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Saru

War In Iraq - Official News Thread

32 posts in this topic

To keep all the Iraq news updates together in one place, I thought I'd start a new thread specifically for news articles/links etc. relating to events in Iraq. Please feel free to post any news stories or articles you come across, or even just snippets of news you've seen on TV/newspaper etc.

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Iraqi Minister Sees Baghdad Encircled In 5-10 Days

Iraq's defence minister has said he expects that U.S.-led forces will manage to encircle Baghdad within five to 10 days but that they will then have to face fierce street-to-street fighting. "We set up our (main) defences in Baghdad. It will be no surprise that in five to 10 days they will be able to encircle all our positions in Baghdad. They have the capability to do so," Defence Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmed told a news conference on Thursday.

"But they have to come into the city eventually," he said. Asked if he expected street fighting in Baghdad, he said: "Definitely."

Source : Yahoo News

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Troops Find Iraqi Chemical Suits

British troops have made a significant discovery of protective chemical suits in southern Iraq that military officials say show Baghdad is ready to use weapons of mass destruction. Any proof of Iraqi intent to use so-called such weapons would be a propaganda coup for the United States and Britain, which went to war last Thursday after abandoning diplomatic efforts to rid Iraq of its weapons programmes.

Iraq denies it has any such banned weapons. "We do have evidence that the Iraqi regime is prepared to use weapons of mass destruction," Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon told reporters. Military chiefs conceded there was nothing "offensive" in their find -- essentially a cache of 100-plus suits and documents abandoned by Iraqi forces as British forces over-ran positions to seize control of Iraq's oilfields in the south. But they said it showed clear intent.

View: Full Article

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Iraq hails suicide bomber

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq has hailed a suicide bomber who killed four American soldiers and has promised more such "blessed" attacks as the United States keeps up its withering air strikes on Baghdad.

A U.S. official said a car exploded on Saturday at a checkpoint near the Shi'ite Muslim shrine city of Najaf, about 100 miles south of Baghdad, killing four soldiers who were searching it. The driver also died in the blast.

Iraqi television said President Saddam Hussein had awarded the bomber, Ali Hammadi al-Namani, two posthumous medals.

It said the attack had killed 11 American soldiers and destroyed two tanks and two armoured personnel carriers.

"This is the blessed beginning on the road of sacrifice and martyrdom to inflict on them what they did not expect," the television announcer said.

A U.S. spokesman, Major General Victor Renuart, said earlier that the car bomb appeared to be a "terrorist" attack by an organisation that was getting "a little bit desperate", adding that it would not affect military operations.

But the bombing, first of its kind against U.S. troops in the war, seemed certain to complicate American efforts to intercept small guerrilla groups moving in civilian vehicles.

The U.S. military said there had been no let-up in the 10-day-old campaign to oust Saddam, brushing aside problems faced by armoured columns in sustaining stretched supply lines under hit-and-run attack by Iraqi militiamen.

But U.S. military sources said commanders had ordered a pause of four to six days in the ground push toward Baghdad.

In the capital, several bombs crashed into the heart of the city during the day in the latest of a wave of raids that Iraq said had killed 68 civilians and wounded 107 in the past 24 hours.

Many more blasts boomed from the city's southern outskirts, where crack Republican Guard units are believed to be dug in.

Source: Yahoo News

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The coalition forces are doing just fine. Rumsfeld put things in their proper perspective at yesterdays briefing. He said that during the second world war we would get the news once a week when we went to the movies. Today we get the news constantly, all day - all night. If we went to the movies last week we would have heard the war has just started. When we went back this week the news would have been "allied troops less than 50 miles from Baghdad"...very impressive.

This hogwash that it was a cake walk and that the war was going to be a short easy task was created by the media. The allied commanders never said that it was going to be quick and easy. What Bush and Blair said over and over and they are repeating now is: "we will win" and thats what we have to keep in mind. We will win.

One other fact to keep in mind is that there are more Americans killed each day from crime and/or auto accidents than there are in this battle. Is this any consolation? No, but it kinda puts things in proper perspective. The only media accounts that have any credibility are those from the imbedded journalists, they are at the front lines. All the other stuff I consider crap this includes cnn's BS.

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War Protestors Hack Into Web Sites

Pro-and-anti Iraq war protesters have been making their point by hacking into Web sites in a display of cyber activism, rather than with the traditional can of spray paint or placard. Countless activists -- protesters or war hawks -- have the ability to hijack or cripple Web sites from the opposing camp, leaving in their wake a graveyard of busted and defaced links. "This is the future of protest," said Roberto Preatoni, founder of Zone-H, an Estonian firm that monitors and records hacking attacks. Since the war in Iraq started last week, the firm has recorded over 20,000 website defacements. The most notable victim was al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based satellite TV network that angered many Western viewers earlier this week when it aired footage of dead British and American soldiers and of prisoners of war.

