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Iran-Iraq War and Desert Storm Lsn 38. ID & SIG chemical weapons, coalition, Desert Storm, human wave attacks, Iran-Iraq War, “left hook”, Khomeini, objective

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  • Slide 1
  • Iran-Iraq War and Desert Storm Lsn 38
  • Slide 2
  • ID & SIG chemical weapons, coalition, Desert Storm, human wave attacks, Iran-Iraq War, left hook, Khomeini, objective of Desert Storm, Republican Guards, Saddam, Schwarzkopf, shaping operations (deception and air war), Tanker War, War of the Cities
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  • Iran-Iraq War: The Middle East
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  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): Background Underlying causes of the war included Sunni vs Shiite religious tensions and Persian vs Arab ethnic tensions The immediate cause was that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was concerned about Iranian efforts to undermine his regime Saddam hoped to curtail the spread of Islamic fundamentalism to which Iraqs Shiite population seemed increasingly vulnerable He also wanted to increase his influence in the Persian Gulf by seizing key geographic areas
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  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): Background Saddam had spent vast sums on improving his military and he also knew the Iranian military was weakened by the upheaval of the 1979 Iranian Revolution Saddam expected a short war Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
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  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): Iraqi Attack On Sept 22, 1980 Iraq launched a surprise attack against ten Iranian airfields Then Iraq launched ground attacks on four separate axes Most of Irans advanced planes were in protective hangars so the surprise aerial attack had little effect The ground attack also produced little and after about a week Saddam called for a cease-fire
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  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): Iranian Recovery Saddam renewed his offensive with several subsequent attacks but by March 1981 they had all exhausted themselves Instead of the quick victory Saddam had hoped for, all he had done was give the Iranian revolutionary regime a rallying cry to mobilize its people Now Iraq faced a total war against an enemy with far greater population and resources
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  • Iran-Iraq War: (1980-1988): International Response In spite of Saddams record of human rights abuses, the international community seemed more afraid of the spread of Ayatollah Khomeinis influence in the Middle East Consequently there was little support for Iran even though Iraq had initiated the aggression Logistical shortages would hinder Iran throughout the war Iran seized 66 American hostages in the revolution that brought Khomeini to power
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  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): Iranian Attacks From Sept 1981 through May 1982, Iran seized the initiative through poorly coordinated attacks that relied on superior numbers to make up for inferior commanders, staffs, and equipment In some cases the Iranian used human wave attacks spearheaded by religiously motivated children and old men who would race forward and use their bodies to detonate concealed mines Then waves of poorly trained militia threw themselves on the barbed wire to try to make a breach Finally better trained and equipped soldiers would attack over the mangled bodies of the initial waves
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  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): Iranian Successes As time passed the Iranians developed better tactics but still suffered huge losses Nonetheless the Iranians succeeded in pushing the Iraqis back and in June 1982 Saddam ordered the evacuation of most of the territory seized from Iran
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  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): Chemical Weapons Iran then shifted its emphasis from defense to offense In July the Iranians attacked Basra, Iraqs second largest city, and in October they attacked toward Baghdad The Iraqis repelled the attacks, using limited amounts of mustard gas and possibly nerve gas in the process Iranian soldier with a protective mask
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  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): Tanker War In 1984 the war escalated to a new level when Saddam began using his superior air power to halt the shipment of Iranian oil through the Persian Gulf The Iraqis shipped most of their oil by pipeline so the Iranians were not able to retaliate against Iraqi shipping Instead Iran attacked the ships of Iraqs allies, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia This became known as the Tanker War
  • Slide 13
  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): War of the Cities From March to June 1985 the War of the Cities occurred with both sides launching missile attacks at major population centers As the Iranians increasingly dominated the ground war, Iraq stepped up its air attacks Both sides fired SCUD missiles at each others cities
