The Persian Gulf war, codenamed Operation Desert Shield for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm, was a war waged by coalition forces from 35 countries and led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait.
The Iraqi Army’s occupation of Kuwait began on August 2, 1990 and was met with international condemnation and immediate economic sanctions against Iraq by members of the United Nations Security Council. Together with the United Kingdom’s prime minister Margaret Thatcher, President George H. W. Bush deployed U.S. forces into Saudi Arabia and urged other countries to send forces onto the scene. In the largest military alliance since World War II, an array of other nations joined this coalition. The great majority of the coalition’s forces were from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and Egypt.
The initial conflict to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait began with a naval and aerial bombardment on January 17, 1991 that continued for five weeks. This was then followed by a ground assault on February 24 of that year. This was a decisive victory for the coalition forces, who were able to liberate Kuwait and advance into Iraqi territory. The coalition ceased its advance and declared a ceasefire 100 hours later on February 28.