Retired US General Norman Schwarzkopf, who led the international coalition into Kuwait in 1991 to oust Iraqi forces from the country, has died in Florida at age 78, news reports said on Thursday.
Schwarzkopf, one of the best-known military officers in the US, led Operation Desert Storm, liberating the country after an invasion in the summer of 1990 by President Saddam Hussein’s forces.
A senior defence official confirmed that Schwarzkopf died on Thursday, said NBC News, where Schwarzkopf served as a military analyst after the war.
The decision to go to war against Saddam’s forces came during the presidency of George HW Bush. In a statement from Houston, where he is in hospital, Bush called Schwarzkopf “one of the great military leaders of his generation.” “More than that, he was a good and decent man,” Bush said, according to NBC.
Colin Powell, who was Schwarzkopf’s boss as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Operation Desert Storm, remembered Schwarzkopf as “a great patriot and a great soldier.” Powell said, “He was a good friend of mine, a close buddy. I will miss him.”