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Summary of Latest War Developments

Summary of Latest War Developments

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(AP) From the war battlefield to political maneuvers at home, this article is a concise roundup of the most recent war developments.

MILITARY ACTION -- Iraqi T-V is showing what it says is video of Saddam Hussein, walking outside in a small crowd of excited people. The men are seen pushing toward Saddam and showing their support. However, there's no way to tell if the person is, in fact, Saddam -- who's been known to use doubles.

-- A top Iraqi official is promising that Iraqi forces will attack U-S forces in an "unconventional" way. Asked if that meant the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction, he quickly said "NO."

-- Anticipating a siege or a battle for Baghdad, thousands of civilians are fleeing the Iraqi capital. Hundreds of trucks, buses and cars, are backed up for miles on roads heading north, away from the gathering U-S forces.

-- U-S forces have seized the Baghdad airport. The move secures a vital base for taking the war into its expected next phase -- urban combat in the Iraqi capital.

-- After taking Saddam International Airport, the U-S military promptly renamed it Baghdad International Airport.

-- U-S forces are searching the tunnels underneath Baghdad's airport for any Iraqi soldiers who might be hiding out.

-- In taking the airport, Central Command says U-S forces faced "small-unit attacks" from remnants of Iraqi units -- but that "They were soundly defeated in each case."

-- With the Iraqis cleared out of the airport, the 101st Airborne Division has started to move north, with plans to base its helicopters at the newly seized airport in order to conduct raids around Baghdad. The 101st is highly trained in urban warfare.

-- A senior U-S source says initial tests indicate a white powder found at an Iraqi industrial site near Baghdad may be an explosive, not a chemical weapon. U-S troops also found nerve agent antidote and instructions on chemical warfare at the site.

-- Electricity and water remain cut in Baghdad after more overnight bombings.

-- Kurdish forces have seized a key bridge at Khazer near the major northern city of Mosul and crossed into the village under artillery fire from retreating Iraqi troops. The Iraqis had struggled to hold Khazer since Thursday.

-- People in Iraq's southern city of Umm Qasr are getting drinkable water. U-S and British forces have begun the distribution effort, assisted by local Iraqis.

-- Coalition forces have bombed Iraqi Air Force headquarters in central Baghdad.

-- A spokesman for U-S Central Command says special operations forces are "in key locations" inside Baghdad. They're said to be scouting targets, encouraging Iraqi defections -- and possibly trying to kill key officials or take out key sites.

-- The U-S Marines First Division massed on the southeastern outskirts of Baghdad this morning after hours of pushing up the Tigris River, past abandoned Iraqi positions. There's been little resistance today but yesterday they killed an estimated 80 Iraqis who launched a suicide charge on American tanks with their AK-47's.

-- U-S Marines report about 25-hundred Iraqi Republican Guards have surrendered between Kut and Baghdad. Two Marines and about 80 Iraqi fighters were killed in close combat in Kut.

-- Some front-line units are on heightened alert against the threat of chemical weapons. They've been ordered to wear rubber boots and suits despite the heat.

-- Three coalition soldiers have been killed in an apparent suicide car bombing at a checkpoint in western Iraq. Central Command says a pregnant woman and the driver were also killed. It happened last night.

-- In southern Iraq, British forces penetrated closer to the center of Basra, a city of one-point-three million people where Iraqi defenders have held out for days.

-- Military officials say nine of eleven bodies discovered in the same raid that freed P-F-C Jessica Lynch are believed to be those of American soldiers. The remains are being sent to the United States for further analysis.


-- White House officials say President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair will meet next week in Northern Ireland to discuss the battle against Saddam Hussein's forces and their plans for the nation after shooting stops.

-- A senior Pentagon official says a meeting to start forming an interim Iraqi government could take place inside Iraq within a week.

-- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is suggesting the U-S military might stop short of storming Baghdad.

-- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says there's "not a chance" that the U-S would agree to an arrangement that would halt the war and allow Saddam Hussein to survive as Iraq's leader.

