The final day of conflict in the Gulf War was marked by the headlong retreat of Iraqi troops from their remaining positions in Kuwait, their flight obscured by the fumes of hundreds of burning oil wells. The ragged cavalcade of retreating troops was remorselessly bombed by the coalition, well into Iraq. Their incinerated remains would become an iconic and controversial image of the war: the ‘Highway of Death’. American President George H. Bush declared Kuwait liberated, and the war over, on 28 February 1991, just 100 hours after the coalition attack began. Sanctions upon Iraq would continue for over a decade, but one anticipated consequence of the war, the rapid overthrow of Saddam Hussein, did not materialize. The Shia majority population did rise in rebellion, but with no international appetite to impose a no-fly zone, were quickly crushed. Saddam would not be deposed until the second Gulf War in 2003.
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