25 Years ago – 16th January 1991 – Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait

January 16, 20160 Comments

Twenty-five years ago, former President George H.W. Bush took to the airwaves to announce the launch of what is now known as Operation Desert Storm.

US-led military operation to drive Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait. “Just two hours ago, allied air forces began an attack on military targets in Iraq and Kuwait,” Bush said on the evening of January 16, 1991. “These attacks continue as I speak.” For five weeks, coalition forces bombarded Iraqi positions from the air and sea. When a ground invasion followed in February, it took only 100 hours to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.


Operation Desert Storm marked a shift in how Americans experience combat when the US military deploys in far-flung countries.

For the first time, the beginning of a conflict played out on live TV, and viewers could “watch the war” from the comfort of home as it unfolded.


It was billed as a smashing success: an “accurate” bombing campaign, followed up by a swift, four-day ground assault that led to Iraq’s expulsion from Kuwait and a ceasefire.

Then again, how does one define success in Iraq? Coalition losses reached the hundreds, while Iraqi troop deaths reached into the tens of thousands, and another 2,000-plus civilians were killed.


The anniversary of Operation Desert Storm is a reminder of the unfinished history of the United States at war in Iraq. After all, here we are 25 years later, still dropping bombs there.

Kuwait News

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