-- British Prime Minister Tony Blair is warning his Cabinet that they shouldn't expect the war in Iraq to end soon.

-- Secretary of State Colin Powell has told NATO allies and the European Union that the U-S -- not the U-N -- must have the lead role in Iraq's postwar reconstruction.

-- A U-N official says the United States shouldn't have the right to hand out oil contracts in postwar Iraq. An administrator says an occupying power can only handle day-to-day administrative operations unless the U-N Security Council decides otherwise. The Pentagon has picked a former oil executive to oversee the revival of Iraq's oil industry after the war, and U-S oil companies are lining up for lucrative contracts.

-- A security team has recommended that U-N staff be authorized to restart operations in the southern Iraqi port city of Umm Qasr. British troops have taken control of Umm Qasr, Iraq's major seaport, and are working to reopen the harbor.

-- Some Seattle-based companies are among the first in line to help rebuild Iraq. A 15-member team from Seattle's Stevedoring Services of America and Berger-A-B-A-M Engineers of Federal Way departs this week for Umm Qasr (oom-KAH'-sur). They will see what it takes to get Iraq's only deep water port operating efficiently.

-- Iran's president warns that terrorists will view the U-S-led invasion of Iraq as a "green light" to attack U-S interests and calls on Americans to "wake up" and stop the war.

-- German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, a vocal opponent of the war, has for the first time called for the removal of Saddam Hussein in a speech to parliament.


-- The names of U-S troop casualties, provided by relatives or military officials. Totals: 55 dead, 16 missing and seven captured. In some cases, families have released names before the military.

-- The Pentagon says 54 American servicemembers have died, 16 are missing and seven have been captured.

-- The British government said 27 of its troops were dead.

-- U-S Marines who are recovering at a military hospital in Germany say they were ambushed after they stopped at an abandoned gas station outside Nasiriyah (nah-sih-REE'-uh). Thirty-one Marines were wounded.


-- Jessica Lynch, the 19-year-old Army private freed from Iraqi captivity in a commando raid, has undergone more surgery today at a U-s hospital in Germany. Surgeons say she has a head wound, fractures in both legs, her right ankle, her foot and her right arm.


-- President Bush has told Marines and their families at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune that "a vise is closing" on Saddam Hussein's regime. In a visit to the base yesterday, he shed tears with families of Marines killed in Iraq.


-- The House has joined the Senate in approving funding for the initial costs of the war with Iraq and other anti-terrorism efforts. The measures each total about 80 (b) billion dollars. Lawmakers hope to send President Bush a final version by next Friday.


-- Appearing on Iraqi television, Saddam Hussein called on Iraqis to strike at the coalition forces who he said were at the gates of the capital. Saddam said the forces had "bypassed" armed defenses around Baghdad and other cities and he urged his followers to "strike them forcefully."

-- U-S intelligence officials say references to a downed U-S helicopter in Saddam's new video message suggest it was made after the war began. The message is some of the strongest evidence yet that the Iraqi president is still alive.


-- Michael Kelly, a Washington Post columnist and editor-at-large for The Atlantic Monthly, has become the first American journalist to die in the conflict in Iraq. He was reportedly killed in a Humvee accident.

-- I-T-N television says an assessment by a private security company shows British T-V journalist Terry Lloyd and his team came under fire from both coalition and Iraqi forces when he was killed in southern Iraq. Two of Lloyd's colleagues are still missing. Another colleague was wounded.

-- A cameraman working for the B-B-C has been killed in a land mine explosion in northern Iraq. The company says a producer who was with him was injured. They were part of a four-man crew filming at a town in the southern part of the area controlled by the Kurds.

-- Four journalists held for a week in Iraq's most notorious prison say they were accused of being spies and feared they would be killed. Freed Tuesday were Newsday correspondent Matt McAllester, Newsday photographer Moises Saman, free-lance photographer Molly Bingham and a Danish freelance photographer, Johan Rydeng Spanner.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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