Kuwait returned the remains of 32 soldiers killed during the 1991 gulf war to Iraq today, the Ministry of Human Rights in South Iraq said.
“The handover ceremony took place today amid a solemn ceremony organized by the Iraqi armed forces on the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border at Safwan crossing, west of Basra city,” Said Mahdi al-Tamimi, head of the office.
Iraqi and Kuwaiti officials were present.
Most of the soldiers will now be given a fitting burial. However, the identity of some has not yet been discerned.
“A large number of the remains are unidentified” said al-Tamimi, “Therefore, they have to transferred to Baghdad’s forensic department.”
These 32 bodies brought the number of soldiers remains recovered from Kuwait since 2006 to 212.
In 1991, Saddam Hussein’s army marched into Kuwait following territorial disputes which led the international community to take action in a war that forced the Iraqi army out of Kuwait. Thousands of Iraqi troops were killed in the US-led coalition attacks with many hundreds of bodies not being returned to Iraq.
Kuwait and Iraq’s relations remain strained 20 years after the conflict, with disputes over the border, reparation payments and oil fields that straddle the border. However, recent years have seen some improvement, with concessions, such as the one made by Kuwait today, made by both sides.