(2 September 1990 – 31 July 1991)
On the 2nd of August 1990, the Army of Iraq invaded Kuwait. The UN Security Council reacted immediately, issuing No. 660/2-8-90 Resolution, with unanimous vote (except Yemen that did not participate in the process). The UNSC disapproved Iraq’s action against Kuwait, considering that such action violates international peace and security; the Resolution demanded immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Iraqi Forces from Kuwait.
Following unsuccessful mediatory efforts of the Arab League for a peaceful settlement, the UNSC issued No. 661/6-8-90 Resolution, imposing sanctions against Iraq. However, following Husein’s regime activities, such as the arrest of a great number of western diplomats and using them as shields around major installations of strategic interest, the UNSC issued a new Resolution, No. 664/18-8-90, demanding Hussein to restrain form such activities. On the 25th of August 1990, UNSC adopted 665/25-8-90 Resolution and maritime embargo was imposed upon Iraq, while air sanctions against Iraq were authorized by Resolution No. 670/25-9-90. Additionally, No. 666/13-9-90 Resolution was adopted, concerning the mission of humanitarian assistance to Iraq and Kuwait.
On the 25th of February 1991, Iraq expressed its will to comply with the UNSC Resolutions.
PARTICIPATION OF THE HELLENIC FORCES:
Following the decision of Government Council on Foreign Policy and National Defense, taken in the context of the implementation of the Principles of the U.N. Chart, as well as No. 661 and No. 665 UNSC Resolutions, Hellenic Navy frigate “LIMNOS” sailed on the 2nd September of 1990 for the Eastern Mediterranean to restore international stability and support International Community efforts for peace and security.
Greek participation included two frigates, “ELLI” and “LEMNOS” on a rotation basis, until the 31st of July 1991 when the operation was concluded. UNSC Resolution No. 678 ascertained that naval units were needed to monitor the implementation of sanctions regarding commodities distribution to and from Iraq.
Hellenic Navy frigates conducted a number of ship inspections and cargo controls, assisted by their helicopters and the personnel of Underwater Demolitions Command. Additionally, the frigates participated in missions of close protection, during ship inspections, conducted by allied ships.
They were also tasked to be present and conduct operations in the area of the Eastern Mediterranean and North Red Sea, to ensure the implementation of the provisions of No. 661 UNSC Resolution, as well as effective implementation of the embargo on maritime transportation from Iraq and occupied Kuwait, in the context of No. 665 UNSC Resolution.
“LEMNOS” and “ELLI” frigates indicated with emphasis that Greece is a strong supporter of international peace and order, while at the same time they projected the Greek National Flag to the Seas around the World.
The Political Leadership and Military Chain of Command of the Multinational Force stressed the important role that the Hellenic War Ships played in operations in the Red Sea, and underlined their contribution to the effort of the allied countries to implement UNSC Resolutions.