Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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The Gulf War 1990-1991 (Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm)

The Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), was a war waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait. The war consisted of two phases the first was codenamed Operation Desert Shield (2 August 1990 – 17 January 1991) for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia. And the second was Operation Desert Storm (17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991) was the combat phase. 

 

The initial conflict to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait began with an aerial and naval bombardment on 17 January 1991, continuing for five weeks. This was followed by a ground assault on 24 February. This was a decisive victory for the coalition forces, which liberated Kuwait and advanced into Iraqi territory. The coalition ceased its advance, and declared a ceasefire 100 hours after the ground campaign started. Aerial and ground combat was confined to Iraq, Kuwait, and areas on Saudi Arabia's border.