Because he was allegedly told it would be okay (to invade Kuwait at least) by the US state department.
If true, one has to wonder whether the diplomat who told him that was just horribly incompetent, whether she was told to tell him that in order to lure him into a trap, or whether her superiors had said that in the past, but decided to do a volte-face and use this opportunity to pounce on Saddam.
Saddam claimed that Kuwait, a small, oil rich nation, was rightfully part of Iraq due to a dispute over the British partition of the area back in the 1920s. The Kurds were long a thorn in Saddam's side so he decided to attempt to eliminate them.
>>577963 >gas kurds Kurds had been rebelling against the Ba'athist state for years. He thought that chemical attacks would crush their insurgency. >invade kuwait Kuwait was a tiny but incredibly rich state that was being a thorn in his side by refusing to lower oil production (and therefore raise prices). He thought his vast military superiority would result in an easy win. >>578545 >2) Saddam believed Iraq's true brofers included Khuzestan in Iran, Kuwait and the Shiite Eastern regions of Saudi Arabia. It's extremely naive to believe out of hand in a war's official justification.
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