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Saddam's troops leave Kuwait City; on this day February 25.

IN TOWN February 25, 1989: Lecturers at Huddersfield Polytechnic, which was due to be freed from Kirklees Council control in April, were gearing up for a pay and contracts battle that threatened to go national.

* he Kuwaiti capital, Kuwait City, was liberated on February 26, 1991 by Gulf War Allies after 208 days of Iraqi occupation.

Thousands of Iraqi troops began leaving the city after an order from President Saddam Hussein. He said he was ordering the retreat because of "the aggression of 30 countries against Iraq" and the economic blockade led by the US. The first group of Allies into the city centre was a reconnaissance team of 12 US Marines who arrived in the capital ushered in by Kuwaiti resistance forces.

The main resistance came from Iraqi armoured units trapped at the international airport on the southern outskirts of the city, but the US Marine 2nd Division was reported to have the upper hand.

To the north of the city abandoned Iraqi T-55 tanks were scattered along the main highway into town, as well as transport trucks and smaller vehicles.

US pilots said the Iraqi troops, deserted by officers and in disarray, left the city "bumper to bumper".

They made an easy target for the American fighter jets, which carried out repeated air strikes on the retreating troops. They reported only light anti-aircraft fire. The Iraqis took many prisoners as hostages as they left. Up to 5,000 people were captured as the troops retreated. During the last days of Iraqi occupation there were widespread reports of torture, rape and execution.

Much of the city was destroyed, with 200 buildings set on fire. The university, museum, schools and hospitals were all looted and soldiers took away whatever they could find from shops and homes. Two days later the president announced a ceasefire after Iraq accepted all 12 resolutions laid down by the United Nations.

Saddam Hussein remained in power until George Bush's son, George W Bush, mounted another attack on Iraq in March 2003.

With the backing of British and Australian forces, he succeeded in toppling Saddam Hussein, who fled into hiding.

He was eventually captured in December 2003, put on trial by an Iraqi court, sentenced to death and executed on December 30, 2006.


* GOING BACK : The 'highway of death'' out of Kuwait during the Iraqis'' retreat in 1991.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Feb 25, 2012
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