Order of battle of the Gulf War ground campaign
This is the order of battle for the ground campaign in the Gulf War between Coalition Forces and Iraqi Forces between 24–28 February 1991. The order that they are listed in are from west to east. Iraqi units that were not in the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations are excluded from this list; some Iraqi divisions remained un-identified by American intelligence and a number of the details of the Iraqi order of battle are in dispute among various authoritative sources. LTG John J. Yeosock LTG Gary E. Luck Division Daguet Brigadier General Bernard Janvier 6e Régiment de Commandement et de Soutien 1er Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine 2e Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine 6e Régiment Étranger de Génie Group East 4e Régiment de Dragons 3e Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine 3e Régiment d'Helicopteres de Combat 2x artillery battalions from 18th Field Artillery Brigade Group West 1er Régiment Étranger de Cavalerie 1er Régiment de Spahis 2e Régiment Étranger d'Infanterie 11e Régiment d'Artillerie de Marine 1e Régiment d'Helicopteres de Combat 1x artillery battalion from 18th Field Artillery Brigade 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division 1st BN, 325th Infantry Regiment 2nd BN, 325th Infantry Regiment 4th BN, 325th Infantry Regiment 2nd BN, 319th Field Artillery Regiment 82nd Airborne Division MG James H. Johnson 1st Brigade 1st BN, 504th Infantry Regiment 2nd BN, 504th Infantry Regiment 3rd BN, 504th Infantry Regiment 3rd BN, 319th Field Artillery Regiment 2nd Brigade, detached to Division Daguet 3rd Brigade 1st BN, 505th Infantry Regiment 2nd BN, 505th Infantry Regiment 3rd BN, 505th Infantry Regiment 1st BN, 319th Field Artillery Regiment 101st Airborne Division MG J. H. Binford Peay III 1st Brigade 1st BN, 327th Infantry Regiment 2nd BN, 327th Infantry Regiment 3rd BN, 327th Infantry Regiment – Sent to 2nd BDE on 27 Feb 91 2nd BN, 320th Field Artillery Regiment 2nd Brigade 1st BN, 502nd Infantry Regiment – With 1st BDE until 27 Feb 91 3rd BN, 502nd Infantry Regiment 1st BN, 320th Field Artillery Regiment 3rd Brigade 1st BN, 187th Infantry Regiment 2nd BN, 187th Infantry Regiment 3rd BN, 187th Infantry Regiment 3rd BN, 320th Field Artillery Regiment 24th Infantry Division MG Barry McCaffrey 1st Brigade 4th BN, 64th Armor Regiment 2nd BN, 7th Infantry Regiment 3rd BN, 7th Infantry Regiment 1st BN, 41st Field Artillery Regiment 2nd Brigade 1st BN, 64th Armor Regiment 3rd BN, 69th Armor Regiment 3rd BN, 15th Infantry Regiment 3rd BN, 41st Field Artillery Regiment 197th Infantry Brigade – Acting 3rd Brigade 2nd BN, 69th Armor Regiment 1st BN, 18th Infantry Regiment 2nd BN, 18th Infantry Regiment 4th BN, 41st Field Artillery Regiment 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment 20th Engineer Brigade 36th Engineer Group – Supported 24th Inf Div 5th Engineer Battalion 20th Engineer Battalion 92nd Engineer Battalion 299th Engineer Battalion 265th Engineer Group GA ARNG – Supported 24th Inf Div 27th Engineer Battalion 37th Engineer Battalion 62nd Engineer Battalion 937th Engineer Group – Supported 6th Lt Armor Div 46th Engineer Battalion 52nd Engineer Battalion 844th Engineer Battalion 18th Field Artillery Brigade – Supported Division Daguet 3rd BN, 8th Field Artillery Regiment 5th BN, 8th Field Artillery Regiment 6th BN, 27th Field Artillery Regiment 1st BN, 39th Field Artillery Regiment 1st BN, 201st Field Artillery Regiment WV ARNG 196th Field Artillery Brigade TN ARNG 1st BN, 181st Field Artillery Regiment TN ARNG 1st BN, 623rd Field Artillery Regiment KY ARNG 212th Field Artillery Brigade – Supported 24th Inf Div 2nd BN, 17th Field Artillery Regiment 2nd BN, 18th Field Artillery Regiment 3rd BN, 27th Field Artillery Regiment 1st Corps Support Command 46th Corps Support Group 101st Corps Support Group 171st Corps Support Group USAR 507th Corps Support Group 44th