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Turks, Saudis ban cruise missile flights

The guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George fires a Tomahawk cruise missile from its position in the Mediterranean Sea last Sunday.
The guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George fires a Tomahawk cruise missile from its position in the Mediterranean Sea last Sunday.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Navy ships in the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea have stopped firing cruise missile at Iraq after complaints by Turkey and Saudia Arabia that some of the missiles have fallen on their territories, a Pentagon official said Saturday.

Both countries asked the U.S. to stop the flights. Since the start of the war with Iraq last week, four malfunctioning Tomahawk missiles have landed in Saudi Arabia and three in Turkey.

There has been no reported damage from any of the stray missiles, which fell in remote areas.

Negotiations between the United States, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to reopen the flight corridors are ongoing, the official said.

Earlier this week, Turkey closed its air space to cruise missile overflights when two of them fell within its borders. Airspace was subsequently re-opened, then closed again when another cruise missile fell in Turkey within the past day or so.

Pentagon officials tell CNN that the U.S. Central Command maybe forced to move the ships from the Mediterranean and Red Sea locations into the Persian Gulf if both Turkey and Saudi Arabia continue the ban.


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