KUWAIT — After Iranian missile strikes and a terrorist bombing, Kuwait plans to train civilians to help defend the sheikdom that has put its reflagged tankers under U.S. Navy protection, an official was quoted as saying today.
Preventing attacks by Iranian-trained saboteurs appears to be the plan's main objective. Iran, which has been at war with Iraq since September, 1980, accuses Kuwait of supporting its adversary.
Moving Toward Home
The 13th convoy of Navy ships and U.S.-flagged Kuwaiti tankers was moving up the Persian Gulf today to the home anchorage, where three Silkworm missiles fired in a week hit two tankers and a major oil loading facility.
Col. Khalid Quoud, Kuwait's civil defense director, was quoted today in the English-language Kuwait Times as saying military training of volunteers will begin next week.
He did not say how many volunteers would be involved. Kuwait has a defense force of only about 12,000 men, and a small national guard.
Quoud said a "food security plan" had been devised, along with a program to cope with power blackouts.
The training plan accompanies other defense measures and was not prompted by the latest Iranian attacks, he said, but added: "If the program coincides with the recent escalation" of tension in the gulf, "then it calls for enthusiasm in its implementation from both the leadership and the citizens."
A report in the Arabic-language Al Anbaa quoted the head of the state-owned Kuwait Oil Co., Yaqoub Yousef Doub, as saying several measures had been taken to protect oil installations. He did not describe them.
He urged citizens to guard the places where they work, declaring: "If every citizen undertakes his duty in this respect, there will be no way for messing around by weaklings."
Last Saturday, a homemade bomb wrecked the office of the agent in Kuwait for Pan American World Airways.