Daily war briefing

War In Iraq

March 29, 2003

The battlefield

In the push north to Baghdad, American-led forces bomb a Republican Guard fuel depot and a missile facility, and Royal Air Force pilots strike areas near Baghdad.

Marines and Iraqi troops continue a fierce battle for control of the strategic city of Nasiriyah. Four Marines with the 1st Expeditionary Force are reported missing.

A missile, apparently fired from southern Iraq, explodes near a shopping mall in Kuwait City but causes no injuries and little damage, U.S. and Kuwaiti officials say.

U.S. planes deliver tanks, off-road vehicles and equipment to an airfield in northern Iraq, helping the effort to open a second front.

Two Army helicopters returning from an attack mission crash while landing at a base set up by the 101st Airborne Division. All crew members escape serious injury.

At least 50 people are killed and 50 wounded when a missile strikes a market in Baghdad, Iraqi officials and medical workers say.

Near Sulaimaniyah in northern Iraq, Kurdish rebels supported by U.S. forces defeat Islamic militants linked to Osama bin Laden.

A British ship, accompanied by patrol boats and assault helicopters, docks in Umm Qasr carrying humanitarian aid supplies.

The international front

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld sternly warns the Syrian government to stop shipping night vision goggles and other equipment to Iraq. Syria and Iraq deny that such shipments have occurred.

Rumsfeld also cautions Iran against sending the Badr Corps into Iraq, saying its members would be treated as combatants.

The home front

President Bush and administration officials insist the war is proceeding according to plan, yet they brace the country for tougher fighting and more casualties.

U.S. officials are reportedly angered when the conflict's senior ground commander says the war will likely be longer than expected.

Terror alert

Security nationwide remains at code orange, a high level.

Casualties

..................... American ............ British

Killed ..................29 ...................... 22

Missing .............. 16 ........................ 0

POWs .................. 7 ........................ 0

Other casualties

* More than 4,000 Iraqis held POWs

* Two journalists, on British and one Australian, have been killed, several other are reported missing.

SOURCES: U.S. MILITARY, ASSOCIATED PRESS, SUN STAFF

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