The Arabic-language site, www.aljazeera.net, flickered to life on Friday, but access to the English-language version remained impossible, the result of repeated hack attacks since Monday. On Thursday, visitors to the English site were greeted with a stars-and-stripes logo saying "Let Freedom Ring." Earlier, "Hacked by Patriot, Freedom Cyber Force Militia," was scrawled on the site beneath a logo containing the U.S. flag. A representative for the FBI said the agency was investigating the al-Jazeera website hack.

Wired News

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US Advance Could Pause For Weeks

Some U.S. troops say they had been told a pause in land advances towards Baghdad could be extended by several weeks because of overstretched supply lines and stiff Iraqi resistance.

The soldiers said they were digging trenches, laying mines around camps and camouflaging vehicles, but that the aerial and artillery bombardment on Iraqi positions in and around Baghdad would continue unabated. Military officials told troops with one frontline unit that the pause could last 35-40 days, far longer than a pause of up to six days they were warned of on Saturday. The Pentagon has denied that there is any pause on the battlefield.

Heads dropped as word was passed to the troops at one frontline unit that they might be staying far longer than they anticipated to allow reinforcements to arrive. Many had hoped they would be home by the end of April.

Yahoo News

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Rumsfield Rapped For War Plan

Donald Rumsfeld has been slammed for underestimating the level of troops and equipment needed for war in Iraq.The US Defence Secretary repeatedly rejected advice from Pentagon planners when planning the war, New Yorker Magazine reported. In an article for its April 7 edition, the weekly said Mr Rumsfeld insisted at least six times in the run-up to the conflict that the proposed number of ground troops be sharply reduced and got his way.

"He thought he knew better. He was the decision-maker at every turn," the article quoted an unidentified senior Pentagon planner as saying.

Yahoo News

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Anger Over 'Cowboy' US Pilot

British soldiers wounded by "friendly fire" in Iraq say their convoy was hit by a U.S. aircraft and one of them called the pilot a "cowboy" with no regard for human life. The Times carried accounts by the survivors on Monday which tallied with earlier media reports that an American A10 "tankbuster" plane had strafed a convoy of British armoured vehicles.

British authorities said on Saturday they were investigating the incident south of the Iraqi city of Basra, in which one British soldier was killed and five were injured. "You've got an A10 with advanced technology and he can't use a thermal sight to identify whether a tank is a friend or a foe. It's ridiculous," the newspaper quoted Lance Corporal Steven Gerrard as saying from his bed on the hospital ship RFA Argus.

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This website is producing more news than the war itself.

This must be one of Saddam's dirty tatics again tongue.gif

btw

the site worked perfectly for me.

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We got our baby girl back- - - - safe

user posted image

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Hope Jessie makes a speedy recovery (long haul ahead for her if

both legs broken) and she sits the rest of this war safe at home.

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Troops poised to attack Baghdad airport

By Luke Baker

NEAR BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. troops have thrust to within six miles (10 km) of the southern edge of Baghdad, and are preparing to fight for control of the city's airport, U.S. officials say.

Iraq was reported to be moving elements of four elite Republican Guard divisions southwards to defend the city, setting up what could be a final showdown for the Iraqi capital.

U.S. military sources said on Thursday that advance armoured units of the 3rd Infantry Division had met less resistance than they had counted on as they raced towards the city's outskirts.

"We're pushing on really fast," said Captain Kevin Jackson of the division's Engineer Brigade. "There doesn't seem to have been much opposition so far."

At U.S. war headquarters in Qatar, officials said elements of four elite Iraqi Republican Guard divisions were seen moving south to defend Baghdad, but had thus far not attempted a full-scale battle with U.S. forces.

"We are engaging them, but we don't yet have any direct confrontation with the Republican Guard divisions as a whole," Captain Frank Thorp told reporters.

He also said troops were closing in on Saddam International Airport, which is about 20 km (12 miles) southwest of the centre of the sprawling city of five million people.

"Coalition forces at this point are outside of the Baghdad airport and are positioning themselves to engage that fight at a time of our choice," Thorp said.

Military sources said that, at the same time, two task forces were doubling back south to clear any Republican Guard units that might have been outflanked by the sudden thrust north.

Inside the capital, Reuters correspondent Samia Nakhoul said a string of heavy bombs from the southwest shook the city.

CONFIDENCE HIGH

Confidence was high in the U.S. ranks, which have made a lightning advance across some 480 km (300 miles) of Iraqi territory in the two weeks since U.S. President George W. Bush launched the war to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"When are they are going to say enough is enough, why don't their division commanders just surrender? This could turn into a massacre," Jackson of the Engineer Brigade said.

Asked if he felt confident, Sergeant Joseph Ruda had no qualms: "Hell yeah I am feeling confident. We should be done here pretty quickly."

The U.S. vanguard crossed the Euphrates river on Wednesday and moved to its closest position yet to Baghdad after daybreak on Thursday.

