chapter  4
23 Pages

Israel and the Gulf War

Iraq, under the leadership of Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait on 2 August 1990. It was a bold attempt on the part of Saddam Hussein to challenge the regional order and to assert his hegemony over the Middle East. Iraq's military power (whose army ranked at that time as the fifth largest in the world), in combination with the newly acquired riches of oil-producing Kuwait, could have catapulted Iraq to the leadership position in the Arab world. Moreover, the Iraqi control of its own oil reserves and Kuwait's, as well as its ability to threaten Saudi Arabian oil fields, could have granted Baghdad a major role in the world oil market (56 per cent of world proved reserves), enhancing further its regional aspirations and importance.!