BBC Home
Explore the BBC
28 February  
Search ON THIS DAY by date
Go back one day Go forward one day  
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
About This Site | Text Only
1991: Jubilation follows Gulf War ceasefire
The guns are silent and the war is over in the Gulf.

A ceasefire was announced in Washington by President George Bush after Iraq accepted all 12 resolutions made by the United Nations.

In a live address to the nation US President Bush said: "Kuwait is liberated. Iraq's army is defeated. Our military objectives are met."

He praised all 32 countries involved in Operation Desert Storm. "This is a victory for all mankind, for the rule of law and for what is right."

"Our troops have performed magnificently. Right has prevailed," said British Prime Minister John Major.

This is a victory for all mankind, for the rule of law and for what is right
US President George Bush
Top of the 12 demands made on Iraq by is the return of all Allied prisoners of war and thousands of Kuwaiti citizens taken to Iraq.

It is also required to renounce any future claim to Kuwait and pay compensation for injuries it has caused.

Iraq's army, once one of the largest in the world, has been all but destroyed.

The six-week war to free Kuwait from Iraqi occupation culminated in a lightening ground campaign that achieved victory in just 100 hours.

The allies currently hold 80,000 Iraqi PoWs who surrendered in droves in the last few days.

Celebration in Kuwait

Kuwait City rang with the sound of gunshots today celebrating the liberation of the city.

But scenes of joy are overshadowed by black skies polluted by burning Kuwaiti oilfields set alight in a last desperate act by fleeing Iraqi forces.

Many Iraqis interviewed on the streets of Baghdad were relieved their city has seen an end to the constant allied bombardment.

But the media is claiming a victory for Saddam Hussein, with Baghdad Radio stating: "The allies of Satan and its accursed leader have been taught a lesson."

Despite this claim, Iraqi casualties number tens of thousands.

It has emerged that "friendly fire" killed more British troops than the Iraqis did - of 16 British soldiers who died, nine were killed by Americans.

Of 148 Americans who died, 35 were killed by friendly fire.

Iraqi deaths are estimated at 50,000, with 100,000 wounded.

 E-mail this story to a friend


Watch/Listen
Challenger tank fires gun in Saudi Arabia
The Western allies took just 100 days to achieve victory

Wives of UK troops celebrate



In Context
Iraq had refused to comply with the UN ultimatum for its troops to withdraw from Kuwait after its invasion in August 1990 and on 16 January 1991, Operation Desert Storm began.

The Allies launched a devastating and sustained aerial bombardment involving cruise missiles launched from US warships and US, British and Saudi Arabian fighter planes, bombers and helicopters.

After more than a month of intensive air attacks, the Allies launched a land offensive, on 24 February.

One day later, the Iraqis began retreating. On 28 February, President George Bush declared victory.

Kuwait was liberated but Saddam Hussein remained in power and turned his wrath on the Kurd and Shiite communities.

Tensions between Iraq and the US continued as ceasefire agreements were violated and UN weapons inspectors prevented from doing their job.

In March 2003 George Bush's son, George W, launched an attack on Iraq in spite of worldwide opposition to war. Backed by British and Australian forces, the aim was to topple Saddam Hussein and eliminate any weapons of mass destruction.

Within a month, the Baghdad regime had been toppled and the Americans were claiming victory but there was no sign of any weapons of mass destruction.

Saddam Hussein was captured alive after several months in hiding in December 2003.

American-led coalition forces continue to occupy Iraq. On 28 June 2004 when power was officially handed back to the Iraqi authorities and elections held in February 2005.

Following a trial in an Iraqi court Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death and executed in December 2006.

Stories From 28 Feb


 
Search ON THIS DAY by date
Go back one day Go forward one day  

^^ back to top
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
©MMVIII | News Sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy