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It is hard to pin-point a specific reason for the invasion of Kuwait by the Iraqis Some charge the British of being unconcerned with middle east traditions when they carved up the present day Arab world Others suggest the Kuwaitis flaunted their wealth in the face of many poorer neighbors However others think it was a natural result of Saddam Husseins bully-like nature Regardless there are several mishaps that took place between these two nations years prior to the invasion These happenings are important to understanding Operation Desert Shield the events leading up to the war and Operation Desert Storm the war itself To start relations between Iraq and Kuwait have generally been tense in the past This is due to the fact that Iraq has long considered Kuwait a part of Iraq since the 18th century Lee 3 Lee also informs that this assertion was the cause of several confrontations and continual hostility prior to the gulf war These encounters include when in 1961 Iraq threatened Kuwait and made claims of old Ottoman territory which held Kuwait as part of Iraq Great Britain however sided with Kuwait and Iraq backed down In addition in 1973 Iraq occupied Samitah a border post on the Kuwait-Iraq border Strife broke out when Iraq insisted upon occupying the Kuwaiti islands of Bubiyan and Warbah Despite disputes Saudi Arabia and the Arab League were capable of convincing Iraq to withdraw Lastly in the first Persian Gulf War from 1980-1988 Kuwait supported Iraq in their fight against Iran Nonetheless despite support relations between the two regressed as the war came to an end It is argued that because of his defeat against Iran Saddam Hussein sought easier conquests of his weaker neighbor Kuwait 3 Another reason for the invasion falls upon the heavily debated oilrigs in these two Middle Eastern countries Because of the ill-defined border Iraq constantly accused Kuwait of illegally tapping into Iraqi oil fields
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