Buildup to Gulf War

July 17: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein accuses Kuwait of stealing oil from oil fields along Kuwait-Iraq border. July 24: News media report that Iraq has massed 30,000 troops along its border with Kuwait.

Aug. 2: Iraq invades Kuwait; Emir flees to Saudi Arabia. The UN Security Council condemns the Iraqi occupation and demands Baghdad withdraw.

Aug. 3: United States announces naval force for Gulf region, orders in combat troops and planes four days later.

Aug. 6: Security Council imposes stringent trade embargo on Iraq except for medicine and foodstuffs for humanitarian purposes.

Aug. 8: Iraq annexes Kuwait.

Aug. 10: Twelve Arab leaders agree to send pan-Arab force to protect Saudi Arabia.

Aug. 16: Iraq says it will hold Westerners as human shields against attack.

Aug. 28: Baghdad declares Kuwait its 19th province. Orders all Western women and children hostages freed.

Oct. 9: Saddam threatens to hit Israel with new missile.

Oct. 10: Israel begins issuing gas masks to all citizens.

Nov. 8: President Bush orders more than 100,000 extra troops to Gulf.

Nov. 14: ``Last chance'' Arab summit is torpedoed when Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria declare talks useless until Iraq agrees to leave Kuwait.

Nov. 20: Saddam says he will send a quarter of a million more men to Kuwait to reinforce 400,000-strong occupation army.

Nov. 29: The UN Security Council votes 12 to 2 (Yemen and Cuba opposing) with one abstention (China) to authorize the use of force against Iraq unless it withdraws from Kuwait by Jan. 15.

Nov. 30: Iraq rejects the UN ultimatum and says Washington bribed Security Council members to vote for it. Israel says it will hit back if Iraq attacks. Bush invites Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz to Washington for talks and offers to send US Secretary of State James Baker III to Baghdad.

Dec. 1: Iraq accepts proposal for talks but says it wants to discuss other Middle East issues, including the Palestinian problem.

Dec. 6: Saddam stuns the world by ordering release of foreign hostages. US greets order with lukewarm words and a hard-line message - get out of Kuwait, there will be no secret deals.

Dec. 12: The US accuses Iraq of blocking agreement on dates forhigh-level talks; says Iraq is still insisting that Baker come to Baghdad to meet Saddam on Jan. 12.

Dec. 17: Bush insists that ``last chance'' peace talks with Iraq must finish in time to allow a complete withdrawal from Kuwait before Jan. 15.

Dec. 22: Iraq says it will never give up Kuwait and will use chemical weapons if attacked.

Jan. 1: Iraq rejects peace proposal from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and brands him a liar.

Jan. 3: Bush tells Iraq to attend talks in Switzerland within a week, with no negotiations over Kuwait, or face war.

Jan. 9: Aziz and Baker meet in Geneva for almost seven hours. Baker reports: ``Regrettably, I heard nothing today that suggested to me any Iraqi flexibility.''

Jan. 12: Congress votes for war. UN Secretary-General Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar flies to Baghdad for talks with Saddam.

Jan. 13: P'erez de Cu'ellar meets Saddam, but says he made no progress and sees little room for further diplomacy.

Jan. 14: Iraqi National Assembly unanimously backs Saddam's ``no concessions'' stand on Kuwait; other diplomatic efforts fail.

Jan. 15: UN deadline for Iraqi withdrawal passes with no move by Baghdad to pull out.

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