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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 carry. > >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 integrity. > >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 following 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. > -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi