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US Attack on Iraq

Thursday March 20, 2003--Muharram 16, 1424 A.H.



Germany's Schroeder calls for quick end to war

BERLIN: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called 
Thursday for a rapid end to the US-led war against Iraq, in an address to the nation on public television.


US-led forces resume attacks on Iraq


WASHINGTON: The US-led forces resumed attacks on Iraq at 11:15 pm on Thursday night.

The Iraqi capital of Baghdad came under intense bombardment. A large number of missiles was used in the attacks. It is seems that a big bomb has exploded in Baghdad. The smoke and fire is visible in and around Baghdad.  

35 countries support war on Iraq: White House

WASHINGTON: The White House Spokesman said in a press conference that more than 35 countries were supporting the US-led military action against Iraq.

He said that after the operation,  the collation forces will not remain in Iraq. He said that American people are with Bush on Iraq war.

Iraq soldiers refused to comply with Saddam’s orders, Hussein's days are numbered : Rumsfeld

WASHINGTON: "Iraqi soldiers have refused to comply with the orders of their leader president Saddam Hussein, adding that the days of Saddam Hussein and his Iraqi regime are numbered", US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday.

US General warns countries against their Iraqi support 

WASHINGTON: US General Richard Mayer warned Thursday strict measures would be taken against those countries who would support Iraq during the war in Iraq.

Countries around Iraq to be protected: US General

WASHINGTON: "We have made every possible arrangements to protect the countries around Iraq during the war in Iraq", said US General Richard Mayer.

Iraqi soldiers set fire to oil wells in Iraq

Washington: Iraqi soldiers began setting fire to oil wells in Iraq on Thursday, said US media.

Bush talks to Vajpaee on telephone over Iraqi crisis

Washington: US president Thursday talked to Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpaee on telephone. Both the leaders exchanged their views on Iraqi crisis.

Combat engagement of US war with Iraq occurred in Kuwait, no fatality reported

KUWAIT: The combat engagement of the United States war with Iraq occurred Thursday, when a patrol of light armored vehicles from the Marine First Division encountered two Iraqi armored personnel carriers south of the border with Iraq, sources reported. 

The armored vehicles, called LAV-25's, engaged and destroyed the armored personnel carriers using 25-millimeter chain guns, a type of machine gun, and TOW guided missiles.

Earlier, Iraq fired four missiles toward American military bases in Kuwait. A Patriot battery shot down two, and another landed in the desert. Air sirens rang out and the American troops climbed into protective suits and put on gas masks.

The attacks followed an order by President Bush on Wednesday night to start the war. American forces poised on the country's southern border and at sea began strikes to disarm the country, including an apparently unsuccessful attempt to kill Saddam Hussein.

No injuries were reported, nor any damage, and there was no immediate evidence the missiles had chemical or biological warheads. But the attack suggested that American intelligence was not aware that Iraq had such missiles in the south.

US lacks moral justification for Iraq war: PPP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party Thursday condemning war against Iraq called it a war of clashing interests.

The US lacks moral justification for the war, said Shah Mehmood Qureshi, a central leader of the PPP in a press conference.

Britain seeks to end 'Iraqi suffering' under Saddam: Straw

LONDON: Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told Iraqis on Thursday Britain wants to "see your suffering come to an end," as the US-led war against Iraq got underway, said a press report.

There was no other way out except use of force against Saddam Hussain, in a press briefing he said. 

Iran says airspace closed to "belligerent forces"

TEHRAN: Iran's airspace is closed to "belligerent forces" following the launch of a US-led war on neighbouring Iraq, Thursday Tehran's foreign ministry spokesman said, the local media reported.

Iraq fired five Scuds on Kuwait: officials

KUWAIT CITY: Iraq fired a total of five Scud missiles on northern Kuwait Thursday, one of which was intercepted by a Patriot missile, local media reported.

Air raid sirens sounded here sending people scurrying for their gas masks after Iraq fired two missiles into the northern Kuwaiti desert.

