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Conflicts : The Gulf War

Iraq invaded neighbouring country Kuwait in August 1990. In response, the United Nations (UN) Security Council imposed trade sanctions on Iraq. Australia contributed ships, including HMAS Success, HMAS Sydney (IV), HMAS Adelaide, HMAS Brisbane and HMAS Darwin, to patrol the Persian Gulf to enforce the trade embargo.

In November the UN set a deadline of 15 January 1991 for Iraq to withdraw its troops from Kuwait. The United States (US) coordinated a multinational force which was placed on alert in the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. Australia contributed four medical teams. When Iraq did not comply with the deadline, the multinational force began a campaign of aerial bombing. This was to continue for the duration of the war. Ground troops began attacks on the Iraqi forces in Kuwait and targets within Iraq on 24 February. After two days Iraqi troops were ordered to retreat and on 27 February the US-led coalition claimed victory and announced the war over. Fighting ended the following day and the ceasefire was officially accepted on 6 April.

After the war, the United Nations established a Special Commission to locate and destroy Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Australia contributed to the Commission; most notably Australian Richard Butler led the Commission between 1997 and 1999. Australia was also involved in Operation Habitat delivering humanitarian aid in Northern Iraq and Kurdistan.

Over 1,200 Australians served in the Gulf. There were no Australian deaths.

While the State Library of South Australia holds many reference works related to this conflict, we hold little in the way of records relating to South Australians involved.

If you have any original items relating to South Australians at war such as photographs, film, diaries and letters, the Library's Archival Field Officers would like to hear from you regarding possible donations, or copies being made for the Library's collections.

Share 'Your story' about this conflict: contribute memories in words and photographs.

Letters to the editor regarding 'War in the Gulf' and c
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Neil's back from the Gulf...
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Respect for local RAAF personnel goes sky high during t
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War grows: Mount Gambier men involved
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War took toll on family life
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