News / 

Next Target: Tikrit

Next Target: Tikrit

Save Story
Leer en espaƱol

Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

(AP) - U.S. Marines geared up to push north toward Tikrit, President Saddam Hussein's hometown and the only major Iraqi city not under U.S.-led coalition control. Elements of the U.S. 1st Marine Expeditionary Force set out Saturday toward that city.

U.S. Central Command spokesman Army Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks said forces would be "relentless" in their efforts to capture the city.

American forces agreed Saturday to team up with Iraqi police to stem widespread looting that emptied the National Museum of thousands of ancient treasures.

In the west, coalition troops took an airfield and advance units of the 4th Infantry Division moved into southern Iraq from Kuwait.

Here's a summary of reports about units on the move in Iraq, followed by other battlefield developments. The reports are culled from official assessments and from journalists of The Associated Press and member news organizations traveling with American units in Iraq.


_U-S Central Command says a Marine was shot and killed at a Baghdad checkpoint by a man carrying a Syrian identification card. Officials say the soldier from the First Marine Expeditionary Force was guarding a checkpoint at a medical facility when two men, posing as landscape workers, approached him. One man opened fire, killing the Marine. Other Marines shot and killed the Syrian man but the second attacker fled.

_ The U.S. military agreed to conduct joint patrols with Iraqi police to restore order in Baghdad, hit hard by looting at government ministries and the National Museum. U.S. officials were dispatching the first contingent of 1,200 American police and judicial officers to help troops quash lawlessness.

Earlier in the day, U.S. forces had reopened two strategic bridges in the heart of Baghdad _ giving looters easier access to territory that had been spared. U.S. forces watched but did not intervene as plunderers swarmed into several government buildings.

_ American troops battled Iraqi fighters outside the Palestine Hotel, underscoring the danger that still confronts them in the Iraqi capital. Marines found nearly 50 suicide bomb vests packed with explosives in a school in central Baghdad.

_ Saddam's science adviser, Lt. Gen. Amer al-Saadi, surrendered Saturday to U.S. authorities. He immediately insisted Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Al-Saadi is believed to be the first of 52 regime figures sought by the coalition to be taken into custody.

_ A "significant-sized force" of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force moved out of Baghdad to confront suspected Iraqi military strongholds north of the city. The Marines were expected to head for Saddam's hometown of Tikrit, where Iraqi resistance remains the strongest.


_ U.S. military convoys of Humvees and pickups mounted with heavy machines guns rolled through boulevards in the northern city of Mosul and took up positions at busy intersections. Thousands of people waved and applauded as they passed.

Looting diminished in Mosul with the arrival of the American troops. On Friday, pro-Saddam defense forces dissolved and U.S. special forces moved in.

Special operations forces and soldiers with the 173rd Airborne secured another important northern city, Kirkuk. Troops are still expanding security in Kirkuk's oil fields and the gas-oil separation plants.


_ The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit set up checkpoints around Kut, 95 miles southeast of Baghdad, where intelligence reports said thousands of foreign fighters might be holed up. Marines stopped vehicles to see if Iraqi soldiers or paramilitary fighters were trying to escape the city.

_ Troops from the 4th Infantry Division pushed into southern Iraq from Kuwait, headed north to take the place of the 3rd Infantry Division _ now in Baghdad but likely to push north toward Tikrit.

_ In western Iraq, U.S. forces stopped a bus with 59 men of military age carrying $650,000 in cash and a letter offering rewards for killing American soldiers. Military officials said the bus was headed for Syria.

U.S. special operations forces also seized control of the Asad airfield in western Iraq, where they found 15 undamaged fixed-wing fighter aircraft. Coalition troops took control of crossings on two highways leading into Syria. There was tough resistance near Qaim, on the Syrian border, raising speculation that the town might be site for illegal weapons.


_ With the air war over Iraq winding down, the Navy is likely to send home two of the three aircraft carrier battle groups in the Persian Gulf, the commander of all naval forces in the Gulf said Saturday.

Vice Adm. Timothy Keating told reporters that the first to head home will likely be the USS Kitty Hawk, based in Yokosuka, Japan. The USS Constellation, based in Coronado, Calif., would probably go next. The third carrier, the USS Nimitz, just arrived as a replacement for the USS Abraham Lincoln, which is en route to its home port of Everett, Wash., after nearly nine months at sea.

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

Most recent News stories


Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast