THE IRAQI CONFLICT

OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM

 

DATA

 

 



16 APRIL:
Eye Spy can report than a meeting between military and intelligence heads has taken place in London regarding Washington’s strong statements towards Syria. Damascus has been accused of harbouring wanted Iraqi commanders and providing a fertile ground for terrorism. Most damning is President Bush’s remarks over Syria’s “chemical weapons programme.”

15 APRIL: Tikrit falls to US forces.

13 APRIL 2003: DNA tests on body of man suspected to be Saddam

Eye Spy has learned that US forensic teams are conducting DNA tests on a body thought to be that of Saddam Hussein.

9/10April 2003: BAGHDAD FALLS TO US TROOPS Donald Napier for Eye Spy

The Rule of Saddam Collapses.U.S. Marines have toppled a huge statue of Saddam Hussein in the heart of Baghdad as Iraqis celebrated the humiliating collapse of his 24-year rule.

Cheering ecstatically, a crowd of Iraqis danced and trampled on the fallen 20-foot (six-metre) high metal statue in contempt for the man who had held them in fear for so long. In scenes reminiscent of the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, Iraqis hacked at the statue’s marble plinth with a sledgehammer. Youths hooked a noose around the statue’s neck and attached the rope to a Marine armoured vehicle, which dragged it over.

There was no word on the fate of Saddam or his sons, targeted by U.S. planes that bombed a western residential area of the city on Monday. A CIA official said he did not know if the Iraqi leader had survived the attack.

Statue of Saddam being pulled down


Saddam, who led Iraq through three wars and decades of suffering after taking power in 1979, had vowed to crush a U.S. and British invasion launched three weeks ago to overthrow him. But his forces offered little resistance on Wednesday as U.S. troops thrust through this sprawling city of five million, amid chaotic scenes of rejoicing, looting and gunfire.

Looters gutted official buildings, hauling off anything from air conditioners to flowers. The finance ministry was ablaze late in the day, though it was unclear how the fire had started.

“People, if you only knew what this man did to Iraq,” yelled an old man standing in the road, thrashing at a torn portrait of Saddam with his shoe. “He killed our youth, he killed millions.”

BUSH, BLAIR CAUTIOUS

The White House said President George W. Bush was pleased with the military progress in Iraq, but remained cautious because he knew great danger could still lie ahead. “What you’re seeing in parts of Baghdad is only that, one section of Baghdad. There are many dangerous areas of Baghdad for our armed forces that remain. There are many other cities in Iraq that are dangerous,” said spokesman Ari Fleischer.

Gunfire and explosions echoed intermittently across Baghdad during the day, intensifying at dusk, especially in the western Mansur district, scene of Monday’s air raid aimed at Saddam.

Tank and artillery fire could be heard across the Tigris by correspondents on the eastern bank of the river at the Palestine Hotel, overlooking the fallen Saddam statue. Burning cars blocked a Tigris bridge by the Information Ministry.

Bush’s war ally, Prime Minister Tony Blair, said it was too early to declare military victory in Iraq. “This conflict is not over yet. There is still resistance, not broadly spread among the Iraqi people, but among those parts of Saddam’s regime that want to cling on to power,” he said.

Marines seized a headquarters of Saddam’s feared secret police, correspondent Sean Maguire reported. The deserted Directorate of General Security building in an eastern district was already being looted when the Marines arrived.

Sporadic shooting in parts of Baghdad prompted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to suspend its operations, citing “chaotic and unpredictable” conditions.

It said Canadian ICRC staffer Vatche Arslanian had been killed by crossfire in his vehicle in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday night. Two other ICRC staffers in the vehicle escaped. Jubilant crowds threw flowers and cheered as Marines drove into the city from the vast eastern township of Saddam City, home to about two million impoverished Shi’ite Muslims.

“No more Saddam Hussein,” chanted one group, waving to troops as they passed. “We love you, we love you.” Some Shi’ites, part of a majority community largely hostile to Saddam’s Sunni-led Baathist government, beat their chests as they do during the Shi’ite religious festival of Ashoura.

KURDS REJOICE

As word of events in Baghdad spread, rejoicing crowds took to the streets in the Kurdish-held northern city of Arbil. Iraqi Kurds hate Saddam for his ferocious campaigns against them. His forces used poison gas on the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988 at the height of a crackdown that killed tens of thousands, and crushed a Kurdish revolt after the 1991 Gulf War.

Iraqi troops also brutally suppressed Shi’ite uprisings after the Gulf War, when U.S. forces failed to intervene.

In Halabja, tears streamed down the face of Fakhradeen Saleem, who lost three children in the 1988 chemical attack, as he watched television images of Saddam’s government crumbling.

“How can I feel happiness or sadness after what I have been through?” the 54-year-old teacher told Reuters correspondent Mike Collett-White in the town.

Invasion forces have yet to find any banned chemical or biological arms, a key justification for the war. Saddam’s government denied possessing them.

Cheering crowds earlier sacked U.N. headquarters in the Canal Hotel and drive off in U.N. cars. The building had housed U.N. aid workers as well as arms inspectors, who were withdrawn shortly before the war began on March 20.

AUTHORITIES DISAPPEAR

From first light, there was no sign of Iraqi troops, police or officials in the streets of Baghdad. Even Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, who has turned up daily to pour abuse on the Americans, failed to make an appearance. The U.S. military said a crucial point had been reached at which ordinary people realised Saddam’s rule was over. Brigadier-General Vincent Brooks also said the war would go on to pursue “regime appendages” in various parts of Iraq.

U.S.-led forces have yet to occupy northern cities such as Mosul, Kirkuk and Tikrit, Saddam’s birthplace and tribal power base, 110 miles north of the capital.

U.S. and Kurdish forces dislodged Iraqis from a mountain used to defend Mosul, their biggest victory yet in the north. “From our perspective this is the most important gain of the northern front so far,” said Hoshiyar Zebari, political adviser to Kurdistan Democratic Party leader Massoud Barzani.

On world markets, U.S. stocks rose as events in Baghdad lifted investors’ hopes that the war will soon be over, although worries about the global economy capped gains. Government debt prices erased earlier gains and the dollar gained ground.

With the battle for Baghdad almost over, the issue of ruling and reconstructing a post-Saddam Iraq loomed larger.

France and Britain, papering over their differences on the war, agreed on the need for international involvement. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said after meeting Foreign Secretary Jack Straw that he backed a U.S.-British pledge to give the United Nations a vital role.

Straw said U.S. and British troops were likely to remain in place immediately after the war to assure security.

“Britain and the United States want to see the creation of a representative, democratic Iraqi government as fast as possible, but it can’t happen overnight,” he said. A fledgling U.S.-led civil administration preparing to steer Iraq through the immediate post-war period said it wanted to earn Iraqis’ trust by keeping up a steady flow of aid.

8 April 2003: US tank strikes Palestine Hotel in Baghdad where journalists are reporting on war. Four journalists injured - two seriously injured. COMMENT - difficult to determine if people are holding RPG’s or cameras. Special Forces say building was being used by a sniper - though US CENTCOM admit “something could have gone wrong.”

8 April 2003: Bomb hits headquarters of Al-Jazeera in Baghdad - two staff killed. US Central Command said: “We only target legitimate targets.”

8 April 2003: B1 Bomber drops ‘bunker busting’ bomb on underground compound in Baghdad. UK intelligence said building was hosting a meeting between Saddam and 30 intelligence and military figures. It is reported that at least 20 people have been killed. No news on fate of Saddam.

8 April 2003: American A-10 ‘tank-buster’ aircraft shot down. Pilot rescued.

8 April 2003: USA and UK to lead Iraqi reconstruction. United Nations will have secondary role.

8 April 2003: Ali Hassan al-Najeed, better known as ‘Chemical Ali’ is dead. Intelligence sources say the SAS and MI6 tracked al-Najeed to his home and called in a missile strike.

8 April 2003: Iraqi Chemical Agents Found?

Intelligence sources in London have Informed Eye Spy that U.S. soldiers have found Iraqi chemical agents, but Defence Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he will wait for more information before making a statement.

Reporters with the 101st Airborne Division outside Karbala said that preliminary tests of the suspected chemicals indicate they are Sarin nerve agent and mustard gas. Rumsfeld, speaking during a Pentagon news conference, said he is leery of first reports. "We have to recognize that almost all first reports we get are wrong," he said. "There tend to be changes in them. As a result we have to take our time and look at them." The secretary said that if the chemicals are found to be weapons of mass destruction, there will be an announcement. He also said it takes days to get samples from the battlefield to laboratories. Officials will follow, as closely as possible under battlefield conditions, a chain of custody for any samples.

