Hostages evacuated from Middle East
Following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990, a Dassault Falcon 900 tri-jet VIP transport (A26-070) from No 34 Squadron was flown to the Middle East for possible use in bringing home Australians stranded by the Gulf crisis. Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, had detained thousands of foreign citizens as hostages to deter the US from launching a military attack against him, but early the next month he agreed to free at least the women and children in this group. On this day, A26-070 evacuated a party of 13 Australians from Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) to Amman (Jordan), and then to Bahrain and Male in the Maldives. Next day the aircraft continued on to Perth via Cocos Islands, before delivering its passengers to Adelaide, Sydney and Canberra. The hostage drama was only a prelude to a six-week multinational campaign, which by 28 February 1991 had expelled Iraqi forces from Kuwait.