October 12, 1990 – With the pressure mounting, the diplomacy wavering and the world straining, the situation in the Middle East was nervous, to say the least.
An assassination in Cairo of Parliament Speaker Rifaat al-Mahgoub, by motorcycle gunmen, along with his two bodyguards and driver. Although no group claimed responsibility for the assassination, there were Iraqi fingerprints all over the incident. Egyptian Security were working on the assumption it was related to the Gulf crisis, but Dr. Mahgoub had been a very strident critic of Islamic radicalism in Egypt and it was quite likely the gunman or gunmen came from that quarter. And even though it may have been done in association with these radical groups, it was thought to be directly linked to the situation in the Gulf.
Meanwhile, the French News magazine L’Express published what it called a Pentagon plan called “Operation Night Camel” to drive Iraqi forces from Kuwait on a Moonless night in November. The reported invasion envisioned a 4-day campaign of massive air strikes, and an allied ground push into Kuwait. The report went on to say the Pentagon estimated some 20,000 American casualties.
An airplane carrying American and Canadian evacuees from Kuwait and Iraq was scheduled to land in Raleigh/Durham North Carolina. However, Iraqi authorities pulled 9 U.S. citizens off the flight before it left Baghdad. Holdout diplomats left in Kuwait were starting to throw in the towel, rather than starve under Iraqi siege. Diplomats from Germany, Holland, Poland, Italy and Belgium had pulled in the last few days. It left American, British, Canadian and French diplomats as the last Western holdouts. Reports of Embassy officials in Kuwait and Baghdad were resorting to eating fruit that had fallen from trees and drinking boiled swimming pool water.
And that’s just a little of what went on, this October 12, 1990 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.