Rumsfeld said the war against the Iraqi regime is going well. Coalition forces are operating in and around Baghdad, on the ground and the air. "The regime's leaders are increasingly isolated," he said. "The circle is closing, and their options are running out. "The secretary said he doesn't know where Saddam Hussein is, or if he is alive or wounded, but he does know "that he no longer runs much of Iraq." Iraqi forces are surrendering or disappearing, Rumsfeld said.

British forces have control of large parts of Basra. "They are performing well in liberating the city from death squads that have terrorized the local population," he said. Rumsfeld also said that he believes the coalition killed "Chemical Ali" – Ali Hassan al-Najeed. Hussein's henchman was in charge of defenses in Basra. "To Iraqis who have suffered from his hand, particularly in the past few weeks, he will never again terrorize you or your families," he said.


Rumsfeld said that while coalition forces have accomplished much since the beginning of the campaign, much remains to be done. As he spoke, a list of those Americans who have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom scrolled on a television screen behind him.

Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave a brief look at developments in Operation Iraqi Freedom since he last spoke to the press on April 3. He said there are now more than 340,000 coalition forces in the region, with more than 125,000 inside Iraq. "We've secured Baghdad International Airport and have begun using it for coalition missions," he said. "We've secured most of the major roads into and out of Baghdad. We've visited two of Saddam's presidential palaces." The chairman said Iraqi Republican Guard divisions have only been able to conduct sporadic attacks against coalition forces. He said of the 800-plus tanks Iraqi forces had on March 19, "all but a couple of dozen have been destroyed or abandoned."

Coalition forces now have more than 7,000 enemy prisoners of war, he said. Civil affairs personnel are restoring power to cities throughout southern Iraq, and "we're delivering a growing amount of humanitarian relief to the Iraqi people in various locations."

Both Rumsfeld and Myers said that as the people of Iraq realize the days of Saddam Hussein are coming to a close, they are assisting coalition forces in identifying locations of weapons caches, as well as the hideouts of the remaining elements of the paramilitary Fedayeen Saddam and the Ba'ath Party members.

Donald Napier for Eye Spy

7 April 2003: Taskforce Ironhorse: Including 4th US Infantry Division lands in Kuwait. 32,000 troops, 500 tanks and other vehicles have arrived in Kuwait from 36 ships off Turkey that were hoping to form northern front in Iraq. 4th ID is regarded as most formidable US army.

7 April 2003: Three British Desert Rats killed as Basra falls to UK forces. Thousands of civilians cheer as UK tanks enter city.

7 April 2003: US forces take all major roads into Baghdad.

6 April 2003: NBC's news journalist, David Bloom, killed in Iraq.

6 April 2003: John Simpson - BBC journalist/editor - wounded.

6 April 2003: Russian diplomats fleeing to Syria in civilian convoy attacked - many wounded. British Intel reporting fire was from Iraqi troops - confirmed.

6 April 2003: Forty five Kurdish fighters and a number of US Special Forces troops believed to have died in friendly fire incident in Northern Iraq. Convoy was attacked by a US warplane.

6 April 2003: UK forces take Basra. All major areas in city centre and outskirts now fully under UK control.

6 April 2003: Meeting between UK and US commanders over how to gain hearts and minds of Iraqi people taking place today. Focus is on Baghdad.

6 April 2003: Man known as ‘Chemical Ali’ believed to have been either wounded or killed in Cruise Missile attack on his home in Baghdad. His personal bodyguard was killed. Irag information minister denies claims.

6 April 2003: No rift between US and UK over future role of United Nations in rebuilding Iraq. Differences are few and will be resolved over next two days.

6 April 2003: Major support for Tony Blair in today’s UK polls - 69% support his view and strategy over Iraq. 66% think he has done a good job.

6 April 2003: Bodies and remains of hundreds of Iraqis found in warehouse in southern Iraq by UK troops, almost certainly dead Iraqi soldiers returned by Iran after 10-year war with that country ended.

6 April 2003: Eye Spy has learned that US soldiers shot dead about six-eight people trying to enter Baghdad Airport. All had explosives strapped to their chests and body.

6 April 2003: British paratroopers now guarding north-to-south supply routes.

6 April 2003: Iraqi troops fighting US forces south of city of Baghdad.

5 April 2003: US 3rd Infantry Division pour into Baghdad city centre. Resistance light.

5 April 2003: US soldiers find drums of chemicals and ‘agents’ dumped in river near Baghdad.

5 April 2003: British intelligence sources told Eye Spy that Saddam double took to streets of Baghdad yesterday - not the real Saddam.

5 April 2003: Three US soldiers killed by Iraqi suicide bombers.

5 April 2003: BBC reporter killed by land mine - producer injured.

5 April 2003: Fighting on edge of Baghdad.

5 April 2003: SAS believed to be in Baghdad.

4 April 2003: CNN has just reported that Iraq has announced that they will use "unconventional weapons" against the Coalition Forces tonight.

4 April 2003: U.S. officer says American troops find thousands of boxes of unknown white powder, nerve gas antidote, and chemical warfare documents at complex south of Baghdad, according to The Associated Press.

4 April 2003: 2,500 Republican Guard soldiers walk towards US lines and remove their uniforms in a gesture to surrender. All are now in US captivity.

4 April 2003: US forces rename Saddam International Airport - Baghdad International Airport.

4 April 2003: British forces take huge swathes of Basra.

4 April 2003: More rumours that chem/bio weapons will be used. Hundreds of forward RED ZONE US soldiers ordered to don chemical weapons’ suits. The term RED ZONE is the 10-15 mile wide buffer area which allows such weapons to be used without killing Iraqis.

4 April 2003: USAF warplanes bomb Saddam’s Presidential Palace in Baghdad.

4 April 2003: Pentagon report little Iraqi resistance as Saddam International Airport seized.

4 April 2003: British cross vital bridge into central Basra.

3 April 2003: US forces now just six miles from centre of Baghdad.

3 April 2003: “Strange markings” found on captured warheads.

3 April 2003: Donald Rumsfeld calls on regular Iraqi military commanders to “lay down weapons.” Mr Rumsfeld also said that 45% of Iraq was under Coalition control and that 95% of Iraq’s airspace is also secure.

Donald Rumsfeld

3 April 2003: French Government again launches bitter attack on US for starting an “unjust war.” France is worried all existing Iraq-French business contracts will be void when new democratic government takes control of Iraq. One analyst said “Iraq’s new government won’t be thanking France for its support of Saddam Hussein.”

3 April 2003: Much speculation ensues that Saddam has fled to Syria.

3 April 2003: UK forces take major areas of Basra.

3 April 2003: Jordan security officials stop about 20 men trying to enter Iraq to help Saddam.

3 April 2003: Electricity goes out in Baghdad. US Central Command says “we are not responsible.”

3 April 2003: US soldier dies after his weapon accidentally fires while he was sleeping.

3 April 2003: US forces take Saddam International Airport in Baghdad.

3 April 2003: F15 believed to have been shot down by Patriot missile. Search and rescue mission going on to locate pilot.

3 April 2003: US Black Hawk helicopter shot down - seven dead four injured. Second Black Hawk helicopter lost.

3 April 2003: Thousands more US troops moving into northern Iraq.

2 April 2003: US warplane or helicopter strikes civilian truck killing 15 persons. Incident follows shortly after eight civilians die in checkpoint shooting. Investigation underway.

2 April 2003: BRITISH RELATIONS WITH FRANCE AT ALL TIME LOW

2 April 2003: French vandals defile British war dead graves in northern France. The graves were covered with red paint and slogans saying ‘British go home’. Another slogan said ‘May Saddam prevail and spill your blood’. Other statements were ‘death to the Yankees’, but perhaps worse of all was ‘dig up your rubbish - it is fouling our soil’. Hundreds of thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers died on French soil in two world wars liberating France.

‘dig up your rubbish - it is fouling our soil’ - a reference to 11,000 British war dead at this French cemetery Photo courtesy Tim Reeves



2 April 2003: One in three French citizens wants Saddam to win war. In a poll conducted by Le Monde- only 33% felt they were on the same side as the UK and USA. An astonishing 33% want Iraq to have “total victory” over the UK and USA.

