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The Great Middle East War (8 February 1993 - 21 November 1997), also known as the Fifth Arab-Israeli War, the Great Gulf War or the Middle Eastern World War, was a military conflict initiated by an alliance of Arab nations led by Iraq against the state of Israel followed by Iraq's annexation of Kuwait and the invasion of North Yemen by South Yemen. The war would later escalate to involve most countries in the region and the participation of an international coalition led by the United States against Iraq and her allies. Over eleven million people were killed, the majority of whom were civilians, making it the third deadliest conflict in human history, being surpassed only by the two World Wars. This war also marked the first use of nuclear weapons since World War II.
The war saw widespread usage of weapons of mass destruction which caused critical damage to the environment and infrastructure of the principal countries involved, it nearly halted two thirds of international oil exports prompting a world wide economical and energetic crisis not presented since World War II and raised the threat of a direct confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union to the highest peak since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Map showing the territories held by the different forces in the conflict. Arab Alliance in dark green, People's Democratic Republic of South Yemen in dark red, Yemen Arab Republic in deep dark blue, Israel in light blue and Coalition in ocean green.
After the success obtained in the war against Iran, Iraq, now in possession of the oil rich provinces of Khūzestān, Īlām, Lurestan and Kermanshah and increased control over the Strait of Hormuz augmented its economical output dramatically in the years following the Iran-Iraq War.
Following Ba'ath emphasis on a strong military the Iraqi government expended heavily in modernizing the equipment and training its troops - mainly supplied by the Soviet Union. The enormous growth which has brought Iraqi oil exports to almost surpass that of Saudi Arabia however began to diminish as world wide economical crisis led to a sharp fall in oil prices.
To further Iraq's economic crisis was the fact that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia had began modernizing their oil refining capabilities right before the crisis erupted which led to a substantial difference between their oil prices and that of Iraq.
Another major reason leading to war were the escalating tensions between Syria and Israel due to the occupation of Lebanon, this conflict had already cost many fatalities for both sides and accusations of sponsoring terrorism after the Palestinian Intifada.
In Yemen the failure of negotiations in regards to unification raised tensions and prompted the People's Republic of South Yemen to build up its forces behind the scenes contributing much to early defeat of the Yemen Arab Republic in the war.
Ultimately what sparked the conflict was the economical competition over oil exportation coupled with an overgrown Iraqi army and more than twenty years of raising disagreement between Israel and Syria regarding occupied territories.
Crisis in Iraq
Before the crisis the oil prices were around $67.75 U.S. dollars per barrel and Iraq's GDP was growing 23% yearly for over seven years, but by November 1992 the oil prices were in an all time low by $19,23 U.S dollars and Iraq's GDP growth felt to 2%.
During its period of prosperity the Iraqi government invested heavily in improving its infrastructure and living standards but above all it amounted over a third of its economy into funding a huge war machine which far surpassed that of other countries in the Middle East.
While in the previous economical success allowed Iraq to mount up for its expenditures the crisis brought the country under the threat of bankruptcy.
In response to the crisis OPEC countries diminished their production considerably to get rid of oil surplus at a lower demand. Whilst countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait could stabilize their economies moderately by gaining market with this measure, Iraq was stuck with a larger selling price so as to break even from expenditures intensely expanded over the previous years.
Unable to compete with the crude around $30,00 like its neighbors Iraq began accusing Kuwait and Saudi Arabia of monopolizing the oil industry and demanded the OPEC to rise its prices so that Iraq didn't have losses in its oil exports. The OPEC found itself divided between countries .
Escalation of hostilities in Lebanon
In Lebanon the tensions soared after Israeli troops had crushed the Palestinian Intifada as rogue elements of the PLO escaped to Northern Lebanon and Israel accused Syria of giving safe heaven to Palestinian terrorists in their occupied part of the country.
Over the past years increased economical and military cooperation with Iraq has led to a surge in the Syrian military capacity while the economical crisis debilitated Israel's capabilities of acquiring foreign equipment in case a war broke out. Another important factor playing was the Syrian national pride defied by Israel's frequent air missions into the Syrian occupied part of Lebanon as well as in Syrian territory.
