August 2, 1990: Iraq invades Kuwait

1990 -Iraq invades Kuwait to enforce its claims on Kuwaiti land and oil, sending shock waves through financial markets and drawing worldwide condemnation. The Emir of Kuwait goes to Saudi Arabia where he is due to hold crisis talks with Arab leaders including his host King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Thousands of Iraqi troops poured across the border and had seized key installations in the capital, including the royal palace. Kuwait suffered between 100 and 200 casualties. The reported announcements included pledges to settle Baghdad’s complaints against Kuwait, which include demands for at least $2.4 billion in compensation. Iraq accuses Kuwait of having stolen oil from a field under their long disputed border and of overproducing, causing low oil prices which have harmed the Iraqi economy. US President George H W Bush, condemning the invasion as “naked aggression, sent warships steaming towards the Gulf but said he was not contemplating military intervention. Bush froze Iraqi assets in the US and banned trade with Iraq.

Other important events

1824 Turkey captures island of Psara from the Greeks.

1847 William A. Leidesdorff launches the first steam boat in San Francisco Bay.

1858 British Parliament passes the India Bill, which transferred the government of India from the East India Company to the Crown.

1870 The first tube railway opens in London.

1928 Italy signs 20-year treaty of friendship with Ethiopia.

1934 Germany’s President Paul von Hindenburg dies, and Adolf Hitler assumes the title of Der Fuehrer.

1959 US military successfully tests heat-seeking missiles to be used by infantrymen.

1977 North Korea creates a ‘military sea boundary’.

1980 A bomb explodes at the train station in Bologna, Italy, killing 85 people.

1984 The three hijackers of an Air France jet surrender at Tehran airport after releasing 45 hostages before an explosion blows a hole in the fuselage of the Boeing 737.

1993 Serb gunners destroy a vital bridge in Croatia, severing the only land link between the southern Dalmatian coast and the rest of the country.

1997 The US ends a 20-year-old ban on the sale of most advanced weapons to Latin America.

1999 226 people die in India when two trains collide head-on at Gaisal, north of Kolkata.

2000 Armed youths demanding jobs have seize 165 people working for the oil company Royal Dutch/Shell, and are holding them hostage on two rigs in southeast Nigeria

2001 Former Bosnian Serb general Radislav Krstic is jailed and becomes the first person convicted of genocide by The Hague war crimes court.

2002 Australia and Malaysia sign a counter-terrorism pact.

2005 An Air France A340 jet with 309 people aboard overshot the runway at Toronto international airport and burst into flames after plunging into a muddy ravine.

2005 King Fahd, one of the world’s wealthiest monarchs, is laid to rest in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia.

2007 An overnight train derails in central Congo after its brakes fail, killing about 100 people.

2009 UAE swim team set a new national relay record at the Fina World Championships in Rome, clocking at 04:00:37, more than five seconds than last year’s national record.

2011 The main link on Africa’s fastest railway opens between Johannesburg and the South African capital Pretoria at speeds up to 160 kilometres per hour.

2014 An explosion kills at least 68 people at a factory that makes wheels in Kunshan city, China.