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The Neutral Zone

2-4 CAV, 24th INF (MECH) operated in the Neutral Zone in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

The Neutral Zone was a geographic area in the shape of a diamond bordered on the North by Iraq and the South by Saudi Arabia. Kuwait was to the East of the zone.

On May 5th, 1922, Saudi Arabia signed the Treaty of Muhammarah to prevent conflict with Iraq thus creating the Neutral Zone. The agreement was brokered by the dominant foreign power the British.

Tribes quarreled over boundaries for decades. The Neutral Zone was then split into 2 zones; the Saudi Arabia/Iraq Zone and the Saudi Arabia/Kuwait Zone. The Neutral Zone endured as a whole until oil was discovered in the Saudi/Kuwait Zone. The zone was then divided between the 2 countries.

The Neutral zone was an area for nomads of Saudi and Iraq to migrate in the region between water wells and agriculture. No military establishment or permanent structures were allowed in the zone.

In early 1991, Iraq dropped all international agreements with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia countered with renegotiating the boundaries and registering the territory with the United Nations in June of 1991. The Neutral Zone’s current existence is rather foggy. There has been discussion of a reboot but it revolves around oil production.


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