War between the two Yemens
Matters regarding the unification of Yemen had been going on since 1969 but discussions regarding whether the process would be lead by South Yemen or North Yemen generated a rift between both countries. South Yemen sought allies in the Arab nationalism of Ba'ath led countries thus closing its ties with Iraq and Syria. While diplomatic ties with the Yemen Arab Republic were at an impasse the People's Republic of South Yemen secretly raised its military might in preparation for a military solution may the need arise.
On October 12, 1992, after failed diplomatic negotiations in regards to unification the People's Democratic Republic of South Yemen declared war on the Yemen Arab Republic which ended in July 26 of 1993 with the victory of the South. The unification of Yemen by force generated preoccupation and escalated hostilities in the neighboring countries given the already tense situation in the region.
The shot down of Yusif Basoud
In January 30, 1993, Israel send a group of four F-16C in mission to strike Palestinian targets in Northern Lebanon. They were however intercepted by a pair of MiG-21MF Syrian aircraft which demanded them to return to Israel's airspace whilst being escorted.
The group of Israeli aircraft declined to comply and engagement took place, the Israeli group shot down one of the MiGs an the other one abandoned engagement. The Israeli pilots contacted their commander in ground to question whether they should abort the missions but were given green light to continue. Six minutes later the Israeli Aircraft bombed their target at the Lebanese city of Baabek and returned home.
Unknown to at the time was that the pilot of the MiG they just shoot down belonged to Idrib Mussav al-Jabir, nephew of Ubrak Mussav Basoud the governor of the Syrian province of Aleppo, the deceased pilot was being raised for political prominence under his uncle and held popularity for his military service and reformist attitude.
The pent up tensions of the 1982 war and several Israeli skirmishes had reached the limit as the economically powerful governorate drew the rest of the nation into public outcry against the violation of previous peace accords and the death of one who was now considered a national hero.
Struggling with the economic slowdown and lost of jobs caused by the fall in oil prices, the Syrian regime would use this momentum of public support to retaliate against Israel while believing that an escalation or military defeat would ultimately be reversed with the aid of Iraq and a reinforced base of popular support.
The war was set in motion, the sands of the desert would be spilled with blood and oil with death on a scale not seen since the Second World War.
Course of the war
The war broke out at 9:11 AM on February 8 when Syria launched a full scale air assault against Israeli positions in Lebanon, the Israeli Air Force responded sending out most of its north eastern based fighting squadrons.
Syrian President Hafez al-Assad delivered a speech towards the Syrian population on the eve of the attack:
"Our enemy disgrace the life of every living Arab, they believe they have the right to own our land and deny our people the holy ground our families lived in for generations! I call to every living Syrian, to every living Arab citizen to step forward and end forever the Zionist regime!"
On the first day of the war 75 Israeli fighters and 200 Syrian fighters clashed over the skies of Lebanon. Older Syrian aircraft such as the MiG-21MF or the MiG-23MLD could barely match the modern F-16 and were completely outmatched by F-15 piloted by better trained Israeli pilots. However, elite squadrons flying the newest MiG-29B acquired from the Soviet Union managed to reach relative parity with their counterparts leading to the first losses of the F-15 and causing a shock despite their small numbers.By the end of the day 40 Syrian Aircraft and 19 Israeli Aircraft had been shot down with Israeli positions in Southern Lebanon heavily damaged. In spite of the heavier losses, the surprise attack coupled with a slow response from the IDF allowed for the Syrians to attain air superiority in Northern Israel and launch a large scale ground offensive.
At 07:05 PM of February 10, IDF Chief of Staff Ehud Barak with the authorization of Prime Minister Shimon Peres ordered a full scale counter attack prompting the IAF to launch Operation Amir against Syrian bases at the Golan Heights and Lebanon.
The operation went with over seventeen Israeli Fighter Bomber Squadrons flew with over 167 aircraft against southern Syrian air bases confronting 278 enemy airplanes.
In the ensuing battle the IAF downed 90 Syrian planes in the air and destroyed another 121 on the ground but in turn lost 72 aircraft of its own.
It would take two weeks before Israel completely mobilizes its forces to counter the Syrian advance but by then the Syrians had already taken most of Lebanon and breached into the Golan Heights.
Syrian advances stall, Iraq joins the conflict
While in the first two weeks of the conflict the attacking Syrian forces were able to nearly drive the Israelis out of Lebanon and almost retake the Golan Heights, in the second week Israel was able to mobilize more of its forces from other parts of the country and gain the upper hand.
