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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tracking Number:  152454

Title:  "The Gulf Crisis: A Chronology." A chronology of events leading up to and occurring after the invasion and occupation of Kuwait by Iraq. (900828)

Date:  19900828



As signatories of the Charter of the United Nations, both Iraq and Kuwait have pledged to: "refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."

Iraq officially recognized the independent state of Kuwait in 1963, and pledged to respect its sovereign integrity. The following chronology tells what happened as Iraq violated this covenant by its invasion and annexation of Kuwait. The international community, led by the Security Council of the United Nations, has denounced this violation of the laws and principles which govern the peaceful relations of states.

--July 16: Iraqi Foreign Minister Aziz delivers letter to Arab League Secretariat in Tunis charging Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with "direct aggression" against Iraq. Complaints include encroachment on Iraqi territory and excessive oil production.

--July 17: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein accuses Kuwait and the UAE of exceeding production levels set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and driving down the price of crude. Hussein says the move cost Iraq 14,000 million dollars in lost oil revenue and threatens use of force to halt overproduction.

--July 18: Saddam Hussein reasserts Iraqi claims to oil in a disputed border area inside Kuwait; he says Kuwait has stolen 2,400 million dollars in crude from the wells there and demands repayment.

National Assembly of Kuwait votes to send various high officials to Arab capitals to present Kuwaiti position. King Fahd of Saudi Arabia telephones Saddam Hussein and urges restraint.

State Department reiterates that U.S. policy in the Gulf is "to ensure the free flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz and to defend the principle of freedom of navigation."

--July 19: Kuwaiti foreign minister delivers letter to Arab League responding to Iraqi charges and calling for Arab League arbitration of border dispute.

--July 20: Kuwait puts armed forces on alert.

GE 2 NEA207

--July 21: Arab League Secretary General Klibi arrives in Kuwait for consultations. Saddam Hussein speaks with Egyptian President Mubarak and Jordan's King Hussein.

--July 22: Iraqi foreign minister meets with Mubarak in Cairo. NATO military attaches in Kuwait and visiting Iraq report seeing tanks on railway cars moving south and 2,000 to 3,000 trucks moving 30,000 troops toward border.

--July 23: Saudi Arabian military forces in northern and eastern command areas are put on alert. Egyptian President Mubarak and Jordan's King Hussein confer on tensions in Gulf.

--July 24: Mubarak travels to Baghdad and Kuwait to mediate, and proposes meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo. Pentagon confirms the U.S. Navy is carrying out a joint training operation in the Gulf with the UAE. Kuwaiti military drops from state of alert to state of "heightened awareness." At emergency OPEC session in Geneva, negotiators move rapidly to agree on production levels acceptable to all 13 members.

--July 25: Iraqi military buildup expands; Kuwait reinstates military alert. U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie meets in Baghdad with Saddam Hussein, who says he hopes for a peaceful resolution of the situation and informs the ambassador of his plans for discussions with Kuwait. He pledges "nothing will happen" militarily for the duration of that mediation effort. Saddam tells Mubarak that Iraq does not plan to attack Kuwait.

--July 26: OPEC agreements for tough production and export limits are formalized. Kuwait and UAE pledge to abide by the agreement.

--July 27: U.S. Senate votes to cut off all farm credits to Iraq and prohibit transfers of munitions and military applicable technology.

--July 31: Intelligence sources report enormous Iraqi troop buildup, with nearly 100,000 troops massed along the border with Kuwait -- about five times the size of the Kuwaiti army. Representatives of Iraq and Kuwait meet in Saudi Arabia to begin negotiations on the oil fields along the border, but talks break down after two hours. The State Department reiterates U.S. support for diplomatic efforts to "defuse the tension" in the Gulf.

--August 1: Iraqi ambassador to Washington is called to State Department for consultations with Assistant Secretary of State John Kelly, who reiterates "the American conviction" that the dispute between Iraq and Kuwait "must be settled peacefully."

GE 3 NEA207 --August 2: During the night, hundreds of Iraqi tanks roll across the border into Kuwait accompanied by thousands of ground troops, seizing the Emir's palace and other government buildings and strategic installations.

An emergency session of the United Nations Security Council votes 14-0 to condemn Iraq, urge a cease-fire, and demand the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait. The Soviet Union, a major supplier of arms to Iraq, votes in favor of the resolution and announces an arms embargo against that country.

Kuwait's ambassador to the United States strongly condemns Iraq's invasion of his country and makes a world-wide appeal for military assistance. "I think the United States intervention at this stage is of paramount importance," he says.

President Bush strongly condemns the invasion as "naked aggression," and calls for Iraq's "immediate and unconditional withdrawal." Bush signs executive order to ban all trade with Iraq and freeze the assets of both Iraq and Kuwait, and calls on other governments to take similar action.

Members of U.S. Congress express outrage over the Iraqi invasion; both the Senate and House of Representatives move quickly to condemn Baghdad and endorse President Bush's embargo.