Pakistan regrets over US-led attack on Iraq

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Information Minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmed Thursday called the US-led attack on Iraq regretful.

Pakistan was still striving for peaceful settlement of the matter, talking with the Geo News Channel, he said. 

Russia, Germany regrets attack on Iraq

MOSCOW: Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Thursday Moscow regrets the start of the war against Iraq but will still take part in relief efforts after the end of the second US-led Gulf campaign.

Meanwhile President Vladimir Putin in regretted the Iraqi crisis was being resolved 
through military means, and without a resolution from the UN Security Council, 
the system for ensuring international security.

Meanwhile, in an official communique Germany has urged taking utmost steps for prevention of the human tragedy. The United Nations was urged to play pivotal role for peace in Iraq. 

China urges to stop military action against Iraq

BEIJING: China, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and an opponent of military action by the United States without UN sanction, said it was seriously concerned by the outbreak of hostilities.

We urge relevant countries to stop their military action and return to the 
right path, said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman.

US strikes leave civilian casualties in Baghdad: official

BAGHDAD: A number of Iraqi civilian casualties were reported in southern Baghdad on Thursday during the first US air strikes, an information ministry official said.

MMA gives protest call against war on Iraq

ISLAMABAD: Muttahida Majlis Amal (MMA) Thursday gave countrywide call to protest against the US-led attack on Iraq.

The religious patries alliance decided to protest in a meeting here, presided over by Allama Shah Ahmed Noorani.

Blair summons British cabinet on Iraq war

LONDON: British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called a meeting of his core cabinet ministers for 8:30 am (0830 GMT) on Thursday to discuss the Iraq war, a Downing Street source said.

461 Pakistani's arrived from Kuwait
KARACHI: 461 Pakistani's trapped in Kuwait due to war in Iraq Thursday arrived Karachi in a PIA flight PK-216 and KU-201.

Thousands of Pakistani citizens are still trapped in Kuwait.

US attack ends importance of diplomacy in world: Iraqi Ambassador 

ISLAMABAD: Iraqi Ambassador in Pakistan KA Ravi Thursday thanked Russia and France for their principled support and efforts to prevent the US war against Iraq.

He was talking with the pressmen in the annual passing out parade ceremony of the Foreign Service Academy.

The US attack on Iraq has eliminated diplomacy in the world, he observed. 

Two Iraqi divisions agreed to lay arms

LONDON: Two out of three Iraqi divisions on the Iraq-Kuwait border in the north had agreed to lay arrms, said a press report Thursday.

The 51st mechanical division and 11th armored division defending Basra had agreed to lay arms. 
MMA calls world powers to protect people of Iraq

ISLAMABAD: Muttahida Majlis Amal leader Qazi Hussain Ahmed Thursday called the world community to play their role in protecting people of Iraq.

Addressing a MMA meeting Qazi said Germany, Russia and France could play vital role in the Iraq war situation. 

Kuwait disallows two PIA planes to take off

KARACHI: Two PIA planes were not allowed to leave from Kuwait, Thursday the Geo News channel reported. 

Kuwait civil aviation authorities disallowed any plane to take off after the US missile attack on Iraq.

US launches ground attack on Iraq: report

BAGHDAD: US and allied forces Thursday launched ground attack against Iraq from Kuwait, said media reports.

Iran condemns US attack on Iraq

TEHRAN: Iran Thursday called the US attack on Iraq unjustifiable and illegitimate but said it would not take sides in the conflict.

Saddam calls for resistance, pledges victory

BAGHDAD: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein Thursday called for resistance after the beginning of a US war and pledged victory, in his address to the nation after the US attack on Iraq, said a press report.

President Bush and its allies attack on Iraq is a crime against humanity. Iraqi citizens and their supporters are fighting to protect their religion, said the Iraqi President.

The enemies of Iraq will face defeat and the people of Iraq would emerge victorious from these hard times, said Saddam Hussain. 

