Resolution 660, Aug. 2, 1990: Condemns Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (Vote 14-0-1 abstention)
Resolution 661, Aug. 6: Imposes economic sanctions against Iraq (13-0-2)
Resolution 662, Aug. 9: Declares Iraqi annexation of Kuwait null and void, (15-0)
Resolution 664, Aug. 18: Calls for the immediate release of foreigners from Iraq and Kuwait (15-0)
Resolution 665, Aug. 25: Authorizes the use of force to halt maritime shipping to and from Iraq (13-0-2)
Resolution 666, Sept. 13: Establishes guidelines for humanitarian aid to Iraq and Kuwait (13-0-2)
Resolution 667, Sept. 16: Condemns Iraq and demands protection of diplomatic personnel (15-0)
Resolution 669, Sept. 24: Authorizes examination of requirements for economic assistance under U.N. Article 50 (15-0)
Resolution 670, Sept. 25: Condemns Iraq and confirms economic embargo, including air (14-1)
Resolution 674, Oct. 29: Condemns Iraq and calls for release of third-country nationals and provision of food (13-0-2)
Resolution 677, Nov. 28: Condemns Iraqi attempts to alter Kuwaiti demographics, (15-0)
Resolution 678, Nov. 29: Authorizes the use of force to uphold resolutions unless Iraq withdraws by Jan. 15, 1991, deadline (12-2-1)
Resolution 686, March 2, 1991: Demands Iraq cease all hostile action as and abide by resolutions (11-1-3)
Resolution 687, April 3: Sets forth permanent cease-fire (12-1-2):
(From the 1991 "Defense Almanac.")
The Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm Timeline
Iraq invades Kuwait, Aug. 2, 1990.
Operation Desert Shield begins, Aug. 7.
First U.S. forces (F-15 Eagle fighters from Langley Air Force Base, Va.) arrive in Saudi Arabia, Aug. 7.
First Operation Desert Shield-related U.S. death, Aug. 12.
President George Bush authorizes first call-up of Selected Reservists to active duty for 90 days, by executive order, Aug. 22. (Call-up widened in subsequent authorizations; period of service extended to 180 days on Nov. 12 by executive order.)
Operation Desert Storm and air war phase begins, 3 a.m., Jan. 17, 1991 (Jan. 16, 7 p.m. Eastern time).
Iraq attacks Israel with seven Scud missiles, Jan. 17.
U.S. Patriot missile successfully intercepts first Scud, over Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 17.
President Bush authorizes the call-up of up to 1 million National Guardsmen and Reservist for up to two years, Jan. 18.
Department of Defense announces deployment of Europe-based Patriot missiles and crews to Israel, Jan. 19.
Iraq creates massive oil slick in gulf, Jan. 25.
Iraqis ignite estimate 700 oil wells in Kuwait, Feb. 23.
Iraqi Scud destroys U.S. barracks in Dhahran, killing 28 U.S. soldiers, Feb. 25.
End of hostilities declared, 8:01 a.m., Feb. 28 (12:01 a.m. Eastern).
Cease-fire terms negotiated in Safwan, Iraq, March 1.
Department of Defense announces first troop redeployment home, March l7
Iraq officially accepts cease-fire terms, April 6.
Cease-fire takes effect, April 11.
Scud was first deployed by the Soviets in the mid-1960s. The missile was originally designed to carry a 100-kiloton nuclear weapon or a 2,000 pound conventional weapon, with ranges from 100 to 180 miles. Its main threat was its ability to hold chemical or biological agents.
"The Iraqis modified Scuds for greater range, largely by reducing its weight, and enlarging their fuel tanks. It was structurally unstable and often broke up in the upper atmosphere. That further reduced its already poor accuracy, but it also made the missile difficult to intercept, since its flight path was unpredictable.
From: "Desert Victory - The War for Kuwait" by Norman Friedman, Naval Institute Press, 1991:
While there is uncertainty over the total number of Scuds fired during the war, one study done by General Merrill McPeak, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force is considered the most reliable.
McPeak's data, drawn from a variety of coalition sources, indicates that between January 18 and February 26, 1991, 40 Scuds were launched against Israel and 46 against Saudi Arabia.
