The death road linking Basra, the southernmost province of Iraq and Kuwait, is still paved with the bodies of Iraqi forces.
This comes against the background of a massacre carried out by the coalition forces led by the United States of America in the early nineties of the last century, after the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait and its declaration of Governorate No. 19.
On August 2nd passes the 30th anniversary of Iraq Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, in a resolution described as the biggest mistake in modern history, which witnessed a destructive foreign campaign against Iraq that did not happen even in World War II.
In an interview with Russian Sputnik new agency in Iraq, retired Major General of the former Iraqi army, Majid al Qaisi, narrated the events of the war of the invasion of Kuwait by the previous regime, on August 2, 1990, which resulted in the complete destruction of the country.
Major General al Qaisi says that there were repercussions before August 2, 1990, when the Arab Summit was taking place, which coincided with complaints from Iraq on some countries about the collapse of oil prices.
al Qaisi added that Iraq was suffering, at the time, from a suffocating economic crisis, with debts estimated at about 120-130 billion dollars, and negotiations did not come out with either the Kuwaitis or the Arab countries, pointing to a meeting in Saudi Arabia between Saddam Hussein’s deputy and the Kuwait side, and there was argument during the meeting, and at the time that there were gatherings of Iraqi forces under the cover of training mission in the southern regions of Iraq, including in the city of Nasiriyah, Thiqar, and these movements were monitored by the United States of America, which led to the visit of the American ambassador and her meeting with Saddam Hussein.
al Qaisi pointed out that the meeting of the US ambassador with Saddam Hussein had sparked widespread controversy, under the pretext that she had transferred – that her country gave the Iraqi president the green light to invade Kuwait, which did not happen, and that Saddam Hussein understood this by mistake.
And yet this controversy is being raised again, so that the ambassador was summoned by the US Foreign Relations Committee in Congress, and said that she had not given any green light to Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait, and that she was expressing concern about the presence of Iraqi forces in the south before the invasion.
Maj. Gen. Majed al Qaisi recalled that, on August 2, 1990, Iraqi forces began moving towards Kuwait, and were able to occupy it and topple the ruling regime there, which then took refuge in Saudi Arabia, and then several Security Council resolutions were issued calling for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwaiti territory, but major strategic mistakes that the former Iraqi regime caused the catastrophe.
al Qaisi described these mistakes committed by Saddam Hussein as the biggest strategic mistake in modern history, which caused the destruction of an entire country because of this behavior and behavior that entered Iraq in many conflicts and crises, the most recent of which was the US invasion in 2003, which is one of the repercussions of the war of 1991.
al Qaisi pointed out that the US forces were conducting a “war game” in Kuwait in July 1990, and Commander Norman Schwarzkopf had stated at the time that training was aimed at fending off any external attack on Kuwait and defending it, and he discussed that.
In his book on the experience of the United States of America, he provided the graphic basis for Operation “Desert Shield”, and later “Desert Storm”.
He noted that the Americans had a perception that Iraq would invade Kuwait or might be tempted to do so, and these are errors of political leadership and not military leadership, because war is a shadow of politics in the field, and therefore this wrong strategic decision that affected Iraq a lot, led to the invasion and occupation of Kuwait, It remained under the control of the Iraqi forces, until January 31, 1991, when the war of the coalition countries began with the participation of 32 countries, at the time, to remove Iraq from Kuwait.
The war ended in the “Safwan” tent to discuss technical issues between the Iraqi forces and the coalition, in addition to the economic blockade that affected Iraq and hindered the military system for 12 years to 2003.
al Qaisi continued, saying: “We come to the war, which was carried out by the Iraqi Republican Guard forces, where it gathered in southern Iraq, and was issued orders to enter Kuwait, and indeed the forces entered with the support of fighters’ flight and landing operations, “stressing that the forces were able to control important command centers.