2 April 2003: 30 million Britons no longer regard France as an ally - Times Poll (54%).

2 April 2003: US forces in huge victory south of Baghdad. Central Command says 50% of Iraqi defenders south of capital - killed.

2 April 2003: Major fighting to south of Baghdad. Intel sources say ‘Battle of Baghdad’ has begun. US forces move in to surround city.

2 April 2003: Iraqi television announced Saddam would give a speech to people. He failed to turn up, increasing speculation he is dead.

2 April 2003: “Shock and Awe” has still not started.

2 April 2003: Another British soldier has been killed in a vehicle accident in Iraq making him the 27th UK death.

2 April 2003: US Centreal Command say Coalition forces rescued US prisoner of war (POW). More to follow. Jessica Lynch name of rescued soldier.

2 April 2003: Iraqi forces in hand-to-hand fighting with UK forces in Basra. Intelligence sources say Iraqi troops ready to surrender.

2 April 2003: UK forces winning the “hearts and minds” of Iraqis in South of the country.

1 April 2003: Saddam not seen since 19 March. Special interview with Marine General, Peter Pace

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has not been seen since coalition forces first launched an air strike on a Baghdad compound March 19, according to Marine Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Interviewed March 31 by Donald Napier of Eye Spy Magazine, Pace said that based on reports from several intelligence sources that Saddam was in the compound, the U.S.-led coalition conducted a "very specific, precise attack." These same sources report that Saddam has not been "visible publicly" since the strike.

"Since that time – although I don't know exactly where Saddam is – he has not been seen alive any place," Pace said. "There have been some tapes, but no Saddam.

"So where is he? He's either dead, or he's injured, or he's afraid to come out because his own soldiers will kill him," the general continued. "Or he's afraid to come out because his people will kill him."

Since the strike aimed at Saddam, Pace said, U.S. officials have noted a lack of leadership among Iraqi fighting units.

"There is no evidence that there is senior leadership giving guidance to the field," he said, "and there's no evidence of coordinated actions on the battlefield by the various units. So they're getting destroyed in place without much leadership from above."

U.S. officials have also seen reports that Iraqi leaders' family members are fleeing Iraq, Pace said, adding that coalition forces are on the lookout for them.

"It doesn't surprise me that a group of elite thugs like the people who rule that country would, in the last analysis, want to save their own hides and try to get out of the country," he said.

Donald Napier for Eye Spy

1 April 2003: British bomb dispossal soldier killed in Southern Iraq from exploding munitions.

1 April 2003: CIA estimates 35,000-45,000 Iraqi troops killed. 4250 prisoners taken.

• Latest Coalition casualties. UK - 25 dead - USA - 26 dead. Around 20 soldiers missing.

1 April 2003: US Marine confirmed dead. One US soldier died in a fierce battle with fanatical Republican Guard troops who are putting up stiff resistance south of Baghdad.

1 April 2003: Yesterday’s bombing raids on Iraqi forces - heaviest yet - Pentagon.

1 April 2003: US forces destroy huge lines of Iraq’s Republican Guard. Tens of thousands of US troops now within 30 miles of Baghdad - some Special Forces probing Iraq defences on outskirts of city.

1 April 2003: British intelligence has learned that Saddam extended family has been in negotiations with a Gulf country to pave the wave for their exit from Iraq.

1 April 2003: About eight Iraqi civilians - including several children - die in shooting incident with US troops at checkpoint. Car apparently failed to was destroyed.

31 March 2003: 17 Iraqi Tanks Destroyed in Rumaila Oilfields Battle

British troops claim to have destroyed 17 Iraqi tanks in a running battle in the Rumaila oilfields. The 16th Air Assault Brigade, including tanks and artillery, encountered an Iraqi force of two infantry companies - as many as 400 men - also supported by tanks and artillery. In the fighting that followed, 17 Russian-built T55 tanks and five artillery pieces were destroyed. A number of Iraqis were reported to have been taken prisoner. “It was a pretty big bust-up,” a military spokesman said.
The latest encounter followed fierce fighting involving the Royal Marine commandos and Iraqi regular forces on the outskirts of Basra.

Military sources said they were continuing to encounter resistance from the Iraqi Army. “They were fighting in formations. These guys were pretty well organised. They fought as a unit, they fell back as a unit, they counter attacked as a unit. It was not a ramshackle operation,” one source said about the fighting at Basra.

Despite early predictions that the Iraqi Army would simply crumble and surrender when faced with the superior firepower of the British and US forces, the total number of prisoners of war still stands at only around 4,000.

31 March 2003: ‘Chemical Ali’ is Target of Raid

US Marines have targeted Saddam Hussein’s notorious henchman Chemical Ali in a raid using precision-guided bombs, tanks and helicopter gunships. They launched a raid on Shatra, a town just north of Nassiriya, and their targets included Ali Hassan al-Majid, a cousin of the Iraqi leader. Al-Majid, known as ‘Chemical Ali’, was responsible for using chemical weapons against Kurds in Iraq in 1988 and remains one of Saddam's most trusted and feared aides. He was believed to be heavily involved in organising the current paramilitary resistance to coalition forces. The US Marines struck in Shatra at dawn after tip-offs that Al-Majid and other senior Ba’ath Party members were there.
They were believed to be organising raids on US supply lines. The Marines who carried out the raid had been heading north for Baghdad but turned round to focus on Shatra to help secure the supply lines, military sources said.

Precision bombs hit four targets in Shatra before tanks, armoured personnel carriers and helicopter gunships firing machine guns moved in.

31 March 2003: Rocket Attack Leaves Palace and Information HQ in Flames

A fierce bombardment of explosions has rocked Baghdad, setting fire to the Iraqi Ministry of Information and a palace belonging to Saddam Hussein’s son Qusay. Fire-fighters tackled the blazing ministry, which threatened to set fire to a neighbouring shopping centre.

Abu Dhabi television broadcast images of the flames sweeping the building within yards of the 28 April Shopping Centre located across the street. The attacks targeted leadership and command and control centres in Baghdad and were carried out simultaneously by multiple B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers, the U.S. Central Command said. The command said it was the first time that the long-range strike aircraft targeted the same geographical area at the same time.

In the past few nights, mosque loudspeakers have been used instead of air-raid sirens - with the all-clear signaled by another minaret announcement: “God is great, they are gone.”

The bombing came as US Army brigades advanced to within 50 miles of Baghdad. The 1st and 2nd Brigades of the 3rd Infantry Division moved forward in the vicinity of Karbala, south west of Baghdad.
The airstrikes on Baghdad targeted Iraqi leaders, command and control centres and communications facilities, Pentagon officials said. The government's Information Ministry was in flames after Tomahawk cruise missiles strikes.

Meanwhile, the 82nd Airborne Division killed about 100 “regime terror squad members” and captured about 50 prisoners at the Shiite holy city of Najaf and another town in south-central Iraq, according to US Central Command. It did not further identify the ‘terror squads’. In Nasiriyah, where fighting has been fierce for a week, Marines secured buildings held by an Iraqi infantry division that contained large caches of weapons and chemical decontamination equipment.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell sought to allay concern about the war's progress in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, expressing “total confidence in the plan,” which has come in for criticism as allied troops get bogged down in a guerrilla war. “Let there be no doubt of the outcome,” he said. “We will drive Saddam Hussein and his regime from power.”

31 March 2003: British Troops Attacked by US 'Cowboy' Pilot

British soldiers wounded by ‘friendly fire’ in Iraq said their convoy had been hit by a US aircraft being flown by a “cowboy” with no regard for human life. The Times carried accounts by the survivors which tallied with earlier British media reports that an American A10 ‘tankbuster’ plane had strafed a convoy of British armoured vehicles.

British authorities said they were investigating the incident south of the Iraqi city of Basra, in which one British soldier was killed and five others were injured.

“You’ve got an A10 with advanced technology and he can’t use a thermal sight to identify whether a tank is a friend or a foe. It’s ridiculous, the newspaper quoted Lance Corporal Steven Gerrard as saying from his bed on the hospital ship RFA Argus. Gerrard said his convoy had approached a group of Iraqi civilians waving white flags when the plane attacked them.