Medical Brigade 1st Medical Group 2nd Mobile Army Surgical Hospital 5th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital 10th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital 28th Combat Support Hospital 41st Combat Support Hospital 46th Combat Support Hospital 47th Combat Support Hospital 62nd Medical Group 15th Evacuation Hospital 44th Evacuation Hospital USAR 86th Evacuation Hospital 93rd Evacuation Hospital 109th Evacuation Hospital AL ARNG 16th Military Police Brigade 160th Military Police Battalion 503rd Military Police Battalion 519th Military Police Battalion 759th Military Police Battalion 35th Signal Brigade 25th Signal Battalion 50th Signal Battalion 327th Signal Battalion 426th Signal Battalion 525th Military Intelligence Brigade 15th Military Intelligence Battalion 319th Military Intelligence Battalion 337th Military Intelligence Battalion 519th Military Intelligence Battalion LTG Frederick M. Franks, Jr. 1st Armored Division MG Ronald H. Griffith 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division – Acting 1st Brigade 4th BN, 66th Armor Regiment 1st BN, 7th Infantry Regiment 4th BN, 7th Infantry Regiment 2nd BN, 41st Field Artillery Regiment 2nd Brigade 1st BN, 35th Armor Regiment 2nd BN, 70th Armor Regiment 4th BN, 70th Armor Regiment 6th BN, 6th Infantry Regiment 2nd BN, 1st Field Artillery Regiment 3rd Brigade 3rd BN, 35th Armor Regiment 1st BN, 37th Armor Regiment 7th BN, 6th Infantry Regiment 3rd BN, 1st Field Artillery Regiment 3rd Armored Division MG Paul E. Funk 1
Package Q Strike
The Package Q Airstrike was the largest airstrike of the Persian Gulf War, the largest strike of F-16s in military history. Many aircraft including the F-117 were used to attack targets in Baghdad, the most defended area of Iraq; the same target was hit several times by F-117, the last package consisted of seventeen F-111F on the 19th day of the war. The main target of the strike was the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center near Baghdad, the site of the Osirak Nuclear Reactor, attacked by the Iranian Air Force in 1980 and again by the Israeli Air Force in 1981, along with many other military sites across the city. Two aircraft were shot down, with two pilots becoming POWs; this mission goal was not met, with the reactors of the research facility only damaged, although many of the secondary targets were hit. F-117 aircraft re-attacked the facility causing significant damage; the attack was the largest of the war and represented an attempt to strike Iraqi defenses a serious blow. The raid illustrated how a number of small incidents or stresses, none by themselves serious, could contribute to an unsatisfactory outcome, which convinced USAF commanders to call off further airstrikes against downtown Baghdad by conventional aircraft.
The air campaign against Iraq was going well for the Coalition. The Iraqi Air Force had proven to be reluctant to attack the overwhelming Coalition air power. Fifty-six F-16s from the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing and 401st Tactical Fighter Wing, along with some F-4G Wild Weasel V s from the 561st Fighter Squadron and F-15Cs from the 53d Fighter Squadron were organized into the largest strike of the war and the largest F-16 strike in history. However, the organization was confused, with many air commanders not receiving their orders until the night of 18 January. Overnight three more main targets, in downtown Baghdad, were added; this meant that once the attack force had hit the reactor, in the southeast corner of the city, it would have to proceed to the downtown area, which necessitated flying through hundreds of alerted SAMs and AAA, making them easy pickings. However, there was no time to change the mission plans, the attack went ahead anyway; because of the distance between the airfields and Baghdad, the F-4s were loaded, each only carrying two HARM anti-radiation missiles because of their high fuel consumption rate.
