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Kuwait: Before and After the Gulf War

Authors
  • Preston, M.R.
Type
Book
Journal
Encyclopedia of Environmental Health, Five-Volume Set
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2011
Pages
335–343
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-444-52272-6.00518-3
ISBN: 978-0-444-52272-6
Source
Elsevier
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the events leading up to and beyond the liberation of the country in 1991 after Operation Desert Storm had a major impact on the environment and people of the country. This article describes the situation in the country before the invasion, including the earlier influence of the Iran–Iraq war in the 1980s, and attempts to assess the impacts of the conflict on environmental and human health and in particular the impact of the hundreds of oil-well fires ignited by the retreating Iraqi army. Present evidence suggests that the environmental damage to the fragile desert ecosystem has persisted but the major impact on human populations has been more psychological, in the form of posttraumatic stress disorder, than physical. However, studies of the longer-term health effects are still in progress and the ultimate conclusions are yet unclear.

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