Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+24 (2 August, 1987)

As the conflict in Europe escalated with near reckless abandon throughout most of the day and raised the prospect of a global nuclear exchange, Iran and Iraq were moving to maintain low profiles for the time being. An unofficial ceasefire took effect over the battleline by the afternoon. Neither Tehran or Baghdad wanted to attract …

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+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+11 (20 July, 1987) Part II

Meetings between Soviet diplomats and senior Iraqi government officials lasted through the morning. Around the noon hour military officials from both nations joined the discussions. Saddam Hussein was gradually coming around though it was unclear if this was the result of his own realizations, or from the evolving iron fist in a velvet glove approach …