In August 1990, Saddam Hussein, president of Iraq, instigated a major crisis in the Persian Gulf region by ordering the invasion and subsequent annexation of the nearby oil-rich state of Kuwait. The United Nations proclaimed a boycott of Iraq trade, while U.S. central command rushed troops to the area to defend Saudi Arabia against possible attacks.
Iraq refused to withdraw from Kuwait by UN-imposed deadlines of 15 January 1991. Promising the “mother of all battles” a boastful Hussein soon found himself overpowered by Operation Desert Storm, The United States-led military coalition that defeated Iraq by the end of February. Iraqi forces suffered 100,00 killed and 300,00 wounded. An additional 88,000 were taken prisoner.
A half million U.S. troops, under the leadership of General Norman Schwarzkopf, were involved in the war which included 220,000