The Syrian Air Force, despite being able to break Israeli air superiority and inflict heavy damage on Israeli positions in Lebanon and the Golan Heights, suffered heavy losses and was rapidly losing its capacity to cover ground troops from IAF bombers.
At 12:13 PM of February 22, Israel launched Operation Thesaurus with another large scale attack targeted against Syrian forces followed by a coordinated ground offensive in the Golan Heights and Lebanon.
Following four days of continuous fighting the Syrians were pushed back from Southern Lebanon and Israel reoccupied most of the Golan Heights, threatening to push into the heart of the Syrian mainland.
At this point Syrian authorities, fearing another defeat at the hands of Israel that could spark unrest against the regime, pursued a ceasefire and return to previously held positions at the UN. However, the proposal failed to reach consensus at the Security Council due to issues between the United States and the Soviet Union regarding the latter's crackdown on democracy movements and continued military action on Afghanistan.
With a quick exit out of the war now unlikely Syria was faced with its second option, to drag Iraq into a broader Arab-Israeli conflict where the larger, better equipped and better trained Iraqi forces could turn the tides against the Israelis.
As Iraq also faced economic deterioration and growing public discontent, the Iraqi leadership was also looking for an excuse to go to war in spite of the huge popularity boost the successful military campaign against Iran had brought for Saddam Hussein and his aides.
Following secret meetings between Syrian and Iraqi representatives the Iraqi government agreed the war was a broader Arab issue and decided to intervene on the basis of their long relationship of friendship with the Syrian government and their mutual animosity towards Israel.
At 9:00 AM of February 26, Iraq's President Saddam Hussein delivered a speech to the Iraqi people:
"The coward Zionist enemy mercilessly attacks our Syrian brothers, their only goal is to destroy every Arab nation to create a kingdom where they could rule us as slaves! I as leader of the strongest Arab nation feel obliged to assist our neighbors in ending the blatant demons' thrust against Islam!"
The Iraqi "Scimitar" strikes Israel
At 6;06 AM on March 1, Iraq launched Operation Idam Shaitan firing over 1400 missiles and sending over 750 combat aircraft to attack Israel.The attack, planned with alleged use of Soviet intelligence and carried out with the alleged help of Soviet pilots, aimed at destroying the military and economical infrastructure of Israel softening it for Syrian forces to retake the offensive and defeat Israel.The missile defense system of Israel while arguably the most advanced in the world was just overwhelmed by the Iraqi salvo, hundreds of buildings were destroyed, thousands of civilians perished and many more thousands desperately sought cover in bomb shelters, the population of the whole country became "bunkerized".
The Iraqi air offensive was also devastating, using blind spots on the Israeli air defence and taking advantage of the ballistic missiles overwhelming the SAM defences Iraqi planes managed to cause large casualties and intense destruction on a fully alert IAF.
Despite being severely damaged, losing some 192 fighters, the IAF managed to down 237 Iraqi aircraft achieving the largest single day number of victories in jet fighter combat.
However, it was not sufficient, with over two thirds of its aircraft lost and several of its bases rendered inoperable for weeks the IAF lost control of over large portions of its airspace.
With air superiority attained over most of Israel the Arabs resumed the offensive as Iraqi bombers rained ordnance on the Israeli front lines with impunity.
Israel on the defensive
Following devastating losses to the IQAF and losing air control over Northern Israel the IDF began a slow and protracted retreat under the cover of its remaining air umbrella trying to inflict as many casualties as possible on the advancing enemy forces while retaining ground for as long as they could.
Following the reversal in the course of the war, Israel increasingly sought Western resupply to continue fighting while appealing for Washington to reach a cease fire in the UN Security Council.
While the freshly arrived supplies from Europe and USA helped the IDF slow down the Arab offensive they could not reverse the tides of the conflict as Iraqi troops and equipment reinforced the Syrians in greater and greater numbers.
In fact, because the conflict produced a sharply raise in oil prices Iraq once again had a large income at hands which it used to purchase Soviet military hardware on a scale greater than what the West could resupply Israel.
Unable to survive an attrition war against the Arab Allies, Israel became increasingly desperate as large populations had to be evacuated as Arab forces drew closer to its northern cities.
If the war couldn't be stopped and if the IDF were to fall the Israeli government would take extreme measures avoid the destruction of the state and the massacre of its people.