And political affairs such as the Ministry of Defense, the Emiri Palace and entire institutions, and it was able to occupy it completely, then Iraq throughout that period was in conflict with the United Nations and before that the League of Arab States issued a decision to boycott Iraq and remove it from the university, all these things took place before Operation Desert Storm.
The entire Iraqi army participated in the war, whether on the front or the Iraqi-Kuwaiti arena, on the basis that there was an air campaign over the skies of Iraq for 42 days, and it is the largest intensive campaign of alliance witnessed in history, even in World War II it did not witness the same.
al Qaisi stated that the dense air campaign involved 2450 aircraft for the Alliance and launched a land war that drained Iraq and destroyed all its centers of gravity, such as command centers, military headquarters, supply lines and logistical support, in addition to the attacks carried out by the Allied mobilization forces on the Iraqi-Kuwaiti operations arenas, which were really heavy strikes.
The coalition attack began on February 27, 1991 and was a detour that came from the Saudi border and cut off the Basra-Nasiriyah road, and then Iraqi forces were besieged inside Basra Governorate, in the south of the country, and the road linking the governorate to Kuwait, which led to a large massacre in the road called “death path”.
al Qaisi suggested that the Iraqi military strategy was defeated at the time, and Saddam Hussein expected that the war would be the same that he fought with Iran but no one could explain to him, and even the senior military leaders bear the responsibility of this matter regardless of their patriotism, because they were facing 3 countries Great are: the United States of America, France and Britain, and that is outside the capabilities of Iraq, for this the destruction was complete, and that out of 6200 tanks Iraq was unable to recover them and the remaining 1700 tanks only.
al Qaisi explains that 60-50% of the capabilities of the Iraqi army and some studies indicated that 65% of its capabilities were destroyed, and only a third remained, and the remaining one-third was more like it was obsolete because it was obsolete in the weapons used in the Iraq-Iran war throughout the eighties of the last century, Iraq had great and great difficulty, but the military measurements compared to the situation in the region, the Iraqi army was unable to defend Iraq against any hostile attack taking place from abroad, and this is what happened in 2003 when American forces invaded Iraq and brought down the capital, Baghdad, on 16 Days.
al Qaisi said, “No one can yet estimate the number and the size of the Iraqi army’s losses, and there is a site called the site of the mound that links Iraq through the Safwan region in Kuwait, or what we called the road of death, very long, still has a section of the remains of the martyrs, and when it was Well-known writer Robert Fisk covers the war at the time, he published a book entitled War under the pretext of civilization, in which he indicated that the victims of Iraq cannot be counted, even though the Americans used to say that we only suffered 17 of them, and they do not want to mention the real number even when the army general was asked the American, Norman Schwarzkopf, said I am not responsible for counting dead bodies”.
al Qaisi continued, “As Saddam Hussein considered himself the victor in the war, and he did not mention the losses of Iraq and some of the army martyrs, their remains on the path of death have not been raised until now”, adding, “I remember that the mechanisms before Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait were then present in Basra.
They numbered in the thousands, and were destroyed in addition to losses in the Iraqi depth, very large, from infrastructure, military command centers and bridges.
It was a very devastating war, they used to call it “a limited war”, and we called it “a comprehensive war”, because they used technology – the modern war that entered in 1991 and this was the US Central Command in Qatar, and when the battles were launched they were looking at them through screens Imagine the movement of soldiers, units, shields, and teams as a movie in front of them.
al Qaisi explains that, therefore, the Americans developed modern warfare in all its peculiarities, and they used for the first time Tomahawk Hellfire.
South of Baghdad, with the American forces in the battle of the Republican Guard, which the Americans used to call, according to their call, “the Red Army”, because the guards used to place a “red triangle” on the shoulder.
