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.