Allies display military might at Kuwait liberation paradeBy Prashant Sood, IANS
Saturday, February 26, 2011
KUWAIT CITY - Tanks, rocket launchers and multi-barrelled guns of allies of the 1990-91 Gulf War Saturday rolled down a specially-created facility at Al-Subiya military base to mark the 20th anniversary of Kuwait’s liberation from Iraqi occupation.
Several heads of state and senior ministers including India’s External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna witnessed the over two-hour long parade that saw fighter planes perform acrobatics and fly in various formations.
Apart from participation of Kuwaiti ground and air forces, the parade saw participation of allied forces including the United States, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
The parade, the largest such show of military power in Kuwait, started with fighter planes flying across in an open triangular formation in the sky above the main dais.
Large number of locals, who had thronged the military facility, about 100 km from the capital city, waved and cheered as Kuwaiti special forces went past the saluting arena.
The backdrop to the main arena was marked with the words in Arabic “History does not make heroes. Heroes make history” inscribed on a small hillock.
The patriotic fervour continued for hours after the parade as people present availed the opportunity to have a closer look at the fighting machines which were parked a little away from the parade area.
Government officials said that the parade was not only a celebration of the country’s liberation but also a message that Kuwait was militarily more prepared to resist any outside attack.
During the 42-day air campaign in the 1990-91 war after the then Iraqi president Saddam Hussain occupied Kuwait Aug 2, 1990, coalition forces flew over 100,000 sorties and dropped 88,500 tonnes of bombs to destroy military targets in the occupied country and Kuwait.
According to US military officials, the ground assault was over in 100 hours of its launch and on Feb 27, 1991, the Iraqi forces were in full retreat.