“There was a boy no more than 12 years old. He was no more than 20 metres away when the Yank opened up,” he was quoted as saying. “He had absolutely no regard for human life. I believe he was a cowboy.” Gerrard said the US aircraft had made two sweeps over the five-vehicle convoy of Scimitar light reconnaissance tanks and was less than 500 metres away when the pilot opened fire. “We can identify a friendly vehicle from 1,500 metres,” he said.

The Times said first two Scimitars in the convoy exploded into flames and one of the crew did not manage to escape.

Donald Napier for Eye Spy

31 March 2003: Royal Marines in five-hour long battle with Iraqi forces in Basra.

31 March 2003: A vehicle has crashed through the gates of the British Embassy in Tehran, Iran. The vehicle burst into flames killing the driver.

30 March 2003: British soldier shot dead as Iraqi forces ambush UK military truck.

30 March 2003: Huey helicopter crashes - three US troops killed.

30 March 2003: Earlier reports that UK forces captured Iraqi general are “not true” according to Eye Spy sources.

30 March 2003: CIA and MI6 analysts examining tenuous intelligence that Saddam Hussein is brokering a deal with Syrian officials to go into exile. Speculation has been heightened by images of Saddam’s closest bodyguard standing behind other Iraqi military commanders at information briefing. This bodyguard is Saddam’s most trusted, and analysts are debating why he is not at the side of Saddam - even if he is just injured.

30 March 2003: Journalists report gunfire in Iraqi capital.

30 March 2003: Iraq claim 4,000 citizens from Middle East arrive in Iraq as “human bombs”.

30 March 2003: 2,300 more UK troops pour into Southern Iraq from Kuwait.

30 March 2003: IRAQI FREE FORCES now fighting in Southern Iraq alongside Coalition forces.

30 March 2003: Royal Marine Commandos capture Iraqi General and Colonel in house-to-house search operations in Southern city of Basra Iraq. Both men were wearing civilian clothes. Three other “very senior” Iraqi officials were also captured.

30 March 2003: Iraqi truck driven towards US checkpoint at USAF air base in Kuwait. 15 servicemen injured.

30 March 2003: Answering questions on the fate of Saddam Hussein at press briefing, General Tommy Franks said: “I have seen no evidence that Iraq is being run by the top of the leadership” - he appeared to cast doubt on fate of Saddam Hussein.

Tommy Franks

30 March 2003: British intelligence sources tell Eye Spy that Saddam has sacked his cousin who was in charge of air defences in and around Baghdad,

30 March 2003: British intelligence wants more effort to destroy Iraqi propaganda machine.

30 March 2003: USAF strike compound hosting meeting of 250 Iraqi irregulars.

30 March 2003: SAS and US and Australian Special Forces moved in within striking distance of Baghdad. Intelligence sources believe dozens of Coalition probing outskirts of Baghdad.

SAS crest

30 March 2003: Seven Italian journalists safe - after being reported missing.

29 March 2003: Two US soldiers discovered in shallow grave - mutilated.

29 March 2003: US warplanes destroy numerous communications facilities on outskirts of Baghdad.

29 March 2003: US and UK commanders told to catalogue all war crimes. CIA unit now in Iraq trying to identify Iraqi commanders responsible.

29 March 2003: Huge bombing raids on Republican Guard positions on outskirts of Baghdad.

29 March 2003: Just 100 people turn out in London for anti-war demonstration.

29 March 2003: Iraq Information Minister warns Americans to expect attacks on its soil.

29 March 2003: The bodies and remains of ten British servicemen arrive back home at RAF Brize Norton.

29 March 2003: British Intelligence sources examining reports that a number of al-Qaida fighters have joined Iraqi irregular forces in fight for Baghdad.

29 March 2003: Seven Italian journalists missing in Basra.

29 March 2003: Four US soldiers killed by terrorist car bomb at a US Army checkpoint in central Iraq. Vehicle - a taxi - stopped at checkpoint and driver beckoned troops towards him. Huge explosion followed. Blast occurred north of Najaf. Troops from 1st Brigade 3rd Infantry Division.

29 March 2003: US fighter planes attack two British armoured vehicles in another friendly fire fiasco. One soldier dead three others critical.

28 March 2003: Explosion rocks cinema centre/complex in Kuwait. Missile was either a ‘Silkworm’ or an Arab variant of the Chinese-built missile. Intelligence sources tell Eye Spy that missile could have been launched from mobile vehicle in Al-Far Peninsula.

28 March 2003: 5,000lb ‘bunker buster” bomb dropped by B2 Stealth Bomber on suspected Iraqi defence command post in Baghdad.

B2 Stealth Bomber

 

28 March 2003: BBC slammed for biased reporting of war. Complaints are growing at BBC television and radio reporting of war. Clearly BBC misrepresenting some aspects calling Iraqi thugs and irregulars “guerillas”. “BBC simply does not understand difference between irregulars, thugs, murderers” to guerilla warfare, said one intelligence source.

• Also, BBC questions legitimacy of Ministry of Defence statements and intelligence data. Most complaints to Eye Spy concerned reporting of war and a BBC Radio 5 interview with UK Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, where presenter made “disgraceful remarks” in many Eye Spy listeners opinions.

• Eye Spy magazine received many complaints of BBC bias and anti USA and UK stance.

28 March 2003: 20,000 more US forces move into Iraq, swelling size of Coalition forces inside country to over 90,000.

28 March 2003: Iraqi Army shoots down CIA Predator drone.

Predator

27 March 2003: British military intelligence sources say explosion in Baghdad market yesterday that killed 14 civilians - was almost certainly an Iraqi device.

27 March 2003: Major bombing attack inside Baghdad - biggest since war began.

27 March 2003: 67% of Britons support Tony Blair’s policy on Iraq.

27 March 2003: 69% of Americans support George Bush on Iraq war.

27 March 2003: Two British Desert Rats soldiers who were ambushed, “were executed” according to Prime Minister Tony Blair, speaking after a meeting with President Bush at Camp David.

27 March 2003: Reliable sources say as many as 500 people (Iraqi Kurds) from one village, have had their throats cuts and were butchered, for not fighting US forces in the north of the country. Confirmation of the incident has not yet come through, but even the BBC say that the source “is reliable.”

27 March 2003: Iraq’s Information Minister, speaking on Al-Jazeera television tonight, say that Iraq’s military shot down an astonishing “196 Cruise missiles” before they struck Baghdad. The Pentagon and London refused to comment on the “ridiculous and impossible claim.”

27 March 2003: Eye Spy sources say the Iraqi tank convoy (T-55s) that was completely destroyed by UK Challenger II tanks south of Basra - was almost certainly sacrificed by Iraqi irregular troops.

27 March 2003: Much evidence is emerging that Iraq has executed at least two US POWs. The CIA believe that two US servicemen, captured by Iraqi forces in central Iraq, were indeed executed. “The entry points of two bullet wounds to the forehead is highly improbable” analysts say.

27 March 2003: SADDAM’S BIGGEST GAMBLE TODATE - Eye Spy has learned that tens of thousands of Iraqi troops are pouring south towards US lines using the cover of an enormous sandstorm to try and hide their movements. Supported by hundreds of armoured vehicles and tanks - military analysts say that the next 72 hours will determine the fate of Saddam’s regime. Iraq hopes to get close enough to attack US forces and inflict huge US causalities before USAF and Coalition forces can strike.

27 March 2003: Latest US and UK death toll 25 dead (20 Britons). Nine US troops missing - fate unknown. US and UK POWs - believed to be 10.

27 March 2003: US, UK and Australian Special forces clear all Scud launchers in Eastern Iraq.

27 March 2003: USAF destroys nine Iraq surface-to-surface missile launchers in and around Baghdad.

27 March 2003: Several US Army and Marine uniforms have been recovered from Iraqi lines showing Baghdad is once again in breach of the Geneva Convention.

27 March 2003: It is understood several anti-war groups say the US is guilty of war crimes because of the bombing of Iraqi television.

27 March 2003: Eye Spy sources reveal the NATO alliance will be discussed after war has ended in Iraq. US may be first to withdraw and reconstruct an alliance with “new Europe” and other nations - more Eye Spy.

27 March 2003: British troops attack major Iraqi forces south of Basra.

27 March 2003: Latest CIA Estimate of the Situation regarding Iraqi regular and irregular fighting casualties is 35,000 dead.

27 March 2003: Eye Spy has learned that US has again uncovered evidence of WMD with Russian symbols. Intel sources say discovery is being kept underwraps.

