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March 17, 2003

NAVY ISSUES MINE WARNING
The U.S. Navy's Maritime Liaison Office (MARLO) in Bahrain last week issued advisories, on the subject of mines and intentional oil releases into Iraqi waters

The advisory on mines reads:

MARITIME LIAISON OFFICE (MARLO), BAHRAIN

MARLO ADVISORY BULLETIN 03-03 13 Mar 03

The following information was provided to MARLO by Coalition forces. We are passing it in order to keep you informed of ongoing activity that may affect your shipping operations and planning. We request you pass this information widely throughout your own commercial circles. If any of you have any information related to this issue, please contact either your nearest U.S. Embassy/Consulate or MARLO through this channel. In the event of a critical or emergency situation, please contact us via the MARLO 24-hour duty telephone (973-940-1395).

Be alert to mines being deployed by Iraqi naval units or their surrogates and if detected, contact MARLO or Coalition forces immediately. Deploying waterborne mines in Iraqi waterways will not hinder Coalition forces. Coalition units have specialized detection equipment and required expertise to adequately locate and remain clear of waterborne mines. Mines will primarily threaten civilian vessels, many of which will be bringing aid to the people of Iraq. If forced by the Iraqi military to deploy mines, notify MARLO or Coalition forces immediately and assistance for disabling these mines will be provided once you reach Coalition forces – do not move or touch the mines. For the safety of your fellow mariners and Iraqi people, do not deploy waterborne mines. Waterways are vital shipping lanes and mining these will only hurt innocent merchants and ultimately the prosperity of Iraq. Coalition forces intend to immediately target and destroy any unit of vessel discovered to be deploying waterborne mines. Vessel masters will be held accountable if involved in the mining of Iraqi waterways. Make the wise decision. Do not participate in mining the waterways; they will not slow the Coalition's advancement.

The warning on oil release reads:

MARITIME LIAISON OFFICE (MARLO), BAHRAIN

MARLO ADVISORY BULLETIN 04-03
13 Mar 03

The following information was provided to MARLO by Coalition forces. We are passing it in order to keep you informed of ongoing activity that may affect your shipping operations and planning. We request you pass this information widely throughout your own commercial circles. If any of you have any information related to this issue, please contact either your nearest U.S. Embassy/Consulate or MARLO through this channel. In the event of a critical or emergency situation, please contact us via the MARLO 24-hour duty telephone
(973-940-1395).

Intentionally releasing oil from oil terminals or vessels into Iraqi waterways destroys valuable food sources for the Iraqi people and ruins the coastal environment for all people and wildlife. These actions will not deter, hinder, or delay Coalition operations.

Coastal waterways play a crucial role in Iraq’s economy by providing the nation with important shipping routes. Clear trade routes are paramount to the future prosperity of Iraq. Any environmental damage to Iraqi waterways would be detrimental to Iraq’s economy, serving only to delay the shipping necessary to restore the economic growth of Iraq.

Any individual(s) caught intentionally releasing oil into waterways will be subject to full prosecution under international maritime law.

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