GULF WATCH: Day 39

Diplomatic Front:

In a joint statement, Presidents Bush and Mikhail S. Gorbachev declared unconditional support for sanctions against Iraq and warned that if current steps fail, they are "prepared to take additional ones. . . . "

During the Helsinki summit, Bush endorsed a Gorbachev stance that certain food and medical supplies could be exempt from the embargo. He also indicated that he will ask Congress to approve maximum possible economic assistance for the Soviet Union--possibly including most-favored-nation status.

In Tehran, Iraq's Foreign Minister Tarik Aziz began talks with Iranian officials in the first official Iraqi visit since the two countries went to war in 1980.

The visit is expected to pave the way for a peace treaty, and Iraq is expected to ask for food and medical shipments through Iran.

Military Front:

Naval commanders from 20 nations met in Bahrain to coordinate operations of the huge armada of warships enforcing the embargo against Iraq.

"It's a general coordination conference on radio frequencies and operating areas," a U.S. Embassy spokesman said.

Meanwhile, six French combat helicopters and 100 soldiers began heading for Saudi Arabia. France has deployed more than 7,000 men in the gulf region, most of them aboard warships.

The Airlifts:

Hundreds of Americans flew to freedom after being held in Iraq and Kuwait. A U.S.-chartered flight carrying about 300 Americans landed in Charleston, S.C., from Amman, Jordan. And an Iraqi Airways jumbo jet carrying 426 evacuees, including 170 Americans, flew from Baghdad to London.

And an airlift by the International Migration Organization continued over the weekend. The plan is to fly 19,000 Sri Lankans home over the next 11 days.

Crisis Indicators:

* U.S. troops on the ground: 70,000

* U.S. sailors aboard ships in region: 35,000

* U.S. warships in region: 50+

* U.S. reservists to be mobilized: up to 49,703

* Iraqi troops in/near Kuwait: 265,000

* Iraqi tanks in Kuwait: 1,500

* U.S. diplomats remaining in Kuwait: 8

* U.S. diplomats, dependents held in Iraq: 58

* Other Americans detained in Iraq and Kuwait: 90

* Total Americans in Kuwait: about 1,500

* Total Americans in Iraq: about 300

* High temperature in Mecca, Saudi Arabia: 112

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