ABU DHABI Ñ The U.S. military has launched its first major military
exercise in Kuwait since the war in Iraq.
The U.S. Marines began a month-long exercise over the weekend on the
Kuwaiti island of Bubiyan.
The marines will engage in a series of maneuvers that will involve live
fire, Kuwaiti sources said. They said this will include a beach landing.
A Kuwaiti military statement urged people to stay away from the island.
The statement said the exercise will end on June 24.
"Kuwaiti nationals that had planned to spend their vacations in
those regions, or fishermen working in those areas of Kuwait's coastal
waters, are requested not to approach until June 24, 2003," the
military statement said.
The statement said the marines would conduct the exercise in Kuwaiti
territorial waters on the western side of the Bubiyan island and in the
Khour Al Sabiya channel. The area has been closed by the military since
March on the eve of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, Middle East Newsline reported.
Last week, Kuwaiti sources said the military would begin to reopen areas
of the sheikdom closed because of the war in Iraq. Kuwait closed 25 percent
of its territory to civilians on the eve of the war in Iraq and parliament
has pressed the government to reopen some of the areas in time for summer
The move is part of its semi-annual exercise in