Attack on Iraq: Saturday Latest - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/22/03

Attack on Iraq: Saturday Latest

An Iraqi bearing a white flag surrenders. An Iraqi bearing a white flag surrenders.

A spokesman at Fort Campbell, the 101st Airborne Division's home base, said that ten people were hurt, six seriously, by small arms fire and grenades in Kuwait. The attack came at Camp Pennsylvania, near the Iraqi border. The official didn't identify which unit of the division was at the camp.


In his first public comment on the war with Iraq, Pope John Paul said the war threatens the whole of humanity and that weapons could never solve mankind's problems.


There are reports that about a thousand Turkish troops crossed the border into Kurdish areas. US officials fear there could be clashes between Turkish and Kurdish troops. Turkey's government is denying sending troops in.


It appears that Ali Hassan, known as "Chemical Ali" for killing thousands of Iraqi Kurds with chemical weapons, is in charge of the Iraqi forces in southeastern Iraq.


Marines have defeated Iraqi forces in a battle outside the southern city of Basra, Iraq's second-largest city. Troops have been coming under artillery fire as they head toward Basra. Marines have captured its airport and taken hundreds of Iraqi prisoners.

Three marines were wounded when a man in civilian clothes fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a tank support vehicle.


Five people, including an Australian journalist, are dead after a car bomb went off in northern Iraq. The explosion happened near the camp of militant group linked to Al Qaida. A civilian and three Kurdish soldiers were also killed.


The Iraqi media is reporting Saddam Hussein is still in power, but US military officials are not sure.  Iraqi TV shows Saddam meeting with his son and Iraqi leaders, but American officials say there's no way to tell if the video is current or if it was taped before the war.


The American general running the war in Qatar says US troops are performing magnificently. General Tommy Franks says Operation Iraqi Freedom will be unlike any other war in history.

"It will be characterized by shock, by surprise, by flexibility, by the employment of precise munitions on a scale never before seen, and by the application of overwhelming force," he said.


Smoke from burning oil wells is darkening the skies of southern Iraq. Coalition forces believe seven wells are on fire. They fear Saddam Hussein may set fire to more. If that happens, several companies that specialize in firefighting are standing by to help put them out. The oil fields will help the Iraqi people rebuild during postwar construction.


The Pentagon has reported that 500 cruise missiles and several hundred precision weapons have been launched against Iraq over the past day.


Contrary to an earlier bulletin from a Sky TV correspondent, four Third Infantry Division soldiers that were reported as killed in Iraq were only wounded in an attack. Their wounds were not serious, and WTOC has learned they are back on duty.


Two British Royal Navy helicopters have collided over the Persian Gulf, killing all seven on board including a US Navy officer. The two Sea King helicopters were not struck by enemy fire.


In the first two days of the military campaign, 14 deaths have been reported among coalition troops, six Americans and eight Britons.


The battle for the city of Basra continues. It's a key city in Iraq. Coalition troops are still encountering some resistance in Umm Qasr. After a night of shock and awe, the sound of another large explosion shook Baghdad in the early morning hours. But the single blast was nothing compared to the massive attack that punished Iraq's capitol.

The bright lights of bombs could be seen for miles. Today some buildings are still smoldering while others show just how precise the cruise missiles are.

The campaign from the sky coincides with the mission on the ground. Marines have secured ports in the city of Umm Qasr, but there are still pockets of resistance and the battle continues.

Across Iraq, allied forces have grabbed several areas and troops are now converging on the city of Basra. An armada of military machinery continues to roll toward the heart of the country, Baghdad. The Americans success has been aided by the surrender of Iraqi troops, including an entire division of 8,000 men.

The US uniform is a welcome site to some Iraqi citizens, even helping to take down posters of Saddam.

But other soldiers have been met with enemy fire. On Friday, two Marines became the first combat causalities.


At this point, two questions remain unanswered: is Saddam Hussein still in control of his government and military, or is he even alive after an air strike Thursday? Reports have indicated that, if he is alive, the US military believes that he is wounded. How serious his wounds may be remains unknown.

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