The US forces cut off the seam and withdrew quickly when they were in a confrontation with the Republican Guard forces, and the Americans are using the A-10 aircraft system, and the Apache comes at a distance of 10 kilometers, to confront the guard forces deployed at a distance of 8 kilometers, i.e. a distance of 16 1 km, and Hellfire missiles were fired at our forces, which resulted in heavy casualties, and the destruction of tanks still in the hill region, and a portion of the dead were not found until now.
Consequently, the battle in the “Safwan” negotiations ended on the first and second days of March 1991 and was technical negotiations without an official document, to discuss the movement of Iraqi forces and aircraft in the southern regions.
“Until before the end of the war negotiations in the Safwan tent, the 10th Armored Brigade of the Iraqi army moved in the al Jabayesh area of Thiqar, and what the Americans did not get during the war, and after the war they bombed the entire armored forces after the ceasefire.
When the American forces hit the 10th Armored Brigade, the losses were great, with equipment, machinery and lives… and this is their strategy, al Qaisi said.
al Qaisi confirmed that the anti-Iraq coalition forces used chemical depleted uranium, explaining: “I saw it with my own eyes when they bombed the tanks, the fire from which they came out was somewhat western, notably when the tank was hit by an ordinary missile we could distinguish it from others, but when it was struck by the forces the American was coming out of it with a blue fire and the tank was split into two parts of its shield in the direction it flies to a distance of 20 meters, and from the side of the body, this despite the fact that its weight is in thousands of tons.
“I saw even the bombing of hospitals and fuel stations, when two coalition planes came, and these were at the end of the war, and they bombed crowds of civilians who were crowded near a fuel station in the central province of Babel, and also bombed several provinces from the south”.
As for the border area of Safwan between Iraq and Kuwait, “The B-52 and Ghost planes came to carry out heavy strikes, and on the first day of their arrival, they struck a very big blow with Tomahawk missiles with the limits of 1,000 to 1,000 and 100 missiles at targets inside Iraqi territory, including in Basra, Mosul, the center of Nineveh, North of the country”.
al Qaisi talked about the Tomahawk missiles fired by the American forces, indicating that they “resemble the bomber in sound and form, and when the B-52s came from southern Europe from Spain, and began bombing… I saw them bombing the Mansour Tower, al Zawraa, in Baghdad for communications, and hit it with 3 shells that collapsed on Then”.
al Qaisi, quoting what he saw, told us, “The coalition aircraft bombed many command sites using the Gub28 bombs that they used to bomb the Amiriya shelter in Baghdad on February 13, 1991 with two missiles, the first penetrated the shelter and the second passed through the opening made by the first, Hundreds of children and women were killed, under the pretext that the Iraqi leadership was there.
al Qaisi stated that he saw the bombing of al Shuaiba and al Suwayrah airports, which are considered one of the most prominent aircraft shelters, and they are immune even against chemical bombardment, but the American bombing destroyed them through missiles, which resulted in the killing of officers and pilots up to 32 between the bases of al Shuaiba and al Suwayrah, and the base of Abbas Ibn Firnas in Mosul.
al Qaisi says, “The coalition strikes destroyed the Iraqi air force, airports and watchtowers, so the air force exited in the first week of the war and was unable to secure the air cover of the Iraqi forces, which allowed the coalition forces to impose air sovereignty and not excel, as only one can face a flying fighter, I was confronted with a shell”.
al Qaisi stated that the killing in the way of death by chemical bombs of the Iraqi forces, or execution by decision of Saddam Hussein, the fate of the Iraqi military leaders and soldiers who refused to occupy Kuwait, at that time, pointing to the previous regime’s execution of executions against senior army leaders, most notably Major General Corner, Esmat Saber Omar, commander of the Special Forces, and many of them executed team leaders in southern Iraq, numbering about 5-4 commanders, and after a short period, Major General, Kamel Sajid, who was commander of the Special Forces, was executed.
