At the same time, Saddam looked for closer ties with those Arab states that had supported Iraq in the war.
This was supported by the US, who believed that Iraqi ties with pro-Western Gulf states would help bring and maintain Iraq inside the US' sphere of influence.
The US also disliked Iraqi support for many Arab and Palestinian militant groups such as Abu Nidal, which led to Iraq's inclusion on the developing US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism on 29 December 1979.
The initial conflict to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait began with an aerial and naval bombardment on 17 January 1991, continuing for five weeks.
The coalition ceased its advance and declared a ceasefire 100 hours after the ground campaign started.
Aerial and ground combat was confined to Iraq, Kuwait, and areas on Saudi Arabia's border.
Clockwise from top: USAF F-15Es, F-16s, and a F-15C flying over burning Kuwaiti oil wells; British troops from the Staffordshire Regiment in Operation Granby; camera view from a Lockheed AC-130; Highway of Death; M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle.
The Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), codenamed Operation Desert Shield (2 August 1990 – 17 January 1991) for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm (17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991) in its combat phase, was a war waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.