Week in review on the battlefield

War In Iraq

April 13, 2003

DAY 18

Saturday, April 5

U.S. armored vehicles took a daring drive through the southern area of Baghdad to reinforce the message that coalition troops can strike anywhere. The drive prompted Iraqi troops, fedayeen militiamen and Baath Party loyalists to patrol the streets of the capital.

U.S. soldiers captured the headquarters of the Republican Guard's Medina Division in Suwayrah, 35 miles southeast of Baghdad, while the 1st Marines Expeditionary Force penetrated the Al Nida division of the Republican Guard on the southeastern edge of the city.

Coalition warplanes struck the Basra residence of Ali Hassan al-Majid, a member of Hussein's inner circle known as "Chemical Ali" because he once ordered a chemical weapons attack on Kurds.

Two Marine pilots were killed when their Cobra attack helicopter crashed in central Iraq.

DAY 19

Sunday, April 6

As a sign of increasing military control, a U.S. C-130 cargo plane landed at Baghdad International Airport, the first coalition aircraft known to have arrived in the Iraqi capital.

In Albu Muhawish, soldiers with the Army's 101st Airborne Division were ordered out of a captured Iraqi military compound when tests showed evidence of sarin nerve gas in a weapons cache. U.S. military officials couldn't confirm the report.

Near Irbil in northern Iraq, U.S. warplanes apparently bombed a convoy of Kurdish fighters and U.S. special forces by mistake, killing at least 18.

A convoy of Russian diplomats was attacked after leaving Baghdad. Central Command said coalition forces were not involved.

DAY 20

Monday, April 7

More than 130 American tanks and armored vehicles rolled into Baghdad, crushing a statue of President Saddam Hussein.

British military officials said that Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali," Hussein's cousin, who ordered the killing of thousands of Iraqi Kurds.

U.S. troops seized the New Presidential Palace, where a prisoner of war camp was set up.

Coalition warplanes struck Iraqi positions in the north, fighting to advance on Mosul and Kirkuk, still in Iraqi control.

DAY 21

Tuesday, April 8

Three journalists were killed and three others were wounded when U.S. tank shells hit the Palestine Hotel where hundreds of journalists were staying and a missile landed on the office of an Arab television network in Baghdad.

Military officials were trying to determine whether Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his sons were killed in a "bunker-buster" bombing in a residential neighborhood in Baghdad. Several bodies have been recovered from the site.

U.S. Marines seized the Rasheed Airport in eastern Baghdad, found a cache of ammunition and took over a prison where they found Army uniforms, possibly belonging to American prisoners of war.

In northern Iraq, Kurdish forces tightened the ring around the key oil center of Kirkuk after heavy coalition airstrikes on Iraqi positions.

DAY 22

Wednesday, April 9

U.S.-led troops rolled into Baghdad and liberated Iraqi citizens from the two-decades-old regime of Saddam Hussein. U.S. officials said his government was no longer in control of Baghdad.

Jubilant crowds swarmed into Baghdad streets, cheering U.S. troops before toppling a 40-foot statue of Hussein in Firdos Square.

Coalition forces bombed Tikrit, Hussein's birthplace, about 100 miles north of the capital, where loyalists were making a last stand.

In northern Iraq, Kurds also flooded the streets, rejoicing in the downfall of Hussein, who had executed thousands of them during his reign.

DAY 23

Thursday, April 10

Kurdish fighters and U.S. special forces seized control of the oil-rich Kirkuk area without a fight and were close to taking hold of Mosul in northern Iraq.

Two Shiite Muslim clerics were killed by an angry mob during a meeting in Najaf set up to forge a reconciliation at one of the Shiites' holiest shrines.

Four Marines were seriously injured when a suicide bomber walked up to a U.S. checkpoint in Baghdad. Iraqi fighters inside a Baghdad mosque opened fire on U.S. Marines who were hunting for Hussein regime leaders. One Marine was reportedly killed, and 22 others were wounded.

U.S. warplanes hit Iraqi positions near the border with Syria trying to prevent regime loyalists from slipping out of the country.

DAY 24

Friday, April 11

Coalition forces expanded their control over Iraq when Mosul fell to American troops and Kurdish fighters without a battle. Thousands of Iraqi soldiers walked away from the northern city, heading south.

U.S. troops struggled to control widespread looting in Baghdad and the rest of Iraq after taking the largest city in northern Iraq. Chaos and looting flared up in Mosul.

Airstrikes continued to assault the city of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown, which is considered to be the last major holdout of his regime.

U.S. military officials issued decks of cards with pictures of Iraq's most-wanted list on them, including Hussein and his two sons. The cards will help coalition troops identify the top Iraqi leaders who have fled.

THE NUMBERS

The statistics of war

Troops in the region

United States 255,000

Britain 45,000

Austraila 2,000

Czech/Slovak 400

Poland 200

Total allied force 302,600

About 100,000 more U.S. troops are on the way.

A shipment coordinated by the United Arab Emirates government and the Red Crescent to the port of Umm Qasr carried 772 tons of food, water and medical kits. Two British ships, the RFA Sir Galahad and the RFA Sir Percivale, have delivered a total of 1,100 tons of food, medicine and water to Umm Qasr. The U.S. has sent two ships with more than 50,000 tons of wheat, while Australia is shipping 100,000 tons of wheat.

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