We love peace, working for promotion of peace and would face valiantly the aggressors HE vowed.

Russia regrets strikes against Iraq: report

MOSCOW: Russia regrets the launch of military strikes against Iraq, Thursday a foreign news agency reported.

As the military campaign was launched, we can only voice our extreme regret and hope that the casualty toll would be minimal, a source in Russian government said.

Enemies has committed stupidity of aggression: Iraq

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Radio said that the 'enemies of God' have committed the stupidity of aggression.

Attack on Iraq was limited: US officials

WASHINGTON: American officials said that attacks on Iraq were limited.
The officials said that the first strikes were of a limited nature in preparations for further more extensive operations., US defence officials said.
Bush vowed a "broad and concerted campaign" and said the US would prevail.

War could be longer and difficult, says White House

WASHINGTON: The While House on Thursday said that the war with Iraq could be longer and more difficult, a report said.

US warns of global terrorist reprisal after attack on Iraq

WASHINGTON: The  US on Thursday warned of global terrorist reprisal after attack on Iraq.

The Homeland Security officials had already tightened the security measures and feared Iraqi and al-Qaeda attacks.

Cruise and Tam Hawk missiles used in attacks

WASHINGTON: Coalition forces jets targeted military and Iraqi leaders residential targets, and Tam Hawk and cruise missile were used in the attacks, a report said Thursday.

Bush said that forces hit "targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war". Pentagon spokesman said cruise missiles fired at "leadership target" in Iraq and added that strike was a "decapitation attack" to take out Saddam before the planned start of the war. The Tam Hawk missiles were fired from Bahrah Aswad.

Bush says attack is to disarm Iraq and free its people 
WASHINGTON: US President Bush in his address from Oval Office of the White House said Thursday that operation was aimed at disarming Iraq and free its people. He said that Saddam Hussain would use human shields. Bush said that targets of 'military opportunity' had been struck in Iraq.

Bush confirms attack has begun on Iraq
WASHINGTON: US President Bush in his address from Oval Office of the White House said Thursday morning that attack on Iraq has begun.

American-led forces begin attacks on Iraq

BAGHDAD: The US forces on Thursday began attacks on Iraq after the deadline of US 48-hour ultimatum forcing Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave the country lapsed at 6:00 am on Thursday.  

US forces launched strike after intelligence that Iraqi leaders were in area, a foreign TV Channel reported. A total of 40 missiles were used in attacks.
Explosions around Baghdad were heard and anti-aircraft fire was visible.

President Bush’s spokesman said that 'disarmament' of Iraq has begun. 

An American TV Channel reported that the US fighter jets attacked targets in Iraq and added that the attacks were especially being carried out at residential places of the Iraqi government leaders.
  Frequency of Iraqi state radio was taken over by US radio broadcast.


Anti-war protests in America continues

WASHINGTON: The anti-war protests in America continued on Thursday as a large number of people held demonstration outside the White House.


Six hijackers of Cuban plane surrender to FBI in Florida
(Updated at 0730 PST)
MIAMI: Six hijackers took over the Cuban plane and surrendered to authorities in Key West, said FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela in Miami.

There were 29 passengers and six crew members aboard, Orihuela said. She did not know if anyone was hurt. Air Force fighter jets were sent from Homestead Air Force Base. They escorted the airliner to Key West, Bergen said. 


The plane was hijacked from Cuba. The 35 passengers in the plane were reported safe.

Bush in meeting with officials

WASHINGTON: US President is holding meetings with the senior officials at the White House in Washington, American TV channel reported Thursday. 

An official said that attacks on Iraq would be carried out at any appropriate time and added that it is time for the US President to decide over initiating war in Iraq.

Evacuation of Asians including Pakistanis from Gulf starts

NEW DELHI: The evacuation of Pakistanis and the nationals of Asian countries has started in fear of US war on Iraq, a report said Thursday.