--August 3: Iraqi army pushes toward Saudi Arabia. Bush issues stern warning to Iraqis not to invade the kingdom, calls occupation of Kuwait "unacceptable," and says further expansion "would be even more unacceptable." He says the United States will keep all its options open, and "would be inclined to help in any way we possibly can" if Saudi Arabia asks for help. The U.S. president has telephone conversations with Arab leaders.

Saddam Hussein announces he will meet with Emir of Kuwait in two days, and pledges a withdrawal of Iraqi troops beginning the same day. Baghdad begins jamming international broadcasts, including VOA Arabic service.

U.S. Secretary of State Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Shevardnadze issue an unprecedented joint statement condemning the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq.

Belgium, France, Britain and Luxembourg join efforts to freeze Kuwaiti assets in their countries. The Iraqi invasion is condemned by the European Community, Luxembourg, Austria, Greece, Spain and Brazil.

--August 4: Satellite photos indicate reinforcement, not withdrawal of Iraqi troops in Kuwait.

GE 4 NEA207 Canada institutes an embargo on imports of Iraqi- and Kuwaiti-origin oil, and prepares to control exports to Iraq, among other sanctions. Japan, heavily dependent on imported oil, announces it will embargo oil imports from Iraq and Kuwait as well as exports to those countries. The European Community votes to adopt similar sanctions.

--August 6: King Fahd invites friendly forces to Saudi Arabia to reinforce its defenses; Bush orders squadron of F-15 fighters to Saudi air base along with 82nd Airborne Division.

United Nations votes 13-0 for a mandatory embargo of Iraq. U.S. charge d'affaires Joseph Wilson meets with Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, and reiterates Washington's demand for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Saddam announces his seizure of Kuwait is "irreversible."

--August 7: U.S. troop movements become public and thousands of soldiers prepare to move to Saudi bases.

For the first time in its history, neutral Switzerland decides to join with international community and apply sanctions, against Iraq.

Venezuela tells Washington that OPEC will make up the oil shortfall caused by the international embargo of Iraq and Kuwait.

--August 8: In a nationally televised speech, Bush officially announces the deployment of troops to the Middle East, and asks U.S. citizens to support this commitment, saying, "the sovereign independence of Saudi Arabia is of vital interest to the United States." He stresses that "appeasement does not work."

He says U.S. policy is guided by four principles: the demand for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait; restoration of the legitimate government of Kuwait; the U.S. commitment to peace and stability in the Persian Gulf; and the protection of American lives in the region.

Iraq announces annexation of Kuwait.

Britain sends additional air and naval units to defend Saudi Arabia.

--August 9: Arab leaders gather in Cairo in an attempt to resolve the situation among themselves, but talks are postponed one day. The U.S. State Department expresses growing concern about the 3,000 Americans stranded in Kuwait by the invasion.

A department spokesman reiterates that the Iraqi government August 2 committed itself to ensuring the safety of American citizens and other foreigners.

GE 5 NEA207 President Bush officially informs Congress of forward deployment of troops in Middle East.

United Nations Security Council unanimously declares Iraqi annexation of Kuwait "null and void." Sets up special committee to monitor compliance with sanctions against Iraq.

--August 10: Iraq calls for "holy war" against Americans and Israelis, and orders closing of all embassies in Kuwait. Arab League votes to send peacekeeping force to Saudi Arabia. Twelve of twenty members vote in favor, 3 oppose (Iraq, Libya, PLO), 2 abstain (Yemen, Algeria) and one was not present (Tunisia). Jordan, Mauritania and Syria expressed "reservations."

NATO ministers in Brussels give U.S. Gulf deployment "strong support," and endorse actions by other members, including naval commitments by France and Britain and decision by Italy, Spain and Portugal to provide air bases.

Bush extends all Iraq sanctions to Kuwait.

--August 11: Egyptian and Moroccan troops begin landing in Saudi Arabia to guard against the threat of an Iraqi invasion. Syrian officials say Damascus will probably take part in the joint Islamic effort.

--August 12: President Bush says he will order U.S. forces to interdict Iraqi oil exports and all imports to that country except some food shipments. London says a British businessman was shot to death by Iraqi soldiers as he tried to flee Iraq.

--August 13: King Hussein of Jordan accuses United States of creating "explosive" situation in Middle East. U.S. officials say Aqaba, a Jordanian port, should be closed to Iraqi commerce. (Jordan had said it would comply with U.N. sanctions.)

Pakistan agrees to join Islamic force in Saudi Arabia.

--August 14: Diplomatic efforts to resolve gulf crisis are stepped up, with talks among U.S. and European foreign ministers, Kuwaiti officials in exile, Iraqi officials and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. Americans and British held in Iraq described as "restrictees." More and more other nationalities are also prevented from leaving.

Saddam Hussein offers to conclude "full peace" with Iran, returning territory and exchanging prisoners of war.

--August 16: After meeting with Jordan's King Hussein, President Bush says Jordan reaffirmed its commitment to observe U.N. sanctions.

Bush orders U.S. Navy to

GE 6 NEA207 intercept shipping to or from Iraq and Kuwait. Iraqi government orders Americans and Britons in Kuwait to gather at specified hotels.

