Iraq’s strategy in the Gulf War envisioned a huge infantry battle that would overwhelm the United States’ superiority in weapons and military technology, Saddam Hussein wrote in an article published Saturday.
The Iraqi president said his plans aimed to inflict what he called serious losses on the Americans.
“If we are able to prevail over their weapons and their technical superiority, then we should be superior in our mentality and through our jihad (holy war),” Saddam said he told Iraqi commanders before war broke out.
Instead, the U.S.-led coalition fought from a distance with an intensive air campaign, Saddam wrote in the article, which was published in all official Iraqi newspapers.
It is the first time the Iraqi leader has explicitly commented on his Gulf War strategy. U.S. observers had long assumed that Iraq’s plan was to try to engage coalition forces in an infantry battle.
Saddam’s troops invaded Kuwait in August 1990. In January, the war started with a massive air and missile offensive and ended six weeks later in one of the most lopsided defeats in history.
Of the 541,000 Americans deployed, 146 were killed.
Iraq put its losses at 75,000 to 100,000 killed in action and 35,000 to 45,000 civilians killed in the bombing. U.S. estimates put Iraqi civilian fatalities at 2,500 to 3,000, with 100,000 troops killed and 300,000 wounded. U.S. officials have acknowledged the actual numbers might vary greatly.
Saddam, who serves as commander-in-chief of the Iraqi military, declared that he had taken active command during the war. He has repeatedly claimed that Iraq was victorious in the fighting, which he famously described as the “Mother of All Battles.”
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