Following the comprehensive defeat of Iraq military forces during and after the occupation of Kuwait
under Operation Desert Storm
, the Baathist regime in Iraq almost immediately began campaigns of internal repression, one against the Marsh Arabs
in the south of Iraq and one against the Kurds
in the north.
The UK began a round of diplomatic conversations which culminated in the creation of Operation Haven (aka Operation Provide Comfort
in the USA), a multinational mission to prevent the Iraqi attacks against its own population, to enforce a northern No Fly Zone
and to provide humanitarian and re-settlement support to those displaced.
Most of the UK air assets arrived on RFA Argus in the Turkish port of Iskenderun on 30 Apr, with two 3 CBAS Gazelles joining on 5 May, having been flown in to Diyarbakir
by the RAF.
Forward Operating Bases had been set up well into northern Iraq at
- Cap Badge (until 17 Jun)
- Breeze Block (until 29 Jun) and
On 25 Jun a Flight of 3 CBAS moved to the Brigade HQ at Sirsenk to support the remainder of 40 Commando, RM until its withdrawl on 15 Jul.
Also involved with Operation Provide Comfort I
were the United States Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps plus units from France.