Persian Gulf War 1991 U.S. troops engaged: 2,183,000 Allied casualties: 147 U.S., Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and Italy went to war against Iraq on January 16, 1991, in response to Iraq's August 1, 1990, invasion and annexation of Kuwait. President Bush sent 430,000 troops to Saudi Arabia to lead the U.N.-sponsored coalition and protect that country from an attack by Iraq. The U.N. Security Council set a Jan. 15, 1991 deadline for Iraq to withdraw unconditionally from Kuwait. The next day, Congress gave approval for a huge air attack against military targets in Iraq and Kuwait. A ground war followed. U.S. and coalition forces were too much for Iraq President Saddam Hussein and his troops and the attack ended in four days. Iraq withdrew from Kuwait on February 28, 1991—though not before setting fire to more than 500 Kuwaiti oil wells. Official cease-fire declared, 1991; Iraq agreed to U.N. peace terms, and Saddam Hussein remained in power.