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Six Persian Gulf states declared their support Wednesday for the no-fly zone in southern Iraq.

Support from the group was a major breakthrough for the United States, which gulf diplomats say wants wider support for the exclusion zone.Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were the only members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC, that had previously spoken out in favor of the ban.

Gulf states, while bitter over the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, have worried that the no-fly zone may lead to a dismembered Iraq. The GCC members are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.