UK government on Tuesday apologised for not warning human shields at the hands of the Iraqi dictator.
Former hostages are still looking for answers as to what London’s government knew, when it knew it, and whether special forces were involved in the flight that put them at risk.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss stated to parliament that London was informed by the UK Ambassador to Kuwait about reports of an invasion by Iraq at around midnight on August 2, 1990.
BA 149 was already in flight when the message was sent to other departments, including Downing Street, the MI6 intelligence agency, and the foreign and defense ministries.
Truss stated that it was not circulated at BA. She also released files about the events to Britain’s national archives.
She added that “the call made (by Ambassador) has never been publicly revealed or acknowledged until now.”
These files prove that the existence and nature of the call were not disclosed to parliament or the public. This was unacceptable.
“As the current secretary to state, I apologize to the House and express my deepest sympathies to those who were mistreated and detained.”
BA 149 was delayed taking off, officially due to “technical issues”, and landed in Kuwait City around 0113 GMT. The airport in the city was shut down 45 minutes later.
Truss stated that the files showed that the ambassador was unsure about the size of the invasion in Iraq and that no procedure existed at the moment to warn airlines or at risk flights.
She also reiterated the government’s previous position that no UK special forces were on board and “didn’t attempt in any manner to exploit the flight”.
BA has always denied any allegations of negligence, conspiracy or a cover-up.
The company stated Tuesday that “These records confirm British Airways wasn’t warned about the invasion”.
Barry Manners, one of the passengers on board, stated that he didn’t accept the apology and denied the claim that special forces were present on the flight.
“Who in the world were they?” A rugby team? He added. “These guys were serious, all you had to do was look at them. They were soldiers, I’m sure.”
Operation-Trojan-Horse” Operation Trojan Horse”, claims London knowingly put passengers at risk by using the flight to deploy undercover operatives and delayed take-off to allow them to board.