The largest and most harmful oil spill in history, the Persian Gulf War oil spill, which is often referred to as the Gulf War oil disaster. It spewed an estimated 8-11 million barrels of oil into the Persian Gulf after Iraqi forces opened valves of oil wells and pipelines as they retreated from Kuwait in 1991. The oil slick reached a maximum size of 101 miles by 42 miles and was five inches thick.

The Gulf War oil spill was not an accident; it was an Iraqi strategic wartime move against U.S. forces. During the Gulf War, Iraqi forces attempted to prevent American soldiers from landing by opening valves at an offshore oil terminal and dumping oil from tankers.

The spill had huge consequences, and even 20 years later the cleanup was far from over.

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