470. 3/15/1991

“The Shaaban Intifada (Uprising) started in March 1991 as defeated Iraqi troops fled back to southern Iraq after US-led forces took control of Kuwait. Galvanised by a message by US President George [H.W.] Bush to ‘take matters into their own hands,’ the Shia strongholds of Najaf and Karbala rose in revolt in an attempt to topple Saddam Hussein. Soon, thousands of rebel troops seized control of the city of Basra and 14 of Iraq’s provinces, and advanced to within 60 miles of Baghdad. But despite these early successes, the rebellion was swiftly crushed by government forces. Mass reprisals followed in which tens of thousands of people are believed to have died. Many Shia blame President [George H.W.] Bush for the uprising’s failure, as the US came to a ceasefire agreement that allowed forces loyal to Saddam to crush the rebellion by using helicopter gunships.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – “Saddam Aides Go on Trial in Iraq,” BBC News, Aug. 21, 2007

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