This limited the number of targets. The F-16s on the other hand were heavily loaded, each carrying Mark-84 bombs, two external fuel tanks, two air-air missiles to protect them from Iraqi aircraft, 90 bundles of chaff, with fifteen flares; the Iraqi forces had several air bases within striking distance of the city that could be ready in minutes, all housing MIG-29s. The Iraqi forces had thousands of AAA and SAM sites throughout the city, ranging from World War II-era flak guns to surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles on state of the art interceptors and fighters. Overall the Iraqis had the resources to inflict many casualties on the strike force. On the afternoon of 19 January, all the aircraft took off from Saudi Qatar. From there, they all met near the border of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Link-up and refueling with the tankers ran into problems. There was bad weather along the tanker tracks, the tankers approached the release point too early, they throttled back to minimum speed, which in turn affected the accompanying fighters.
The F-16s were soon close to stalling out, some had to light afterburners just to stay airborne. After the refueling, all the aircraft turned towards Baghdad, headed out in force, they had to dodge AAA and SAMs sporadically along the trip, though as the package reached Baghdad airspace, it broke out into the open. Iraqi gunners responded to the Americans with a couple of high-altitude shots in the middle of several formations. Not there were difficulties in communicating among mission groups in the package. Adding to the disarray of the flak exploding below, the Iraqis threw 100-mm shells into the formations. From the moment the package approached Baghdad's air defenses, the Weasels engaged enemy SAM sites. However, there was a problem with the Weasels allocated to the mission. Approaching their targets, the "downtown" aircraft passed F-16s on the way to, rolling in on, leaving targets all in a hostile environment. On their way to downtown, the F-4 "Wild Weasels" left; this left the F-15Cs alone against the air defenses.
As Maj. John Nichols rolled in to strike his target, the Iraqi Air Force Headquarters, he heard the Weasels call that they were leaving. Cloud cover obscured the target. Up to this point, the Iraqis had fired most of their SAMs ballistically. Within a short time of the Weasel call that they were leaving, SAMs directly engaged Nichols' flight. Many SAMs were now guided and most of his flight had to take evasive action, which included "last-ditch maneuvers" such as jettisoning fuel tanks and bombs. Half
Invasion of Kuwait
The Invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 was a two-day operation conducted by Iraq against the neighboring State of Kuwait, which resulted in the seven-month-long Iraqi occupation of the country. This invasion and Iraq's subsequent refusal to withdraw from Kuwait by a deadline mandated by the United Nations led to military intervention by a United Nations-authorized coalition of forces led by the United States; these events came to be known as the first Gulf War and resulted in the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait and the Iraqis setting 600 Kuwaiti oil wells on fire during their retreat. In early 1990 Iraq was accusing Kuwait of stealing Iraqi petroleum through slant drilling, although some Iraqi sources indicated Saddam Hussein's decision to attack Kuwait was made a few months before the actual invasion; some feel there were several reasons for the Iraqi move, including Iraq's inability to pay the more than US$14 billion that it had borrowed to finance the Iran–Iraq War, Kuwaiti high petroleum production levels which kept revenues down for Iraq.
