On this day, 28 February in 1991, President George H.W. Bush declared a ceasefire to end the First Iraq/Gulf War after most Iraqi forces had either fled Kuwait or surrendered to the International Coalition, of which Australian forces played an important part throughout.
After 43 days, the multinational force of 40,000 troops from more than 30 countries, led by the US, had defeated Saddam Hussein’s forces and liberated Kuwait – which Saddam invaded and annexed on 2 August 1990.
From August 1990 to September 1991, over 1,800 Australian Defence personnel were deployed in the war. Whilst centred on key naval duties in the Persian Gulf, our force also comprised Army and RAAF units (in operations named Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Desert Farewell).
Thankfully, none of our personnel were killed although many did (and still) suffer from Gulf War illness. (The International Coalition suffered 358 casualties.)
Commemorate the ending of the First Iraq/Gulf War on this last day in February by:
- Visiting Australia’s War Museum in Canberra or its websites online
- Having a drink or a meal down at the local RSL Club on behalf of all our past and present defence servicemen and women
- Giving thanks to our soldiers who fight for our country and way of life whenever deployed, including those currently deployed overseas, and
- Share this post on social media.