UN resolutionAfter Iraq entered and changed the dynamics of the conflict, the United Nations were meet under constant pressure from Israel to broke a cease fire.
While the United States showed strong support this time for the immediate cessation of hostilities it was met with opposition from the Soviet Union which considered their previous objections to Syrian requests as hypocrisy now that Israel was losing.
Israel warned that if the UN Security Council doesn't force the Arab armies to back down and if the war threatens the integrity of the State of Israel or its people they would use by any means, unconventional if necessary, to preserve the existence of their nation.
In May 20, 1993, the UN Security Council attended on another meeting regarding the Israeli demands of a ceasefire with Syria and Iraq, Soviet authorities denied.
Degeneration and nuclear war
At 10:46am, on the morning of May 26, 1993, the IQAF launched Operation Qaza-a. This attack, which also allegedly made use of Soviet-supplied information and pilots, aimed to destroy Israeli missile launching facilities and remaining air force units so as to cripple their ability to deliver possible weapons of mass destruction, and pave the way for a decisive Arab victory.
The attack was a major success, with advanced Iraqi fighter bombers crippling what was left of the IAF and destroying nearly all missile sites with Soviet-made bunker busters.
With their nuclear deterrence nearly destroyed and with the IDF on the verge of collapsing, Israeli leadership activated their emergency protocols and launched Operation Olam. As the clocks turned close to midnight Israel would launch a nuclear offensive to punish her destroyers to submission,
At 11:56 PM the remaining missiles (five Jericho I and 2 Jericho II) were launched against major cities in Syria and Iraq. Three of them crashed on sparsely populated areas due to damage inflicted by Iraqi bombers, while one reached its target (Baghdad) without detonating.
The other ones hit the Syrian capital Damascus, the cities of Aleppo and Homs, and one hit the Iraqi city of Ramadi. The nuclear attacks from Israel killed nearly 1.2 million people directly, and another 800.000 due to fallout, in total causing roughly a quarter of all the deaths from the war.
The attacks received world wide condemnation, and in the Middle East it prompted Jordan to join the war against Israel and increased the support for the Arab Alliance with volunteers from several countries joining their ranks.
The retaliation from Syria and Iraq however, would match in horror and brutality the actions of Israel. Iraq began widespread usage of chemical weapons against Israeli population centers while their troops were to show no mercy for the Jewish citizens of any areas they came to occupy. A new Holocaust was beginning.
The new Holocaust and the formation of the CoalitionDespite the nuclear attacks, which crippled Syria's ability to play a major role in the conflict, the enlarged Arab alliance continued to advance and pushed into the heart of Israel.
With its air force destroyed, with military aid suspended over the nuclear attacks, and with an armed Palestinian uprising in Gaza and the West Bank undermining its rear lines, the IDF collapsed as Arab forces occupied over two-thirds of its territory.
On June 6 of 1993, Jordan took back the Holy City of Jerusalem on the same day they lost it to Israel in the Six-Day War, 26 years ago.
This was the last battle the IDF fought as a conventional military force. From that point onward formal military organization crumbled, and the defenders of Israel were forced into guerrilla warfare.
However, instead of achieving the dream of a free and independent Arab world, the destruction of Israel began a nightmare of systematic mass murder fueled by indescribable hatred and revenge.
Iraqi forces equipped with MOPP chemical gear parachuted into cities that had been bombarded with nerve gas, and dragged out survivors from shelters to execute them on the street.
Synagogues were burned with people inside them, cities were razed with chemical weapons and death squads executed thousands of people on a daily basis.
As these disturbing images reached the eyes of Western observers, it became clear that unless an external intervention was carried out, the population of Israel would be wiped out.
The United States invoked an emergency summit of the UNSC to mount a coalition to stop the genocide of the Jewish population of Israel by Arab forces, and announced it would carry it out even if they had to confront Soviet troops over it.
The Soviet Union, rather than opposing the U.S. intervention, completely supported it as it recognized the total degeneration of the situation in the Middle East, framing their compromise with statements about human rights and peace in the region.
On June 9 of 1993 UN Security Council passed resolutions 776 and 779, respectively authorizing the use of military force against Iraq and her allies if they did not remove their troops from Israel and cease all hostilities, giving them a deadline of August 5th to comply.
