The Persian Gulf War was fought by a coalition of the US and several Arab states, and Iraq. It was triggered by the latter’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, which Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, claimed was historically part of Iraq. However, the coalition believed that the state’s key driver was to acquire Kuwait’s rich oil fields and expand its regional power.
Thus, when Iraq ignored a UN Security Council deadline to withdraw from Kuwait, the coalition began a US-led air offensive on January 16th which continued until a ceasefire was agreed upon on February 28th.
Other notable events of January 16th:

In 2005, Romanian professor Adriana Iliescu gives birth at the age of 66, breaking the world record for world’s oldest birth mother

In 1992, The civil war in El Salvador comes to an end, after 12 years of fighting and more than 75,000 killed.

In 1919, Prohibition begins in the US as Congress ratifies the 18th Amendment, banning the manufacture, sale and transport of alcoholic beverages.

In 1547, Ivan the Terrible is crowned “tsar and grand prince of all Russia.”

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 1999