Gordon, Michael R. "Victory Over Iraq in 1991 Was Swift, but Flawed". Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  8. ^ Mylroie, Laurie (1992-06-28). "IRAQ'S REAL COUP". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  9. ^ "General Norman Schwarzkopf". 2012-12-28. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-07-16.

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