The fall of Baghdad: A chronology of events

War In Iraq

April 10, 2003

March:

March 20: U.S. forces launch early morning airstrikes at sites near Baghdad where Saddam Hussein and top aides are believed to be sleeping. Ground war begins in afternoon near Kuwaiti border,

March 21: Ground troops reach one-third of the way to Baghdad. Airstrikes on Baghdad leave government buildings ablaze.

March 23: Twelve U.S. soldiers, including Army supply clerk Jessica Lynch, 19, go missing after Iraqis ambush a convoy near Nasiriyah Iraqi TV airs footage of five captured U.S. soldiers and shows bodies of at least five others.

March: 24: Sandstorms slow infantry's advance but troops get to within 50 miles of Baghdad. Two U.S. soldiers are captured after their helicopter crashes, then put on Iraqi TV.

March: 26: Two missiles hit a Baghdad neighborhood, killing 14 and injuring 30, according to Iraq. Northern front opened as 1,000 Army troops parachute into Kurdish-controlled enclave.

March 28: With the port of Umm Qasr finally cleared of mines, British ship makes the first sizable humanitarian delivery since the war began.

March 29: A suicide attacker pretending to be a taxi driver needing help kills four U.S. soldiers. Iraq's vice president warns of more such attacks, and coalition forces adopt more wary strategy toward civilians.

March 31: U.S. Army troops kill seven Iraqi women and children at a checkpoint near Najaf when the Iraqis' van refused to stop.

APRIL

April 1: Lynch rescued from hospital in daring mission by U.S. special operations forces. Eight bodies buried nearby are later identified as members of her unit.

April 3: Army attacks Saddam International Airport.

April 4: Soldiers seize control of airport, rename it Baghdad International.

April 5: American troops smash Republican Guard defenders and drive through part of Baghdad, largely to show they can. Warplanes strike villa of Saddam's notorious lieutenan, Ali Hassan al-Majid -- "Chemical Ali."

April 7: U.S. tanks rumble through downtown Baghdad, seizing an opulent palace. Bunker-buster bomb hits building where Saddam and other officials are believed to be. British forces take Basra.

April 8: U.S. forces crush a counterattack in Baghdad. Looting erupts in Basra, where British install a local sheik in power.

April 9: American commanders declare Saddam's regime no longer rules Baghdad. Jubilant crowds greet troops, go on looting rampages and topple a 40-foot statue of Saddam.

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