27 March 2003: Iraq’s television back on air though very fuzzy.

26 March 2003: Twenty-five US Marines hurt in hand-to-hand fighting in Nasiriya.

26 March 2003: Huge Iraqi Republican Guard convoy exits southern Baghdad towards US lines.

26 March 2003: One hundred-vehicle convoy (irregulars) move out of Basra towards British lines.

26 March 2003: Iraq claims two US Cruise missiles kill fifteen civilians in central Baghdad. US analysts believe deaths caused by Iraqi AA fire returning to earth or similar.

26 March 2003: 1,000 US Parachute troops land in Northern Iraq and open second front.

26 March 2003: Food aid now being delivered to thousands of Iraqis via southern ports.

26 March 2003: President Bush thanks US military forces and various Coalition countries for their help, including: UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Denmark and Bulgaria.

26 March 2003: UK troops street fighting with 2,000 Iraqi irregulars on the outskirts of Basra.

26 March 2003: Prime Minister Tony Blair to hold War Council with President Bush at Camp David, tomorrow.

26 March 2003: 3,000 chemical suits and Nerve Gas Antidote Injectors (NGAI) have been discovered at a facility in central Iraq by US forces. Intelligence analysts believe the discovery is further evidence that Iraq does have chemical and biological weapons - and is prepared to use them.

25 March 2003: After much criticism from UK military and strategic intelligence analysts, USAF and RAF bombers strike at Iraqi television communications. Prime Minister Blair had said Iraqi was issuing total propaganda to its people on television. Iraqi television went dead around 6.00pm UK time.

25 March 2003: Two British tank crew die after more friendly fire. A Challenger II tank fired at another Challenger II tank near Basra.

25 March 2003: Iraqi secret police and irregular forces dressing as US and UK soldiers inviting fellow Iraqis to surrender. Many regular Iraqi troops were then executed.

25 March 2003: US forces in heavy clashes west of Baghdad with Medine Republican Guards and irregulars.

25 March 2003: US fighter destroys Patriot missile launcher in another friendly fire incident.

25 March 2003: CIA sources have told Eye Spy that the closer Coalition forces get to Baghdad, the likelier Saddam Hussein will instruct his generals to unleash chemical and biological weapons. However, analysyts say there is a distinct line or “window” where such weapons can and cannot be used. It is understood that the primary danger or time of the launch of such weapons comes when Coalition forces are about 15-20 miles away. CIA estimates of the situation indicate orders have already been issued to launch such weapons against “enemy forces.”

US forces are now within 30 miles of Baghdad.

25 March 2003: USAF destroy six Russian-supplied GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) jamming devices used by Iraq to confuse Coalition weaponry.

25 March 2003: 50 Iraqi tanks trapped near Basra by UK forces.

25 March 2003: CIA closing in on several sites in and around Baghdad known to be linked to chemical weapons production. Major plans to destroy delivery system production sites being discussed by Coalition.

25 March 2003: British Prime Minister Tony Blair to visit President Bush this week.

President Bush

24 March 2003: Eye Spy sources say main push for Baghdad will begin in next 72 hours. Republican Guard roaming outskirts of city 24 hours a day.

24 March 2003: Iraqi television show the two US pilots captured after their Apache was downed by elements of the Medina Republican Guard. Action violates Geneva Convention.

24 March 2003: US forces clashing with Medina Republican Guard south of Baghdad.

24 March 2003: US aircraft accidentally blows up civilian bus on bridge - after it had dropped bombs.

24 March 2003: MI6 sources say latest Saddam Hussein speech on Iraqi television prerecorded. Saddam praises the “brave resistance and fighting skills of Iraq’s 51st Division” - most of which surrendered within 24 hours of being attacked.

24 March 2003: Two Apache helicopters downed by Iraqi irregular forces. Fate of crews unknown.

Apache helicopter © Andy Kelley Photography

24 March 2003: US aircraft drop an astonishing 28 million leaflets on Iraq urging regular army to stop fighting and various themes for Iraqi public.

24 March 2003: UK, US and Australian Special Forces operational all over Iraq.

24 March 2003: A ten-mile column of US armour and troops moving towards Baghdad.

24 March 2003: CIA has credible evidence that several Russian firms have been supplying military hardware and computer equipment to Iraqis as late as 48 hours ago.

24 March 2003: 18 Britons dead so far in conflict.

24 March 2003: Twelve US soldiers arrive at Ramstein air force base in Germany for medical treatment.

24 March 2003: CIA SAD (Special Activities Division) officers working alongside Iraqi resistance inside Baghdad - several explosions result of this covert action.

24 March 2003: Huge US force parachutes into Northern Iraq - moving south.

24 March 2003: UK and US Special Forces on outskirts of Baghdad.

24 March 2003: 100,000 Coalition troops now inside Iraq.

24 March 2003: Chemical weapons factory - statement will follow by US Central Command.

MAJOR INTEL BREAKTHROUGH: 24 March 2003: UK and US military intelligence supported by CIA and MI6, believed to have found a huge chemical weapons factory in central Iraq - 100 miles south of Baghdad.

23 March 2003: US Patriot missile downs friendly GR4 RAF Tornado on Iraq-Kuwait border. Two pilots missing - presumed dead.

23 March 2003: Jordan throws out five Iraqi diplomats for espionage.

23 March 2003: Russia equipment and engineers active in Iraq to jam US and UK computer-controlled weapons. US accuses Russia of smuggling equipment into Baghdad via UN food supplies flights - a story first published in Eye Spy eight months ago.

23 March 2003: Fierce fighting around city of Basra between Royal Marines and Republican Guard troops.

23 March 2003: Iraqi regular army ambush six-vehicle US Army convoy. 12 US troops missing - a number believed dead.

23 March 2003: Eye Spy sources say at least 25 US combat troops killed today - dozens more injured in fighting throughout Iraq.

23 March 2003: Iraq shows dreadful footage of four American dead. Eye Spy analysts say troops appear to have been executed with shots to the head.

23 March 2003: Iraq in violation of UN Geneva Convention by showing live footage of captured US warriors - including female soldier. President Bush warns Iraq that any mistreatment of prisoners will be regarded as a ‘Crime Against Humanity’.

23 March 2003: Eye Spy learn UK and US Special Forces within 50 miles of Baghdad.

23 March 2003: British TV Crew May Have Suffered 'Friendly Fire': There are fears that missing British TV reporter Terry Lloyd and two of his news crew may have been hit by ‘friendly fire’ from coalition forces inside Iraq. They disappeared as they were trying to get to the front at Basra. ITN cameraman Fred Nerac and local translator Hussein Othman are missing with Lloyd. Another cameraman, Daniel Demoustier, was injured as their two cars came under fire - but he was able to get to safety.

 

23 March 2003: British Soldiers Injured in Battle: Three British soldiers have been injured while fighting Iraqi forces on the Al Faw oil peninsula. The troops are believed to have suffered burns during an explosion in a building they were working to clear. Royal Marines and Commando-trained Royal Engineers have come across up to 100 Iraqi soldiers spread sporadically on the strategic part of southern Iraq. The three men were injured in a blast in one house - but sources would not say how the explosion occurred. It is believed the small pockets of resistance are soldiers who went in to hiding as the war started because they expected a huge aerial bombardment. British troops working to clear the whole peninsula are now starting to stumble across them.

23 March 2003: Attack at U.S. Camp in Kuwait Kills One: Grenades exploded at a 101st Airborne command centre in Kuwait early Sunday, killing one and wounding 13 servicemen, and a U.S. soldier was detained as a suspect in the attack, the Army said. Three others who sustained serious injuries were undergoing surgery, the military said. The attacker threw three grenades into three tents, including the command tent, military officials said. The motive in the attack “most likely was resentment,” said Max Blumenfeld, a U.S. Army spokesman. He did not elaborate. The name of the soldier who died was not released because family members had not been notified, said George Heath, civilian spokesman for Fort Campbell, Ky., the storied 101st Airborne Division's home base.

“Incidents of this nature are abnormalities throughout the Army, specifically in the 101st,” Heath said. “Death is a tragic incident regardless of how it comes, but when it comes from a fellow comrade, it does even more to hurt morale. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the soldier. We pray that incidents of this nature do not happen again in any military organisation.”
The suspect, found hiding in a bunker, is an engineer from an engineering platoon in the 101st Airborne, said Col. Frederick B. Hodges, commander of the division's 1st Brigade.