India has ordered its nationals in Gulf to immediately leave the region. Indian envoy in Kuwait said about 3.5 million Indians are living in Gulf states. 

Australian orders its forces to take part in war

KUWAIT: The Australian government on Thursday ordered its forces in the Gulf to take part in eminent US-led war on Iraq, a reports said.

War on Iraq eminent as US deadline to Saddam lapses

WASHINGTON: The US-led war on Iraq seems eminent as the deadline of US 48-hour ultimatum forcing Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave the country lapsed at 6:00 am on Thursday.

Iraqi forces ready to cooperate with US 

NEW YORK: The United States is getting clear signals from senior leaders of Iraq's elite Republican Guard that they are looking for a way to cooperate, an American TV said quoting intelligence sources.

This follows efforts by leaders of some regular Iraqi army units to let the US military know they do not want to fight, officials said. The US military planners do not expect the regular army units to provide much resistance just as had happened in 1991 Gulf War and thus could rapidly push up the main highway toward Baghdad without heavy resistance, they believe.

Top American NSC official in war on terror resigns

WASHINGTON: The top National Security Council official in the war on terror resigned this week for what a NSC spokesman said were personal reasons, but intelligence sources say the move reflects concern that the looming war with Iraq is hurting the fight against terrorism, an American newspaper reported Thursday.

Rand Beers would not comment for this article, but he and several sources close to him are emphatic that the resignation was not a protest against an invasion of Iraq. But the same sources, and other current and former intelligence officials, described a broad consensus in the anti-terrorism and intelligence community that an invasion of Iraq would divert critical resources from the war on terror.
Beers has served as the NSC's senior director for counter-terrorism only since August. The White House said Wednesday that he officially remains on the job and has yet to set a departure date.

Britain warns of heightened global terror threat

LONDON: Britain's Foreign Office on Wednesday issued a worldwide alert to British nationals of a heightened risk of terrorist attacks "during military action in Iraq".

US warplanes strike southern Iraq, Pentagon confirms

WASHINGTON: US and British warplanes launched strikes on seven locations in southern Iraq Wednesday, striking anti-aircraft artillery, air defenses and surface-to-surface missile systems, the US military said.

Meanwhile, Pentagon has confirmed the attacks.


US allows non-essential staff to leave Pakistan as Iraq war looms

WASHINGTON: The US State Department on Wednesday authorized the voluntary departure of non-emergency staff and diplomats posted in Pakistan, ahead of an expected backlash in the country to any US invasion of Iraq.



"The Department of State has authorized the departure on a voluntary basis of non-emergency personnel at the US Embassy and US consulates in Pakistan," a travel warning said.


"Private American citizens currently in Pakistan should consider departing." Affected US posts include the embassy in the capital, Islamabad, and consulates in Peshawar and Lahore. The consulate in Karachi has been closed since August due to security concerns.


"Americans in Pakistan should exercise caution and take prudent measures to

maintain their security," the warning said. "These measures include being vigilantly aware of their surroundings,  avoiding crowds and demonstrations, keeping a low profile, varying times and  routes for all required travel and ensuring travel documents are current."


Mass detention of Iraqis in America would not be made: FBI

WASHINGTON: US FBI said on Thursday that mass detention of Iraqis living in America would not be made, foreign media reported Thursday.

Reports said that the FIB is conducting interviews of thousands of Iraqis.

Bush tells Congress war with Iraq soon

WASHINGTON: President Bush, in a letter to lawmakers, formally activated the authority to pursue military action against Iraq granted by Congress last October, sources said.   

Bush told Congress that the diplomatic efforts to disarm Saddam Hussein's regime had failed and military action was likely to commence shortly.


War on Iraq a sad day for UN: Annan

UNITED NATIONS: The imminent threat of war in Iraq makes this a sad day for the United Nations and the international community, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan told the Security Council on Wednesday.  

Kofi Annan reminded the United States and Britain on Wednesday of their legal duty to protect Iraqi civilians in what he called the imminent disaster of war.