"Efforts by Coalition air forces to suppress Iraqi launches of Scud misiles against Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf nations during Desert Storm ran into many problems. Although Iraq's average weekly launch rate of Scuds during Desert Storm (14.7 launches per week) was lower compared to previous conflicts, forces fighting for the UN were unsuccessful in many of their attempts to intercept Iraqi missiles mid-flight. UN Coalition aircrews reported destroying around eighty mobile launchers, but many of these reports probably refer to attacks that destroyed objects that now appear to have been decoys.
Over the 43 days of Desert Storm, roughly 1,500 strikes were carried out against targets associated with Iraqi ballistic missile capabilities.
Over eighty percent of the Scud launches during Desert Storm occurred at night, which made it more difficult to identify and intercept Iraqi missiles.”
From: "Gulf War Air Power Survey Summary Report" by Thomas A. Keaney and Eliot A. Cohen, 1993
Oil Well Fires, Smoke and Petroleum during Gulf War
The United States Veterans Association (VA) and research organizations continue to evaluate possible causes of Gulf War Veterans' chronic multi-symptom illnesses, including exposure to oil well fires, smoke and petroleum.
VA presumes certain medically unexplained illnesses are related to Gulf War service without regard to cause.
Exposure during the Gulf War
Between February to November 1991, Iraqi armed forces ignited oil well fires, producing dense clouds of soot, liquid, aerosols and gases.
Plumes of billowing smoke remained low to the ground, in some areas enveloping U.S. military personnel.
Exposures were highest during wintertime encampments in Saudi Arabia.
Gulf War ‘Syndrome’
Many Gulf War Veterans have been affected with a cluster of medically unexplained long-term symptoms that can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders, and memory problems. The VA presumes that soldiers who present with these symptoms before 2016, and served in southwest Asia (The Gulf War) since August 2, 1990, is suffering because of exposure to harmful smoke and chemicals while in battle.
These unexplained symptoms include:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a condition of long-term and severe fatigue that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other conditions
Fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by widespread muscle pain. Other symptoms may include insomnia, morning stiffness, headache, and memory problems.
Functional gastrointestinal disorders, a group of conditions marked by chronic or recurrent symptoms related to any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Functional condition refers to an abnormal function of an organ, without a structural alteration in the tissues. Examples include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional dyspepsia, and functional abdominal pain syndrome
Undiagnosed illnesses with symptoms that may include but are not limited to: abnormal weight loss, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders, and sleep disturbances.
Operation Desert Storm
The first major foreign crisis for the United States after the end of the Cold War presented itself in August 1990. Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq, ordered his army across the border into tiny Kuwait.
Kuwait was a major supplier of oil to the United States. The Iraqi takeover posed an immediate threat to neighboring Saudi Arabia, another major exporter of oil. If Saudi Arabia fell to Saddam, Iraq would control one-fifth of the world's oil supply.
The United States issued an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein: leave Kuwait by January 15,1991 or face a full attack by the multinational force. January 15 came and went with no response from the Iraquis
A United Nations taskforce (soldiers from different countries) pummeled Iraq's military targets for the next several weeks. On many days there were over 2500 such missions. Iraq responded by launching Scud missiles at American military barracks in Saudi Arabia and Israel.
On February 24, the ground war began. American ground troops declared Kuwait liberated just 100 hours after the ground attack was initiated. Soon Iraq agreed to terms for a ceasefire, and the conflict subsided.
As Iraq retreated, they detonated explosives at many of Kuwait's oil wells. The disaster to the environment grew as Iraq dumped oil into the Persian Gulf. The costs were enormous, and casualty figure staggering. Although estimates range in the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths, only 148 Americans were killed in the battle. This was primarily because of the technological advances of the United States.
The Persian Gulf War was a television event. CNN broadcast round-the-clock coverage of unfolding events. Americans saw footage from cameras placed on smart bombs as they struck Iraqi targets. The stealth fighter, designed to avoid radar detection was put into use for the first time. General Norman Schwarzkopf and General Colin Powell became household names as citizens watched their direction of the conflict.
The United States passed its first test of the post-Cold War world. Skillful diplomacy proved that the United Nations could be used as an instrument of force when necessary. Although Moscow did not contribute troops to the operation, they gave tacit approval for the attack. The potential for multinational cooperation was demonstrated. The largest American military operation since Vietnam was completed with smashing success. Most Americans felt confident in their military and technological edge once more. President Bush promptly declared that the "new world order had begun."