KUWAIT: Kuwait marked yesterday the 26th anniversary of an event deeply entrenched in the minds of its people; a military operation dubbed ‘Desert Storm,’ which liberated Kuwait from the atrocious Iraqi occupation. On the morning of January 15, 1991, then US President George H W Bush opted for military intervention in the event diplomacy fails to end the conflict known as the ‘Gulf War,’ which was triggered by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990.
Moreover, ‘Operation Desert Storm’ commenced with a devastating air strike launched by US-led Coalition warplanes, as the entire world watched the developments unfold on their television screens. Meanwhile, then Crown Prince and Prime Minister the late His Highness Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salem Al- Sabah delivered a memorable address to the nation, where he commended the Kuwaiti people for their unbridled resistance in the face of Iraqi aggression.
Among the fleet of warplanes heavily relied upon by Coalition forces was the “F-117”, which inflicted damage on strategic targets in the Iraqi capital and overwhelmed the Iraqi army. The first day of the military operation lasted 240 minutes where some 400 warplanes ejected 1,200 strikes that destroyed half of the Iraqi arsenal, which Saudi Arabia and Kuwait claimed 302 of them. The brunt of the aerial barrage targeted biological, atomic and chemical weapons stored in the northern Iraqi cities of Mosul, Irbil and Al-Koufa, in addition to the southern cities of Baghdad and Basra.
Similarly, more than 100 US naval ships joined the war, along with 1,800 warplanes and 1,700 helicopters that assisted the Kuwait air force as it hammered locations inside Kuwait in efforts to protect valuable possessions. By the end of the war on February 27, 1991, Coalition forces, which comprised a total of 32 nations, had destroyed 88,500 tons of supplies, while Coalition contributions to liberate Kuwait amounted to $53 billion. On February 26, 1991, Coalition forces declared victory, heralding the complete liberation of Kuwait. — KUNA