Öböl háború, a halál útja – Blogshop

Öböl háború, a halál útja

 Kuwait – Irak főút, a 80-as és a 8-as főutak kötik össze közvetlenül a két országot. Óriási utak ezek, a 80-ason például hat sáv fut. A 1990-es évek elején az iraki hadsereg ezen az úton keresztül is indított támadást, hogy legyőzzékk Kuwaitot.

A szövetségesek válaszképen bombázták az iraki egységeket, hogy visszavonulásra bírják őket, így a bombázások miatt élőerőben, felszerelésben, járműben hatalmas veszetségeket szenvedtek. Az egyik leglátványosabb eredménye a bomzásoknak a 80-as útnál volt látható, végig roncsok szegélyezték Irakig.

 

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Wrecked and abandoned vehicles along Highway 80 in April 1991

Iraq declared that it would retreat from Kuwait, but it did not agree to the UN resolutions put in place.

Undercover intelligence reported that the Iraqis’ retreat was underway but they were not sure about which route they were taking. It was the US military’s most modern technology, the E-8 Joint Surveillance and Targeting Radar System (J-STARS), that could track moving targets on the ground as well as detect unusual activity. It found a large convoy heading north towards the Iraq/Kuwait border.

A shoe sole and rusting tanks lie along the Highway of Death in 2003. Photo Credit.
A shoe sole and rusting tanks lie along the Highway of Death in 2003. Photo Credit.

The convoy was three miles long, and the US engaged all of its available aerial attack units to target it. However, bad weather and low visibility hindered the attack.

First to reach the convoy were USMC A-6E Intruder jets with a payload of Mark 20 Rockeye cluster bombs. They targeted the front and rear ends of the convoy to prevent it moving back or forwards, holding it in placefor more attacks. The convoy was cut off.

Subsequently, the entire convoy was attacked by coalition aerial forces for around 10 hours. Any vehicle that diverted off of the highway was tracked, hunted and destroyed.

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A-10 Thunderbolt in Flight.

An A-10 Warthog aircraft pilot who took part in the attacks said that it was like a firework show with explosions all over the place.

Highway 8 was also being used by the Iraqi Republican Guard, which was trying to escape Kuwait along that route. US AH-64 Apache helicopters targeted them, killing many and destroying hundreds of military vehicles including tanks and personnel carriers.

Two Iraqi T-54/55 tanks lie abandoned near Kuwait City on February 26, 1991
Two Iraqi T-54/55 tanks lie abandoned near Kuwait City on February 26, 1991

Both routes were completely decimated with hundreds, perhaps thousands of Iraqi soldiers killed.

Coalition leaders justified the attack saying that they had to take out the Iraqi Army’s equipment and vehicles to prevent the possibility of a future attack. Others claim it was an unjustified attack and should never have gone ahead.

Abandoned vehicles clog the Basra-Kuwait highway out of Kuwait City after the retreat of Iraqi forces. A view from top of an Iraqi tank on February 26, 1991. The car in the centre is a Mercedes-Benz W126 S-class.
Abandoned vehicles clog the Basra-Kuwait highway out of Kuwait City after the retreat of Iraqi forces. A view from top of an Iraqi tank on February 26, 1991. The car in the centre is a Mercedes-Benz W126 S-class.

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