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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
Taken questions of 04/06/94

1. IRAQ

Q: Do you have anything new on violence against the marsh Arabs?

A: WE ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED BY EVIDENCE THAT, IN MARCH, THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT INTENSIFIED ITS MILITARY CAMPAIGN IN THE MARSHES IN SOUTHERN IRAQ. THE SEARCH-AND-DESTROY OFFENSIVE, THE LARGEST IN TWO YEARS, INCLUDES THE RAZING OF VILLAGES AND LARGE-SCALE BURNING OPERATIONS, CONCENTRATED IN THE TRIANGLE BOUNDED BY AN NASIRIYAH, AL QURNAH, AND BASRAH. THE MAGNITUDE OF THE OPERATION IS CAUSING CIVILIAN INHABITANTS TO FLEE TOWARD IRAN, AS WELL AS DEEPER INTO THE MARSHES TOWARD THE OUTSKIRTS OF SOUTHERN IRAQI CITIES. THIS OFFENSIVE FITS WITHIN A PATTERN OF REPRESSION AGAINST THE CIVILIAN POPULATION IN SOUTHERN IRAQ. THE U.S. HAS TAKEN THE LEAD IN CALLING INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION TO THE SITUATION IN IRAQ. WE HAVE ASKED THE UNITED NATIONS TO IMPLEMENT A PROGRAM OF HUMAN RIGHTS MONITORS, PARTICULARLY FOR THE SOUTH. WE ARE NOW WORKING WITHIN THE UN SYSTEM TO FUND THE MONITORING PROGRAM AND PUT IT INTO OPERATION. WE ARE ALSO ACTIVELY CONSULTING WITH THE UN AND OUR ALLIES TO ENSURE THAT IRAQ COMPLIES FULLY WITH ALL RELEVANT SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS, INCLUDING 688, WHICH DEMANDS THAT THE IRAQI REGIME END THE REPRESSION OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE.

2. UNPROFOR

Q. Has the U.S. offered to airlift Ukrainian peacekeeping forces to Bosnia?

A. THE U.S. HAS OFFERED AIRLIFT SUPPORT TO THE UN TO TRANSPORT REINFORCEMENTS BEING DEPLOYED TO UNPROFOR. THIS OFFER COULD APPLY TO THE UKRAINIAN TROOPS. HOWEVER, THE UN HAS NOT YET ASKED THE U.S. TO AIRLIFT UKRAINIAN TROOPS.

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