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United States

Famed US military commander Norman Schwarzkopf dead

Norman Schwarzkopf has died. The former US Army general led coalition forces into Kuwait in 1991 to drive out Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Schwarzkop, nicknamed "Stormin' Norman," died Thursday at his home in Tampa, Florida, a US official said. He was 78.

His 34-year military career spanned from before the Vietnam War until his most recent posting as commander-in-chief of US Central Command.

In 1991, Schwarzkopf led over 540,000 US troops and over 100,000 allied soldiers into Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm, known as the Gulf War, after Hussein took control of the country.

Former US President George H. W. Bush, who was in office during the Gulf War, and his wife Barbara were the first to issue a statement after Schwarzkopf's death.

"Barbara and I mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation," Bush said in a statement.

"General Norm Schwarzkopf, to me, epitomized the 'duty, service, country" creed that has defended our freedom and seen this great nation through our most trying international crises," the former president added.

Schwarzkopf was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1934 to a military family. During his youth he lived in Tehran, Geneva and Frankfurt before attending the United States Military Academy at West Point.

He went on to serve in the Vietnam War, and became the leader of US Central command in 1988.

dr/jr (AFP, Reuters, dpa)