Photographic evidence of the Iraqi regime's destruction in Kuwait from August 1990 through February 1991
  Overview   The South   The Coast   The City   The Suburbs   The North   The Human Cost

Overview: The North

In the predawn hours of August 2, 1990, as Iraqi troops crossed into Kuwait, residents of the north were the first to feel the wrath of the invaders. At the border village of Abdali, its mosque and other buildings were wrecked. In Jahra, homes were completely demolished.

The Iraqi army overran Doha's amusement park, where they dismantled rides, loaded them on Baghdad-bound trucks, and vandalized what was left. Later, they dug miles of trenches and built defensive structures in Doha as they did all along the coast. They also destroyed the Umm Al-Aish telecommunications satellites.

Before the retreat, the oil wells were lit up just as they had been in the south.

In a frantic attempt to escape from the coalition ground forces, the Iraqi soldiers packed up their booty and headed for the border. But it was too late. Caught on two open roads, they were bombed and strafed. Amid the twisted, smoldering wreckage of their vehicles lay all the spoils of the war scattered in the sand. The scene became known as the Highway of Death.

  Lasting Land Pollution  (4063)
During the Iraqi occupation, massive digging was done in the desert to create trenches and other defensive military structures. This disturbed the layer of pebbles on the desert's surface that had minimized airborne sand, dune formation, and erosion on windy days. During the retreat, Iraqi troops filled trenches with oil and set them on fire. The remaining trench oil, along with oil mist, and black rain, and oil lakes formed from gushing wells, seeped into the ground and combined with the sand and pebbles to become a solid layer of tarcrete. This layer varies in places from a few centimeters to 3 meters thick. No plant life can co-exist with tarcrete, which in turn impacts insect and animal life. Tarcrete covers almost a thousand square kilometers of Kuwait's desert.

Skip to  Overview 8: Kuwait's Martyrs  34: The Missing  35: Gulf War Casualties  40: Coalition Forces