London (Associated Press)-If the British Foreign Office informed the airline that Iraq had begun to invade its oil-rich Persia, the more than 300 passengers and crew on British Airways flights in 1990 would have been spared from suffering in Kuwait Hostage torture that lasted for months. Neighbors in the Gulf, according to newly disclosed documents on Tuesday.
According to the document, the British ambassador to Kuwait warned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the Iraqi army had crossed the border one hour before the flight BA149 from London to Kuala Lumpur landed in Kuwait in the early hours of August 2, 1990 to refuel. This information was passed on to other government departments and intelligence agencies, but not to the airlines, so the flight could not be transferred.
Within hours of landing, the passengers and crew were detained by the Iraqi army. Many people spent nearly five months being used by Iraq’s then dictator Saddam Hussein as “human shields” in an attempt to prevent retaliation by Western troops-they were scattered to potential targets across Iraq. After being abused, he was subjected to post-traumatic stress, including mock executions and witnessing atrocities.
These documents are disclosed in accordance with the so-called “20-year rule”, that is, government documents are gradually released to the public. Before 2013, the paper was published 30 years later.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that it took so long for Ambassador Michael Weston’s warning to reveal the truth, which is “unacceptable”.
In a written statement to lawmakers, she expressed her “deepest sympathy” to those who were detained and subsequently abused.
Since the plane landed in Kuwait, it has been widely speculated that there were about 10 men on the plane for the purpose of gathering information about Iraq’s intentions. In the weeks leading up to the invasion, Saddam’s government adopted an increasingly belligerent tone towards its neighbors, expressing historical dissatisfaction mainly related to its oil reserves.
The British government faces allegations that, despite the danger, it allows the flight to continue because it is carrying a special force that it wants to infiltrate the country.
Truss said the documents showed that the government of then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher did not act improperly.
“The government at the time did not try to use this flight in any way or in any way,” she said in the diplomatic language that government officials have used for years.
The release of these documents was strongly suspected by passenger Barry Manners, who was a 24-year-old businessman at the time.
Manners said it took him two years to recover from the ordeal after his release in December 1990, and he said he was “shocked” by the suggestion that there were no military personnel on board.
For various reasons, detainees were released at different stages. By mid-December 1990, the last group of hostages had been released. A month later, the United Nations coalition led by the United States began a intensive air strike against the Iraqi army before the ground offensive began on February 24, 1991. Within four days, Kuwait was liberated. The Allies did not pursue the Iraqi army, and Saddam Hussein was able to consolidate his power until April 2003, after the US-led invasion of his country after the 9/11 attacks, he remained in power.