U.S., Saudi, British, and Kuwaiti aircraft launch attack on Iraq bombing Baghdad and other military targets in Iraq and Kuwait with massive waves of air attacks and ship-launched missiles. "We have no choice but to force Saddam from Kuwait" say Pres. Bush [NYT, LAT, WT, WP, MEM 1/17].
Hours before war erupts, French National Assembly overwhelmingly approves use of French forces for military operations; P.M. Rocard places country's 10,000 troops and 76 aircraft in Saudi Arabia under U.S. command [NYT, LAT, WP 1/17].
Israel declares nationwide state of emergency as war breaks out; schools are closed; curfew is placed on entire Gaza Strip [JDS 1/16 in FBIS 1/16; NYT, LAT, WT, WP 1/17].
Many Arab gov'ts., reportedly including Egypt, are not given advance notice of allied attack. Jordanian radio delays for 3 hours before broadcasting news that war has begun [LAT, WT 1/17].
Arab League and Gulf countries issue statements condemning 1/14 assassination of PLO's Abu lyad and others [MENA 1/16 in FBIS 1/16; WAKH, AES 1/16 in FBIS 1/17].
PLO calls for general mobilization of its forces in Lebanon; warns them to be ready to strike at U.S. interests [AFP 1/16 in FBIS 1/17].
Israeli gunboats shell inland Amal positions in S. Lebanon; no injuries are reported [BDS 1/16 in FBIS 1/17].