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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

reservists. Nearly thirty Lehi service men and women participated in the war, including twenty-four members of the American Fork-based Army National Guard. 1457th Engineering Battalion. Although 148 American combat deaths occurred during Operation Desert Storm, all Lehi servicemen and women returned home safely.

Though Iraq was soundly defeated and the country heavily damaged by air attacks., Saddam Hussein retained his position of power. In March 1991 government forces suppressed revolts by Iraqi Shiites in the south and by Kurds in the north. In April, Iraq agreed to UN terms for ending sanctions, and U.S. troops in the south were replaced by UN observer force on the borders. The Persian Gulf remains an unstable region of the world today.