CARACAS, Wednesday April 01, 2009 | Update
Operation Desert Storm included air raids on Iraq's military facilities and troops with long-range missiles and bombs and land attacks. Saddam Hussein retaliated by setting fire to hundred oilfields in Kuwait, causing a major oil spill in the Gulf area and launching Scud missiles against Israel and Saudi Arabia. Washington repealed the attack with surface-to-air, anti-ballistic MIM-104 Patriot missiles and diminished most of the Iraqi forces. In February, Iraq surrendered and the war was over
Operation Desert Storm, deployed by a coalition of countries headed by the United States, aimed at setting Kuwait free from the Iraqi military invasion Photo: Greg English / AP
On January 16th, 1991, a high-tech war broke up in the Persian
Gulf -Operation Desert Storm. An international coalition of
34 countries, championed by US commanders upon the UN consent,
raided on Iraq. The action took place after failed mediators'
talks and economic pressure on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
to cause his troops' pullout of neighboring Kuwait. Six months
earlier, Iraqi troops had deployed in Kuwait and threatened
to expand Iraq's domains through Saudi Arabia. Competition
for the oil business was the reason alleged by Hussein to
take violent actions against the tiny, rich nation in the
The initial operation included air raids on Iraq's military facilities and troops with long-range missiles and bombs. Hussein's aggressive retaliation included setting fire to hundred oilfields in Kuwait; an oil spill in the Gulf area and Scud missiles against Israel and Saudi Arabia. However, Washington repealed the attack with surface-to-air, anti-ballistic MIM-104 Patriot missiles and diminished most of the Iraqi forces. Later, a land attack succeeded in putting Hussein's soldiers out of action and made them surrender. On February 27th, Kuwait got free from the Iraqi control and southern Iraq was occupied by the Allies.
In Europe, another war story came to an end. Upon the dissolution of the communist Soviet Union, propelled by Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, the Warsaw Pact officially terminated in August. The defense treaty had been executed in 1955 by eight nations of the socialist bloc to enter into a military alliance under a single command, in reply to the creation of NATO in 1945.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, a new stage began with Nelson Mandela's release from prison and the end of racial segregation. In Switzerland, an unprecedented decision was made in the financial world against money laundering -banning of the bank secret. In Colombia, Pablo Escobar Gaviria, the kingpin of a cartel that turned Medellín into the world hub of cocaine traffic, finally surrendered to the authorities in June and was extradited to the United States. Upon his request and with the consent of Colombian President César Gaviria, he went to the luxurious Envigado prison. However, he fled. It was Escobar's last jailbreak.
There was additional interesting news. Venezuela replaced Cuba at the UN Security Council in October. The Caracas cable railway was granted to private concessionaires.
In November, news from London gave the world a breath of hope: British doctors announced the development of a technique to detect cancer generating cells in the blood stream.
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