Week in review on the battlefield

War in Iraq

April 06, 2003

DAY 11

Saturday, March 29

Four American soldiers were killed at a road checkpoint near Najaf when a suicide bomber driving a taxi drew them near his vehicle.

U.S. forces found bodies of some coalition troops in graves near Nasiriyah, military officials confirmed.

Iraq's Ministry of Information building was damaged in a U.S. missile attack before dawn.

U.S. forces stopped launching Tomahawk cruise missiles over parts of Saudi Arabia after some of the missiles landed in that country's desert.

Coalition planes struck Republican Guard positions south of Baghdad in preparation for a U.S.-led ground assault.

Warplanes used laser-guided missiles to destroy a building in Basra where Iraqi paramilitary troops were believed to be. British troops staged a raid into the city and destroyed five tanks and two statues of Saddam Hussein.

Kurdish militia moved closer to oil fields in the north near Kirkuk after Iraqi forces withdrew.

DAY 12

Sunday, March 30

Coalition forces were closing in on Baghdad from the southwest and southeast, while airstrikes pounded military facilities and Republican Guard troops day and night inside the capital.

A Marine UH-1 Huey helicopter crashed at a supply and refueling point in southern Iraq, killing three Marines and injuring one.

In northern Iraq, Kurdish fighters took control of more territory after Iraqi forces withdrew and headed toward the oil center of Kirkuk.

U.S. Marines discovered chemical suits, masks and nerve gas antidote during a raid on buildings used by Iraqi forces in Nasiriyah. In Basra, British forces found a stash of training equipment for chemical, biological and nuclear warfare.

A man in civilian clothes drove a pickup truck into soldiers at a Kuwaiti desert base, injuring 15 people. British Marines staged a commando assault on a Basra suburb, killing about 30 Iraqis.

DAY 13

Monday, March 31

Within 50 miles of Baghdad, U.S.-led troops battled Republican Guard units around Hindiyah. Army troops fought with Iraqis for a bridge across the Euphrates River. About three dozen Iraqis were killed, and several dozen were captured.

Coalition air assaults continued to bombard Baghdad, hitting communications and command centers and Republican Guard positions.

U.S. soldiers killed seven Iraqi women and children at a checkpoint near Najaf when the Iraqis' van did not stop.

In northern Iraq, U.S. aircraft pounded Iraqi positions near Kalak while Kurdish forces pushed Iraqi soldiers out of the oil-rich Kirkuk area.

In Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, British commandos faced tough resistance from paramilitary forces.

Pentagon officials said coalition warplanes have dropped more than 8,000 precision-guided munitions since the war began.

DAY 14

Tuesday, April 1

American prisoner of war Pfc. Jessica Lynch, a supply clerk with the Army's 507th Maintenance Company, was rescued by U.S. special forces from a hospital in Nasiriyah in a daring nighttime maneuver. She and her company were ambushed March 23 when they apparently took a wrong turn near Nasiriyah.

U.S. forces waged a fierce battle with the Republican Guard outside Karbala, about 50 miles south of Baghdad, clearing the way for a ground assault on the capital.

American Marines waged a firefight against Iraqi forces in Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad, killing up to 90 Iraqis and taking 20 prisoners.

Allied warplanes relentlessly bombarded government buildings in Baghdad and Republican Guard positions.

DAY 15

Wednesday, April 2

A U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter crashed near Karbala, killing seven of the 11 soldiers on board. The other four were injured but were rescued by American troops.

Coalition forces pushed to within 20 miles of Baghdad, where they were planning to form a cordon around the Iraqi capital.

In Najaf, Iraqi soldiers fired at U.S. troops from inside a mosque considered one of the world's most important Shiite shrines.

Eleven bodies, some believed to be American soldiers, were discovered at an Iraqi hospital in Nasiriyah, where American prisoner of war Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch was rescued. Lynch was flown to a U.S. Army hospital in Germany for treatment of her injuries.

U.S. military officials said two Republican Guard units, the Baghdad and Medina divisions, were shattered in battles with coalition forces.

DAY 16

Thursday, April 3

American soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division launched a nighttime attack on Saddam International Airport, west of the capital, to gain control of the facility and wipe out Iraqi soldiers guarding it.

U.S. troops battled Iraqi soldiers along Baghdad's southern fringes. The capital was plunged into darkness when the electric power went out for the first time since the war started. American officials denied that they had targeted the city's power grid.

U.S. special forces raided one of Saddam Hussein's presidential palaces, Thar Thar, west of his hometown of Tikrit, and removed documents.

In the north, U.S. warplanes pounded Iraqi troop positions, while in the south, British forces kept pushing toward the center of Basra.

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