Modern Warfare criticized for blaming ‘Highway of Death’ on Russia

Modern Warfare has been criticized for blaming a US military attack on Russia in its campaign. The ‘Highway of Death’ took place in 1991 during the Persian Gulf War, with US, Canadian, British, and French troops coordinating an attack on retreating Iraqi military personnel on Kuwait’s Highway 80. Thousands of Iraqi troops were killed in the process, with reports claiming that Kuwaiti hostages and civilian refugees were also among the dead. This attack is referenced in the new Call of Duty‘s story, though the US-led coalition isn’t mentioned, with it being blamed on Russia instead.

Modern Warfare‘s description of the attack is as follows:

“If they try to escape, there is only one route: Tariq Almart, the Highway of Death. The Russians bombed it during the invasion, killing the people trying to escape.”

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The Highway of Death in Modern Warfare is located in the fictional setting of Darus, Urzikstan, though the comparisons between it and the real attack on Highway 80 are obvious. As such, many have criticized its retconning of real history, suggesting that the change was made because “it needs the US forces to be seen as the good guys.”

During the Persian Gulf War, the US-led coalition pursued retreating Iraqi troops from Highway 80 and back into Iraq. The attacks continued from February 25-27, 1991, and on February 28, 1991, a ceasefire was called after President Bush announced that Kuwait had been liberated.

The attacks were hugely controversial at the time, with many suggesting that the coalition had used unnecessary force against the retreating Iraqi forces. However, Modern Warfare removes the US and the rest of the coalition out of these attacks, laying the blame on the Russians despite them not being involved in any capacity. While the Soviet Union criticized Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait during the Gulf War, Russian forces did not aid the coalition during the attack on Highway 80.