--August 17:

The speaker of Iraq's Parliament Sadi Mahdi announces that citizens of "aggressive" nations would not be released until the threat of war against Iraq ends.

--August 18:

The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 664 demanding that Iraq "permit and facilitate the immediate departure from Kuwait and Iraq" of foreign nationals. The resolution also demands that Iraq: take no action to jeopardize the safety, security or health of those nationals of third countries; grant immediate and continuing access of consular officials to them; and rescind its orders for the closure of diplomatic and consular missions in Kuwait and withdrawal of the immunity of consular personnel.

--August 19:

Iraqi President Hussein offers to release the detainees if President Bush offers written guarantees that U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Saudi Arabia and an economic boycott against Iraq is ended. He left no doubt that the foreigners would be used as shields. "Their presence, along with Iraqi families, at vital targets may prevent military aggression," he says.

The French government, alarmed by reports about its citizens being sequestered in Baghdad, ordered its fleet in the Gulf region today to use force if necessary to ensure compliance with U.N. sanctions against Iraq.

--August 20:

President Bush calls Iraq's restrictions on "innocent civilians from many countries" unacceptable and an "offense against all norms of international behavior." He urges Iraq's leaders to "release all foreigners now" and "give them the right to come and go as they wish." For the first time since the crisis began, Bush refers to the detained foreigners as "hostages."

--August 21:

Iraqi president Saddam Hussein urges President Bush to seek a peace solution to the Gulf crisis or face global "disaster" while Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz stresses Iraq's willingness to talk to the United States as long as

GE 7 NEA207 a withdrawal of its troops from Kuwait is not a precondition. Aziz, in a statement from Amman calls on the United States to begin negotiations with Iraq over all aspects of the crisis.

The White House quickly responds to Iraq that no talks are possible until Iraq unconditionally carries out the United Nations demand that it withdraw its forces from Kuwait.

--August 22:

Foreign ministers of the 12-nation European Community reject Iraq's August 24 deadline for the closure of foreign embassies in Kuwait.

-- August 23:

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein appears with British hostages on Baghdad television.

The European Community announces that it has approved spending 1.3 million dollars to help fly refugees out of Jordan and financial aid to Turkey and other countries whose economies have been badly hit by the Gulf crisis.

--August 24:

The United States, recognizing the burden on Jordan caused by the tens of thousands of persons fleeing Iraq and Kuwait, makes available one million dollars to help meet urgent humanitarian needs in Jordan.

Twenty-five countries have refused to bow to Iraq's demands to pull their embassies out of Kuwait. At least nine, including the U.S. and British missions, are guarded by troops as diplomats defy an Iraqi order to close their doors.

More than 100 U.S. Embassy staff and dependents, including about 30 children, leave Kuwait for Baghdad.

August 24:

Soviet President Gorbachev sends an urgent message to Saddam Hussein, warning that the Persian Gulf situation is "extremely dangerous. Breaking his silence on enforcing Iraqi sanctions, Gorbachev signals that he is ready to back additional measures to toughen the United Nations embargo against Iraq.

August 25:

The United Nations Security Council in a sweeping 13-0 vote, with Cuba and Yemen abstaining, adopts Resolution 665 authorizing "measures ...as may be necessary" including military action to enforce the economic embargo against Iraq."

GE 8 NEA207 Iraq promises to release dependents of American diplomats from Kuwait who are being held in Baghdad. Iraq's ambassador to the United States says that diplomats accredited to Kuwait cannot be released "because they don't have diplomatic status."

August 26:

Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze said that while Moscow will not object if other countries, including the U.S., use military means to back up the U.N. embargo, the Soviets "have no such plans to use force or take part in such an operation."

The United Nations announces that Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar will meet August 30 in Jordan with Iraq's foreign minister to discuss the Gulf crisis.

Iraq allows 55 women and children who are family members of State Department employees stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait to travel in an automobile convoy from Baghdad to Turkey. When the convoy reaches the border, only 52 are allowed to cross into Turkey; three young men, described by a State Department spokesman as dependents of U.S. diplomats, are returned without explanation to Baghdad.

August 27:

In response to the Iraq's illegal order closing the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, the State Department announces that "the number of authorized Iraqi personnel at Iraq's embassy in Washington will be reduced from the current 55 to 19." The U.S. measure was being taken "in strict accordance with U.S. and international law," the State Department said.

August 28:

An unidentified American being held hostage in Iraq died, the State Department says, quoting Iraqi authorities. The American, reported to be a man in his mid-50's was reported to have died of a heart attack in the city of Basra. The Iraqi government says that his body will be turned over to the American embassy in Baghdad.

The State Department also announces that Iraq plans to expel an unspecified number of Americans from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad in response to the U.S. decision August 27 to order 36 Iraqi envoys out of the United States by August 30. NNNN

File Identification:  08/28/90, NE-207; 08/28/90, EU-205; 08/29/90, NA-307
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  Arabic
Document Type:  CHR
Thematic Codes:  160; 1NE
Target Areas:  NE
PDQ Text Link:  152454

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