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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri) March 20, 2003

1991 Gulf War Chronology

By Post-Dispatch Post-Dispatch Research By Cathy Tierney

On Aug. 2, 1990, Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait. Four days later, President George Bush ordered the deployment of U.S. forces to defend Saudi Arabia in an action named Operation Desert Shield.A 43-day war, Operation Desert Storm, began in January 1991, resulting in the liberation of Kuwait.


TUESDAY, JANUARY 15: Iraq ignores U.N. ultimatum to withdraw from Kuwait or be forced out.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16: Operation Desert Storm begins at 6 p.m. St. Louis time (3 a.m. Jan. 17 in Iraq) with massive air and missile attacks on targets in Iraq and Kuwait.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 17: Iraq attacks Israel with seven Scud missiles. A U.S. Patriot missile intercepts the frst Scud, over Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The air offensive against Iraqi forces begins.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 18: Bush authorizes the call-up of up to 1 million National Guardsmen and reservists for up to two years. The first Iraqi Scud missile strikes in Israel.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 19: U.S. troops raid oil platforms off Kuwait, capturing first Iraqi prisoners of war.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 20: Iraqi television broadcasts pictures of seven captured coalition airmen.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22: Iraq begins blowing up Kuwaiti oil wells.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25: Iraq creates massive oil slick in Persian Gulf.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26: Pentagon confirms the Louisville is the first submarine to launch a cruise missile in combat. More than 72,000 war protesters march in Washington.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30: Scores of Iraqi tanks and thousands of troops advance into Saudi Arabia. Attacks are countered by U.S. Marines, Saudi and Qatari troops. Eleven Marines die.

THURDSAY, JANUARY 31: Saudi and Qatari troops, backed by U.S. artillery, retake Khafji, Saudi Arabia.


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1: Allies bomb 10-mile-long Iraqi armored column headed into Saudi Arabia.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8: Defense Secretary Dick Cheney gives strongest indication to date that a ground war is coming.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12: Allied forces open combined land-sea-air barrage against Iraqis in Kuwait -- the largest battlefield action to date.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13: Stealth fighters drop two bombs on fortified underground facility in Baghdad. Iraqi officials claim at least 500 civi lians are killed.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14: Pentagon says allied planes have destroyed at least 1,300 of Iraq's 4,280 tanks, 800 of its 2,870 armored vehicles and 1,100 of its 3,110 artillery pieces.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15: Iraq says it is prepared to withdraw from Kuwait but adds a number of demands. Bush dismisses the Iraqi offer.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20: Schwarzkopf says Iraq is on the verge of collapse.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22: Bush issues ultimatum for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait to avoid ground war.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23: The allied ground assault begins at 7 p.m. St. Louis time (4 a.m. Feb. 24 in Iraq).

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24: Oil wells in Kuwait continue to burn after Iraqis ignite an estimated 700 wells on Feb. 23.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY, 25: Allied forces are reported on the outskirts of Kuwait City. U.S. officials report four U.S. soldiers are killed in first days of ground assault.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26: Iraqi forces are in full retreat with allied forces pursuing. Iraqi prisoners of war number more than 30,000.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27: The first Kuwaiti troops enter Kuwait City. Bush declares suspension of offensive combat and orders a cease-fire effective at midnight Kuwait time.


FRIDAY, MARCH 1: Cease-fire terms are negotiated in Safwan, Iraq.

MARCH 2: 24th Infantry Division fights Hammurabi Division as it flees, destroying 600 vehicles.

SUNDAY, MARCH 3: Iraqi leaders formally accept cease-fire terms.

MONDAY, MARCH 4: Ten allied POWs are freed.

TUESDAY, MARCH 5: Thirty-five allied POWs are released.

FRIDAY, MARCH 8: After two weeks of nonstop minesweeping operations, the port of Kuwait City is declared safe and allowed to reopen.

THURSDAY, MARCH 14: The emir of Kuwait returns from exile.

SUNDAY, MARCH 17: Department of Defense announces first troop redeployment home. (24th Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.)


APRIL 5: Bush announces U.S. relief supply airdrops to Kurdish refugees in Turkey and northern Iraq.

APRIL 6: Iraq accepts U.N. terms for a formal cease-fire.

APRIL 7: U.S. transports deliver 72,000 pounds of supplies in first six Operation Provide Comfort missions.

APRIL 9: The Security Council approves Resolution 689, establishing a United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission to monitor a permanent cease-fire.

APRIL 11: Security Council announces that a formal cease-fire has been established, ending the Gulf War.

Sources: BBC, Associated Press, Globalsecurity.org


GRAPHIC: PHOTO; (1) Photo - President George Bush; (2) Photo Headshot - Saddam Hussein; (3) Photo - Jan. 18: A Tomahawk cruise missile lights up the night sky and the deck of the Wisconsin during an attack on Iraq.; (4) Photo Headshot - Norman Schwarzkopf; (5) Photo Headshot - Dick Cheney; (6) Photo Headshot - Colim Powell; (7) Photo - Jan. 26: A thick layer of crude oil coats a cormorant in the surf in the Persian Gulf.; (8) Photo - Jan. 30: An artillery crew from the 1st Marine Division fires a 155-mm howitzer at Iraqi positions during ground fighting near Khafji, Saudi Arabia.; (9) Photo - Feb. 26: A column of Iraqi prisoners of war marches to a processing area in Kuwait following their capture on the frst day of the ground war. GRAPHIC (10) Graphic / Chart by the POST-DISPATCH - 1991 GULF WAR CHRONOLOGY (See text field.); Post-Dispatch Research By Cathy Tierney; Sources: BBC, Associated Press, Globalsecurity.org

Copyright 2003, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Inc.