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FOUR SHIPS LEAVE GULF IN REDUCTION OF US FORCE

The US has withdrawn three mine sweepers and a support vessel from the Gulf in its biggest naval cutback there since last August's cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq war. Other Western powers have also reduced their presence in the waterway. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander in chief of the US Central Command, said last month that the Navy would not cut its strength in the Gulf below seven ships - the number it had before a major Western naval buildup in July 1987. The US now has 10 warships in the Gulf.