On This Day in 1991, the Persian Gulf War Ended

On this day in 1991, President George Bush declared a ceasefire that would end the Persian Gulf War that lasted 42 days.

In early August 1990, Iraqi president Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of neighboring Kuwait. In response, Arab powers called on the U.S. and other Western nations to intervene. When Hussein defied the UN’s call to withdraw Iraqi forces, the Persian Gulf War began in mid-January 1991 with U.S.-led air offensive, Operation DESERT STORM.

On February 28, 1991, President Bush’s ceasefire declaration went into effect under terms that Iraq recognize Kuwait as a sovereign nation and to dispose of all weapons of mass destruction. In all, an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed while the U.S. lost 219 servicemembers.

To all Persian Gulf War Veterans, thank you for your service.

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More than 650,000 Service members served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August 2, 1990 to July 31, 1991. For VA benefits eligibility purposes, the Gulf War period is still in effect. This means that anyone who served on active duty from August 2, 1990, to present is considered a Gulf War Veteran. For example, the Veterans Pension benefit requires service during a wartime period. Therefore, any Veteran who served on active military service for any period from August 2, 1990, to the present meets the wartime service requirement.