Iraqis took to the streets on 17 January in organised demonstrations to mark the anniversary of the first US-led air strikes that began the 1990-91 Gulf war. In a televised address Saddam Hussein said that Iraq was ready to take on the US at the gates of Baghdad if a new attack was launched. ‘Baghdad, its people and its leadership, is determined to force the Mongols of our age to commit suicide at its gates,’ he said.