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March 21, 2003

Navy seeks fleeing Iraqi leaders, clears Iraqui waterways
The U..S. Navy Maritime Advisory Liaison Office in Bahrain today issued advisories warning that

  • the Navy is looking for Iraqi leaders attempting to flee by sea
  • Coalition forces are clearing Iraqi waterways and merchant vessels should depart them

The text of the two advisories follows:

MARITIME LIAISON OFFICE (MARLO), BAHRAIN

MARLO ADVISORY BULLETIN 07-03
21 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).

Coalition forces are committed to capturing Iraqi leadership attempting to flee via sea to escape justice, and are using all available military assets to capture them. This includes using the full capabilities of U.S. and Coalition military aircraft, warships, submarines, and satellites. As part of this search operation, U.S. Fifth Fleet and Coalition forces are currently querying commercial vessels in the region, particularly those operating in vicinity of Umm Qasr and Khor Abd Allah waterways.

Anyone suspected of assisting or transporting Iraqi leadership should expect to be boarded, and will risk the sinking or seizure of vessel, and will be detained and jailed.

Any perceived hostility towards a U.S. or Coalition naval unit during these ongoing operations may result in the destruction of the commercial vessel.

MARITIME LIAISON OFFICE (MARLO), BAHRAIN

MARLO ADVISORY BULLETIN 08-03
21 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).

Coalition maritime forces are conducting clearing operations in Iraqi waterways. Coastal merchants and the maritime shipping agencies that have vessels underway in the Khor Abd Allah waterway are requested to immediately contact their vessels and direct them to proceed south in order to depart Iraqi waterways. Inform your vessels to contact Coalition units on bridge-to-bridge radio for specific instructions. For units located north of Umm Qasr, you will be required to remain in place until counter-mining operations are completed in Umm Qasr and the Khor Abd Allah waterway. Once these clearing operations are complete, you will be allowed to exit into the Arabian Gulf.

Coalition military forces will conduct a routine boarding to ensure the safety of both the crew and vessel. Upon completion of the boarding, vessels will be given navigation instructions that will keep them out of harms way. If vessels of the maritime shipping community or coastal merchants are used for military purposes, these vessels will be confiscated or destroyed by the Coalition.

Vessels should remain clear for the durations of Coalition military operations, so as to ensure their safety, the safety of their vessel, and passengers. You will be given instructions from Coalition forces as soon as possible on when to resume maritime operations in and around Iraqi waters. Their goal is to open the waterways to legitimate maritime shipping as quickly as possible.

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