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Gulf War Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War. In response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, the United States and other countries launched military operations known as Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.


The Allied coalition was made up of 39 countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The US Department of Defense has estimated the incremental costs of the Gulf War at $61 billion, with US allies providing about $54 billion of that — Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states covered $36 billion. Germany and Japan covered $16 billion.

Estimates of Iraqi soldier deaths range from 1,500 to 100,000.

About 697,000 US troops were deployed to the Persian Gulf region, with 382 in-theater casualties.


August 2, 1990 – Iraq invades Kuwait. Reportedly, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein decided to invade the small, oil-rich nation in order to pay off debts incurred during Iraq’s eight-year war with Iran.

August 2, 1990 – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passes a resolution denouncing Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

August 6, 1990 – The UNSC imposes trade and financial sanctions on Iraq.

August 7, 1990 – US President George H. W. Bush orders the start of Operation Desert Shield.

August 8, 1990 – Iraq announces its formal annexation of Kuwait. The following day, the UNSC unanimously adopts Resolution 662 which declares the annexation illegal and null and void.

November 29, 1990 – The UNSC authorizes use of force after January 15, 1991.

January 16-17, 1991 – The air campaign of Operation Desert Storm begins.

February 23-24, 1991 – The allied ground assault begins.

February 27, 1991 – Baghdad radio announces that Iraq will comply with UN resolutions.

February 27, 1991 – Kuwait is liberated.

February 28, 1991 – Coalition attacks against Iraq end.

March 14, 1991 – Kuwait’s emir returns home after more than seven months in exile.

April 6, 1991 – Iraq accepts the terms of a ceasefire agreement.

April 11, 1991 – The ceasefire formally takes effect.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Europe/Mideast/Africa

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