On August 2, 1990, Iraqi forces invaded the country of Kuwait. Iraq had become deeply in debt during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980's and was pushing for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to forgive its debts. After they refused, Iraq began reducing its oil production to drive up prices of oil so it could take in enough money to rebuild its ruined economy. Kuwait, however, increased production and actually drove down prices of oil - something Iraq viewed as an act of economic warfare.
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Operation Desert Shield
7 August 1990
Operation Desert Shield is the name given to the military operation with the objective of protecting Saudi Arabia from invasion by Iraq.
By August 8, the United States had already mobilized two naval battle groups to the region: the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier group and the USS Independence carrier group. 48 F-15s were also sent to Saudi Arabia to begin patrols to discourage invasion by Iraqi forces.
Operation Desert Storm
17 January 1991
Operation Desert Storm was the name given to the military operations against Iraq's forces. It included Operation Instant Thunder (the air campaign) and Operation Desert Sabre (the ground campaign).
Operation Instant Thunder
The air campaign began at 2:10 am Baghdad time.