The United States -- signaling growing impatience with Turkey -- has begun moving warships capable of launching cruise missiles from the eastern Mediterranean to the Red Sea for a possible war with Iraq.
U-S Defense Department officials say the ships on Friday began moving through the Suez Canal to the northern Red Sea. Eventually, 12 vessels in all may be moved, possibly including two aircraft carriers (the U-S-S Harry S. Truman and the U-S-S Theodore Roosevelt).
The move was prompted by Turkey's refusal so far to grant over-flight rights to U-S aircraft and cruise missiles in a possible war with Iraq.
The military movements come even as the United Nations weapons inspection process continues in Iraq.
Weapons inspectors say Baghdad Friday destroyed four more al-Sammoud-two missiles north of the capital. So far, Baghdad has destroyed 65 of the banned missiles.
Meanwhile, Baghdad is expected to submit a report to the United Nations Friday or Saturday, detailing what it says is the disposal of its stockpile of the deadly nerve agent known as V-X.
Iraqi diplomats say the V-X stockpile was destroyed in 1991, and Iraqi officials have reportedly pinpointed the location where the stocks were buried. But U-N weapons inspectors say they want to interview witnesses involved in the destruction process and see related documents.