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(13 August 1990 - 19 August 1991)
Agust 2, 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq

The Belgian government decided to participate in the military intervention force in the Persian Gulf. This participation took place within the United Nations framework.

This operation could not take effect within the NATO framework as not all legal conditions were met. The conflict took place outside the NATO area of operations and no NATO member was directly involved.

Several European governments were hesitant to place their ships under American command, hence the Western European Union (WEU) provided the best framework to put this operation conducted by European Navies into effect.

Consequently our ships were placed under national command (ZEEBRUGGE - COMOPSNAV). The operational control was delegated to Admiral Indian Ocean (ALINDIEN - France, to whom the WEU (Western European Union) had entrusred operational command). On 13th August 90 the government decided to send a minewarfare flotilla to the Mediterranean, and subsequently decided on 06th September 9O to let the flotilla proceed to the Persian Gulf.

This flotilla comprised the Command and Logistic Support ship ZINNIA and the Tripartite minehunters IRIS and MYOSOTIS. The first MCM operations started on 23rd September 90 in the Gulf of OMAN. On 06th September 90 the government also decided to deploy a frigate in this area. WANDELAAR sailed on 04th October 90 and started operations off " BAB el MANDEB " on 17 October, which lasted till 14th January 91.

On 17th January 91 operation DESERT STORM started. The Belgian minewarfare flotilla proceeded towards the Arabian-Persian Gulf, coordinated by the WEU (Western European Union).

On 19th January 91 WIELINGEN relieved WANDELAAR.

On 27th February 91 the government decided to dispatch a third minehunter, DIANTHUS.

When the cease-fire took effect, mine-clearing operations were executed off KUWAIT.

The Belgian flotilla was reinforced by the Dutch minehunters HAARLEM, HAARLINGEN, ZIERIKZEE and the French minehunters L'AIGLE, CASSIOPEE, ORION, PEGASE, PLUTON, SAGITTAIRE accompanied by the supplyship LOIRE.

By decision of the WEU, Admiral Indian Ocean was entrusted with the operational command and Belgium was charged with the operational control of the force.

The last Belgian ships left the Gulf on 14th July 91. Our minewarfare flotilla has detected and destroyed 280 mines. Belgium took the lead in the minewarfare table in the Second War in the Gulf.

Our frigates interrogated 3.168 merchant ships and searched 28. They thus numbered more than double the number of searches effected by any other WEU Navy. During 2 separate actions the frigate WIELINGEN rescued 25 people.

During this operation, which lasted over a year, the Navy had constantly 5 ships deployed over 11.OOO Km from their homeport.

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