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Escape across the desert

Unlike any conflict before, the Gulf War of 1991 played out in a brave new world of biological warfare. A round-the-clock television audience was captivated by the flying missiles that lit up the night sky. Canadian troops, sent abroad for combat for the first time since the Korean War joined the Allied forces to fight Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. On the surface, the occupation ended swiftly and decisively as the Iraqi forces retreated. But as was evident over the next decade, the problems remained unresolved.

media clip
Wearing a burka, hiding her jewellery and driving rapidly across the desert, Canadian Kathy MacGregor has just completed a daring escape from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia. Her flight comes just as Iraqi forces are rounding up foreign nationals and holding them in hotel rooms as hostages. In this interview MacGregor describes waking up to loud explosions, the swift takeover of the city and her frightening journey to safety.
• Canadians who remained in Kuwait developed a secret network to house, feed and hide Americans, as is shown in this clip about Canadian hostages returning home from Iraq.
• Canada opened an embassy in Iraq in 1975. During Iraq's occupation of Kuwait this embassy closed its doors and has not since re-opened. As of February 2003 the Canadian embassy in Jordan handles all matters related to Iraq.
Medium: Television
Program: The Journal
Broadcast Date: Aug. 21, 1990
Guest(s): Kathy MacGregor
Host: Terence McKenna
Duration: 14:57

Last updated: December 28, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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