Gulf Air War 1991 (Aircraft of the Aces: Men & Legends 51)
By Christopher Chant
Publisher: delPrado 2001 65 Pages
PDF 7 MB
In 1961 the United Kingdom granted formal independence to the protectorate of Kuwait, which then became the Emirate of Kuwait. This small but oil-rich nation had for long been coveted by Iraq, its much larger northern neighbour, which became completely independent of the UK's League of Nations (and later United Nations) mandate in 1958, the year in which the monarchy was overthrown by the Ba'athist republic. Iraq never recognised Kuwait, and on several occasions in the following 30 years laid claim to parts or the entirety of Kuwait, Apart from its large oil reserves, reckoned in 1995 at 96.5 billion barrels to Iraq's 100 billion barrels, Kuwait was wanted by Iraq for the fact that it had a comparatively extensive coast along the western side of the Persian Gulfs northern end, whereas Iraq proper has only a very short coast that lies within the military reach of Iran. Iraq adheres mainly to the Sunni branch of Islam and has a strong antipathy to Iran and its adherence to the Shi'a branch of Islam. Coupled with the desire to seize the oil-rich regions along Iran's western border, this was sufficient to persuade the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, to launch a major war against Iran in 1980. This conflict, which was very costly in terms of casualties and money, lasted to 1988 without any real resolution.