April 20, 1991 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
April 20, 1991 – With Desert Storm winding down and troops going back home, the issue of the Kurds was still at the forefront. Kurdish leaders were in Baghdad at Saddam Hussein’s request to talk about the future of Kurdistan and the plight of some two million refugees who fled after Iraqi troops crushed the Kurds post-war uprising. What the Kurds needed were international guarantees, including implementation of a 1970 agreement giving them full autonomy. Also demanded was the return of all displaced Kurds to their original villages which were destroyed by the Iraqis. An American diplomat in Ankara, Turkey was quoted as saying the U.S. wanted Iraqi troops to withdraw to a line 30km south of the town of Zakho, clearing a buffer zone where the allies could set up refugee camps in Northern Iraq for the Kurds. So far, Iraq refused to give its permission for a safe-haven for the Kurds along the border with Turkey, but it’s not stopping the U.S. relief effort. Many were hoping whatever was taking place would be temporary measures in lieu of the ouster of Saddam Hussein, which the U.S. was adamant about not removing.
Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and 400 members of the U.S. Central Command in Saudi Arabia were calling it a war and heading home. Schwarzkopf had already left and was on his way home, saying that, while he accomplished his mission, he was disappointed that Saddam Hussein was still in power. Schwarzkopf call the plight of the Kurds a tragedy, but he said the failed Kurdish rebellion didn’t taint the coalition’s victory. He said he was also concerned about the plight of the thousands of refugees in Southern Iraq and the U.S. forces may delay their departure as a result, adding it was exactly why they hadn’t pulled out sooner.
All that, and much more for this April 20, 1991 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.
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