He explains, “The instructions that were issued to us from the high command, that there is no withdrawal from the invasion of Kuwait, and any sound that appears similar to the voice of the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, through telegrams, books and field orders issued to you and distributed to you and orders you to withdraw, executes, and many leaders and soldiers from the forces Iraqi, they were offering death offerings without anything, and that the withdrawal of the forces was not a planned withdrawal, or planned, but under the seam and the fire, and in the petition he caused you many mistakes, and we were at that time when we talk with the two great commanders on this matter they were helpless… because we read history and battles and know from the Second World War the US strategy.
“I remember once when I was outside Iraq, books on the Apache aircraft were published in 1984, and I brought it with me to the country to read it, and I used to give a summary of it and when I started explaining about it, one of the senior officials said,” This is your words frustrating and you have to cut the conversation and go down from the top of the platform, they did not want to hear the truth… Neither the military leaders nor the political leaders, and whoever says that a military leader wanted to listen is a liar, this is a fact I say”.
In detail, al Qaisi counted the aircraft used by the anti-Iraq coalition at the time: stealth 117, which itself had bombed Saddam Hussein’s palace, later in the Dora area before the start of the 2003 war, and aircraft: f15 – f16, Bernardo, Mirage, and f18 aircraft that were flying from an aircraft carrier, they also used the Apache, dubbed the anti-armor boar, which is a large and very impressive aircraft.
“The coalition used within the limits of 280 different types of aircraft present at sea, with forces that numbered exactly 667 thousand soldiers, noting that the coalition countries used modern war, and destroyed all bridges, especially those in Baghdad, including the two bridges of the Republic, and other places, and all aircraft shelters were bombed in Salah al Din governorates, especially Anbar, Habbaniyah, Diyala, Essaouira and Mosul, and destroyed all air bases.
al Qaisi continues, “The Americans had accounts for everything but one thing, which is guerrilla warfare, so we asked political and military leaders to change the strategy from conventional wars to asymmetric or irregular warfare, and we were telling them that the Americans would not use the air war strategy and then the ground campaign as the air campaign will coincide with the wilderness for certain reasons, namely that the United States of America came without a Security Council resolution contrary to what happened in 1991, and this is why time is important and decisive for it.
al Qaisi continued, therefore, we must today, we cannot confront the American forces before they invaded Iraq in 2003, but we can delay it if we use tactical methods that are unknown and unfamiliar.
al Qaisi’s transfer, indeed, a battle took place in Nasiriyah in the south of the country, which was led by some parties that were linked to the Ba’ath Party was a guerrilla war.
Otherwise, this was not in our minds, that is why the American forces inflicted great losses on citizens and infrastructure, by using excessive violence towards the elements fighting them in the place and then withdrew.
He continued, “We had a war game in the year 2000, and all the leaders were sitting, and I was surprised by the harsh and strict response from them, and then they later proved that my words are correct”.
“They wanted to occupy a knot that is not worth losing a very simple thing.
In the battles of the previous regime with Iran in the eighties of the last century, we submitted 105 to 110,” the retired Major General of the former Iraqi army, who retired in the war to invade Kuwait, concluded, referring to the previous regime, Fuga, specifically in the Battle of the Great Harvest on the Jassem River, east of Basra on the Iraq-Iran border, we lost 36 brigades, great losses and the commander does not matter how important he is that this intersection is not occupied by the opponent in the war with Iran that witnessed the execution of many officers at the level of two commanders and team leaders”.
The Iraqi military collapsed completely when the American invasion of Iraq under the pretext of the former regime’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, in 2003 after which the country did not stabilize, and it entered into political and regional crises and conflicts that the Iraqi citizen pays dearly daily, starting from the emergence of terrorist armed groups organizations and their implementation of liquidation operations.
The repercussions of the war of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait were reflected in the siege imposed at the time, in the 90s, on citizens who lost their children due to starvation due to a lack of food and medicine, with the deterioration of the price of oil, which was replaced by mobile vendors with families in exchange for dry bread, flour waste, broken goods, other products, and recycled plastics into other commodities.