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Background

On January 16, 1991, Operation Desert Storm began with an air war against Iraq that was followed, 39 days later, by a four-day ground war. By the time hostilities concluded, 697,000 American troops had served in the Persian Gulf. Of that number, 17 percent were from the Reserve Components, and 7 percent were women. Although nearly 700,000 troops passed through the theater, the peak number there at any one time was about 560,000.

Dates of Conflict

Chronology of Important Events

Nations Involved





Dates of Conflict

Began: August 2, 1990 - Iraqi invasion of Kuwait
Ended: March 3, 1991 - Iraq accepts cease-fire

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Chronology of Important Events


July 17, 1990 Hussein accuses Kuwait of oil overproduction and theft of oil from the Rumailia Oil Field.
 
July 25, 1990 US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, tells Hussien that the Iraq/Kuwaitt dispute is an Arab matter, not one that affects the United States.
 
Aug 2, 1990 Hussein invades Kuwait, President Bush freezes Iraqi and Kuwatti assets. The United Nations calls on Hussien to withdraw.
 
Aug 6, 1990 Economic sanctions are authorized.
 
Aug 7, 1990 Secretary of Defense Cheney visits Saudi Arabia. The 82nd Airborne and several fighter squadrons are dispatched.
 
Aug 8, 1990 Iraq annexes Kuwait.
 
Aug 9, 1990 The UN declares Iraq's annexation invalid.
 
Aug 12, 1990 The USA announces interdiction program of Iraqi shipping.
 
Aug 22, 1990 President Bush authorizes call up of reserves.
 
Aug 25, 1990 Military interdiction authorized by the UN.
 
Sep 14, 1990 Iraqi forces storm a number of diplomatic missions in Kuwait City.
 
Nov 8, 1990 Bush orders additional deployments to give "offensive option" to US forces.
 
Nov 20, 1990 45 Democrats file suit in Washington to have President Bush first seek Congressional approval of military operations. (Eventually thrown out)
 
Nov 22, 1990 President Bush visits the troops for Thanksgiving.
 
Nov 29, 1990 UN Security Council authorizes force if Iraq doesn't withdraw from Kuwait by midnight EST January. 15.
 
Nov 30, 1990 Bush invites Tariq Aziz to Washington and offers to send Secretary of State James Baker to Baghdad.
 
Nov 30, 1990 Baker and Aziz meet in Geneva. The meeting is 6 hrs, but no results.
 
Jan 12, 1991 Congress votes to allow for US troops to be used in offensive operations.
 
Jan 15, 1991 The deadline set by the UN Resolution 678 for Iraq to withdraw.
 
Jan 16, 1991 First US government statement of Operation Desert-Storm made. Marlin Fitzwater announces, "The liberation of Kuwait has begun..." The air war started Jan 17 at 2:38 a.m. (local time) or January 16 at 6:38PM EST due to an 8-hour time difference, with an Apache helicopter attack. US warplanes attack Baghdad, Kuwait and other military targets in Iraq.
 
Jan 17, 1991 Iraq launches first SCUD Missile attack.
 
Jan 30, 1991 US forces in the Gulf exceed 500,000.
 
Feb 6, 1991 Jordan King Hussein lashes out against American bombardments and supports Iraq.
 
Feb 13, 1991 US Bombers destroy a bunker complex in Baghdad with several hundred citizens inside. Nearly 300 die.
 
Feb 17, 1991 Tariq Aziz travels to Moscow to discuss possible negotiated end to the war.
 
Feb 22, 1991 President Bush issues an ultimatum of Feb 23 for Iraqi troops to withdraw from Kuwait.
 
Feb 23, 1991 Ground war begins with Marines, Army and Arab forces moving into Iraq and Kuwait.
 
Feb 25, 1991 Iraqi SCUD missile hits a US barracks in Saudi Arabia killing 27.
 
Feb 26, 1991 Kuwaiti resistance leaders declare they are in control of Kuwait City.
 
Feb 27, 1991 President Bush orders a cease-fire effective at midnight Kuwaiti time.
 
Mar 3, 1991 Iraqi leaders formally accept cease-fire terms.
 
Mar 4, 1991 Ten Allied POWs freed.
 
Mar 5, 1991 35 POWs released.
 
Mar 8, 1991 First US combat forces return home.

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Nations Involved

Afghanistan
Australia
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Belgium
Britain
Canada
Czechoslavakia
Egypt
France
Germany
Honduras
Hungary
Italy
Kuwait
New Zealand
Niger
Oman
Poland
Qatar
Romania
Saudi Arabia
South Korea
Syria
United Arab Emriates
United States

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