The attack in the command centre of the 101st Division's 1st Brigade at Camp Pennsylvania happened at 1:30 a.m. (5:30 p.m. EST Saturday) and apparently involved only grenades. Blumenfeld said. “One of the grenades went off in the command tent.” The tactical operations centre, runs 24 hours a day and would always be staffed by officers and senior enlisted personnel, Blumenfeld said. Ten of those wounded had superficial wounds, including puncture wounds to their arms and legs from fragments of the grenade, Heath said. Helicopters evacuated 11 to Army hospitals, Blumenfeld said.

Names of the wounded were not released, and Blumenfeld did not say if any high-ranking officers were hurt.

Hodges said he was asleep when a sergeant woke him up “I immediately smelled smoke,” the commander told Britain‘s Sky News television. “I heard a couple of explosions and then a popping sound which I think was probably a rifle being fired. It looks like some assailant threw a grenade into each of these three tents here.” The suspect, whose name was not released, has not been charged, Blumenfeld said, adding that investigators did not know if others were involved. Two Middle Eastern men who had been hired as contractors were detained and later released, Heath said.
Earlier, Heath said the attack appeared to have been carried out by terrorists. Military officials had said the attacker used two grenades and small-arms fire.

Camp Pennsylvania is a rear base camp of the 101st, near the Iraqi border. Kuwait is the main launching point for the tens of thousands of ground forces - including parts of the 101st - who have entered Iraq.

Near Camp New York, another encampment in Kuwait, a Patriot missile hit an incoming missile, a military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. There were no reports of injuries or where debris from the missile might have landed. Camp New York, which is near Camp Pennsylvania, was the largest of the desert staging camps. Jim Lacey, a correspondent for Time magazine, told CNN that he was about 20 yards away when explosions at Camp Pennsylvania went off at what he said were two tents that housed division leadership.


“The people who did it ran off into the darkness,'' he said. He said he interviewed an Army major who was sitting outside the tent. “He said he saw the grenade roll by him,” Lacey said. After the attack, troops fanned out around the compound to find the perpetrators, Lacey said. “When this all happened we tried to get accountability for everybody,” Hodges told Sky News. “We noticed four hand grenades were missing and that this sergeant was unaccounted for. We started looking for him and found him hiding here in one of these bunkers. He is detained and he is being interrogated right now.”

The 101st Airborne is a rapid deployment group trained to go anywhere in the world within 36 hours. The roughly 22,000 members of the 101st were deployed Feb. 6. The last time the entire division was deployed was during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, which began after Iraq invaded neighbouring Kuwait.

Most recently, it hunted suspected Taliban and al-Qaida fighters in the mountains of Afghanistan. Its exploits are followed in Kentucky with much pride. News of the attack at the camp compounded the anxiety of relatives of the division's soldiers. “I get a little worried but when I think I should be crying, I'm not,” said Chelsey Payne of Clarksville, Tenn., whose husband, Sgt. Robert Payne, is with the division. “I just don't get scared about my own husband, I just know that he's a good soldier and he's coming home. He promised me.”

Kuwait is the main launching point for the tens of thousands of ground forces who have entered Iraq. Before the war with Iraq broke out, Americans had come under attack four times in the oil-rich emirate since October. Three of the attacks were blamed on Muslim extremists.

Donald Napier for Eye Spy

23 March 2003: Four US soldiers earlier reportedly killed are not dead - Pentagon.

23 March 2003: UK Special Forces believed to be in Baghdad.

22 March 2003: Eye Spy has learned that a massive CIA-sponsored operation is underway in the mountains of Northern Iraq for about 600 terrorists belonging to the Ansar al Islam group - linked closely to al-Qaida.

22 March 2003: ITN Journalist and crew missing. Believed their vehicle was ambushed more details when known.

22 March 2003: Two Australian journalists shot dead in Northern Iraq by terror group linked to al-Qaida.

22 March 2003: Huge oil-filled trenches around Baghdad have been set alight.

Donald Rumsfeld and Geoff Hoon - close cooperation

22 March 2003: Four US soldiers reportedly killed in central Iraq

22 March 2003: More British troops die in conflict. Six more Britons and an American have died after two Royal Navy Sea King Airborne Early Warning helicopters collided in mid-air. It happened over international waters in the Gulf and was not the result of enemy fire, UK Central Command in Qatar said. A search and rescue operation was launched after the incident happened, at around 4.30am UK time, but all seven had perished. A British forces spokesman said: “I have just had a report that all those on the helicopters have perished. Circumstances are such that accidents of this type can happen. It’s a great tragedy.

“Certainly there must have been extenuating circumstances and our investigators are into the process of trying to establish the facts. There is a lot of air activity. However, we do have very careful plans and procedures to ensure we have separation of all of the aircraft being used Sadly last night something was not quite right and we are looking to find out what that was as quickly as possible.”

Both aircraft were based on the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and captain Alan Massey said the crash was a “tragic accident.” The cause is being investigated.

The Duke of York, a former Royal Navy Flight Commander, has led tributes to the servicemen. He said he was: “shocked and deeply saddened” by the news.

Donald Napier for Eye Spy

• Eight British and four American troops died on Friday when a US helicopter crashed in Kuwait.

22 March 2003: General Tommy Franks says US “talking to senior Iraqi military and civilian authorities over surrender.

22 March 2003: CIA now confident Saddam was hurt in first raid on Baghdad - possibly seriously.

22 March 2003: FBI have about 100 Iraqis under observance in the USA.

Special Report by Donald Napier

'Shock and Awe' Campaign Continues During Daytime

Intermittent explosions have been heard across Baghdad following a night of heavy bombardment by US cruise missiles. Presidential palaces, government offices and military headquarters in the Iraqi capital were all destroyed in the coalition 'shock and awe' campaign. Towards Saturday evening two more explosions rattled the city and there was a dark plume of smoke rising southwest of the city centre.

A massive explosion had rocked the centre of Iraq's capital earlier just hours after Saddam Hussein's old Palace was demolished by coalition airstrikes. Aircraft could be heard overhead and smoke and the sound of sirens rose from the city, thought it was unclear what had been targeted.
Iraq has claimed that three people were killed in the overnight onslaught and that 250 civilians were injured.

U.S. and British Forces Push Through Southern Iraq

Leaving throngs of captured Iraqis behind them in razor-wire pens, U.S. and British forces fought for control of southern Iraq's largest city, Bars, Saturday while air strikes pounded far-flung targets across the country. American officials said Saddam Hussein's regime was clearly losing control. U.S. aircraft bombed Iraqi tanks holding the bridges near Basra, a city of 1.3 million, and Marines captured the airport after a gun battle. To the north, U.S. infantry and airborne units pushed over the desert toward central Iraq on the second day of the ground offensive.

In Baghdad, explosions were heard throughout the day, but not at the intensity of the fierce overnight bombardment that shattered one of Saddam's palaces and destroyed the nine-story intelligence headquarters. “The lights stayed on in Baghdad, but the instruments of tyranny are collapsing,”' said British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon.

West of Baghdad, along the Euphrates River, another of Saddam's palaces was destroyed on Saturday in a strike by warplanes from the USS Theodore Roosevelt, according to a commander aboard the carrier in the Mediterranean. And in far-north Iraq, a Kurdish official said U.S. forces fired Tomahawk cruise missiles at suspected positions of the Ansar al Islam guerrillas, which the United States accuses of ties to al-Qaida terrorists.

Near Basra, Cobra attack helicopters, attack jets, tanks and 155 mm howitzers tried to clear the way for the troops headed up Highway 80 - nicknamed the ``Highway of Death'' during the 1991 Gulf War when U.S. airstrikes destroyed an Iraqi military convoy using it to flee Kuwait. Along the roadside, a few children waved; others patted their stomachs or lifted their hands to their mouths, signaling hunger.

Left behind were large numbers of malnourished and overmatched Iraqi soldiers who surrendered Friday. Among those giving up were the commander and deputy commander of Iraq's 51st Infantry, the highest-ranking Iraqi officials known to have surrendered thus far. According to Hoon, most regular Iraqi troops have withdrawn from Basra, but members of Saddam's security forces continued to defend the city.