Iraq's reaction, the conflict escalates
With the announcement that U.S. troops would enter the conflict, Iraq appealed to Arab countries in the Middle East to deny entrance to any foreign forces.
Iraq believed that the sympathy gained from the nuclear attacks would lead any Arab neighbors to deny the passage of foreign troops through their soil; however, despite strong popular support in the Arab world, they did not receive a clear response from the governments of close allies such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
As the deadline drew closer Iraqi intelligence detected large concentrations of coalition troops being deployed in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
It was then that they realized their neighbours would not prevent the intervention of the U.S. led coalition in the Middle East. Seeing the inevitable confrontation, Saddam Hussein deemed those supporting foreign troops as enemies of Iraq and ordered a pre-emptive strike to take place against the international forces. This decision would define the nature of the war to nearly worldwide proportions.
At 02:04 AM of August 4 Iraq launched Operation Jihad against the incumbent coalition forces. The plan aimed at disabling the ability of the coalition to project air power over the skies of the Middle East and paving way for the Iraqi army to occupy Arab countries allied with the West, ultimately expelling all western influence in the Middle East and setting a new Iraqi Empire.
The offensive was aimed towards the Coalition aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf and air bases in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Eastern Egypt. The Iraqi air strikes shocked the coalition forces which didn't realized they had been pinpointed by Iraqi sympathisers and intelligence agents in those countries, within minutes the skies was filled with Iraqi, Syrian and coalition aircraft fighting the largest air battle in history.
The Arab Alliance on the offensiveOperation Jihad momentarily put the coalition under disarray, for the next week Iraqi ground forces captured Kuwait and pushed deep into Saudi Arabia. To worse things up for the International Coalition South Yemen which recently invaded and annexed its northern counterpart joined the Arab Alliance opening a second front in Oman and Saudi Arabia, the war wasn't just a matter of whether international intervention would take place but whether it would be able to turn the tides of the conflict and defeat Saddam Hussein.
During the Battle for the Persian Gulf USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS Abraham Lincoln were severely damaged and forced to return to USA for repair whilst HMS Invincible was sunk by an Iraqi Exocet missile strike. Two amphibious assault ships, seven destroyers and one cruiser were also sunk. The air bases in north Saudi Arabia were incapacitated with most of Saudi Aircraft lost in air combat or destroyed on the ground. The air bases in Egypt suffered minor damage and the Iraqi offensive there was successfully repelled by the coalition's air power. Iraq lost 567 aircraft against 340 from the coalition without meeting the appropriate success they hoped would dispel the intervention.
In the ground Iraqi forces fared much better, with coalition air power locked in combats over the Persian Gulf, Kuwait and the heart of Saudi Arabia were left unprotected and in one day Kuwait fell while in five days Iraqi forces reached 250 km from Riyadh.
South Yemen tried to attack coalition forces at the rear lines making moderate gains into Saudi and Omani territories, these however were under air cover from the coalition and the offensive soon stalled under air strikes.
Coalition takes the offensive
While the first week of offensives launched by the Arab Alliance surprised the Coalition and sparked fears that Iraq and her allies would win the war, the air offensive dealt huge casualties to the IQAF without truly incapacitating the International Coalition. To further Arab difficulties, the Soviet Union - which was the main supplier of Arab war material throughout the - war joined the international embargo ceasing to sell most of the important military hardware that keep the alliance at constant fighting condition.
After the initial shock of the pre-emptive strike passed the Coalition forces reorganized and took on to the offensive.
Coming from Egypt, the coalition forces met with the remnants of the IDF and rapidly began pushing back the Arab armies occupying Israel. From the Arabian Peninsula Coalition forces deployed by amphibious landing countered the Yemenite forces and slowly pushed them back to their own borders.
The main Iraqi forces in Saudi Arabia were the most difficult to counter because the IQAF still prevented the Coalition from attaining complete air coverage.
The next two months were marked by fierce resistance from the retreating Arab Armies while the coalition also had to deal with insurgency and terrorist attacks by anti-western Iraqi sympathizers amidst the Saudi and Palestinian populations.
Jordan signed a ceasefire in September 9 and retired its forces from Israel.
Yemen signed a ceasefire and retired itself from the conflict in October 6.
By November 13 Israel was liberated and Coalition encircled the remaining Syrian forces in Lebanon, a revolution ousted Hafez al-Assad and Syria signed a cease fire compromising itself with peace negotiations.
