Muslims – Self Destruct Mode = ON
Year: 1990-91 | Conflict location: Kuwait | Sects: Sunnis on both sides
Subsects / parties – Iraq Army & Kuwait Army ( underdogs), later with US siding along with Kuwait, the situation changed in Kuwait’s favour.
Muslims dead: 35,000 (75,000 wounded)
Cause: As related in the previous conflict of Iran and Iraq, by Aug of 1988 Iraq had signed ceasefire with Iran and no clear losers or victors emerged but by then Iraq was heavily laden under debt of those who had helped it during its misadventure. Iraq later maintained that those amongst the Arabs who had helped it during its conflict with Iran, did so for a selfish motive for they had felt threatened with (Shia) and democratic Iran taking dominance in Middle Eastern affairs and threatening their own autocratic regimes.
Iraq demanded that the countries who had supported it during its war with Iran, write off their debts. Most of them refused.
Tensions started to build up between Iraq and neighboring Arab countries of Kuwait, Saudia, UAE, Qatar etc., on issues of oil prices and debt repayments. Iraq then accused Kuwait of stealing it’s oil using slant drilling. Slant drilling is a mechanical engineering technology that allows drilling of non-vertical oil extraction wells and is usually the cause of oil theft across geo-political boundaries.
That Iraq’s accusation of Kuwait stealing it’s oil were factual, got proven when post Iraq’s defeat in ensuing Gulf war, UN redrew the borders of Kuwait to include 11 oil wells that used to previously lie within Iraq’s borders. It were these wells that retreating Iraqi forces had put on fire during the end of the Gulf war.
In one of the events preceding this conflict, on July 1990 Saddam met with April Glaspie, the then U.S. Ambassador to Iraq. She is recorded to have confided to Saddam that US had no interest, meddling in intra-Arab conflicts including Iraq’s border disagreement with Kuwait. During the same time, John Kelly, then Assistant Secretary of State, testified to US Congress that the United States had “no commitment to defend Kuwait and the US has no intention of defending Kuwait if it’s attacked by Iraq”. Kelly’s comments were widely publicised in US state media. Saddam assumed these pronouncements to be a tacit approval from US for annexing Kuwait and interpreted this as a green light for his invasion plans of Kuwait.
His intention was to merge Kuwait into Iraq and gain direct access to the shorelines to Persian Gulf for he had failed to attain dominance over Shatt Al Arab previously and was overflowing with weapons provided by US / Russia during his previous war with Iran.
On 2 August 1990, Iraq launched the invasion by bombing Kuwait City.
Several round of diplomatic activities and negotiations followed with Iraq in order to pursuade it to withdraw from Kuwait but on 17 January 1991, US under the banner of a coalition ( Saudia, Kuwait, UK & Egypt), engaged into defending Kuwait’s sovereignty and flew over 100,000 sorties, dropping 88,500 tons of bombs and widely destroying Iraq’s military and civilian infrastructure while annihilating the retreating Iraqi army using dramatic army maneuvers that have since been named as ‘bulldozer assault’, ‘highway of death’ and ‘tank kinetic energy penetrators using depleted uranium’. First example of showcasing it’s arms technology on Muslim live bodies that would bring them multibillion dollar deals in later years. The expo of showcasing US/Israeli arm technologies using Muslim live bodies continues till date in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Year: 1984 – | Conflict location: Turkey | Sects: Sunnis on both sides
Subsects / parties – Turkish Army & Kurdistan workers party ( underdogs)
Muslims dead: 45,000 (14,000 detained)
Cause: With the dissolution of the Ottoman empire post World War 1, nation boundaries of Turkey, Iraq and Syria were redefined and Kurds being an ethnic minority population spread across the boundaries of these three countries, aspired for a nation state. Unfortunately for them, the areas that they inhabited within these countries also happened to be mineral and oil rich, making it very difficult for each of the parent countries to cede to their demands of absolute sovereignty. Ironically, the hero of Islamic folklore, Salahuddin Ayyubi ( pbuh) who conclusively defeated Crusaders and drove them out of Palestine was of Kurdish origins of whom most of the Muslims and Arabs are proud of but that’s not reason enough for attaining a ‘just’ political solution to this conflict. As of date, there is a ceasefire in effect and holding.
Year: 2006-2008 | Conflict location: Iraq | Sects: Sunnis and Shias
Subsects / parties – Mahdi army, Armed but unknown foreign contractors and militias
Muslims dead: 125,000 and growing (iraqbodycount.org ), 4 Million displaced
Cause: Following the U.S.-launched 2003 invasion of Iraq, the civil society’s situation deteriorated like never before in Iraq’s history. The last bloodbath on the streets of Iraq is recorded to have taken place when Halagu khan of Mongolia sacked it in the year 1928 and 90,000 were laid to sword of his army. Hundreds of thousands lost their lives in US Army’s inflicted ‘collateral’ damage but by 2007, the inter communal violence between Iraqi Sunni and Shi’a factions had morphed this US invasion into a civil war and Muslims turned against each other. When this violence took a sectarian turn, it split Iraq into sectarian enclaves. A poll of Iraqis conducted in 2007 found that 61% did not believe that they were in a civil war and blamed the sectarian killing on unknown and armed militias that kill with impunity and disappear, never to be caught or brought to justice by governing forces.
Next: Egyptian Coup, Syrian & Bahraini uprisings