Aug. 2 - Iraq, financially devastated by the war with Iran, invades Kuwait on the grounds that the country was producing too much oil, thereby undercutting the value of Iraq's oil supply. Within days, the United Nations imposes economic sanctions on Iraq for attempting to annex Kuwait.
Aug. 7 - The United States launches Operation Desert Shield, mobilizing nearly 500,000 troops in the Persian Gulf and in Saudi Arabia to contain the Iraqi army.
Jan. 17 - U.S. and other coalition forces begin bombing Iraq after Saddam refuses to meet the U.N.-mandated Jan. 15 withdrawal from Kuwait.
Feb. 24 - After an unrelenting bombing campaign, ground troops force the Iraqi army out of Kuwait, and liberation is achieved three days later.
March 3 - Iraq agrees to a U.N.-brokered cease-fire, but weeks later crushes separate revolts by Kurdish and Shia factions.
The United States establishes a no-fly zone in northern and southern Iraq, citing the need to protect Kurdish and Shiite groups that had risen up against Saddam Hussein, but been brutally put down.
The United States launches cruise missile attacks on Iraqi intelligence headquarters in response to Saddam's violation of the cease-fire and reports of an assassination attempt on President George H.W. Bush.
Iraq recognizes Kuwaiti independence.
An Oil-for-Food agreement signed by Iraq and the United Nations allows Iraq to sell oil in exchange for access to tightly controlled funds for food, medicine and humanitarian supplies.
A U.N. disarmament commission concludes Iraq is hiding information on biological and chemical weapons. U.N. weapons inspectors are expelled from Iraq, but after negotiations are allowed to return.
Dec. 16-19 - The United States and UK begin a bombing campaign to destroy Iraq's chemical and nuclear weapon programs under "Operation Desert Fox."
Iraq rejects a U.N. resolution to ease sanctions in return for allowing weapons inspectors to return.