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  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): US Involvement In 1987 the US began playing an increasingly active role having concluded that an Iranian victory would be contrary to US interests in the region Kuwait transferred ownership of half of its tankers to a US shipping company and US warships provided security for them in the Persian Gulf There were several direct interactions between the US and Iran including the Iranian cruise missile attack against the USS Stark which killed 37 Americans The USS Stark after the attack
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  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): Iraqi Advantage Iran began increasingly wary of even greater US involvement The strategic situation was beginning to favor Iraq, and Iraq responded with renewed offensives Iraq scored a huge victory in the Haur-al-Hawizeh marshes but then withdrew in an apparent attempt to signal to Iran a willingness to end the war Donald Rumsfeld, President Reagans special envoy to the Middle East, meeting with Saddam in 1983
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  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): Iranian Difficulties The USS Vincennes mistakenly identified an Iranian civilian airplane with 290 people on board as a war plane and shot it down The incident hurt Iranian morale Iran was also suffering from serious supply shortages and increasingly successful Iraqi attacks Iran could respond only with human wave attacks, but unlike in 1980, volunteers were less abundant Iranian stamp commemorating the USS Vincennes incident
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  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): Peace Finally Iran accepted a truce and the war ended on Aug 20, 1988 In the end, neither side gained anything of significance and instead plundered their treasuries and wasted thousands of lives The war left Iraq with over $90 billion in debts This is going to contribute to Saddams decision to invade Kuwait in 1990
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  • Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988): Legacy The Iraqis used superior air power, attacked commercial shipping, and used chemicals The Iranians were largely isolated from international support and often resorted to human wave tactics to offset their technological disadvantage The war left the long standing enmity between the two countries unresolved Iraqi soldiers celebrating in front of a bullet-ridden picture of Ayatollah Khomeini
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  • Desert Storm: The Middle East
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  • Desert Storm: Background Majority of region administered by Britain until post- World War II. Long-standing disputes between Iraq and Kuwait. Iraq argues Kuwait is an Iraqi province. Iraq mobilized and prepared for invasion in 1961 immediately after Kuwait was granted independence by Britain. Iraq wants Kuwait to forgive debts Iraq owes from Iran-Iraq War. Claims Kuwait actually owes Iraq for defending it against Iran. Iraq accuses Kuwait of overproduction of oil/theft of Iraqi oil. On Aug 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait
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  • The Road to War March 1990 US Central Command (CENTCOM) conducted a Command Post Exercise with a Iraqi invasion scenario. July 25 - US Ambassador April Galaspie told Iraq that their dispute with Kuwait is not a US matter Aug 2 - Iraq invaded Kuwait. Aug 7 Two squadrons of USAF F-15s are first US forces to arrive in Saudi Arabia. Aug 9 First elements of 82 nd Airborne arrived in Saudi Arabia. Soldiers of the 82 nd Airborne Division departing Fort Bragg, NC for Saudi Arabia
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  • The Road to War Aug 25, 1990 UN authorized use of force. Oct 31 President Bush gave go ahead for two corps offensive and authorized doubling of force. Nov 29 - UN Resolution 678 authorized all force needed to expel Iraq if they are not out by Jan 15, 1991. The original plan for a one corps- size force would have been primarily a frontal attack which would have resulted in additional casualties.
  • Slide 23
  • Coalition Operations The end of the Cold War and Russias willingness to join the US in opposing Iraq created an unprecedented level of international cooperation The United Nations adopted resolutions condemning Iraq and authorizing the use of force Thirty-six countries (as well as Kuwait) contributed forces
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  • Coalition Coalition unity became the center of gravity (those characteristics, capabilities or localities from which a military force derives its freedom of action, physical strength, or will to fight) for the US Saddam tried to fracture coalition unity by launching Scud missile attacks against population centers in Israel Saddam hoped to goad Israel into retaliating and therefore cause the Arab members of the coalition to pull out US pleaded with Israel to stay out of the war and the US deployed Patriot missile batteries to help protect Israel
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  • Combat Operations Jan 17, 1991 - Air war began Feb 23 - Ground war began Feb 28 - Cease fire took effect. March 2 - 24th ID fought last engagement of the war. March 3 - Schwarzkopf accepted Iraqi surrender at

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