30 Years After Desert Storm: Jan. 23-25

In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, Air Force Magazine is posting daily recollections from the six-week war, which expelled Iraq from occupied Kuwait.

Jan. 23:

  • Only five Iraqi air bases remain functional after a week of bombing.
  • Iraqi sorties are down from 235 to 40 per day.
  • Iraq begins dumping Kuwaiti oil into the Persian Gulf, and torching Kuwaiti oil wells and other facilities.

Jan. 24:

  • A Saudi pilot flying an F-15C shoots down two Iraqi F-1 Mirages, attempting to attack coalition ships with Exocet missiles.
  • Coalition flies 2,570 attack sorties, for a total of 14,750 during the first eight days of war.

Jan. 25:

  • Coalition destroys three Iraqi bombers on the ground.
  • Major attacks on Iraqi hardened aircraft shelters begin. USAF, using the new I-2000 warhead, has spectacular success.
  • A British airman is captured.
  • Intelligence agencies report the execution of commanders of Iraq’s air force and anti-aircraft defenses.
  • Five Scud missiles hit Israel, killing one person, and wounding 40 others.
  • Iraq sabotages Kuwait’s main supertanker loading pier, dumping millions of gallons of crude into the Persian Gulf.

Check out our complete chronology of the Gulf War, starting with Iraq’s July 1990 invasion of Kuwait and running through Iraq’s April 1991 acceptance of peace terms.