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Query: US use of cluster bombs?

I've recently received the following articles, and was wondering whether
anyone has any information about the alleged use of cluster bombs by the US
against Iraq.  Anyone?

>Articles contain hints of a deal--approve cluster bombs for Turkey, and
the Turks will stop complaining about our using them against Iraq in
Operation Northern Watch:

>Turkey uneasy over secret use of cluster bombs against Iraqi forces by
United States
>Ankara - Turkish Daily News
>April 4, 2000
>Turkish military intelligence has uncovered U.S. jet fighters conducting
reconnaissance flights in the no-fly zone north of the 36th parallel over
Iraq and secretly using cluster bombs against Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein's forces. This has once more caused uneasiness between Ankara and
Washington concerning the nature of the armament which U.S. fighters can
>The Turkish and U.S. military have been holding talks on the sensitive issue
of using cluster bombs against Iraqi forces, which were used last September
but have gone unnoticed since then by the press. Under the rules of
engagement agreed upon between Turkey and the United States last year, the
United States should inform Turkey of the nature of the armament warplanes
are carrying on each flight taking off from Incirlik Air Force Base to
monitor the no-fly zone north of the 36th parallel over northern Iraq.
>But in September of last year, Turkish military intelligence uncovered U.S.
warplanes using cluster bombs against Iraqi forces on grounds of
self-defense when Iraqi radars locked onto a U.S. F-16. This has prompted
the Turkish and U.S. military to find ways in which the United States would
not use such bombs again.
>Operation Northern Watch (ONW) based at Incirlik in southern Turkey is
composed of Turkish, U.S. and British forces conducting surveillance
flights in the region to deter Saddam's forces from attacking Kurds,
Turkmen and other ethnic groups living in northern Iraq. Turkish pilots do
not take part in the reconnaissance flights over northern Iraq in an
attempt not to upset Saddam's regime and not to give Baghdad the impression
that the ONW's existence is permanent. But Turkish pilots participate in
Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft flights in the region.
>Under the agreement British and U.S. aircraft conduct reconnaissance flights
over northern Iraq three days per week -- limited to three hours each --
and are entitled to conduct reconnaissance flights a maximum of 18 days per
month. A maximum of 48 aircraft operate under ONW.
>The nature of arms deployed on a single U.S. F-16 aircraft during flights
over northern Iraq has always been an issue of discontent between the
United States and Turkey.
>Turkey classifies cluster bombs (a conventional weapon) as an offensive
weapon and is asking the United States not use them against Iraqi forces.
Turkey also questions the rationale behind using cluster bombs when the
United States denied their transfer to Turkey in 1994 on grounds that the
bombs would have been used against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists.
>"The use of cluster bombs against Saddam's forces for self defense is not
allowed by Turkey due to the United States' refusal a few years ago to
transfer cluster bombs to Ankara. Turkey sees this U.S. policy as a double
standard," claimed one Western diplomat. In the meantime, Iraq continues to
complain to the United Nations about Turkey and the coalition forces based
at Incirlik saying that ONW poses a threat to its security and territorial
>Meanwhile, Turkey is separately negotiating with the United States over the
long-delayed transfer of cluster bombs to Turkey. Turkey's order at the
time for approximately 100 cluster bombs has been delayed because it was
denied by the U.S. Administration when PKK terrorism was at its peak. But
with the
considerable reduction in PKK terrorist activities, the United States is
said to be preparing to transfer the cluster bombs to Turkey.
>copyright 2000. reprinted with permission.
>US Embassy: No secrecy in ONW
>Ankara - Turkish Daily News
>April 5, 2000
>The U.S. Embassy in Ankara stated that there was nothing secret about the
way the United States conducts Operation Northern Watch (ONW). An embassy
spokesman said, "It is completely transparent." The U.S. Embassy statement
came as a reaction to a Turkish Daily News article published on April 4
under the headline, "Turkey uneasy over secret use of cluster bombs against
Iraqi forces by United States."
>In a written statement yesterday the U.S. Embassy spokesman made the
remarks: "There is nothing secret about the way we conduct Operation Northern
Watch. It is completely transparent. Our coalition partners are aware of
every move.
>Turkish pilots fly in our early warning aircraft, and Turkish officers sit
next to Americans in the Combat Air Operations Center. The coalition
decides which tactics will be most effective in enforcing the no-fly zone.
This includes deciding which munitions will be most effective in protecting
ONW air crews. The bottom line is, we will stop bombing as soon as Saddam
stops threatening our pilots."
>However, Turkish military and diplomatic sources speaking to the TDN insist
that the United States has been detected on one occasion secretly using
cluster bombs despite Turkey's sensitivity about these bombs and that they
should not be used against Saddam's forces. But it is understood that the
United States is determined to use munitions that are most effective in
protecting ONW crews as stated in the U.S. Embassy statement.
>copyright 2000. reprinted with permission.

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