This correspondent saw a huge buildup of forces on other side of river, with seemingly endless columns of military vehicles on the move and dozens of Apache and Black Hawk helicopters parked.

U.S. soldiers, earlier told to be ready for possible chemical attack by adding rubber boots to the chemical suits they wear, were now being told they could take the boots off -- a sign the threat of such attack was perceived to be easing.

"I am still a little apprehensive about the threat, but it's easing. But that doesn't mean they couldn't still hit us with it," said Private Rashad Trotter.

Fears of chemical attack had ratcheted higher on Wednesday when U.S. officials said the troops had passed a hypothetical "red line" around Baghdad and entered an area where military planners believe Iraqi forces might be most likely to launch a poison-gas attack.

The United States launched the war on Iraq partly to disarm it of alleged weapons of mass destruction, although Baghdad denies having any such weaponry.

Yahoo News

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I've split this topic up and moved the posts relating to Dr. Brains site over to a new thread in the 'webrings, awards and other web sites' board.

You can view it by clicking HERE

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Troops Find Vials and Chemical Weapon's Manuals

U.S. troops have found thousands of boxes containing vials of unidentified liquid and powder as well as manuals on chemical warfare at a plant near Baghdad, a U.S. officer has told Reuters.

"It's unclear at this point what the vials contain and we're sending a team of experts to examine them," Captain Kevin Jackson said near Baghdad on Friday. The plant itself, which was shown on U.S. military maps as including underground storage facilities, was south of the southern suburban town of Latifiya. The vials were about 11 cm (four and a half inches) long. Some contained liquid, some powder. The books and manuals were in a safe, Jackson said.

Separately, Brigadier General Vincent Brooks told a news briefing in Qatar that special forces in Iraq's western desert had found what they believed to be a training school for handling nuclear, chemical and biological warfare.

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US Says 'Significant' Forces In Baghdad

A "significant number" of U.S. troops are entering Baghdad and they are not just on a brief patrol, a senior spokesman at U.S. Central Command forward headquarters in Qatar says. "We do now have troops in the city of Baghdad...they're in the middle of the city of Baghdad," Captain Frank Thorp told Reuters in an interview on Saturday.

"We will continue to move, this is more than a patrol that goes in and comes back out. We're a mobile force so we'll continue to move, but at this point we have a significant number of troops moving into the city." He declined to put a number on the troops from the U.S. V Corps entering the Iraqi capital or say specifically where he meant by the "middle" of the city.

Thorp said there had been only sporadic resistance to the push, which came a day after U.S. troops captured the sprawling airport to the southwest of the city, but had no reports of casualties so far.

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I'm listening to the radio, watching TV and I can't believe what I'm hearing. First our troops are in Baghdad then they aren't. Then our guys are at the Sadam air port and renamed it Baghdad airport. Then I hear the Iraqis have the airport and are driving around waving Iraqi flags shouting "victory...victory". Also, where is this dreaded republican guard and those black hooded ninja type fellows.

This reminds me of a scene from Monty Python's "Holy Grail".

The one where the knight gets his arms and legs cut off in a duel and there remains his torso with attached head lying on the ground shouting, "come on wanna fight, what are you a coward, come on fight me you coward".....unbelievable.

And now for the Mystery: why don't they let the embedded reporters report. All I've been hearing is an occasional blurb from them. Most of the news is from the talking heads that don't seem to know how to do much except say, "and now a word from our sponsors".

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I have been keeping track of things at this site HERE It may seem a little trivial to some but it works for me . mellow.gif

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that's simplicity for you, eh, Kismit? smile.gif

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Thank you Kismet. I like bottom line facts with no BS and your post does it for me. Here's something that I thought you would like, being a mother and all. So this is just for you: user posted image

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what a great pic, Dan. you know our guys are so tired out there and to see how gentle they can be is really a great reminder of what kind of a people we are. i saw a soldier dancing and playing with some Iraqi children on the news yesterday and i thought it was great the way he was trying to communicate with them. we really do send the best we have to offer in these men and women- i am constantly impressed by them.

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Thanks Damian, I sure wish I saw the scene you are talking about but I suspect we will be seeing a lot of good things as we progress to free those poor people. I don't think most of them know how good we in the coalition are but they are soon to find out. I'm also hoping that this action will have a ripple effect and show the rest of the Arab world that our intentions are nobel.

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Possible Chemical Weapons Site Found

A possible weapons of mass destruction storage site has been found near Baghdad, according to a US military official.There are unconfirmed reports there could be Sarin - a chemical agent that causes death by suffocation -at the site south of the central Iraqi town of Hindiyah, a US military officer said.

"Our detectors have indicated something," said Major Ros Coffman, public affairs officer with the US 3rd Infantry.

"We're talking about finding a site of possible WMD storage. This is an initial report, but it could be a smoking gun.

Full Article

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I've moved the last few posts to a new thread called 'Why We Are Invading Iraq' to keep it seperate from the news.

smile.gif

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