The Gulf War typically refers to military operations against Iraq by a US-led coalition in the early 1990s. The term normally encompasses three successive operations: the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, the operation to defend Saudi Arabia against Iraqi invasion (Operation Desert Shield), or the subsequent offensive operations against Iraqi forces occupying Kuwait (Operation Desert Storm).

The Gulf War began in August of 1990 when Saddam Hussein ordered the Iraqi military to undertake an unprovoked military offensive against his southern neighbor, Kuwait. The Kuwaiti defenses crumbled, and the Iraqis occupied the country easily. Many world leaders condemned the action and, led by American President George Bush, a coalition of powers staged a massive military counteroffensive in Saudi Arabia. An air offensive against Iraq began in January 1991, followed by ground operations in the following month. After a one-hundred-hour war, the Iraqis had been driven out of Kuwait and a cease-fire was declared.

In addition to the liberation of Kuwait, Coalition Special Forces units apparently conducted a variety of operations inside Iraq itself. Frank Druce participated in these operations. (TXF: "E.B.E.")

During the American invasion, a team of American soldiers under the command of Zeke Josepho came into close contact with Iraqi soldiers. Josepho's men were pinned down and wiped out, leaving Josepho himself the only survivor. Josepho was rescued by a surprise counterattack carried out by unidentified troops in American uniforms who wiped out the Iraqis while appearing to shrug off direct hits. Josepho believe they were angels; they were later revealed as having been aliens erroneously known as super soldiers. (TXF: "Providence")

A number of soldiers wounded during the Gulf War ended up at an army hospital at Fort Evanston for treatment and rehabilitation. (TXF: "The Walk")

Following the war, reports began to surface of Gulf War soldiers and their offspring suffering a variety of strange physical ailments and diseases. These illnesses have collectively become known as Gulf War Syndrome. Department of Defense employee Michael Kritschgau, who had a son who served in Kuwait, claimed that the illness was the result of experimental bioweapons and chemical agents employed by the US Military. (TXF: "Redux") Kritschgau's son contracted an illness that was implied to as being Gulf War Syndrome and died of the disease. (TXF: "Redux II") Later confessions by Peter Watts lend credibility to the accusations. (MM: "Collateral Damage")

The term "Gulf War" is never used to describe the 2003 invasion of Iraq, as that conflict took place after the conclusion of The X-Files (original run), Millennium and The Lone Gunmen.
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