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HistoryCentral.com > World History > Middle East > 1990-1991: Gulf War

1990-1991: Gulf War

On August 2nd, Iraq attacked Kuwait. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had a number of claims against Kuwait, but most important among them was Iraq's longstanding assertion that Kuwait was actually part of Iraq. The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution demanding Iraqi withdrawal and the U.S. rushed troops to Saudi Arabia to defend it against an expected Iraqi attack. U.S. President Bush put together an international coalition that massed in Saudi Arabia to force Iraq out of Kuwait.

On January 15th the U.S.-led coalition struck with a massive air attack against Iraqi targets. Hussein responded with a missile attack against Israel, which did not retaliate due to U.S. pressure.

On February 24th, a land offensive was begun; it met little resistance as Iraqi forces collapsed. Coalition forces liberated Kuwait and occupied parts of Southern Iraq. A cease fire was accepted before completely destruction of the Iraqi army occurred. When the war ended, Saddam Hussein remained in power. He successfully suppressed a Shi'ite revolt in the South and a Kurdish revolt in the North.