"Under international law, the responsibility for protecting civilians in conflict falls on the belligerents," he told an open meeting of the UN Security Council. "In any area under military occupation, responsibility for the welfare of the population falls on the occupying power."

17 Iraqis surrender to US troops

KUWAIT: Seventeen Iraqi soldiers Wednesday crossed the border into Kuwait and surrendered to US troops, a US officer here said.

United States to push for resumption of oil-for-food in Iraq

UNITED NATIONS: The United States told the Security Council on Wednesday it would soon submit a draft resolution to resume the UN's oil-for-food programme in Iraq.

Aziz says Saddam exile "impossible"
BAGHDAD: Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz said Wednesday it was "impossible" for President Saddam Hussein to bow to US President George W. Bush's ultimatum to go into exile.

UN resolution 1441 disallow change of govt in Iraq: Russia

UNITED NATIONS: Russian Foreign Minister while reacting to the Chief UN weapons inspectors Hans Blix's report in Security Council said that the UN resolution 1441 do not allow change of the government in Iraq.

US failed to prove Iraqi threat: Russia

UNITED NATIONS: Russia on Wednesday said a US failure to prove it was directly threatened by Iraq had prevented Moscow supporting 
pre-emptive military action against the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said that had "indisputable facts" 
demonstrating such a threat been provided to the UN Security Council, then Russia would have been prepared to use all means necessary to "eliminate" that threat.

"However, the Security Council today is not is possession of such facts. 
That is why we prefer a political strategy," Ivanov said. Ivanov was adressing an open meeting of the Council which began with a 
statement by chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, presenting a work programme which sets out the key remaining disarmament tasks for Iraq.

All the UN inspectors have followed orders to leave Iraq under the threat 
of imminent US-led invasion. Ivanov expressed regret that, at a time when the prospect of disarming Iraq through inspections had become "more than real," problems had been put forward that had "no bearing" on Council resolutions and other UN decisions on the Iraqi situation.

"Not one of these decisions authorises the right to use force against Iraq 
outside the UN charter," he said. "Not one of them authorises the violent 
overthrow of the leadership of a sovereign state."

US planes drop bombs, Leaflets on Iraq

WASHINGTON: With war looming, U.S. warplanes on Wednesday bombed military targets in southern Iraq and dropped nearly 2 million warning leaflets into the area, the U.S. military said. 

The bombs were dropped in a southern "no-fly" zone in response to Iraqi anti-aircraft fire, a Navy admiral said. Rear Adm. John Kelly said on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Gulf that the latest of dozens of such recent strikes in no-fly zones of northern and southern Iraq were against "command and control" targets in response to attempts on to shoot down U.S. and British aircraft. 

The leaflets dropped on 29 military and civilian sites in southern Iraq warned Iraqi civilians to stay away from military targets and urged Iraq's forces to surrender without a fight in any invasion, a U.S. military announcement from the region said. 

The drops brought to more than 17 million the number of leaflets scattered in recent months. 

As the bombs and leaflets again fell on Iraq, more than 280,000 U.S. and British troops along with dozens of missile-carrying warships and up to 1,000 aircraft were arrayed in the Gulf region facing Iraq. 

Disarming Saddam peacefully "still possible": France

Foreign Secretary of France Dominick De Vulpine said Wednesday it is time to wage a collective war against terror, and possibilities are there for disarming Iraqi president Saddam Hussein peacefully. 

This is said in reaction to a report of the Chief UNSC weapons inspector in the meeting of UN Security Council.


Blix regrets no more time for inspections  

UNITED NATIONS: Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix voiced regret Wednesday that his teams in Iraq had not been allowed more time to complete their work.



Security Council meets on crisis in Iraq  

UNITED NATIONS: With US and British troops poised to invade Iraq within hours, the Security Council met Wednesday to consider the UN's role in handling the probable humanitarian crisis.