The invasion started on 2 August 1990, within two days most of the Kuwait Armed Forces were either overrun by the Iraqi Republican Guard or fell back to neighbouring Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Iraq set up a puppet government known as the "Republic of Kuwait" to rule over Kuwait and annexed it outright, when Saddam Hussein announced a few days that it was the 19th province of Iraq; when the Iran–Iraq War broke out, Kuwait stayed neutral and tried mediating between Iran and Iraq. In 1982, Kuwait along with other Arab states of the Persian Gulf supported Iraq in order to curb the Iranian Revolutionary government. In 1982–1983, Kuwait began sending significant financial loans to Iraq. Kuwait's large-scale economic assistance to Iraq triggered hostile Iranian actions against Kuwait. Iran targeted Kuwaiti oil tankers in 1984 and fired weapons at Kuwaiti security personnel stationed on Bubiyan island in 1988. During the Iran–Iraq War, Kuwait functioned as Iraq's major port once Basra was shut down by the fighting.
However, after the war ended, the friendly relations between the two neighbouring Arab countries turned sour for several economic and diplomatic reasons that culminated in an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. By the time the Iran–Iraq War ended, Iraq was not in a financial position to repay the 14 billion USD it borrowed from Kuwait to finance its war and requested that Kuwait forgive the debt. Iraq argued. However, Kuwait's reluctance to pardon the debt strained the relationship between the two countries. In late 1989, several official meetings were held between the Kuwaiti and Iraqi leaders, but they were unable to break the deadlock between the two. In 1988 Iraq's Oil Minister, Issam al-Chalabi, stressed a further reduction in the crude oil production quota of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries members so as to end the 1980s oil glut. Chalabi argued that higher oil prices would help Iraq increase its revenues and pay back its US$60 billion debt. However, given its large downstream petroleum industry, Kuwait was less concerned about the prices of crude oil and in 1989, Kuwait requested OPEC to increase the country's total oil production ceiling by 50% to 1.35 million bpd.
Throughout much of the 1980s, Kuwait's oil production was above its mandatory OPEC quota and this had prevented a further increase in crude oil prices. A lack of consensus among OPEC members undermined Iraq's efforts to end the oil glut and prevented the recovery of its war-crippled economy. According to former Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, "every US$1 drop in the price of a barrel of oil caused a US$1 billion drop in Iraq's annual revenues triggering an acute financial crisis in Baghdad", it was estimated that between 1985 and 1989, Iraq lost US$14 billion a year due to Kuwait's oil price strategy. Kuwait's refusal to decrease its oil production was viewed by Iraq as an act of aggression against it; the tense relations between Iraq and Kuwait were further aggravated when Iraq alleged that Kuwait was slant-drilling across the international border into Iraq's Rumaila field. The dispute over Rumaila field started in 1960 when an Arab League declaration marked the Iraq–Kuwait border 2 miles north of the southernmost tip of the Rumaila field.
During the Iran–Iraq War, Iraqi oil drilling operations in Rumaila declined while Kuwait's operations increased. In 1989, Iraq accused Kuwait of using "advanced drilling techniques" to exploit oil from its share of the Rumaila field. Iraq estimated that US$2.4 billion worth of Iraqi oil was "stolen" by Kuwait and demanded compensation. Kuwait dismissed the accusations as a false Iraqi ploy to justify military action against it. Several foreign firms working in the Rumaila field dismissed Iraq's slant-drilling claims as a "smokescreen to disguise Iraq's more ambitious intentions". On 25 July 1990, only a few days before the Iraqi invasion, OPEC officials said that Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates had agreed to a proposal to limit daily oil output to 1.5 million barrels, thus settling differences over oil policy between Kuwait and Iraq. At the time of the settlement, more than 100,000 Iraqi troops were deployed along the Iraq–Kuwait border, American officials expressed little indication of decline in tensions despite the OPEC settlement.
