Operation Desert Storm: 25 Years Since the First Gulf War

On January 16, 1991, President George H. W. Bush announced the start of what would be called Operation Desert Storm—a military operation to expel occupying Iraqi forces from Kuwait, which Iraq had invaded and annexed months earlier. For weeks, a U.S.-led coalition of two dozen nations had positioned more than 900,000 troops in the region, most stationed on the Saudi-Iraq border. A U.N.-declared deadline for withdrawal passed on January 15, with no action from Iraq, so coalition forces began a five-week bombardment of Iraqi command and control targets from air and sea. Despite widespread fears that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein might order the use of chemical weapons, a ground invasion followed in February. Coalition forces swiftly drove Iraq from Kuwait, advancing into Iraq, and reaching a cease-fire within 100 hours—controversially leaving Saddam Hussein in power. While coalition casualties were in the hundreds, Iraqi losses numbered in the tens of thousands.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Lindsey Wasson / Reuters

    2021 in Photos: A Look at the Middle Months

    It’s time to revisit some of the most memorable events and images of 2021. Events covered in this essay include the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, vaccination drives worldwide, flooding in Western Europe, a “sea snot” outbreak in Turkey, and much more.

  • John Minchillo / AP

    2021 in Photos: How the First Months Unfolded

    It’s time to take a look at some of the most memorable events and images of 2021. Events covered in this essay include the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol, the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic worldwide, a new volcano erupting in Iceland, and much more.

  • Leah Millis / Reuters

    Top 25 News Photos of 2021

    Powerful images from the past 12 eventful months

  • Jack Taylor / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Santa School, Snowy Soccer, Dinosaur Lantern

    A stranded whale in Chile, a graffiti competition in Spain, an empty Christmas market in Prague, a lighthouse above Lake Superior, a presidential campaign in Gambia, and much more