The Effects of the First Gulf War on Iraq

June 2nd, 2003 - by admin

by Women Against War –

Ordnance dropped on Iraq

• 88,500 tons of bombs were dropped in over 109,000 sorties flown by a total of 2,800 fixed-wing aircraft. (Paul Walker, MIT)

• In all, more than 3,000 bombs (including sea-launched cruise missiles) were dropped on metropolitan Baghdad. The total number of bombs dropped by allied forces in the war comes to about 250,000. (Paul Walker, MIT)

• Partial list of bombs dropped in the Gulf War:
2,095 HARM missiles
217 Walleye missiles
5,276 guided anti-tank missiles
44,922 cluster bombs and rockets
136,755 conventional bombs
4,077 guided bombs
(Supplemental budget request to Congress in 1991 to replenish supplies)

• The conventional unguided bomb (so-called “dumb bomb”) was the most commonly used weapon in the war. These come in four types: the Mk 82 (500 lbs), Mk 83 (1,000 lbs), Mk 84 (2,000 lbs), and the M117 (750 lbs). In all, some 150,000 to 170,000 of these bombs were dropped during the war. (Paul Walker, MIT)

• Using cluster bombs, a single B-52 can deliver more than 8,000 bomblets in a single mission. Upon impact the little bombs are dispersed over a wide area and then explode. A total of about 60,000 to 80,000 cluster bombs were dropped.. (Paul Walker, MIT)

Damage to Iraqis

• More than 80,000 tons of explosives dropped by coalition forces led by the US. killed between 50,000 ans 100,000 Iraqi soldiers. (International Physicians for the Prevention of War)

• Between 2,500 and 3,500 innocent civilians were killed during the air campaign.(International Physicians for the Prevention of War)

• The civilian death toll in 1991 – after the massive bombing campaign was stopped – rose to 110,000 people. Shortages of medicines and damaged health facilities contributed to this high rate of “delayed mortality.” (International Physicians for the Prevention of War)

• Of these 110,000 deaths, 70,000 were children under 15 years of age. These deaths were caused by health effects resulting from the destruction of Iraq’s civilian infrastructure, especially electricity generating power plants, which led to a breakdown in water purification and sanitation. This breakdown caused outbreaks of infectious diseases such as cholera, typhoid, malaria, polio and hepatitis. (International Physicians for the Prevention of War)

Damage to the Infrastructure

• 9,000 houses were destroyed. (International Physicians for the Prevention of War)

• By the end of the war only two of Iraq’s 20 electricity-generating plants were functioning, generating less than four percent of the pre-war output of 9,000 megawatts. (Human Rights Watch)
•- The cost of repairing the damage in Iraq from the air war — to roads, bridges, electrical-generating plants, oil refineries and other facilities — Has been estimated at $200 billion. (Human Rights Watch)

• The Iraqis spent at least $160 billion on infrastructure projects in the 1980s. Assuming that most of them have been damaged or destroyed, reconstruction would cost considerably more in 1991 dollars. (Human Rights Watch)

• Reports from northern Iraq during the war indicated that a sugar refinery, a textile factory and domestic heating-gas plant were bombed A journalist who visited southern Iraq after the war saw a sugar factory and clay-baking kilns that had been bombed. (Human Rights Watch)

• Middle East Watch took testimony about the bombing of an underwear-manufacturing plant in southern Iraq. (Human Rights Watch).

• The following were attacked between January 17 and January 21: pasteboard, plastic foam and vegetable oil factories in Baghdad governorate; a poultry farm in al-Anbar governorate; a sugar factory in Maysan governorate; and a textile plant in Hilla in southern Iraq. (Human Rights Watch)

• During the second week of the war, four government food warehouses in Diwaniyya, a city south of Baghdad, were bombed at about 9:30 in the evening, according to a Sudanese mechanic, 30, who had lived in the city for two years. (Human Rights Watch)

• Iraq reported on February 19 that a flour mill had been attacked in what it described as the heaviest allied bombing raids to date. (Human Rights Watch)

• Journalists who visited Diwaniyya during the war were taken to a residential area of the city where “a large plant with a camouflaged roof had been reduced to wasted masonry and tangled steel. Local Iraqi officials said that the building was a flour mill and grain warehouse; large sacks of grain and rice were visible in the rubble, some of which were labeled “Product of the United States. (Across the street from the warehouse were craters where houses had been hit on the first day of the war, killing nine civilians.) (Human Rights Watch)

• A Sudanese truck driver, 28, who had lived in Iraq for over two and a half years, told MEW that a new dairy factory, some 30 kilometers north of Basra, had been bombed about two weeks after the war began. (Human Rights Watch)

• During a visit to Basra in May, journalist Ed Vulliamy reported that water-treatment plants in Iraq’s second-largest city had been bombed, and that the allies targeted both the transformers and the turbines of these facilities. “It was not merely the transformers in the water plants that were bombed,” he wrote, “but the giant Japanese-built turbines themselves, which cannot be repaired under the embargo.” (Human Rights Watch)

• Iraq’s agricultural sector relied on imported vegetable seeds. During the March visit, the UN representatives inspected seed warehouses that were destroyed during the air war. (Human Rights Watch)

• The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported in July that Iraq required some $500 million to rebuild or replace damaged or destroyed agricultural sector facilities and supplies, including machinery, irrigation systems, fertilizers and animal feed. (Human Rights Watch)
• A Harvard University group that visited Iraq for nine days in April and May found that electricity was supplied at only 23 percent of the pre-war level. (Human Rights Watch)

• Hydro-electric generating plants were attacked by the allies. Investigators from Harvard University reported that four of the country’s five dams were attacked; two in the first days of the war and two others in early February, with the level of damage at each facility ranging from 75 to 100 percent. (Human Rights Watch)

The Bush Administration believes that a country in this condition poses a threat to the US.