Invasion of Kuwait
The discussions in Jeddah led to Iraq government demanding $10 billion from Kuwait for what they lost in Rumaila oil fields. Kuwait agreed to pay $9 billion to which Saddam and his government replied with an invasion on Kuwait.
Early morning at 2:00 am local time on August 2, 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait with Iraqi Army Special Forces and four elite Iraqi Republican Guard Divisions – Hammurabu Armoured Division, al-Medinah al-Munawera Armoured Division, Tawakalnaala-Allah Mechanized Infantry Division and Nebuchadnezzar Motorized Infantry. The commondos deployed by boats and helicopters conducted the main attacks on the Kuwait City and the other divisions took control of airports and two airbases. The Dasman Palace which is the residence of the Emir of Kuwait was first attacked. The mission of these special Iraqi forces who attacked the Dasman Palace was to kill or capture the Emir of Kuwait and the other 1,200 Sabah’s who were a part of the clan. However, most of the younger generation Sabah’s were vacationing abroad and the remaining who were in the palace managed to escape to Saudi Arabia and were all safe. The Emir Guard which was supported by M-84 tanks put up a worthy fight repelling the airborne attack but soon the palace was taken over when the Iraqi Marines came in the palace. Dasman Palace is located on the coast and was easily penetrated by the marines from Iraq.
Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who was the Emir of Kuwait had was safe but his half-brother Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was killed by the Iraqi soldiers when he tried to save the Dasman Palace. The Iraqi placed his body in front of a tank and ran over it.
Besides these units the Saddam had also deployed many units of Mi-8 and Mi-17 transport helicopters, a squadron of Bell 412 helicopters along with a squadron on Mil Mi-25 helicopter gunships.
On the priority list was to support and transport Iraqi commandos in the Kuwait City and then provide support to the ground troops so they could make their advance.
The Iraqi Air Force had one squadron of Su-25, two squadrons of Sukhoi Su-22 and two MiG-23 fighter bombers. The main work of the Iraqi Air Force was to take control of the air by limited air strikes through the air bases of Kuwait Air Force. The Air Force of Kuwait mainly comprised of Mirage F1 and Douglas (T)A-4KU Skyhawks. There were specific areas in the Kuwait City that were to be bombed by the Iraqi Air Force.
Although Iraq was continuously threatening Kuwait with war and despite the warnings given by CIA about Iraqi forces being on the move the Kuwait government did not make any preparations for war and were caught with a surprise.
Iraqi armies approaching Kuwait grounds was first detected on a radar equipped aerostat. The device caught an army moving rapidly towards south. The naval, ground and air forces of Kuwait tried to stop the invasion and tried to fight them back but they were greatly outnumbered. The 35th Armoured Brigade of Kuwait deployed a battalion of BMP’s, Chieftan tanks and artillery battery against the forces of Iraq and tried to delay their advances near Al Jahra which is to the west of Kuwait City but they were not successful. The 15th Armoured Brigade of Kuwait in the south of Kuwait City tried to evacuate their forces to Saudi Arabia but just two missile boats manage to evade.
The Air Force of Kuwait was haywire yet around 20% of their aircraft was either lost of captured. There was an air battle fought between Iraqi helicopter and the Kuwaiti air forces over the Kuwait city and this had resulted in the loss of Iraqi elite troops. The rest of the 80% aircraft was evacuated to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. There were some aircraft that took off adjacent to the bases as their runways were overrun. These aircrafts were not used after the Gulf War but the Free Kuwait Air Force did help Saudi Arabia to patrol the southern border that they shared with Yemen as Saudi Arabia considered it to be a threat. Yemen had connections with Iraq.
By the end of the day there was hardly any place left in Kuwait that seemed to resist and by August 3, 1990 what was left of Kuwaiti military soldiers and other stronger places in the country was out of ammunition and were soon taken over by the Iraqi soldiers. What remained unoccupied was Ali al-Salem Air Base which over which Kuwaiti Air Force had control and it flew re-supply missions from Saudi Arabia the entire August 3 but by night the Iraqi forces overran into the air base and the Kuwaiti Military had to retreat back.
The Kuwaitis tried to fight back the Iraqi and the localities formed an armed resistance movement. The casualty in this resistance forces was more than the Western hostages and coalition military forces. This resistance army mainly comprised of the regular citizens who did not have any type of training.