Overview: The City
When the invading Iraqi military reached Kuwait City on
August 3, 1990, they found a cosmopolitan capital with
elegant shopping malls, international hotels, modern
office buildings, and skyscrapers beside traditional mosques, coffeehouses, and a colorful old market area of tiny
shops and stalls.
They instantly went on a rampage against public buildings.
They sacked, burned, and smashed the symbols of
government, then turned to private businesses and
homes. Looting and vandalism continued till the last days of the retreat. The museums and planetarium, Kuwait Towers, Bayan Palace, Seif Palace, Parliament, coffeehouses, historic Mubarakiyah market, hotels, even the fishing boats in the old harbor were set ablaze or dynamited.
Every establishment, no matter how small, was raided
not only for booty, but also for wrecking. The troops were
not out of control. They were executing Baghdad's policy
to impoverish, subjugate, and erase the Kuwaiti national
identity through terror and psychological warfare.
||Iraqi Destruction of Hotels (2011)
The Al-Salam was an ocean liner purchased by Kuwait and converted into a floating
luxury hotel. During their retreat, Iraqi troops detonated incendiary devices at all Kuwait's
hotels. The other hotels were
rebuilt, but not the Al-Salam. The firebombing's destruction was irrevocable.