Highway of Death

The so-called Highway of Death in Iraq after coalition planes repeatedly bombed it during Operation Desert Storm
The so-called Highway of Death in Iraq after coalition planes repeatedly bombed it during Operation Desert Storm

Historical Context

During Operation Desert Storm, coalition aircraft bombed Iraqi personnel and equipment that were retreating from occupied Kuwait on the night of February 26, 1991. The vast column of armor, cars and even stolen fire trucks were destroyed by a coalition bombing blitz, killing between 200 and 10,000 people.

The images of destroyed vehicles on Highway 80 became headline news. The attacks were not without controversy, some felt that retreating units should not have been fired on, and the bombings may have been a factor in the decision by US President George H. W. Bush to declare a ceasefire the following day.

Nevertheless the highway itself was cleaned up and was later used as an invasion point during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Photo Info


Photographer: Tech. Sgt. Joe Coleman
Date taken: April 18, 1991
Location taken: Highway 80 between Kuwait City and Safwan, Kuwait

Source: US Air Force

Related Events

  • 1991-02-26 Coalition planes bomb Iraqi forces retreating from Kuwait during the Gulf War, killing hundreds and creating the so-called 'Highway of Death'

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