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Timeline of the Gulf War begins in August 2, 1990 and ended on February 28, 1991.


  • May 28–30: Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein says that oil overproduction by Kuwait and United Arab Emirates was an "economic warfare" against Iraq.
  • July 15: Iraq accused Kuwait of stealing oil from the Rumaylah, Iraq's oil field near the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border and warns of military action.
  • July 22: Iraq begins deploying troops to the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border and building a massive military buildup.
  • August 2: About 100,000 Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait, initiating the Gulf War. The U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 660 demanding Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait immediately and unconditionally.
  • August 4: Kuwait was under Iraqi control after Saddam Hussein declared a victory over Kuwait.
  • August 6: The U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 661 imposing a trade embargo on Iraq in a 13-0 vote, with Cuba and Yemen abstaining.
  • August 7: The United States launched Operation Desert Shield. First U.S. troops arrived in Saudi Arabia.
  • August 8: Saddam Hussein proclaimed the annexation of Kuwait.
  • August 12: Naval blockade of Iraq begins.
  • August 28: Iraq declared Kuwait as its 19th province and renames Kuwait City as al-Kadhima.
  • September 14: United Kingdom and France announce the deployment of troops to Saudi Arabia.
  • November 29: The U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 678 setting a deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait before January 15, 1991, or face military action.


  • January 9: Talks in Geneva, Switzerland, between U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and Iraq Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz ended with no progress.
  • January 12 : U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing the use of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. The votes were 52-47 in the U.S. Senate and 250-183 in the U.S. House of Representatives. These were the closest margins in authorizing force by the Congress since the War of 1812.
  • January 16: First U.S. government statement of Operation Desert Storm made.
  • January 17: The air war commenced at 2:38 a.m. (local time) or January 16 at 6:38 p.m. EST due to an 8 hour time difference, with an U.S. Apache helicopter attack. U.S.-led Coalition warplanes attacked Baghdad, Kuwait, and other military targets in Iraq.
  • January 18: Iraq launched SCUD missiles on Israel. The U.S. deploys Patriot missiles to Israel and Saudi Arabia.
  • January 22: Iraqi troops begins blowing up Kuwaiti oil wells.
  • January 25: Iraqi troops dumped millions of gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf.
  • January 29: Iraqi forces invaded the town of Khafji in Saudi Arabia. Iraqi forces were soon engaged by Saudi Arabian and Qatari troops with help from U.S. Marines.
  • January 30: 11 U.S. Marines in LAV's were killed in friendly fire incident by Air Force A-10 aircraft near town of Al Khafji while they were attacking a company of Iraqi tanks.
  • January 31: Iraqi forces captured 20 year old U.S. Army Specialist Melissa Rathbun-Nealy and Army Specialist David Lockett while driving a heavy flatbed truck near the border of Saudi Arabian-Kuwaiti border. Melissa Rathbun-Nealy was the first female U.S. Prisoner of War since World War II.
  • February 1: Iraqi forces were driven out of Saudi Arabia. Coalition forces won the Battle of Khafji.
  • February 13: An Amiriyah shelter bombing by two USAF F-117 Nighthawks killed 408 Iraqi civilians in an air raid shelter.
  • February 17: In an incident of friendly fire near the east-west line 5 kilometers north of the Saudi-Iraqi border, a U.S. Bradley Fighting Vehicle (Bradley) and an M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (M113) were destroyed by two Hellfire missiles fired from an U.S. Apache helicopter commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Hayles, killing two U.S. soldiers and injuring six others.
  • February 21: Charlie Co, 2d Light Armored Infantry Btn, 2d MAR DIV, crosses in Kuwait to scout out possible alternate breach points, identify and locate Iraqi Artillery for counter battery attack, and to draw attention away from the main forces approach points. 144 Marines hold off increasingly mounting Iraqi forces from 10:15 am on Feb 21st through 4:00am Feb 24th, using LAV-25's, LAV-TOW's and on call Artillery support from 1 Btn/10th Marines artillery and 1/3 Artillery, Tiger Bde.(2nd Armored Division)and attached Air Assets. During these three days,C Co, 2d LAI Bn sought contact and reported information on enemy troops, activities, and equipment. Operating almost continuously under antitank, rocket, and indirect fire, the battalion's companies engaged enemy troops, artillery, and tanks on at least 17 occasions the battalion accounted for numerous enemy KIA, the destruction of 12 enemy tanks, a further 35 tanks with air strikes, and the capture of 120 EPWs.
  • February 22: U.S. President George H. W. Bush issued a 24-hour ultimatum: Iraq must withdraw from Kuwait to avoid start of a ground war.
  • February 24: Ground war begins when U.S.-led Coalition forces invaded Iraq and Kuwait at around 4 a.m. Baghdad time. British Special Air Service was the first to enter Iraqi territory.
  • February 25: An Iraqi SCUD missile struck U.S. barracks near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 28 U.S. troops.
  • February 26: Saddam Hussein ordered the Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait. About 10,000 retreating Iraqi troops were killed when Coalition aircraft bombed their stolen civilian and military vehicles. This is called the Highway of Death.
  • February 27: U.S. Marines and Saudi Arabian troops entered Kuwait City. U.S. Army then engaged the Iraqi Republican Guard in several tank battles in Iraq, also known as the Battle of Medina Ridge
  • February 28: U.S. President George H. W. Bush announced a ceasefire and that Kuwait had been liberated from Iraqi occupation.
  • March 1: A cease-fire plan was negotiated in Safwan, Iraq.
  • March 3: Iraq accepts the terms of a ceasefire from the U.N. Security Council.
  • March 17: First U.S. troops arrived home.

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