The Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), Liberation of Kuwait codenamed Operation Desert Storm (January 17, 1991– February 28, 1991) commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.
The Devil's Cigarette Lighter was a natural gas well fire at Gassi Touil in the Sahara Desert of Algeria. Ignited when a pipe ruptured on November 6, 1961, the Phillips Petroleum Company-owned well produced more than 6,000 cubic feet of natural gas per second, whose flame rose between 450 feet and 800 feet. The flame was seen from orbit by John Glenn. The blowout and fire were estimated to have consumed enough gas to supply Paris for three months, burning 550,000,000 cubic feet per day.
As the 1991 Persian Gulf War drew to a close, Hussein sent men to blow up Kuwaiti oil wells. Approximately 600 were set ablaze, and the fires — literally towering infernos — burned for seven months. The Gulf was awash in poisonous smoke, soot and ash.