Bombing Baghdad, Primary Targets 17 January–28 February 1991


Map Code: Ax01915

The Gulf War’s combat phase began on 17 January after the deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait expired. A 35-nation coalition, led by the US, sent numerous air sorties over Iraq and Kuwait, dropping 88,500 tons of bombs. While precision-guided munitions and cruise missiles were destroying airfields and radar systems, targets in and around Baghdad were also struck. The attacks were sustained for six weeks and transmitted to the world via live satellite footage. The primary targets were military infrastructure and included the Directorate of Military Intelligence, Operations Centres and the Presidential Palace Command Centre. On 13 February 1991, controversially, the Amiriyah shelter, a civilian air-raid shelter, was bombed, killing hundreds. There was also controversy over the bombing of a baby milk factory, which the US claimed was a biological weapons facility. On 28 February, US President George Bush declared a ceasefire after Iraq pledged to adhere to coalition and UN peace terms.

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