In 1990 Iraq, under the leadership of Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait. This action was condemned by the international community, and sanctions were immediately placed on Iraq. In addition, the U.S. placed troops in Saudi Arabia, and urged other countries to do the same. The goal of the U.S. was to push the Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. The aerial bombardment began on January 17, 1991, followed by a ground assault on February 23.
At the time Iraq was in debt to Kuwait, Iraq also claimed that Kuwait was a territory of Iraq. The final act that caused Iraq to invade Kuwait was the accusation that Kuwait was drilling into Iraqi oil fields. These three factors caused Iraq to invade. When the American ground forces crossed into Kuwait, they came across many defensive positions with trenches, barbed wire, and minefields. These positions were not well defended, and much of the Iraqi army surrendered. The Iraqi forces countered, but they were pushed back.
On February 27, Saddam ordered the retreat of all Iraqi troops. The coalition troops pursued the retreating forces to within 150 miles of Baghdad, but they withdrew back to the Iraqi Kuwaiti border. On February 28, a ceasefire was declared and President George H. W. Bush declared Kuwait liberated.