Saturday, February 23, 1991

Pres. Gorbachev makes round of telephone calls to leaders of U.S., Britain, Germany, Egypt, France, and Italy to try to persuade them how close positions of Iraq and U.S. had become through Soviet mediation efforts; Westem leaders respond that Iraq had not begun moving troops out of Kuwait by noon. Moscow says Iraq "lost the chance" to take advantage of Soviet efforts [NYT, WP 2/24].

Iraq fires SCUD missile at Israel 10 minutes before noon deadline; no injuries are reported [NYT 2/24; MET 3/5].

Pres. Bush says Iraq's failure to meet noon deadline leaves coalition forces "no alternative but to continue to prosecute the war" [NYT 2/24].

Allied troops move into Kuwait and Iraq in faster than expected ground advances; forces meet scattered resistance; allied casualties are "extremely light," with fewer than 20 U.S. soldiers being killed; over 5,500 Iraqi POWs are taken in 1st 10 hours of assault; after 22 hours Iraqi POW total is nearing 10,000 [WP 2/24; RIDS 2/24 in FBIS 2/25; NYT, LAT, WT, WP, CSM 2/25; MET 3/5].

Iran's Pres. Rafsanjani says U.S. is exceeding UN mandate in its pursuit of war with Iraq [NYT 2/24].

Egypt's gov't. publications for 1st time calls for Saddam Hussein to be overthrown [NYT 2/24]; Cairo students demonstrate against allied forces' ground war; security forces use tear gas to disperse marchers [RMC 2/24 in FBIS 2/25].