Photographic evidence of the Iraqi regime's destruction in Kuwait from August 1990 through February 1991
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Desert Shield & Desert Storm

Operation Desert Shield was initially created by the US five days after the invasion of Kuwait to protect Saudi Arabia from Iraqi aggression. It officially commenced on August 7 when President Bush sent air and ground units to Saudi Arabia, and it ended on January 16, 1991, with the start of Operation Desert Storm.

During the five months of Desert Shield, the US was the prime mover in organizing a military coalition of nations prepared to use force if necessary to oust Iraq from Kuwait. The coalition consisted of troops from 34 nations and was sanctioned by the UN. Germany and Japan did not send troops, but contributed military supplies and significant funding.

On January 12, 1991, the US Congress authorized President Bush to conduct war against Iraq. On January 15, the UN deadline for Iraq's withdrawal passed. The next day, Operation Desert Storm began with the aerial bombardment of targets in Iraq and Kuwait. It lasted for six weeks. Its purpose was to sap Iraqi military strength and thereby minimize coalition casualties on the ground.

On January 22, to show the threat of environmental war was not a bluff, Iraq responded by blowing up the first oil wells and pumping oil into Gulf waters.

From January 29-31, a ground battle was fought in Saudi Arabia after Iraqi troops unsuccessfully invaded the town of Khafji.

By February 19, hundreds of Kuwaiti oil wells were ablaze and 1.5 millions barrels per day of oil were pouring into the Gulf.

US Air Force Fighter Jets
During the air war phase of the Gulf War, 88,500 tons of bombs were dropped by more than 100,000 sorties. The purpose was to sap Iraqi military strength and so minimize coalition ground casualties. Out of 1,800 combat planes plus many supply planes, 75 aircraft were lost. US General Charles Horner was coalition commander.
US Air Force Fighter Jets

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