Sunday, November 28

London apologizes after 30 years to British plane passengers detained by Saddam Hussein after the invasion of Kuwait

The British government has apologized over the case of British Airways passengers who were taken hostage by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and used as human shields, admitting 30 years later that it did not warn the airline that Iraq invaded Kuwait, where the plane landed.

Flight BA 149 took off from London to the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, and stopped in Kuwait, the capital, on August 2, 1990, hours after the Iraqi invasion of the country, which later led to the outbreak of the Second Gulf War.

After the passengers and crew were disembarked, the plane was destroyed on the runway, and all passengers were gathered for a few days in a nearby hotel run by the Iraqi General Staff, then transported to Baghdad, where they were used as “human shields” in strategic locations.

A number of the 367 passengers and crew members spent more than 4 months in captivity, and were placed in positions that are potential targets for the Western coalition.

For three decades, the former hostages have been seeking to find out some information specifically owned by the British government, asking it to assume its responsibilities.

Tras expressed its deep sympathy with the passengers of the plane who were detained and subjected to ill-treatment (Anadolu Agency)

Yesterday, Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told Parliament that the British ambassador to Kuwait had informed London of an Iraqi invasion around midnight on August 2, 1990, that is, after the plane had taken off. However, no warning message was sent to British Airways, which could have diverted the plane.

Trass acknowledged that “the (Ambassador’s) appeal has never been disclosed and has not been publicly acknowledged until today… neither before Parliament nor public opinion,” considering that “this failure is unacceptable.”

“As the current minister, I offer my apologies in Parliament and express my deepest sympathy to the people who have been detained and mistreated,” she added.

However, Truss rejected accusations contained in a book published in Britain called “Operation Trojan Horse” that the government used the flight, which was two hours late due to “technical problems”, to send nine intelligence officials to Kuwait and was aware of the danger to him. civilians.

The book’s author, Stephen Davis, explains that London received information from American intelligence informing it of the Iraqi invasion. He adds that the control tower was refusing to land all other flights that night.

And Barry Manners, 55, who is one of the former hostages, announced that he rejects the government’s apologies, which he accuses of also lying about British intelligence agents. “Then who the hell were they? The rugby team members?” he quipped. “It was enough just to look at them, I know they were soldiers,” he added.

For its part, the airline, which has been accused of negligence and cover-up, welcomed “these documents confirming that British Airways was not informed of the invasion.”

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