The sole Arab power to remain fighting was Iraq, but the war was far from over.
Iraqi retreat and nuclear retaliation on coalition forcesBy January 15 of 1994 the Coalition had pushed Iraqi forces out of most of Saudi Arabia, in the southern part of the front they have gone as far as reaching Kuwait. Retreating Iraqi forces set Saudi and Kuwaiti oilfields ablaze in retaliation to the advances of the coalition.
In the Kuwaiti front the coalition forces were engaging in fierce street to street fighting for the control of Kuwaiti city. As the fighting progressed Coalition troops encircled the city and while many pockets of resistance kept Coalition troops tied down the Iraqi Army was retreating en masse. Once Kuwaiti City was under coalition control there was nothing in the way of the international forces between them and the Iraqi territory.
With as much as 245.000 coalition troops fighting within the vicinity of the city and with the last stronghold of the Iraqi army preventing access to their mainland on the verge of being lost the remnants of the Iraqi army within Kuwait City detonated a 30kt nuclear warhead recovered from the Israeli nuclear missile which crashed into Iraqi territory earlier in the war.
This action destroyed the city and all its inhabitants alongside remaining Iraqi fighters and much of the coalition forces fighting within the the city and its immediate vicinity. The reaction to the attack was that of shock and fear that Iraq could produce and use weapons of mass destruction. American authorities questioned whether they should respond to this with America's own nuclear weapons but given the already tragic situation brought by their use in the Middle East and the fact conventional means were already meeting success in disabling the Iraqi WMD capabilities, U.S. authorities choose to proceed with the conventional approach unless Iraq proved capable of utilizing further WMDs against their forces. The event however was labeled the single greatest tragedy on America's military history.
Invasion of IraqAfter several months of air strikes to its military infrastructure and with its air force severely depleted, Iraq was now left open to ground invasion. In January 21, 1994, theCoalition troops pushed northwards from Kuwait and Eastwards from Saudi Arabia into Iraq.
The were met by heavy resistance from conventional and asymmetrical forces every inch they advanced into the country. They tried to severe Iraqi morale and coordination with decapitating air trikes against Iraqi commanders and leaders but Saddam Hussein and other major commanders continued to avoid coalition intelligence escaping unharmed from such attacks.Iraqi insurgency was so large and organized that coalition forces were some times more worried in avoiding major attacks at their rear lines rather than advancing towards strategical targets.
In May 7, 1994, after a long bloody struggle the Coalition forces won the Battle for Baghdad taking over the Iraqi capital, ending President Hussein's 15-year rule. U.S. troops seized deserted office buildings and brought down most monuments built in Saddam's homage.
In the east Iranian troops joined the coalition, opening a third front against remaining Iraqi forces and retaking the territories lost in the Iran-Iraq war nearly 13 years ago.
At 11:05 PM on May 12 the remaining Iraqi forces called out a ceasefire and at 09:11 AM of May 13 it was officially announced that the Iraqi army accepted a peace agreement unconditionally.
The official war was over but the amount of insurgency in Iraq was overwhelming. The post invasion stabilization and peace process would be long and painful.
Occupation of Iraq (May 1994 - October 1996)
This period is marked by restless insurgency from Ba'ath loyalists, Islamic fundamentalists and sectarian factions within the Iraqi population.
Saddam Hussein wasn't found after the Iraqi army surrendered and disbanded, his person was source of inspiration for those loyalists who attributed to him the growth of the previous decade and the near total destruction of the enemies of Iraq before the American led invasion. After the tumbling of the Ba'ath regime army depots were looted by insurgent groups that sought to combat the American led occupation.
Administration of the country was primarily made by U.S. military and most Iraqis didn't trusted their attempts to build a democratic government. The sole support coalition troops held within the country came from Kurdish minorities who were brutally repressed under Saddam's regime. A possible major source of support that could change the situation would be the Shi'a Muslim majority which was very oppressed under Ba'ath rule. However, unless the coalition could contain sectarian violence they wouldn't earn their trust.
In 1996, however, Sheik Hamal al-Quseyir a prominent moderate Shi'a cleric began to rise in popularity within the country as his force became proficient in combating sectarian violence and provide assistance to the necessitated people of the war torn country. To help improving the peace process the coalition asked for his assistance and as free elections were to be held for the first time in the country he became a candidate and won by a landslide victory.
