BRIEFING: AT WAR WITH IRAQ
BY WORLD TRIBUNE.COM WITH MIDDLE EAST NEWSLINE

Day 10 March 29, 3003
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Breakthrough: U.S. forces closing on Baghdad

U.S. forces have been sent to reach the outskirts of Baghdad within the next few hours.

U.S. military commanders said after three days of heavy fighting allied armor and infantry units have burst through Iraqi Republican Guard positions and are moving quickly toward Baghdad. They said that unless there is unexpected Iraqi resistance the first U.S. forces will arrive on the outskirts of the Iraqi capital by early Sunday.

"In 36 hours, we're on the outskirts of Baghdad," Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said late Friday. Myers did not elaborate. But officials said U.S. forces will probably spend several days in a military buildup around the city as allied fighter-jets and heavy bombers attack Baghdad.


Iraq threatens more suicide attacks

ABU DHABI Iraq has threatened additional suicide attacks in wake of the killing of five U.S. soldiers by a man who blew himself up near the Shi'ite city of Najaf.

Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan said Iraq would employ additional suicide bombers to strike U.S. and allied forces. Ramadan said the suicide bomber was an Iraqi father who would be honored for his mission.

On Saturday, five soldiers of the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division were killed in a suicide attack at a checkpoint near Najaf. U.S. officials said the attack was conducted by a man in civilian clothes.

"That kind of activity, I think, is something that is a symbol of an organization that's beginning to get a little bit desperate," Air Force Maj. Gen. Victor Renuart, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, said. "There is a fair amount of civilian traffic [in Iraq] that we just have to be cautious with."


Saudi complaints cause reduction in U.S. cruise missile attacks

ABU DHABI Saudi Arabia has succeeded in limiting U.S. cruise missile attacks on Iraq.

U.S. officials said Riyad had complained that U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile strikes from the Red Sea were landing in the kingdom. They said the Saudi protests led to a decision to reduce cruise missile attacks.

"In the case of Saudi Arabia, we did have a number of T-LAM [Tomahawk] missiles that were reported down in their territory," Maj. Gen. Victor Renuart, the coalition's director of operations, said.

Renuart said U.S. Central Command is investigating mishaps in the Tomahawk navigation system. He said the cruise missile attacks from the region will resume at an unspecified date.

Officials reported a significant drop in Tomahawk missile strikes since Wednesday. On Friday, Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, that the U.S. military has fired more than 650 Tomahawk missiles since the start of war.


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