When Iraqi troops entered Kuwait in the early hours of August 2, 1990, Kuwait was completely unprepared for invasion. It came as a bolt from the blue.
Prior to this act of aggression, Iraq had alleged that Kuwait was exceeding oil production quotas set by the OPEC. Iraq had also accused Kuwait of stealing oil from the Rumailah fields, and establishing military bases and civilian establishments inside Iraqi territory.
Kuwait denied such baseless charges in unambiguous terms stating that non-interference in and respect for the sovereignty of other states were the foundations of its foreign policy. Kuwait could not comprehend the Iraqi allegations as it had always provided all possible assistance to Iraq whenever required.
As Iraq continued to escalate tension with its wild accusations and unjustified claims, it was agreed to hold a meeting between Kuwait and Iraq in Jeddah on July 31, 1990. It immediately became apparent that, far from negotiating an end to the crisis, Iraq was bent on dictating terms to Kuwait. The negotiations collapsed. And a day later, Iraq ordered its troops to enter Kuwait.
Kuwait’s military response was slow, as it had not been expecting such a massive military assault. In the light of the ongoing negotiations with Iraq, its armed forces were not in the state of preparedness. Iraqi troops quickly overran the State of Kuwait and Iraq announced that a so-called government of free Kuwait had been established.
What followed were seven months of agony and nightmare as the Iraqi troops indulged in an orgy of violence, torture, looting and destruction on a mass scale. For the Kuwaitis it meant complete loss of freedom, civic and human rights. They were at the complete mercy of Saddam Hussein’s occupation forces.
Despite severe odds, Kuwait is fought back with great will and determination. The most notable encounter was that of the 35th Brigade, which is now known as the Martyrs’ Brigade. The Kuwaiti Resistance too played a heroic role: at the risk of execution and torture, they continued to shield foreigners and maintain contact with the outside world.