Chronology of the Kuwait Crisis

July 31

Iraq and Kuwait begin talks in Saudi Arabia under mediation of King Fahd on oil pricing and production as well as Iraqi territorial claims.
August 1 Iraq walks out of talks with Kuwait.  Press reports claim 120 Iraqi officers executed by firing squads for opposing aggression against Kuwait.
August 2 Iraqi forces invade Kuwait.  The U.S. bans trade with Iraq and freezes Iraqi and Kuwaiti assets.  The United Nations Security Council passes Resolution 660, which condemns the Iraqi invasion and calls for immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait.
August 3

Fighting continues in Kuwait City.  Iraq masses troops along the Kuwaiti-Saudi Arabian border but announces that it will begin to withdraw its forces on 5 August.  President Bush warns Iraq not to invade Saudi Arabia offering to defend it against Iraqi attack.  Japan, West Germany, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg freeze Iraqi and Kuwaiti assets.  The Arab League Council of Foreign Ministers votes to condemn the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

August 7

President Bush orders deployment of U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia after receiving approval from King Fahd.
August 8 Iraq announces that Kuwait has become its 19th province.  The U.K announces it will send forces to defend Saudi Arabia.  Up to 50,000 multinational troops may be sent.
August 9 UNSC passes Resolution 662, which declares the Iraqi annexation of Kuwait “null and void”.
August 10  Iraq orders all embassies in Kuwait closed by 24 August 1990.  Arab summit passes a majority vote to send a Pan-Arab force to Saudi Arabia alongside coalition forces.  Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Morocco play an integral part in passing the initiative and commit to send troops to Saudi Arabia.

August 11

Arab world countries from Morocco to Jordan and Yemen demonstrated against what they saw as a double standard between Israel and Iraq.
August 12  The U.S. threatens to use force, if necessary, to intercept trade with Iraq.  Saddam Hussein makes a peace offer tied to Israel leaving the occupied territories.
August 13 King Hussein of Jordan meets with Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.
August 14 King Hussein flies to Washington to meet President Bush.
August 15 Saddam Hussein offers to meet Iran’s conditions for ending their state of war.
August 16 Iraq has about 160,000 troops in Kuwait.  The U.S. navy prepares for multinational maritime intercept operations.   Bush announces Jordan will adhere to UN sponsored economic embargo of Iraq.
August 17  U.S. calls up military reserves.

August 18

U.S. warships fire warnings at Iraqi oil tankers.  UNSC passes Resolution 664, which demands that Iraq free all hostages taken in Kuwait.
August 19 Iraq offers to release all foreigners if U.S. forces leave the region.
August 20 Iraq announces western hostages will be used as human shields to deter attack.  Saudi Arabia will increase oil production to compensate for the loss of Kuwait oil.
August 22 Jordan closes its borders with Iraq and asks the UN for economic relief.  U.S. announces it will not close its embassy in Kuwait.
August 24  Iraqi troops cut off electricity and water for Western embassies in Kuwait City.
August 25 UNSC passes Resolution 665, which authorizes the use of force to enforce its embargo.
August 28 Saddam Hussein allows all women and children held in Iraq to leave.  U.S. troop deployment to the Persian Gulf reaches 50,000.  U.S. expels some Iraqi embassy personnel.

September 4

Iraq has about 165,000 troops in Kuwait and 100,000 more in Iraq near the border.
September 5 Saddam Hussein calls for an Islamic holy war against U.S. forces in the region.
September 10 Iran and Iraq renew full diplomatic relations.
September 13 UNSC passes Resolution 666, which permits humanitarian food shipments to Iraq to be distributed by third parties such as the Red Cross.
September 14 Iraqi troops storm the French and Belgian Ambassadors’ quarters in Kuwait City.  The UK will send 6,000 troops.
September 15 U.S. troop deployment to the Persian Gulf reaches 150,000.

September 16

UNSC passes Resolution 667, which condemns Iraq’s actions against Embassies in Kuwait.
September 19 Iraq impounds assets of countries supporting the embargo.
September 23 Saddam Hussein vows retaliation against Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Israel if attacked.
September 24 UNSC passes Resolution 669, which entrusts the Sanctions Committee to examine requests for economic assistance.
September 25 UNSC passes Resolution 670, which imposes an air embargo on Iraq.  Iraq has about 3,500 tanks, 2,500 armored vehicles, and 1,700 artillery pieces in Kuwait.
September 27 The UK and Iran resume diplomatic relations.
September 28 The Amir of Kuwait reports Iraq is pillaging his country and repopulating it with outsiders.
October 1 U.S. passes a joint resolution to “deter Iraqi aggression.”
October 3 East and West Germany reunite.  Amnesty International reports Iraqi atrocities in Kuwait.
October 20 Canada abandons its embassy in Kuwait; French, British, and U.S. Embassies remain open.

October 24

Released American hostages claim they were starved and denied medical attention.
October 29 UNSC passes Resolution 674, which demands release of hostages and holds Iraq liable for damages in Kuwait.
November 1 President Bush insists that he wants a peaceful solution to the crisis.  Iraq will allow family members of hostages to visit during Christmas holidays.
November 5 U.S. and Saudi Arabia agree that both must concur on going to war.
November 8 President Bush announces the U.S. will double its troop strength for the coalition.
November 15  Saddam Hussein says he will release hostages if the U.S. promises not to attack.
November 19 Iraq announces it will send another 250,000 troops into Kuwait and calls up 60,000 reserves and 100,000 conscripts.  President Gorbachev declines to back a UN resolution authorizing an attack to drive Iraq from Kuwait.

