1991-1996 - Iraq (Operation Provide Comfort)
In April 1991, following Operation Desert Storm a few months earlier, the Kurds of northern Iraq revolted against Saddam Hussein. The revolt was suppressed, and almost a half a million Kurdish men, women, and children sought to flee the country into Turkey across the mountanious border. Trapped, a joint and multinational task force of a dozen countries began to stop the suffering and dying of the refugees. By mid-July, the task force pulled out, but a small force remained left behind, and a no-fly zone was established against Iraqi aircraft. The UN assumed responsibility for the refugee camps. The no-fly zone remained in effect until 1996 when President William J. Clinton transitioned the operation to Operation North Watch as the mission became more of a no-fly mission than providing humanitarian relief.