22.3 - SW Asia The Northeast
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22.3 - SW Asia The Northeast



A look at the middle of the Middle East, focusing on the Gulf War and the Kurds.

A look at the middle of the Middle East, focusing on the Gulf War and the Kurds.



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22.3 - SW Asia The Northeast Presentation Transcript

  • 1. SW Asia: The Northeast
  • 2.
    • This includes the countries of Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, and Iran.
    • This area includes a number of different ethnicities. The Middle East is not composed solely of Arabs. There are also Turks, Kurds, Persians, and Assyrians.
    • Aside from Arabic, Turkish and Farsi are spoken.
    • There are also two different branches of Islam: Sunni and Shia (Shi’ite).
      • After Mohammed died, there were other leaders of Islam: the caliphs. Sunnis believe that any good Muslim can be the caliph while Shi’ites believe that only descendants of Mohammed can be so.
      • About 83% of Muslims are Sunni, though Shi’ites are the majority in Iran and Iraq.
  • 3.
    • Border problems
    • One of the problems with this area is that the countries’ borders are somewhat arbitrary.
    • Borders typically follow major landforms and ethnic/national groups.
    • In the Middle East, however, the lines were drawn by the British when they left. Thus, many groups were lumped together in a country even though they didn’t get along that well and some groups, like the Kurds, didn’t get a country at all.
  • 4.
    • Kurds
    • An ethnicity of people who are settled among Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Armenia.
  • 5.  
  • 6.
    • The Kurds are a strong nation – about 20 million of them -, but lack a state of their own, though they (and some others) often refer to the territory they inhabit as Kurdistan.
      • In some places, they are largely self-governing and outside the enforcement of the normal authorities.
      • This fact, and that they sometimes revolt, has caused oppression from those countries.
        • Turkey, for example, killed thousands in the 1920’s and 1930’s to put down revolts.
  • 7.
    • In 1988, Iraq attacked the Kurdish town of Halabja with chemical weapons, including Tabun, Sarin, VX, and mustard gases. 5,000 were killed and another 7,000 seriously injured.
    These are the effects of tyranny.
  • 8.
    • After the Gulf War in 1991, the Kurds were protected by a U.S. no-fly zone and they became largely autonomous.
    • After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, they nominally became part of the Iraqi government, but there are concerns.
      • They are Sunni, while the majority is Shi’ite.
      • Neither the Kurds nor the Iraqis in the south particularly trust each other.
      • Turkey is worried about the Kurds becoming too independent and revolting again or causing terrorist violence.
  • 9.
    • Iran-Iraq War
    • Lasted from 1980 to 1988
    • There were around 1 million people killed or wounded.
    • There were multiple causes for the war, ranging from control of the oil fields to religious and cultural differences as well as global power politics.
    • The U.S. actually supported Iraq in the war because Iran, which was vehemently anti-U.S. and had recently held Americans hostage, was seen as the greater threat.
      • The demands of oil and the Cold War often meant the U.S. would ally itself with unsavory characters.
  • 10.  
  • 11. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld meeting Saddam Hussein in 1983.
  • 12.
    • The borders and control of the oil fields remained the same when the war was over.
      • The oil infrastructure, though, took a lot of damage, the economy was wrecked, and both countries were in a lot of debt.
      • Iraq, for example, owed a lot of money to Kuwait, which is one of the things that prompted Hussein to invade the country.
  • 13.
    • The Persian Gulf War
    • In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and occupied the country on the pretext that Kuwait was slant drilling for oil across the Iraqi border.
    • Kuwait was quickly conquered by the Iraqis.
    • It was up to a U.S.-led coalition of 35 nations to get Iraq out of Kuwait… which it did.
  • 14.
    • Before land forces invaded, Iraq was bombarded by a massive air campaign.
  • 15.  
  • 16.
    • Victory for the coalition wasn’t a done deal. The Iraqis had 1.2 million ground troops, 5,800 tanks, 5,100 armored vehicles, 3,850 artillery pieces, 750 fighters, and other material.
      • It turned out, though, that the Iraqi troops just weren’t very good.
      • When coalition ground forces invade, many Iraqi units just outright surrender.
  • 17.  
  • 18.
    • Much of the Iraqi forces attempted to escape Kuwait on the main highway connecting Iraq and Kuwait. This became known as the Highway of Death.
  • 19.
    • Before pulling out, the Iraqis also set many of the Kuwaiti oil wells on fire.
  • 20.