U.S. and British commanders said their troops captured many key facilities in Iraq's southern oil fields, saving them from possible sabotage and ensuring their use for post-war reconstruction. Only seven oil wells were found to be ablaze - far fewer than many officials had feared. Admiral Michael Boyce, chief of the British defence staff, said nearly all the oil and gas installations had been mined or booby-trapped, indicating Saddam was “prepared to blow up his entire economy.” Sir Michael said: “We have found demolition's which were obviously set to go. We managed to get in there fast enough to prevent them being blown.”

Two U.S. Marines were killed in combat in the area Friday. One U.S. Navy officer died Saturday along with six Britons when two Royal Navy helicopters collided over the Persian Gulf. U.S. intelligence officials remained uncertain whether Saddam might have been wounded or even killed in the missile strike Wednesday night that opened the war. In any case, said Defence Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, “The regime is starting to lose control of their country.”

In Baghdad, workmen swept glass from the sidewalks near the badly damaged presidential compound. A few miles away, a hole the size of two dining tables was blown in the dome of the Al-Salam Palace, another presidential palace sometimes used to house visiting foreign dignitaries.
Iraqi officials said three people had been killed and more than 200 injured in the bombardment of Baghdad.

Among those hospitalised with shrapnel wounds from the air strikes were Amal Hassan Kamel and her 8-year-old son, Wa'ad, who was crying for his father. “The Americans have no conscience,” Kamel said. “What have our children done to deserve this?'”

Despite the heavy overnight bombardment, there was more traffic on the streets Saturday than at any time since the war began, and more small shops and restaurants open. In contrast to bombing campaigns of the 1991 Gulf War, all bridges across the Tigris River were intact and the city's water and power supplies functioned normally.

Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf insisted that Iraqi forces were putting up strong resistance in the south and inflicting more casualties on the invaders than were being acknowledged in Washington or London. He contended that the legions of surrendering Iraqis were civilians, not soldiers, and denied the 51st Infantry Division had capitulated.

In Japan, New Zealand, Bangladesh and other countries, anti-war protests resumed Saturday, a day after violent protests in several Middle Eastern countries. Gunfire killed three people outside the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, where about 30,000 protesters assembled, and about 10,000 protesters confronted riot police in Cairo, Egypt.

Anti-war demonstrators also marched through the streets of San Francisco and other U.S. cities Friday. Smaller groups elsewhere demonstrated in support of U.S. troops. In an address at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II denounced the war as a threat against the “fate of humanity.”

“Violence and arms can never resolve the problems of men,” he said.

8,000 Iraqis Surrender to Coalition Forces

An entire division of the Iraqi army, numbering 8,000 soldiers, has surrendered to coalition forces in southern Iraq. Iraq's 51st Infantry Division surrendered as British and US forces advanced toward Basra, Iraq's second largest city.

The mechanised division had about 200 tanks before the war, according to independent analysts and US officials.

The 51st was one of the better equipped and was the key division protecting Basra, a major transportation and oil shipment hub on the Shatt al-Arab waterway that leads to the Persian Gulf.
The division also was important to Saddam Hussein's government for keeping Shiite Muslims - the majority in southern Iraq - from rebelling against Saddam's largely Sunni government.
The division was the largest single unit to surrender en masse on a day that saw hordes of Iraqi troops give themselves up - in some cases to journalists accompanying US units.
US forces advancing across southern Iraq often found Iraqi tanks and other weapons abandoned in the desert.

Many of the surrendering Iraqis were demoralised and poorly equipped, with some wearing T-shirts and carrying worn Kalashnikov rifles.

Confusion over Reports of Turkish Incursion into Iraq

Turkey is denying reports its forces have crossed into Iraq. There is now confusion over earlier reports which claimed 1,000 troops had moved into the north of the country to prevent refugees crossing into Turkey. The UK Government has appealed to Turkey to “show restraint.” The widely-reported incursion into the Kurdish-controlled area sparked alarm in Washington and amongst the Kurdish population and its supporters.

A British Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of media reports but we're still investigating and have to confirm that this is correct We and the US will continue to urge restraint on Turkey.” A Turkish military spokesman today insisted: “Turkey has not entered northern Iraq. Such news is a lie.”

But yesterday, Turkish prime minister Abdullah Gul reportedly confirmed Turkish forces had moved across the border to prevent a flood of refugees. Turkey fears the US-led war could lead Iraq to fragment, with northern Kurds declaring independence. That could encourage Turkey's Kurdish rebels who have battled the army for 15 years, leaving 37,000 people dead. Meanwhile Germany has threatened to withdraw its crew members from NATO surveillance planes patrolling Turkish airspace. It called on Ankara not to send troops into Iraq.


Iraq Accuses Annan of Aiding Attack

Iraq accused U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on Friday of aiding the U.S. and British attack on Iraq by withdrawing U.N. peacekeepers and weapons inspectors, which allowed the invading force to cross the Kuwaiti border unchallenged.

Iraq's U.N. ambassador, Mohammed Al-Douri, also criticised the secretary-general for not making a statement “condemning or deploring the attack,” and for not sending a letter to the Security Council informing members that the war threatened international peace and security.

The U.N. spokesman's office said Annan would issue a written response Saturday. In a harsh condemnation, Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan accused the U.N. General Secretariat of playing the “role of the colonialist high commissioner with the Iraqi people.” He sent a letter to Annan protesting the UN decision to pull its workers out of Iraq on Monday, days before the U.S.-led assault to topple Saddam began. Those workers included peacekeepers who had patrolled the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border, arms inspections teams and workers for the humanitarian oil-for-food program.
The withdrawal was “a blatant violation of U.N. responsibilities with no legal or moral justification and was in line with the aggressive U.S.-British scheme, which violates international law,” Ramadan said in the letter, which was read on Iraqi satellite television.

Ramadan also criticized a proposal by Annan for allowing the United Nations to run the oil-for-food program not just in Iraq's north but throughout the country and for refugees fleeing the U.S.-led war.
Iraqi officials said the proposal would reduce Iraq's role in the program, in which Iraqi oil profits are controlled for use buying foods and medicines for its people.

Ramadan said the proposal was “based on a colonialist, racist and despicable illusion that pushes the despot oppressors in Washington and London towards eliminating the state of Iraq from existence.”

The withdrawal of peacekeepers, who have been on the Iraq-Kuwait border since the end of the first Gulf War in 1991,“allowed the United States and Britain to use the demilitarised zone between Iraq and Kuwait as a passageway for their invading forces,” al-Douri said at UN headquarters in New York.

The oil-for-food program allows Iraq to sell unlimited quantities of oil, provided the money is used primarily for humanitarian relief. Revenue from oil sales is kept in a UN -controlled escrow account. About 60 per cent of Iraq's 22 million people rely on the program for food, and the Security Council wants to reactivate it quickly, giving Annan interim authority to run it.

The Security Council discussed Annan's draft Friday. Members who were badly divided over the war expressed hope that they can quickly agree on a new resolution giving Annan interim authority to run it.

Donald Napier for Eye Spy

22 March 2003: The Department of Defense announced today the identities of four U.S. Marines killed in a CH-46E helicopter crash on March 20 in Kuwait. Killed were:

Maj. Jay Thomas Aubin, 36, of Waterville, Maine; Capt. Ryan Anthony Beaupre, 30, of Bloomington, Ill; Cpl. Brian Matthew Kennedy, 25, of Houston, Texas; Staff Sgt. Kendall Damon Watersbey, 29, of Baltimore, Md. Aubin was assigned to the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron - 1, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. Beaupre, Kennedy and Watersbey were assigned to the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron - 268, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, Calif.

• Eight British Royal Marines yet to be identified.

The 3 Commando Brigade members were killed, along with four Americans, when the US Marine Corps CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter crashed south of Umm Qasr, around nine miles south of the Iraqi border. A Ministry of Defence spokesman said:

“UK fatalities have been reported. Their next of kin are being informed. We have no reason to believe at this time that hostile fire was responsible.”

The twin-rotor helicopter was carrying troops involved in the push for the southern Iraqi port of Basra. Military sources said the crash was believed to be an accident. A British military source at Central Command in Qatar said: “The cause of the incident is under investigation and we don’t want to discuss the status of the personnel until the next of kin are notified.” A US military source said: “There were no US survivors. The names and units of the casualties are being withheld pending next of kin notification.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence has issued helpline numbers for worried families of British troops in the Gulf. The number for Royal Navy and Royal Marines is: 08457 414544.

The helplines for Army personnel are as follows: 01980 615792, 01980 615793, 01980 615794, 01980 615795 and 01980 615796.

