Operation Desert Storm began 30 years ago on Jan. 17

On August 2, 1990, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein annexed the sovereign nation of Kuwait. That action eventually led to the Gulf War ... which began with Operation Desert Shield, from August 2 to January 17, 1991 ... and culminated with Operation Desert Storm, which began on that same day. U.S. President George Bush organized a coalition of 35 nations to combat Hussein's aggressive actions. Operation Desert Storm was also marked by live battlefield reporting from CNN. Military leaders such as Gens. Colin P

With events leading up to the conflict already in motion, Operation Desert Storm began 30 years ago this Jan. 17, leading up to the Gulf War’s combat ending on Feb. 28, 1991.

The Gulf War was waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait arising from oil pricing and production disputes. On Aug. 2, 1990, it was codenamed Operation Desert Shield for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia. It became Operation Desert Storm on Jan. 17, 1991.

On Aug. 2, 1990, the Iraqi Army invaded and occupied Kuwait, which was met with international condemnation and brought immediate economic sanctions against Iraq by members of the UN Security Council. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher deployed forces into Saudi Arabia, and urged other countries to send their own forces to the scene. An array of nations soon joined, forming the largest military alliance since World War II.

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The war marked the introduction of live news broadcasts from the front lines of the battle, principally by CNN.

The initial conflict began with an aerial and naval bombardment on Jan. 17, continuing for five weeks. This was followed by a ground assault on Feb. 24, leading to a decisive victory for the coalition forces, who liberated Kuwait and advanced into Iraqi territory. The coalition ceased its advance and declared a ceasefire 100 hours after the ground campaign started.

Aerial and ground combat was confined to Iraq, Kuwait, and areas on Saudi Arabia’s border. Iraq launched Scud missiles against Israel and coalition targets in Saudi Arabia.

Under the command of Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, warplanes from the U.S.-led alliance of two dozen nations and more than 900,000 troops — the largest coalition of allied nations since World War II — flew over Kuwait early on January 17, 1991, signaling the start of the Gulf War, which ended Iraq’s occupation six weeks later.

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