BY COLONEL OLIVIER PASSOT
French Défense Attaché
The war to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi invasion started on 17 January, 1991: 30 years ago. France contributed to the campaign to liberate Kuwait called Desert Storm, under the codename of Opération Daguet.
The French provided an Army component (Division Daguet), whose mission was to protect the left flank of the coalition forces and to conquer Salman airbase, a tactical hotspot in Iraq. The air component of Operation Daguet consisted of 40 Jaguar and 30 Mirage fighter aircraft, stationed at Al-Ahsa air base in Saudi Arabia. The naval component was part of international task forces in the Gulf waters.
Several French veterans wanted to commemorate this D-Day, 30 years later. They wrote testimonies of ‘their’ war to liberate Kuwait. A Jaguar pilot, captain Mahagne remembers when he conducted an air raid over Kuwait, right on 17 January, 1991. He carried out his mission successfully, although he was fired at by Iraqi air defense.
Other veterans recall their experience as combat engineers, in air defense and electronic warfare. To celebrate this anniversary, some of these veterans also sent us original photos that they are happy to share with Kuwaitis and people of all friendly nations who took part in this historical campaign to liberate Kuwait.