Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+22 (31 July, 1987) Part II

Faced with emerging threats on two fronts, Saddam Hussein’s perspective shifted on D+22 towards one embedded deeper in realism. Continuing to battle a newly aggressive Iran with one hand tied behind its back was not conducive for the Iraqi military. Holding Iraq was particularly critical, there was little debate on this point. Contending with the …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+22 (31 July, 1987) Part I

Author’s Note: I ran out of time with this post, so I’ll wrap it up on Sunday night with Part II. Apologies. –Mike At approximately 0245 hours local time, the first wave of US air missions against targets in Iraq began. The primary targets were suspected SCUD and FROG launch sites in central Iraq. USAF …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+21 (30 July, 1987) Part II

As preparations for the night’s air operations continued at CENTCOM-Forward in Riyadh, General George Crist’s thoughts were on Kuwait. The tiny emirate was now occupied by Iraqi forces of lesser quality than the Republican Guard formations that stormed the country days earlier. Those divisions were now positioning near Basra with the mission of blocking an …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+21 (30 July, 1987) Part I

Fighting between Iraqi and Iranian forces flared up once more as first light broke over the Shat-al-Arab. In the first engagements of the day, company-sized units clashed and began extended engagements that included artillery support and air attacks from both sides. The morning continued and by 1000, the Iraqis were receiving indications of two Iranian …

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+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 …