Daily war briefing

War in Iraq

April 17, 2003

The battlefield

Firefights involving U.S. troops continue in Mosul, where Iraqis say 17 people have been killed and 18 injured in two days of fighting.

Gen. Tommy R. Franks makes his first trip to Baghdad and meets with U.S. military leaders.

American forces raid the home of Hussein's biological weapons chief - Rihab Taha, dubbed "Dr. Germ" by U.N. inspectors - and find a recently abandoned terrorist training camp, officials say.

The Army's 4th Infantry Division enters combat, exchanging fire with Iraqi paramilitary forces at an airfield north of Baghdad.

Iraq's 12th Armored Brigade surrenders near Baghdad, and U.S. troops seize 40 tanks, nearly 1,000 weapons and some artillery.

Ethnic tensions continue in northern Iraq, including in Kirkuk, where homes abandoned by Arabs fearing violence have been taken by Kurds.

The international front

Seven U.S. POWs rescued near Tikrit over the weekend arrive from Kuwait at a U.S. base in Germany, where they are examined at a military hospital.

Syria denies that it is harboring high-ranking officials of Hussein's regime, including the No. 3 man in Iraq's intelligence service who reportedly surfaced there.

President Bush urges the United Nations to lift the economic sanctions that have been in place against Iraq since the first Persian Gulf war.

European leaders suggest that they may soon send peacekeeping forces to help stabilize Iraq.

The home front

Bush signs a nearly $80 billion spending bill to finance the war.

Terror alert

The security alert level nationwide was lowered to code yellow, meaning a significant risk of terror attacks. The level had been at code orange, or high risk, since Feb. 7.

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