Many westerners believed that Iraq's invasion of Kuwait was motivated by its desire to take control over the latter's vast oil reserves. The Iraqi government justified its invasion by claiming that Kuwait was a natural part of Iraq carved off as a result of British imperialism. After signing the Anglo-Ottoman Convention of 1913, the United Kingdom split Kuwait from the Ottoman territories into a separa
Battle of Ad-Dawrah
The Battle of Ad-Dawrah was a naval engagement fought on the night of 18 January and into 19 January in 1991 during the Gulf War. In the battle, Coalition forces captured an Iraqi offshore oil field forty miles from the Kuwaiti shore; the 29 POWs captured were the first POWs of the war. It was the first surface engagement after the Coalition intervened in the war. In the early morning of 18 January, Coalition aircraft began a major campaign against Iraqi forces in preparation for the ground invasion of Kuwait and Iraq. Many of these jets and air sorties were coming from aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships located in the Persian Gulf. Whilst jets were flying over the oil field they reported taking heavy fire from SAMs and shoulder fired rockets; the US suspected that there was a large garrison of Iraqi troops located there being used as an outpost for reporting Coalition aircraft movements back to Iraq. That night, OH-58D and U. S. Navy Sikorsky SH-60B Seahawk helicopters attacked two platforms out of range of the Coalition surface ships, with air-surface missiles.
At one point, six Iraqi soldiers tried to make a run for it in a Zodiac, however the Kuwaiti fast attack vessel Istiqlal captured it. Those became the first six prisoners of the war; the helicopters left after they started taking fire from the platforms, leaving the platforms ablaze. Meanwhile, USS Nicholas under the cover of darkness, under radio silence moved in closer to the other nine platforms. Iraqi Silkworm anti-ship missiles were well within range of taking out the ship. For an hour, USS Nicholas shelled the platforms with her 76-mm gun. After the bombardment, the Coalition forces landed a United States Navy SEALs team on the platforms, where they fought the Iraqis until they surrendered and an additional 23 Iraqi soldiers were captured. There were no Coalition casualties; the coalition forces had taken out a vital SAM site of the Iraqis. Naval aircraft were able to fly into Iraq through the corridor opened up by this large gap in the Iraqi air-defenses, it destroyed a vital post in that the Iraqis could no longer track Coalition ship movements, dealt a severe blow to Iraqi intelligence.
Operation Nimble Archer
Battle of Kuwait International Airport
The Battle of Kuwait International Airport occurred on February 27, 1991 during the 1st Gulf War. It was a tank battle between the United States and Iraq. Despite being a large battle it is overlooked compared to the other battles which took place during the war. No less than elements of 18 divisions total participated in this battle. U. S. Army Special Forces units and multiple Iraqi Commando units were in theatre. In reality the battle took place over a span of three days despite the primary battle at Kuwait International Airport lasting only one day. Much of the combat took place en route to the airport; the battle featured the "Reveille Engagement" which went on to become the biggest and fastest tank battle in United States Marine Corps' entire history. Both the United States Marine Corps' 1st Marine Division and 2nd Marine Division participated in this battle; the 2nd Marine Division was assisted by the U. S. Army's 2nd Armored Division's Tiger Brigade, spearheaded by the 3-41 Infantry's Straight and Stalwart Battalion Task Force.
U. S. Army Special Forces conducted operations during this battle inside of Kuwait International Airport to clear the complex of enemy snipers and any other resistance that remained. Iraq was represented by a field artillery brigade. Iraq had multiple Commando units in this theatre of operations. Task Force Ripper under Colonel Carlton W. Fulford Jr led the 1st Marine Division straight into Kuwait City. Smashing through enemy armor and enemy delaying actions; as the Marine 1st Division edged nearer the city, commanders heard reports of two developing counterattacks by Iraqi forces. "We fired on the two gathering points and it wasn't 30 minutes before we scattered them like rabbits out of the bush," said Myatt, the division commander. "The Cobras and the LAVs had a field day" as a "hunter-killer package" to search out and destroy Iraqi equipment. On the way to their objective, the Kuwait International Airport, Task Force Ripper M-60A1 Patton tanks destroyed about 100 Iraqi tanks and armored personnel carriers, including about 50 top-of-the-line Soviet T-72 tanks.
