Iraqi claims in the territory of Kuwait go to past centuries, but the British takeover in the 1900s separated out Kuwait from Iraq, at the request of Kuwaitis. Iraq strongly objected, and continued to object until 1963 when they were forced to publicly give up all claims. Saddam Hussein never forgot the history, and in 1990 invaded Kuwait in force, precipitating a joint response from U.S. and NATO that sent thousands of coalition troops to the region. Operation Desert Shield, to protect Saudi Arabia turned into Desert Storm when Hussein refused ultimatums.
On this day, November 30, in 1995, with Kuwait liberated and Saddam Hussein’s forces smashed by coalition firepower, Operation Desert Storm officially ended.
Hussein’s vaunted Republican Guard stood little chance against American precision-guided munitions. Air strikes with bombs and guided missiles decimated Iraqi ground forces. Hussein managed only one significant counterattack, and that one lasted only two days; mostly he retaliated by launching scud rockets at Israel. But President George Bush Sr. chose not to pursue Hussein into Iraq and permanently end his regime – that would be accomplished by his son.