Another factor contributing to the peace process was the capture of Saddam Hussein in October 20 of 1996 which rapidly began to wane the morale of Ba'ath loyalists.
Coalition pulls out, Iraqi government assumes, the war ends
Under the administration of al-Quseyir he quickly managed to unite the Shi'ite majority and organized the new Iraqi army which progressively assumed the roles played by the Occupational forces.
While situation was still chaotic in general the cleric managed to get hold of a solid position in power which could be maintained without external assistance.
The U.S. and other governments of the coalitions forces were tired of the war and occupation. The main objectives of the intervention was to stop the genocide of Jews, enforce peace between the countries fighting in the region and disable their ability to produce weapons of mass destruction. There was no interest in wasting the lives of more soldiers in what seemed to be an internal Iraqi matter.
Following the transition of power to civilian authorities coalition forces immediately began to pull out of Iraq leaving the following inner fighting to be carried on by Iraqis themselves.
By November 21 of 1997 most of coalition forces had already left the country leaving only two permanent U.S. military bases behind. The war was publicly declared over.
Establishment of a Palestinian State
One of the most important outcomes of the conflict was the establishment of a Palestinian state by the coalition forces.
While the coalition fought to stop the genocide of the Israeli Jewish population they also enforced UN Resolution 181 to establish one Arab Palestinian state and one Israeli Jewish one in the region of Palestine.
While the action was meet with strong opposition from the Jewish population which has just underwent another holocaust, going as far as extremist acts of violence and terror, it was an essential step towards enduring peace in the region.
With the Palestinians finally having their land established with the bases of western democracies to guide them they wouldn't seek further hostilities with Israel in the future.
To safeguard the existence of the states of Palestine and Israel U.S. established permanent bases in both countries.
Establishment of a UN free zone in Jerusalem
Following the coalition policy to enforce UN Resolution 181 the city of Jerusalem was made international territory, this was opposed by both Isrelis and Palestinians but received overwhelming approval from the international community.
The city of Jerusalem would be maintained with international funds and an international force of peace keepers from 21 nations to prevent external aggressions to the city.
The 21 nations contributing to the peace operation were U.S.A., U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, U.R.S.S., Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, China, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Mexico and Japan.
Effects of the "New Holocaust"
Over 3.4 million Israeli Jews were killed in the war with reportedly 1.8 million being victims of execution or acts of terror. The Jewish international community was outraged with the world letting the unthinkable happen again. Many groups demanded the Arab nations involved in the genocide to pay tributes to the Israeli victims of the conflict and that the United Nations forced every Islamic country to recognize the state of Israel.
The fact the UN favored the implementation of Resolution 181 over demands to return all land to Israel caused several pro-Zionist communities to lose faith in the international organization and led to the formation of Jewish extremist groups that supported terrorist acts against Muslim countries and the Palestinian communities around the globe.
Reactions to the nuclear genocide done by Israel
While the Arab armies promoted the genocide of Jews during the conflict the main reason for them to start doing so was the nuclear attacks made by Israel.
The millions of deaths and the agony of several more millions suffering from burns and radioactive poison couldn't be left untouched.
Syria and Iraq received major humanitarian aid following the conflict and several ONGs and international missions installed hospitals dedicated to threatening radiation victims.
Arab public opinion, while outraged with the massacre caused by the use nuclear weapons against Iraq and Syria began to settle down their hostilities towards Israel in the face of the mutual destruction genocide brought upon both sides. Such huge loss of human life left a strong image on their memories that war is a cruel unforgiving path that nations should never pursuit to settle their differences.
More important than that, the creation of a definitive and recognized Palestinian State diminished one of the principal sources of conflict between Western powers and Arab states, the continuous unconditional support for Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people that fueled the rhetoric of many religious extremist groups.
Even though the more serious and egalitarian approach from Western powers under UN supervision easened the views from Muslims towards them, more radical elements didn't accept the presence of foreign troops on what they considered holy land.
In their view the nuclear genocide was a trial against the devil and that those who survived to fight had the duty to finish the Zionist occupiers once and for all. Western troops had prevented their sought justice and occupied Iraq as an imperialist force to save Israel and they should be expelled by force.
Decried as a monster by those who felt the brutality of his regime and taken as a Martyr for those who believed he fought for the independence and strength of the Arab people Saddam Hussein remained a controversial figure in human history.