1st Marine division commander Maj. Gen. J. M. Myatt said, "During the first day of combat operations 1st Platoon, D Company, 3rd Tank Battalion destroyed 15 Iraqi tanks"; the Marines destroyed 25 APCs and took 300 POWs. The 1st Marine Division's Task Force Shepherd lost 14 killed in action during combat operations en route to Kuwait International Airport. Task Force Taro was a participant in the 1st Marine Division's combat operations. Task Force Papa Bear, C and D Co, 1st Marine Division, who as the division reserve repelled a huge enemy counter-attack while defending the minefield breach; the 1st Marine Division destroyed around 60 Iraqi tanks near the Burgan oil field without suffering any losses. An Iraqi counterattack was broken up by fire from 5 Marine artillery battalions. An assault by the 22nd Brigade of the Iraqi 5th Mechanized Division was broken at the point of attack by Marine Infantry. Company I of the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines hit the Iraqi 22nd Brigade with close range fire from their Dragon ATGMs and handheld antitank weapons.
Company C, 1st Tank Battalion would destroy 18 Iraqi vehicles during this particular engagement. The 1st Marine Division lost 1 M60A1 tank clearing a path through a minefield; the 1st Marine Division encountered more Iraqi opposition. Elements of the 1st Marine Division came into contact with the Iraqi 15th Mechanized Brigade, 3rd Armored Division. During this engagement the Marines destroyed an additional 46 enemy vehicles and took 929 POWs. Three Marines were wounded in the process; as the 1st Marine Division continued its advance it destroyed an additional 29 Iraqi combat vehicles and captured 320 POWs. During these engagements the most effective Iraqi unit appeared to be the Iraqi 449th Artillery Brigade, its accurate fire killed a wounded 12 others. Marine Company C, 3rd Tank Battalion would have a tank damaged by Iraqi artillery fire. In return 1st Marine Division artillery would prove its worth eliminating numerous enemy targets or driving off other Iraqi forces; the 1st Marine Division would encounter more Iraqi opposition along the way to the Kuwait International Airport destroying dozens of more Iraqi tanks and APCs while taking hundreds of additional POWs.
Once the 1st Marine Division reached Kuwait International Airport they found what remained of the Iraqi 12th Armored Brigade, 3rd Armored Division defending it. The Marines destroyed 30 to 40 Iraqi T-72 tanks which had taken up defensive positions around the airport; the Marines encountered T-62 tanks in dispersed and understrength platoon and company units. They were knocked out by TOWs at long range. By the end of the day the Iraqi 3rd Armored Division was destroyed; the Iraqi 3rd Armored Division losses included more than 250 T-55 / 70 T-72 tanks. The 2nd Marine Division entered from the other side of the city. Marine Reserve unit Bravo Company, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division. On February 25, 1991, Day 2 of the Desert Storm ground war, Bravo Company 4th Tank Battalion was in a coil formation and awakened from a 25% watch to find 35 Iraqi Republican Guard tanks angling across their front, not realizing at the time that they were outnumbered 3-1.
With their 13 M1A1 Abrams tanks, Bravo Company 4th Tank Battalion moved online to take out the 35 Iraqi Republican Guard tanks in less than 90 seconds. This battle was named the "Reveille Engagement" and went on to be the biggest and fastest tank battle in United States Marine Corps history, they were the only Marine unit equipped with M1A1 Abrams tanks. B
Ali Hassan al-Majid
Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was a Ba'athist Iraqi Defense Minister, Interior Minister, military commander and chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service. He was the governor of Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. A first cousin of former Ba'athist Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, he became notorious in the 1980s and 1990s for his role in the Iraqi government's campaigns against internal opposition forces, namely the ethnic Kurdish rebels of the north, the Shia rebels of the south. Repressive measures included deportations and mass killings. Al-Majid was captured following the 2003 invasion of Iraq and was charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, he was convicted in June 2007 and was sentenced to death for crimes of genocide against the Kurds committed in the al-Anfal campaign of the 1980s. His appeal of the death sentence was rejected on 4 September 2007, he was sentenced to death for the fourth time on 17 January 2010 and was hanged eight days on 25 January 2010.
