The Gulf War came about after Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2 1990. The war itself started on January 16 1991. The Coalition forces included troops from 34 countries. The ground war started on February 24 1991, and the war was declared to be officially over three days later after Iraqi troops pulled out of Kuwait. Hundreds of oil wells in Kuwait had been set on fire, and it took until November to put them all out.
I remember the oppressing sense of fear during the standoff before the war. Pundits were predicting that it would escalate into World War Three, you'd hear news items about how bunkers were being prepared in case the government had to be evacuated (no plans for evacuating us proles, I noticed...). The town I was living in at the time, about 30km north of Toronto, started to test its emergency sirens once a week. When the war finally started, all radio and TV programming was pre-empted to cover it. On the second night, one idiot commentator (luckily I seem to have wiped the memory of who it was) cheerfully announced that it was only a matter of time before nuclear weapons were used. I started having the same kind of nightmares that I had after watching Threads in 1984, and I actually became physically sick from the stress. Even after the war ended, it was months before I could watch, listen to, or read about it without feeling nauseated.