On August 2, 1990, Iraqi troops flooded Kuwait and committed countless atrocities and human rights violations as they took control of their southern neighbor.

This attack spurred a strong international response. The U.N. Security Council and President George H.W. Bush immediately condemned Saddam Hussein’s expansion. Later that year, the Security Council authorized “all means necessary” to remove Iraq if its soldiers did not leave Kuwait.

The deadline for Iraq’s departure came, but Saddam Hussein refused to move. Two days later, a U.S.-led coalition initiated Operation Desert Storm, an aerial assault that decimated Iraq’s air forces, oil fields and weapons.

Coalition forces engaged Iraqi forces on the ground in Operation Desert Saber and pushed them back north. After this successful operation, President Bush called for a ceasefire, thereby ending the war.

The Gulf War was short and is considered a U.S. foreign policy success. Today, Concerned Veterans for America Foundation commemorates the 235 service members who died in-theater and the 2.3 million deployed to the Persian Gulf who fought to free Kuwait and defend against tyranny.