Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+20 (29 July, 1987)

In the pre-dawn hours along the Iraq-Iran frontier a number of small unit engagements, allegedly between Iranian and Iraqi ground units, broke out on the western side of the Shatt-al-Arab waterway. By the time dawn came, forward Iraqi positions near the border were reportedly under fire from Iranian artillery batteries. A short time later, the …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+19 (28 July, 1987)

0100- The destruction of Madrid and Gorki on the afternoon of D+18 brought a temporary pause to military and diplomatic activity across the Persian Gulf region. It was unclear what the future would bring in the aftermath of the limited nuclear exchange. Governments in the Middle East became increasingly anxious as the minutes and hours …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+17 (26 July, 1987)

Iraq’s leadership continued to hunker down through most of D+17. Saddam Hussein remained in Tikrit, coordinating political and military responses as the situation facing the nation on multiple fronts continued to deteriorate. In moderate Arab states around the region, Iraqi ambassadors were being summoned by national leaders to explain Iraq’s intentions with regards to Kuwait, …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+16 (25 July, 1987) Part II

Iraqi forces remained in Kuwait. Despite the Iraqi government’s assurances that this would not be the case for very long, initial indications revealed otherwise. The heavy Republican Guard divisions departing Kuwait to counter the Iranian buildup opposite Iraq’s southeastern border were in the process of being replaced by less-capable Iraqi Army formations. This was not …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+16 (25 July, 1987) Part I

In the early hours of D+16 the Soviet departure from Iraq was accelerating. At the embassy in Baghdad, thick streams of black smoke went up into the sky as embassy personnel and diplomats continued to incinerate classified documents practically by the bushel. The Aeroflot airliners that had arrived in Baghdad on the previous day were …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+15 (24 July, 1987) Part I

0015- The 328th Guards Airborne Regiment surrenders. In accordance with the agreement reached between the US and Soviet commanders, the Soviet paratroopers will be processed and interned as prisoners of war. US troops will be solely responsible for the welfare of the prisoners. CENTCOM has issued strict orders forbidding the Saudis from taking any role …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+14 (23 July, 1987) Part III

1145- The eastern prong of the Iraqi advance south is halted by US Marines outside of Khafji. Casualties are heavy for the attacking force and the surviving Iraqi troops and equipment start pulling back towards the border with elements of 1/7 Marines in pursuit. Reconnaissance flights, and reports from USMC Force Recon teams on the …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+14 (23 July, 1987) Part II

0420- Thirty minutes before sunrise, reconnaissance elements of the Iraqi 1st Division (Mechanized) crossed from Kuwaiti territory into Saudi Arabia north of Khafji. Behind it was a battle force comprised of two mechanized infantry battalions and a company of tanks. 118 miles to the west of Khafji near where Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the neutral …