A helpline for families of RAF personnel is: 01452 712612 ext 7080 or 7045.

22 March 2003: Turkish troops pouring into Kurdish-controlled Northern Iraq. British intelligence sources tell Eye Spy this could be a huge problem as Kurdish Special Forces are assisting US Delta Forces and British SAS.

22 March 2003: Iraqi 51st Mechanised Division surrenders near Basra (8,000 troops).

22 March 2003: Iraq 11th Division surrenders.

22 March 2003: Thousands of Iraqi troops surrendering throughout Iraq.

22 March 2003: British Royal Navy and US Navy warships intercept three Iraqi vessels apparently packed with explosives intended to ram coalition warships.

21 March 2003: Huge explosions have been heard and seen in Baghdad. America’s Operation Shock and Awe begins. 3,000 major targets have been identified and will be hit in the next 48 hours, according to Pentagon officials.

21 March 2003: CIA still unsure over fate of Saddam Hussein.

21 March 2003: US and British troops continue march towards Baghdad - little resistance thus far.

21 March 2003: Eight Royal Marines and four US Marines killed in helicopter crash in Iraq.

21 March 2003: CIA believes Saddam Hussein may have been killed or was seriously injured in Wednesday might’s attack on his compound. Kuwaiti officials believe he is still alive.

21 March 2003: A huge column of American armoured vehicles has progressed 100 miles north of the border in just one night. Thousands of troops with the column are being protected by Apatchi attack helicopters.

21 March 2003: Royal Marines secure southern Iraq peninsula around Basra.

21 March 2003: British Prime Minister Tony Blair told a meeting of EU heads of state in Brussels that Europe should support America.

Prime Minister Blair - expressed sorrow for families of 12 UK and US Marines who died in helicopter crash. Pentagon sources say emeny fire was not to blame. © STEVE MCMANUS

21 March 2003: In Paris, anti-American protesters staged a demonstration outside the US Embassy and trashed a McDonald’s restaurant.

20 March 2003: US and British land forces surge northwards over Iraqi border.

20 March 2003: Several targets in Baghdad destroyed in new bombing raids.

20 March 2003: Donald Rumsfeld says CIA provided “good intelligence” regarding last night’s audacious US Cruise Missile attack on Iraqi military compound thought to contain Saddam Hussein. Rumsfeld hints that senior Iraqi generals may have also been inside. Intelligence analysts say the operation was a “long-range assassination attempt by the CIA.”

20 March 2003: Four oil fields in southern Iraq ignited by Iraqi soldiers.

20 March 2003: British military intelligence in Kuwait say it has received “excellent” intelligence that an Iraqi chemical and biological weapons attack is imminent.

20 March 2003: Eye Spy analysts are “convinced” that the person purporting to be Saddam Hussein (shown on Iraqi television within hours of the US strikes), was in fact one of five ‘doubles’. One intelligence source in London told Mark Birdsall - “the person in frame was not Saddam Hussein.” The CIA and British intelligence may confirm this later today.

20 March 2003: The CIA has confirmed that they were responsible for ordering last night’s cruise missile attacks against key sites in Baghdad. One such target was a building believed to be housing Saddam Hussein himself. Other buildings were also targeted. It is believed one civilian was killed.

Saddam Hussein - key CIA target - could be dead

20 March 2003: Operation Shock and Awe will almost certainly begin later today. One USAF officer said: “You will quickly know when ‘it’ starts.”

20 March 2003: Four Iraqi Scud missiles were launched against US Marine targets inside Kuwait. Three of the projectiles were intercepted by Patriot missiles.

20 March 2003: WAR BREAKS OUT

Bombing of “calculated targets” in Iraq. US Navy Cruise missiles launched from destroyers in Red Sea after intelligence reports revealed exact location of senior military commanders. F-17 Stealth fighters also involved. Pentagon described action as “surgical.” Tracer fire seen above Baghdad.

20 March 2003: Intelligence sources say that a number of Iraqi radio stations were destroyed by Stealth Fighters.

20 March 2003: Pentagon confirm 17 Iraqi soldiers have given themselves up after crossing into de-militarised zone.

© Chip Gray

 

20 March 2003: Pentagon rubbish Russian claims that Iraqi Foreign Minister, Tariq Aziz fled the country or was assassinated. Hours later Mr Aziz appears on television offering his total support to Saddam.

20 March 2003: British and US warplanes have attacked Iraqi weapons systems in the southern “no fly” zone, the Ministry of Defence says. An MOD spokeswoman described the patrols as “standard ‘no-fly’ zone activity” saying they were “targeting systems which are a threat to our forces.” The actioncomes after US-led forces entered the zone between Kuwait and Iraq, preparing for the expected invasion. Donald Napier for Eye Spy

19 March 2003: It has been reported that several Iraqi soldiers have surrendered to US forces on the Kuwait-Iraq border. It is understood that the surrender of these soldiers has been accepted.

19 March 2003: The Turkish Government has green-lighted use of its airspace to USAF warplanes.

19 March 2003: French officials have said they are “shocked” by anti-French feeling in the USA and UK. Many British and US diplomats say that France is hugely to blame for the current fragmentation of NATO countries.

• President Bush says 45 nations are involved with coalition.

19 March 2003: New York City and London on high alert for terrorist attacks when Iraq attack begins.

19 March 2003: Sky News Poll: 83% of Britons support war. Daily Telegraph Poll: 50% of Britons support war - 42% against.

19 March 2003: Pentagon sources believe US intelligence has intercepted instruction from Baghdad to senior Iraqi commanders, to set fire to southern oil fields if and when invasion begins.

19 March 2003: 14 B-52 bombers at RAF Fairford now being loaded with weaponry.

19 March 2003: AP report that 14 US and British tanks cross into de-militarised zone.

19 March 2003: Two million leaflets have been dropped in Iraq urging Iraqi soldiers to return to their barracks and not join elite Republican Guard troops.

19 March 2003: US troops have moved inside de-militarised zone in southern Iraq. Eye Spy contact in Gulf says war could break out within 24 hours.

19 March 2003: Huge number of trucks arriving at RAF Fairford in England. Trucks contain hundreds of bombs for dozens of B-52 bombers being readied for Operation Shock and Awe.

B-52 bomber RAF Fairford

19 March 2003: Intelligence sources in Gulf confirm RAF Tornados being armed with new British built Storm Shadow Cruise missiles.

19 March 2003: Fury in America and Britain as US military confirm major food contract to feed 200,000+ US troops has been awarded to a French food company. Pentagon confirm contract will be honoured.

19 March 2003: 50% of UK public now support military action against Saddam Hussein.

19 March 2003: 78% of American public in favour of removing Saddam Hussein.

19 March 2003: US Naval Commander says war “likely” within 36 hours.

19 March 2003: French Government says it will support USA and UK against Iraq if chemical weapons are used against coalition forces. Previous statements from France claim Iraq “is free of such weapons”.

19 March 2003: CIA sources believe French objections to attack on Iraq indicates covert or inadvertent assistance by French Government in augmenting some part of Iraq’s chemical weapons programme.

19 March 2003: Intelligence sources say Saddam has issued a large number of missiles loaded with nerve agents to forward positions of the elite Republican Guard, south of Baghdad. The reports are now being taken very seriously by US and British military comanders.

• The US now has 238,000 men in the Gulf. Britain has 45,000, of which 30,000 have been merged with fighting units of the US force.

19 March 2003: All UN arms’ inspectors have now left Iraq and have arrived on the island of Crete. This follows the order given by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Also UN work, including the oil-for-food programme has been suspended. He said the evacuation order affected UN arms inspectors as well as humanitarian workers and peacekeepers monitoring a demilitarized zone along the Iraq-Kuwait border.

“I have informed the council,” Annan told reporters after addressing a closed session of the U.N. Security Council on Monday. “The implication of these withdrawals is that the (UN programmes') mandates will be suspended because they are inoperable.” UN officials said more than 300 UN international employees remained in Iraq. That included some 135 UN inspectors and their support staff as well as humanitarian workers and oil monitors.

18 March 2003: Unconfirmed reports state that dozens of Iraqi soldiers in the north of the country are trying to surrender to US and coalition forces.

18 March 2003: Baghdad officials reject calls by President Bush for Saddam to leave.

17 March 2003: President Bush told Saddam Hussein he has but 48 hours to avert war by leaving the country.

 

 

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