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The Persian Gulf War, Codenamed Operation Desert Shield, was a major military offensive from 1990-1991 involving the greatest coalition of independent countries since World War II.

It began on August 3, 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, a small, oil-rich nation in the Gulf. Iraq captured Kuwait and installed its own puppet state before annexing it. A coalition of states, including the U.S, then decided to keep Iraq off of Kuwait. On January 17, 1991, the real war began with the bombardment of Iraq by the Coalition ‘s air forces. This was followed up by a massive ground assault on February 24. The assault succeeded in driving Iraqi forces out of Kuwait and back into Iraq. During their withdrawal, the Iraqi forces set fire to Kuwait’s oil fields. The Coalition then halted its advance, only 100 hours after the assault began. Interestingly, Iraq continued to launch missiles against Israel, which was not involved in the offensive. A ceasefire was then declared, followed by an end to the war on February 28, 1991.

Iraq had been driven from Kuwait, and Kuwait’s monarchy was restored. In addition, new economic sanctions were drawn up against Iraq, and Iraq established a no-fly zone. Much infrastructure was destroyed, and there were many casualties, but the Coalition had won a decisive victory against Iraq.

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