The Highway of Death


Officially known as Highway 80, the Highway of Death runs from Kuwait City to Basra in Iraq. During the Gulf War (1991), it became the scene of one of the most haunting images of the war.

On the night of February 26-27, 1991, Iraqi military personnel and civilians retreating from Kuwait were attacked and destroyed by American aircraft and ground forces during the United Nations Coalition offensive. The use of force was disproportionate, and the retreating forces included hostages and refugees. The scenes of carnage on the road were seen by the international community as a turkey shoot (Elaine Sciolino, the New York Times) and led to the war’s quick end subsequently.

[See CBC Archives]

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