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

04/11/03

Attack on Iraq: Friday Latest

Looting remains a problem. Looting remains a problem.
Iraqis hit an image of Saddam with shoes. Iraqis hit an image of Saddam with shoes.
 

General Tommy Franks, visiting the troops in Afghanistan, gives a progress report on the search for Saddam Hussein.

"Well, they are either dead of they are running like hell," Franks said. "That is the case of the leadership regime inside Iraq."

Franks also listed new rules of behavior for American forces in Baghdad. He says troops can't use deadly force to stop looters. They shouldn't keep government employees from going to work, and hospitals, businesses, mosques and schools should remain open. Franks says the people of Baghdad need to maintain some sort of normal routine.


President Bush is visiting wounded soldiers at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland and Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington. During a brief news conference, one of the issues the President discussed was whether or not Saddam's regime will try to find exile in Syria. The White House says the regime is gone but elements still remain in parts of Iraq.


Residents in the northern city of Mosul were celebrating in the streets today, happy about US forces taking over. Happy Iraqis chanted anti-Saddam slogans and demolished pictures and portraits of him, hitting them with shoes, even spitting on them. Some Iraqis even entered a branch of the Bank of Iraq, they came out with bundles of Iraqi money bearing Saddam's face and tore it to shreds.


Looting continues to be a widespread problem in Baghdad. Entire families have been seen carrying items away. Cars are being stolen off the streets and well bred horses are being led away from their homes. Many of the houses ransacked reportedly belonged to government officials, including Saddam Hussein's son, Uday. US troops have implemented a dusk to dawn curfew.


US forces are destroying anything that could be used as a way for Iraqi officials to escape. They've have found and destroyed five small airplanes in Iraq, covered with camouflage netting. They were found near the city of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's birthplace. US Commanders say the planes could be used escape or to distribute weapons of mass destruction.


US troops are being issued decks of cards with pictures of the most wanted figures from Saddam Hussein's regime. There are 55 of them in all: the ace of spades is Hussein.


The entire fifth corps of the Iraqi army has given up the fight in Mosul, the third largest city in Iraq. That leaves Saddam's hometown of Tikrit as his regime's last major holdout.


The United States military has released a list of Iraq's 55 most wanted. US Central Command says coalition forces are hunting the key leaders of the Iraqi regime with orders to bring them in, dead or alive.


Central command says US forces have found and destroyed five small airplanes covered by camouflage netting in Iraq. 


Iraqi forces have now surrendered in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, Iraq's third largest city, in an almost bloodless rout of government forces that sparked joyful street celebrations. US ground forces are deciding whether to treat the Iraqi soldiers as enemy prisoners of war or to let them go back home.

But looting is breaking out; video shows people entering a bank and coming out with wads of money, some throwing it into the air, some gathering the cash and tearing it up. Yesterday, US and Kurdish forces also took control of the oil rich city of Kirkuk.

That brings the northern front within about 60 miles of Saddam's hometown of Tikrit. Residents are asking that coalition forces shift part of their efforts to stopping the indiscriminate looting throughout all of the cities occupied.


Overnight, thousands of young Iraqi soldiers, now dressed in civilian clothing, were spotted walking along a highway from Kirkuk south toward Baghdad. They tell CNN they're making their way home after being abandoned by their commanders. One man says his military superiors took the soldiers' documents to keep them from deserting earlier. He says the troops learned Thursday of Saddam Hussein's apparent downfall and they are making their way home.


Marines have been ordered to crack down on looters who have run wild in Baghdad. They plan to enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew beginning this evening in eastern Baghdad.


Over 500 people attended funeral services for PFC Diego Rincon yesterday in his hometown of Conyers, Georgia. Rincon, a Third Infantry soldier stationed at Fort Stewart, was killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom by a suicide bomber. Earlier this week, Senators Zell Miller and Saxby Chambliss persuaded immigration officials to give him posthumous US citizenship. Rincon was 19 years old.

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