The Gulf War (1990-1991), also known as the Persian Gulf War, was a war between Iraq and a coalition of countries including Kuwait, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Saudi Arabia and others. It was a response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, an act of unchecked aggression that was not allowed to stand.
Soon after the Iraqi conquest of Kuwait, the United Nations called for it to withdraw and to seek compromise through diplomatic means. The coalition forces established themselves in Saudi Arabia to prevent Iraqi forces from penetrating further into the desert. A sharp engagement was fought at Khafji, Saudi Arabia, as the Iraqis attempted to establish control over Saudi oil-producing regions.
As the defensive deployment evolved into an air war it eventually led to a ground invasion of Iraq. The Iraqis were led to expect an amphibious assault into Kuwait, but instead Coalition forces attacked through the desert to the west, outflanking Iraqi forces and threatening to trap many of them in Kuwait. Many were killed as they attempted to flee through the narrow roads leading out of Kuwait. Most surrendered.
The Iraqis were led by Saddam Hussein, a fascist dictator who also led the Ba'ath party. The United States was led by President George H. W. Bush. Colin Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Staff and the general in charge of Operation Desert Storm was Norman Schwarzkopf.