Environmental and health consequences
With five nuclear detonations, several hundred oil wells set on fire and millions of gallons of crude oil spilled into the Persian Gulf it doesn't take a genius to realize the enormous environmental disaster that the war brought.
The dust arose to the stratosphere due to nuclear detonation caused a cool down by on the climate over all of Asia, Europe and most of Africa generating several crop failures indirectly killing roughly 350,000 out of starvation.
Sand dust carried from the explosion grounds by the winds threatened to further radioactive contamination throughout the region and the soil around the nuclear sites had to be mixed with concrete to bury radioactive material.
Cancer incident from radiation exposure has been diagnosed in nearly 26 million people among inhabitants from Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Reportedly 72% of the troops who served in the coalition returned with some sort of radiation exposure related disease.
Destruction caused by chemical weapons was major among Israelis, Saudis, Kuwaitis and coalition personnel. Deaths attributed to the usage of chemical weapons vary greatly given the chaotic conditions of urban warfare throughout many battles they were used in and the unknown extent of their contribution to genocidal attacks. Sources such as the WHO estimate the toll to be between 500,000 to 700,000 deaths while the Red Cross estimates between 680,000 to 1,050,000, other sources such as theZAKA cites the number of deaths to be over 1,500,000. The number of wounded is generaly placed above three million in most sources.
Environment also suffered heavily from chemical or radioactive residues which made some water sources undrinkable for decades and killed many fauna and flora of the region.
The oil fires didn't launch smoke higher than six km in the sky but had terrible effects to the local climate, immediately they prompted major decrease in air quality over Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and some parts of Iraq and Iran. They provoked several respiratory problems in citizens from the affected countries and many coalition troops. In the medium term they caused terrible results for the agriculture of the region furthering famine and economical hardship.
Oil spills on the Persian Gulf were the worst in history with Iraqis dumping in the gulf over 3.5 billion gallons of crude oil in an attempt to prevent amphibious landings on occupied shores. The spill caused severe damage to wildlife but only lasted on the short term since most of the oil evaporated while more than foue million barrels were recovered and the rest was washed ashore mainly in Saudi Arabia.
The war caused major economical impact in every major consumer of Middle Eastern oil.
In the initial conflict between Iraq and Israel caused oil prices, which were at an all time low since the Wall Street Crash of 1991, to raise proeminently. Speculations about possible Israeli attacks against Iraqi oil infrastructure made oil shares nearly double their price between February and April of 1993.
These speculations proved mixed since international pressure from Iraq's oil consumers prevented Israel from taking direct action against the oil production from Iraq.
Even with the nuclear attacks from Israel Iraq's oil infrastructure bore little damage allowing the country to continue major exports and resupply its military constantly.
As the holocaust took place several nations adhered to an international oil embargo preceeding the intervention of the coalition thus crippling the Iraqi economy and raising international oil prices even farther.
However, when Iraq invaded both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia the oil prices skyrocketed as 60% of the world oil production ceased within one week.
Western countries were threatened to suffer energetic collapse and the United States resorted for the first time to its strategic oil reserves in Alaska to supply the deficit in oil offer. European countries with the exception of Norway didn't possess enough oil reserves to keep their essential energy needs and were forced to import oil from alternative sources - mainly the Soviet Union.
The Eastern Bloc was benefited with the oil shortages in Western Europe as billions of euros were pumped into Soviet economy allowing major investments in private and public enterprises throughout the Eastern European nations.
This oil shortage also turned another major economical power toward the U.S.S.R., Japan which suffered heavily from the international crisis and now from the oil crisis found safe haven for investments and economical recovery in the Eastern Block.
By the time Middle Eastern oil exports were returned to previous levels in 1998 the Soviet Union had maintained its oil exports through the crisis for nearly ten times larger than they were previous to the conflict displaying a total growth of 49,02 in the period between 1993 and 1997 through the sheer foreign investments and internal economical reforms.
Interestingly, the war also largely benefited Brazilian agricultural, energy and military industrial sectors as the failed crops caused by environmental damage prompted increased importation from Brazilian crops which were unaffected collateral damages of the war. The further adoption of alcohol moved cars and increased governmental investments in the national industry to counter the drop in international exports to Brazil caused the country to recover from the previous international economic crisis ahead of expected.