First Gulf War commander is dead

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 28, 2012 14:10 hrs

London, Dec 28 (IANS) Norman Schwarzkopf, the US commander during the first Gulf War, dubbed "Operation Desert Storm", has died. He was 78.

Schwarzkopf commanded the US-led coalition forces that drove Saddam Hussein's army out of Kuwait in 1991, The Sun reported Friday.

Known for his explosive temper, Schwarzkopf retired soon after.

He died in Tampa, Florida, from complications from pneumonia, his sister Ruth Barenbaum said Thursday.

George Bush senior, US president during the first Gulf War, spoke from hospital, saying: "Barbara and I mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation."

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also paid tribute, saying Schwarzkopf's 35 years of service had "left an indelible imprint on the United States military and on the country".

During Operation Desert Storm, Schwarzkopf taunted Saddam at one of his news conferences.

"As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist, he is neither a strategist, nor is schooled in the operational art, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier. Other than that, he's a great military man - I want you to know that," he said at the time.

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