Saddam Hussein, an Iraqi political leader. Hussein studied law in Egypt after his attempt to assassinate the premier of Iraq, Abdul Karim K assem, in 1959. In the summer of 1968, the Baath party returned to power and named Hussein as deputy chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council. Hussein has been described by many as the most powerful person in Iraq because of his intimidation of enemies, careful control of his political power, and his military purges. Saddam finally gained control of the Iraq presidency in 1979. Hussein first began a successful development program of Iraq's huge petroleum resources.
However, this development and economic and social advances were at risk when Iraq went to war with Iran from 1980 to 1988. Hussein started this war to control Arab-inhabited areas and especially for oil resources. Hussein is also known as a harsh leader who used chemical weapons on Kurdish people seeking freedom in the 1980's. In August, 1990, Hussein invaded Kuwait. Kuwait supplies much of the world's oil supplies, and when Hussein invaded Kuwait, he controlled 24% of the world's oil supplies (O'Hara). Though this is a good reason, it is not the only one.
Iraq's real excuse for annexing Kuwait was that he believed that Kuwait was producing more oil than it was supposed to, taking out of Iraq's profits. Also, Iraq was $80 billion in debt to Kuwait, and Iraq thought that the debt should be forgiven (Brown). After Iraq attacked Kuwait, the United States and other countries feared that Saudi Arabia would be next and that the world's oil supply was in jeopardy. This was the spark that leads to the Persian Gulf War. The Iraqi forces killed many Kuwaiti people and stole or destroyed much property. Hussein wanted to use Kuwait's vast oil resources to help Iraq's economy.
Many people believed that Iraq would next invade neighboring countries such as Saudi Arabia. Some of the countries that opposed Iraq's invasion and that sent forces to this region were the United States, Canada, and several Arab and Western European nations. These countries formed an allied military coalition that caused a worldwide embargo against Iraq. The United Nations Security Council condemned Iraq's occupation and approved the use of military force on Iraq if their troops did not withdraw from Kuwait by January 15, 1991. Hussein ignored this demand and refused to withdraw. The consequence of this decision was to go to war.
On January 16, 1991, the allies bombed military targets in Iraq and Kuwait. Iraq, in return, launched missiles against Saudi Arabia and Israel. The U. S. -led military coalition drove Iraq's armies out of Kuwait. This war, called the Persian Gulf War, lasted only six weeks.
On April 11, 1991, the U. N. Security Council made Iraq promise to pay Kuwait for war damages. Hussein also had to destroy all chemical and biological weapons, as well as the facilities that might produce nuclear weapons. In March of 1991, the people in Southern Iraq and in the Kurdish areas in the north rebelled and opposed The Iraqi government. As a result, Hussein began air attacks against these rebels.
In August, 1992, the U. N. had to step in to protect the people. Allied planes patrolled this area, and the allies placed a "no fly zone" for Iraq over Kurdish regions. In October, 1994, large numbers of Iraq troops moved to the Kuwaiti border again. The U.
S. sent thousands of troops to this area, fearing another Iraqi attack. Finally in November of 1994, Hussein formally recognized the independence and boundaries of Kuwait.