November 27

Testimony before the UNSC reports atrocities by the Iraqi military.
November 28 UNSC passes Resolution 677, which condemns Iraq’s attempts to alter Kuwaiti demographics.
November 29 UNSC passes Resolution 678, which gives Iraq until January 15th to comply with all previous resolutions and authorizes the coalition forces to “use all necessary means” to force Iraq from Kuwait.
November 30 President Bush offers to send Baker to Baghdad and invites Aziz to Washington.
December 2 U.S. announces it will not attack if Iraq leaves Kuwait and releases all hostages.  Iraq fires Scud missiles.
December 3 The U.S. has 240,000 troops in the region.
December 6 Saddam Hussein announces he will release all hostages, citing a change in the U.S. position.
December 8 Iraq says Aziz will travel to Washington on 17 December, but Saddam Hussein will not see Baker until 12 January.
December 11 France announces it will send 4,000 more troops to total 10,000 in the region.
December 15 Iraq cancels Aziz’s visit to Washington.
December 28 Iraqi ambassadors return to coalition capitals saying Iraq is ready for serious and constructive talks to end the crisis.
December 31 Japan offers to resume aid to Iraq if it withdraws from Kuwait.
January 2 NATO orders planes to Turkey to deter an Iraqi attack.  Iraqi forces in Kuwait estimated at 325,000.   U.S. forces number 325,000 plus 245,000 coalition forces.
January 4 Kuwait government in exile announces it will provide about 300 military volunteers.
January 9 Baker and Aziz meet in Geneva but fail to resolve the crisis.
January 14 Antiwar demonstrations held in many U.S. and European cities.  Iraqi National Assembly votes to continue the policy of defending Kuwait.
January 15 UN deadline for Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait.
January 17 War begins at 0230 Baghdad time with massive air and missile attacks on targets in Kuwait and Iraq.  Iraq launches Scud missiles into Israel and Saudi Arabia.  Iran says it may join the war if provoked by Iraq.
January 18 The UK promises another army battalion and an air force squadron.  U.S. forces attack an offshore oil platform; capture the first Iraqi prisoners of war.  Scud missiles hit Tel Aviv.

January 21

Iraq says it will use coalition prisoners as shields against air attacks.
January 22 Iraqis set fire to oil storage tanks and facilities in Kuwait.  Scud missiles continue to hit Tel Aviv.
January 23 Iraq suspends the sale of gasoline to its population.  Iraq threatens Turkey for allowing coalition forces to use Turkish air bases.  Saudi Arabia begins importing oil products.
January 24 Two oil slicks found moving south from Kuwait.  Coalition claims Iraq dumped the oil; Iraq claims coalition bombing caused the spill.
January 26 Oil spill threatens Saudi Arabian water-purification plants on the Persian Gulf.  Iraqi warplanes begin flying to Iran.
January 29 U.S. Marines fire artillery, mortars, and TOW missiles at Iraqi bunkers in Kuwait.  U.S. and the USSR offer a cease-fire if Iraq makes an “unequivocal commitment” to withdraw from Kuwait.
February 1 Coalition air forces bomb a 10-mile long Iraqi armored column.
February 4 Iraq suspends all fuel sales to its civilian population.

February 6

Iraq severs diplomatic relations with the U.S. and five other coalition members.  President Gorbachev says that coalition military operations threaten to exceed the UN mandate and sends an envoy to Baghdad for talks with Saddam Hussein.  Emir of Kuwait wants Kuwaiti ground forces included in the liberation of Kuwait.
February 11 Iraq orders all 17-year-old males to sign up for military service.
February 12  Soviet envoy Yevgeny Primakov reports Iraq is ready to negotiate a settlement to the war.
February 13 Coalition air campaign passes 67,000 sorties and U.S. troop deployment reaches 514,000.
February 14 U.S. Department of Defense claims coalition planes have destroyed 1,300 tanks, 800 armored personnel carriers, and 1,100 field artillery pieces.
February 16 Iraq’s UN ambassador threatens to use weapons of mass destruction.
February 18 USS Tripoli and USS Princeton hit floating mines.
February 19 Coalition air forces conduct the first daylight bombing raids on Baghdad.  Iranian newspaper cites an Iraqi official saying that Iraq has suffered 20,000 dead and 60,000 wounded.  Baghdad radio reports Aziz has returned from Moscow with a peace proposal.  President Bush says the Soviet proposal is insufficient to end the war.

February 20


Baghdad radio reports Aziz will return to Moscow with Saddam Hussein’s reply to the Soviet peace proposal.  General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of coalition military forces, says Iraqi military is on the “verge of collapse.”  Coalition air campaign passes 86,000 sorties.
February 21 The USSR announces that Iraq has agreed to a plan that could lead to Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait.  Saddam Hussein declares Iraq is prepared to fight the ground war.
February 22 Iraq dynamites 732 Kuwaiti oil wells; more than 650 catch fire.  The Soviets announce an eight-point peace plan.
February 24 Ground campaign begins at 0400 Saudi Arabia time.
February 25 Scud missile hits U.S. military barracks in Al Khobar.  The blast kills 28 soldiers and wounds 90 more, the largest coalition loss of life in the war.
February 26 U.S. rejects the new Soviet peace plan.  Residents of Kuwait City celebrate the end of occupation.   Kuwait’s emir declares three months of martial law.  Saddam Hussein announces Iraqi occupation forces will withdraw completely.  The U.S. regains control of its embassy in Kuwait City.

February 28

Coalition air campaign passes 110,000 sorties.  Cease-fire begins at 0800 Saudi Arabia time.
April 3 UNSC adopts resolution 687 dictating final cease-fire terms to Iraq.


1.  Historical Dictionary of the Persian Gulf War 1990-1991
Clayton R. Newell The Scarecrow Press, Inc.  1998.

2.  Chronology of the Gulf Crisis May 1990-June 1991
Tim Lake

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