Ali Hassan al-Majid is thought to have been born in 1941 in al-Awja near Tikrit, though he claimed in court that he was born three years in 1944. The US, the United Nations and the Bank of England have listed an alternative birth year of 1943. 1939 and 1940 have emerged as possible birth years. Still, official Iraqi court documents and the vast majority of journalistic obituaries cite 1941 as his approximate year of birth, he was a member of the Bejat clan of the al-Bu Nasir tribe, to which his elder cousin Saddam Hussein belonged. Like Saddam, al-Majid was a Sunni Muslim who came from a poor family and had little formal education, he worked as a motorcycle messenger and driver in the Iraqi Army from 1959 until the Ba'ath Party seized power in 1968. Thereafter he was able to gain entry into the Military Academy and was commissioned as an officer in the Infantry, his rise thereafter, aided by his cousin Saddam, was swift. He became an aide to Iraqi defence minister Hammadi Shihab in the early 1970s after joining the Ba'ath party.
He became head of the government's Security Office, serving as an enforcer for the powerful Saddam. In 1979 Saddam seized power. At a videotaped assembly of Ba'ath party officials in July 1979, Saddam read out the names of political opponents, denouncing them as "traitors", ordering that they be removed one by one from the room. Al-Majid could be seen in the background telling Saddam, ``. What you will do in the future is good, but there's this one small point. You have been too gentle, too merciful."Al-Majid became one of Saddam's closest military advisors and head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, Iraqi secret police known as the Mukhabarat. Following an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Saddam in 1983 in the town of Dujail, north of Baghdad, al-Majid directed the subsequent collective punishment operations in which scores of local men were killed, thousands more inhabitants were deported and the entire town was razed to the ground. During the late stages of the Iran–Iraq War al-Majid was given the post of Secretary General of the Northern Bureau of the Ba'ath Party, in which capacity he served from March 1987 to April 1989.
This made him Saddam's proconsul in the north of the country, commanding all state agencies in the rebellious Kurdish-populated region of the country. He was known for his ruthlessness, ordering the indiscriminate use of chemical weapons such as mustard gas, tabun and VX against Kurdish targets during a genocidal campaign dubbed Al-Anfal or "The Spoils of War"; the first such attacks occurred as early as April 1987 and continued into 1988, culminating in the notorious attack on Halabja in which over 5,000 people were killed. With Kurdish resistance continuing, al-Majid decided to cripple the rebellion by eradicating the civilian population of the Kurdish regions, his forces embarked on a systematic campaign of mass killings, property destruction and forced population transfer in which thousands of Kurdish villages were razed and their inhabitants either killed or deported to the south of Iraq. He signed a decree in June 1987 stating that "Within their jurisdiction, the armed forces must kill any human being or animal present in these areas."
By 1988, some 4,000 villages had been destroyed, an estimated 180,000 Kurds had been killed and some 1.5 million had been deported. The Kurds called him Chemical Ali for his role in the campaign. Others dubbed him the "Butcher of Kurdistan", he was appointed Minister of Local Government following the war's end in 1988, with responsibility for the repopulation of the Kurdish region with Arab settlers relocated from elsewhere in Iraq. Two years after the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, he became the military governor of the occupied emirate, he instituted a violent regime under which Kuwait was systematically looted and purged of "disloyal elements". In November 1990, he was recalled to Baghdad and was appointed Interior Minister in March 1991. Following the Iraqi defeat in the war, he was given the task of quelling the uprisings in the Shi'ite south of Iraq as well as the Kurdish north. Both revolts were crushed with many thousands killed, he was subsequently given the post of Defense Minister, though he fell from grace in 199