KUWAIT (AP) _ Hundreds of Marines staged an amphibious landing Friday in Kuwait in a military exercise designed to demonstrate America's commitment to security in the Persian Gulf.

Some 1,200 Marines were expected to land on the beach in Subbiya, 19 miles north of Kuwait City, by air-cushion landing craft.

Marine commander Col. John C. Garrett, said the objective was ``to demonstrate our capability to project power without any dependence on ports.''

He said the exercise was not related to recent tensions between the United States and Iran over Tehran's alleged support for terrorism and a U.S. law penalizing companies which invest in Iran.

A continuing series of military maneuvers, sometimes with Kuwaiti forces, is part of a 10-year defense agreement the emirate signed with the United States in 1992.