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CNN 20: Iraq Invades Kuwait, August 2, 1990

Aired August 2, 2000 - 10:44 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Today marks the 10-year anniversary of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, a moved that touched off the Persian Gulf War. The State Department says that after a decade of international action, Iraq is contained. But the Pentagon admits that the Iraqi people have suffered under U.N. sanctions, while President Saddam Hussein remains in power.

With a closer look back now, here is today's edition of "CNN 20."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was on the international desk in Atlanta at the time, when a bulletin crossed a short, two-line bulletin saying Iraqi troops had invaded Kuwait and that was the beginning of the story.

Immediately, we began to call people in Kuwait City, because of the time, it was difficult to reach people. This was early, early in the morning, local time. Eventually I was able to contact Carol Murphy, who is a "Washington Post" reporter, in Kuwait City.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAROL MURPHY, "WASHINGTON POST": Right now, there is sporadic gunfire, and there has been for about two hours.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I was the Pentagon correspondent in those days, and it was an incredibly tense period. First of all, everyone was taken by surprise. Even though the Iraqis had massed 100,000 troops north of Kuwait, few really believed the Iraqis would engage in a full-scale invasion of a fellow Arab nation. They did, and within a matter of hours, Kuwait was taken over by Iraq.

The question, would the United States respond militarily? In the end, President Bush got support and made that decision to start deploying U.S. troops in the region, complete with aircraft. It was the beginning of Operation Desert Shield, which eventually turned into Operation Desert Storm.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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