BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Middle East
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Wednesday, 2 August, 2000, 09:39 GMT
Timeline: War in the Gulf

In August 1990 Iraq invaded the Gulf state of Kuwait, setting off a chain of events that led to a war with the West. Look back at the key moments and click on the video links to see the television news reports of the time.


2 August: Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, taking the emirate in one day. The BBC's John Simpson says the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is "by far the strongest leader in the region". In his report he explains how the West inadvertently helped bring about the invasion.

  Click here to watch the report

6 August: The United Nations Security Council demands an "immediate and unconditional" withdrawal of Iraqi troops and orders a trade boycott.

Saddam Hussein in Kuwait
Iraqi television showed Saddam Hussein in Kuwait
8 August: The US launches Operation Desert Shield. Baghdad announces Kuwait is now part of Iraq.

9 August: Iraq closes its borders.

10 August: The Arab League meets in Cairo and votes by a narrow margin to send Egyptian, Syrian and Moroccan troops to join the Western troops.

15 August: Iran and Iraq reopen diplomatic relations after Iraq proposes peace talks.

18 August: Iraq says the nationals of "hostile countries" still in Kuwait will be held as "guests" at strategic sites in Kuwait.

25 August: The UN Security Council authorises the use of force to make the trade boycott work.

17 October: Western troops in the Gulf number 200,000 US troops, 15,000 UK troops and 11,000 French troops.

29 November: The UN Security Council says Iraq must voluntarily withdraw from Kuwait by 15 January 1991. It authorises "all necessary means" to force Iraq out if it does not comply. Baghdad rejects the "ultimatum". In his report the BBC's Brian Hanrahan says: "President Bush is under pressure not to be hasty."

  Click here to watch the report

30 November: US President Bush invites Iraq to join direct talks.

6 December: Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announces the release of 3,000 foreign nationals being held in Iraq and Kuwait.


15 January: Iraq ignores the UN ultimatum. There are 580,000 allied troops in the Gulf, against 540,000 Iraqi troops.

17 January: Operation Desert Storm is launched, with air attacks on Iraq and Kuwait. The BBC's John Simpson is in Baghdad and witnesses the missile attacks.

"The bombs and the missiles seem mainly to have landed with pin-point accuracy," he reports the next day.

  Click here to watch the report

18 January: The first of several Iraqi scud missiles attacks on Tel Aviv. The US warns Israel against retaliation saying it is an attempt to widen the war and break up the opposition.

20 January: Iraqi television broadcasts pictures of seven captured allied airmen.

Allied missiles bombarded Baghdad
24 January: Allied forces capture the small island of Qarawa.

29 January: The US and the Soviet Union offer to declare a ceasefire if Iraq pledges to withdraw from Kuwait.

13 February: An allied missile lands on an air-raid shelter in Baghdad, killing at least 314 people. Iraqi officials take the BBC's Jeremy Bowen to see the aftermath. He is accompanied at all times but he says the grief and anger is not a propaganda stunt.

  Click here to watch the report

24 February: President Bush announces the start of a ground operation. Allied forces commander General Norman Schwarzkopf says it is a "spectacular success".

25 February: Iraqi scud missile hits building in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 28 US troops and injuring 98.

Celebrations in Kuwait City
26 February: Saddam Hussein confirms a Radio Baghdad report that Iraqi troops have been ordered to retreat from Kuwait. But he does not renounce claims to Kuwait.

27 February: The first Kuwaiti troops enter Kuwait City and President Bush announces the liberation of Kuwait. He announces the cessation of hostilities will be effective from 0400 GMT the following day. The allies say they have destroyed more than half the Iraqi divisions and captured 500,000 prisoners.

28 February: Iraq accepts all UN resolutions.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Ten years after Iraq invaded Kuwait we look back at the legacy of war

Key Stories:

The Aftermath:

Country profiles:
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories