July 17, 1990: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein accused neighboring states of stabbing Iraq in the back "with a poison dagger" by exceeding OPEC oil-production quotas, and threatened action to "protect Iraqis." In the following days, his government accused Kuwait of stealing Iraq's oil and building military installations on its territory.

July 21: Iraq moved tens of thousands of troops to the border with Kuwait.

July 24: The Bush administration announced that U.S. Navy vessels and Air Force tanker aircraft in the Persian Gulf were holding a "short-notice exercise" with air forces from the United Arab Emirates, also threatened by Iraq.

July 25: Saddam sent an urgent message to President Bush expressing his desire to end the crisis peacefully.

July 31: Iraqi and Kuwaiti negotiators met for direct talks in Saudi Arabia.

Aug. 1: Iraq walked out of the talks.



20,300 men under arms

275 tanks

60 pieces towed artillery

36 pieces support artillery

36 combat aircraft

18 armed helicopters

Eight fast-attack naval vessels, six armed with Exocet missiles


1,000,000 men under arms

5,500 tanks

3,000 pieces towed artillery

500 pieces support artillery

160 helicopters

513 combat aircraft

Unknown quantities of long- and medium-range surface-to-surface missiles

38 patrol and coastal craft, Eight mine warfare vessels

United States

Joint Task Force Middle East consists of the flagship USS La Salle (a converted amphibious transport dock ship), one cruiser, one destroyer and five frigates.

A battle group led by the aircraft carrier USS Independence is now en route to the Arabian Sea.

There is also a pre-positioned force of 14 maritime and naval vessels with equipment, weapons and supplies in the Indian Ocean.

The U.S. Navy maintains a small facility on Bahrain.


Yesterday: Thousands of Iraqi troops -- part of the biggest military machine in the region -- invaded Kuwait early in the morning, seizing the palace and other government buildings. The country's ruling emir, Sheik Jabir Ahmed Sabah, fled to Saudi Arabia.


The United Nations Security Council voted 14-0 to condemn the invasion.

President Bush denounced Iraq's move as "naked aggression" and called for the unconditional withdrawal of Iraqi forces. He froze Iraq's assets in the U.S. and blocked Iraqi exports to the United States -- including oil.

Bush's action froze Kuwaiti assets and property under U.S. jurisdiction to prevent seizure by Iraq.

Britain and France froze Kuwaiti assets and property under their jurisdiction to prevent seizure by Iraq.

The Pentagon sent the Independence and its battle group from the Indian Ocean to the Arabian Sea and placed other unspecified forces on alert.

Kuwait asked the United States, other Western nations and NATO for military intervention.

Oil prices soared amid fears that the invasion would reduce the world supply of oil.

SOURCES: The Washington Post; Reuter; Associated Press; "The Military Balance," 1989-90 edition.