August 13, 1990 – All eyes on the Persian Gulf, this August 13th. The Iraq invasion of Kuwait touched off a firestorm of protest – both for and against the events in the region. Saudi Arabia has enforced its embargo against Iraqi oil tankers, by turning away a tanker heading for the Saudi Oil Terminal at Yanbu on the Red Sea. If it had been able to load, it would very likely have been a U.S./Iraqi confrontation at sea, since the Bush administration agreed with a request from the Kuwaiti government in exile to interdict Iraqi oil tankers. Meanwhile, the U.S. was continuing to tighten its noose around Iraq. The lead vessel of the 7-ship French taskforce steamed through the Suez Canal on its way to the Persian Gulf. After France, the U.S. will have the largest naval presence in the Gulf. The French flagship, the carrier Clemenceau was carrying some 40 rocket-equipped helicopters which could also be used in evacuation efforts of civilians in any potential war zone. Even though the French presence was not part of the U.S. command, it had assured Washington it would cooperate closely.
Not everyone was promising cooperation though. Jordan’s King Hussein said the allied buildup was hindering any kind of peaceful settlement between Iraq and Kuwait, and many pro-Iraq demonstrations took to the streets around Aman.
As of this August 13th tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen were deployed in the Persian Gulf with many more thousands were on the way.
In Japan, the Nikkei took a nosedive after Prime Minister Kaifu cancelled a trip to the Middle East, amid fears of escalating tensions in the region.
And there was a lot more going on – but the main news was the Gulf, and what would eventually become Desert Storm, as reported this August 13, 1990 by The CBS World News Roundup.