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03-19-03, 02:42 PM #1
Article that I have in the Open Squad Bay
U.S. warplanes bomb Iraqi artillery
Some nice video.... So let's see your foxholes....
NORTHERN KUWAIT, March 19 — U.S. warplanes bombed Iraqi artillery just north of Kuwait on Wednesday, softening up the path of U.S. and British troops poised to invade Iraq, NBC News has learned. The bombing came as 17 Iraqi soldiers surrendered at the border. The Pentagon hoped tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers would follow suit as the clock ticked toward the 8 p.m. ET deadline set by the United States for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq or face attack.
THE ARTILLERY, which U.S. intelligence sources said is capable of firing chemical or biological weapons, was well within range of U.S. and British troops on the Kuwaiti border, NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reported from the Pentagon.
U.S. military officials had reported the artillery would have to be taken out before the U.S.-led coalition stormed across the border into Iraq.
U.S. warplanes also bombed short-range, surface-to-surface missiles positioned near Basra, an Iraqi port city, NBC reported.
The artillery and missiles are within the southern “no-fly” zone that U.S. and British warplanes regularly patrol. The warplanes often attack targets within the zone, but before Wednesday, the targets had been air defense sites, such as radar installations or anti-aircraft batteries, that threatened patrolling planes.
Along the border, two groups of Iraqi soldiers defected Wednesday and were handed over to Kuwaiti authorities, Pentagon sources told NBC. A 3rd Infantry Division officer, Capt. Darren Theriault, said 15 of the men gave themselves up at one location along the border with Kuwait.
NBC’s David Bloom reported that the lead troops of the 3rd Infantry Division, accompanied by the “Raging Bulls” tank company, were on the border with Iraq, having moved from a staging area to an attack position.
U.S. forces have moved into the demilitarized zone along the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border but are still inside Kuwait, NBC’s Miklaszewski reported Wednesday, citing unidentified U.S. officials.
Earlier, one tank company commander told troops to take down the U.S. flags from the tops of their tanks. “We will be entering Iraq as an army of liberation, not domination, so it would not be right to go in with the American flag flying,” Capt. Philip Wolford said.
At another position on the border, NBC’s Chip Reid reported Wednesday that Marines had slept in fox holes and were ready to attack with 30 minutes notice.
A fierce sandstorm briefly cut visibility to around 10 feet Wednesday, but a U.S. commander said the dust would not disrupt plans for an imminent invasion of Iraq.
03-19-03, 04:15 PM #2
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