Persian Gulf War


Persian Gulf War
(1991)
   On 2 August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. The Arab League was split on the issue, with Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) standing virtually alone within the organization in its support for Saddam Hussein's conquest of its Arab neighbor. Months of international efforts at the United Nations and elsewhere to secure the peaceful removal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait and the restoration of its legitimate government were unsuccessful.
   During the war between Iraq and the multilateral coalition led by the United States that began on 16 January 1991, Saddam Hussein's forces launched 39 Scud missiles with conventional warheads in 18 attacks against Israel. The first missiles hit Israel on 17 January 1991; these were the first strikes of consequence at Israel's population and industrial centers since the War of Independence (1948—49). The missiles caused substantial property damage but few casualties. The military impact of the Scud attacks on Israel was not significant, and Israel's existence was never threatened, but, there were important psychological, economic, and political consequences. The narrow right-wing, Likud-led coalition government headed by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir decided that it would accede to requests by the United States that it not respond militarily to the Scud missile attacks. U.S. president George H. W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker were fearful that an Israeli military response would cause key Arab countries, such as Egypt and Syria, to end their participation in the anti-Iraq coalition. An important variable in the Israeli decisional calculus was the United States' delivery and deployment in Israel of batteries of Patriot antiballistic missile systems. While the Patriot did not fully live up to its expectations (the system intercepted less than 10 percent of all missiles fired by Iraq at Israel during the Persian Gulf War), its arrival had a calming psychological effect on the Israeli public during a difficult period.
   The seemingly decisive end to the Persian Gulf War stimulated the Bush administration to make an effort to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, typified by the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference (October 1991).

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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  • Persian Gulf War — noun a war fought between Iraq and a coalition led by the United States that freed Kuwait from Iraqi invaders; 1990 1991 • Syn: ↑Gulf War • Instance Hypernyms: ↑war, ↑warfare • Part Meronyms: ↑Operation Desert Storm …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Persian Gulf War, First — or Gulf War (1990–91) International conflict triggered by Iraq s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. Though justified by Iraqi leader Saddām Hussein on grounds that Kuwait was historically part of Iraq, the invasion was presumed to be motivated by …   Universalium

  • Persian Gulf War, Second — (2003) International conflict that took place between Iraq and a combined force of troops from the United States and Great Britain, with smaller contingents from several other countries. The trade embargo and weapons inspection process that the… …   Universalium

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  • Gulf War — This article is about the war in 1990/91. For other wars of that name, see Persian Gulf War (disambiguation). Operation Desert Storm redirects here. For the video game, see Operation: Desert Storm (video game). Gulf War …   Wikipedia

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