Convinced that the great powers would let him do as he wished, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait on 2 August 1990. Without really seeking out a diplomatic solution, America, Great Britain and France agreed that Iraq was to be punished. The Gulf War (January – February 1991) was as rapid as it was devastating: a deluge of fire struck Iraq, razing its infrastructure to the ground. 100 000 soldiers and at least 60 000 civilians died. A twelve-year long embargo would follow, during which the Iraqi people would pay for their President's megalomania.