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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

19 March Iraq Special Weapons News

US Policy
United Nations
Foreign Reactions
News Reports

Current Operations

  • President Bush Addresses the Nation The White House 19 Mar 2003 -- My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger. On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war.

  • War Begins; Coalition Aircraft Attack Iraqi Targets AFPS 19 Mar 2003 -- Operations to disarm Iraq have begun, President Bush announced during a speech to America tonight.
  • BUSH/IRAQ/WAR VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- U-S-led coalition forces have launched a limited surgical strike on Iraq. President Bush says it is the opening of an operation to disarm Iraq and free its people.
  • PENTAGON/TARGET VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- American-led coalition forces began striking selected targets inside Iraq, shortly after the expiration of a deadline for Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to abandon power
  • BUSH IRAQ WAR VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- U-S led coalition forces have launched a limited, surgical attack on Iraq -- targeting Iraqi leaders near Baghdad. President Bush says its the opening salvo of an operation to disarm Iraq and free its people.

  • PENTAGON/SURRENDER VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- Pentagon sources say significant numbers of Iraqi troops are expected to surrender without a fight when U-S led coalition forces stage their highly-anticipated assault on Iraq.
  • PENTAGON/IRAQ OVERNIGHTER VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- Some 300-thousand military personnel, most of them American, have taken up final positions for what is expected to be a swift, sudden and shattering attack on Iraq. The only remaining uncertainty is when that attack will begin.
  • COALITION FORCES RESPOND TO IRAQI THREATS IN SOUTHERN NO-FLY ZONE 19 Mar 2003 -- In response to Iraqi hostile actions against Coalition aircraft monitoring compliance of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to target several Iraqi military targets in southern and western Iraq.
  • COALITION TELLS IRAQI TROOPS HOW TO AVOID BEING HARMED 19 Mar 2003 -- Coalition aircraft dropped leaflets today designed to explain to Iraqi military troops how to avoid being harmed by Coalition troops in the case of a Coalition invasion.
  • COALITION FORCES DROP NEARLY 2 MILLION LEAFLETS INTO IRAQ 19 Mar 2003 -- Coalition aircraft dropped 1,980,000 informational leaflets into Iraq today. Today's leaflet drop was the largest to date - larger than yesterday's drop of 1.4 million leaflets.
  • Coalition Aircraft 'Paper' Iraq With Leaflets AFPS 19 Mar 2003 -- With President Bush's deadline for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq fast approaching, coalition aircraft dropped almost 2 million leaflets over Iraq March 19, U.S. Central Command officials said.
  • PENTAGON / IRAQ VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- Hundreds of thousands of U-S and British soldiers in the Persian Gulf region are prepared to launch a massive attack against Iraq, as a U-S deadline for Saddam Hussein to leave the country is rapidly approaching (has passed).
  • PENTAGON/ATTACK VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- U-S led coalition aircraft have carried out a series of strikes in southern and western Iraq but the Pentagon indicates these do not mark the start of an all-out attack.
  • PENTAGON/LEAFLETS VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- With war imminent, U-S led coalition aircraft have dropped new leaflets explaining how Iraqi troops can avoid harm.
  • Coalition Aircraft Respond to Iraqi Provocation AFPS 19 Mar 2003 -- Coalition aircraft bombed a series of Iraqi targets today in response to Iraqi anti- aircraft artillery firing on the allied aircraft.
  • Weather forecasters aid mission planning AFPN 19 Mar 2003 -- Asking about the weather is not a casual question in the Combined Air Operations Center at a desert airbase. In fact, it is one of the key questions asked during every phase of the air tasking order, or ATO, cycle.
  • Airmen poised to attack Iraq AFPN 19 Mar 2003 -- With some media sources already reporting the start of fighting in Iraq, airmen worry Saddam Hussein will use chemical weapons against coalition forces.


  • Spangdahlem air control squadron gets the call USAFENS 19 Mar 2003 -- Around 150 people from the 606th Air Control Squadron here have been tasked to deploy in support of the U.S. Central Command and future operations as may be directed.
  • Soldiers prep for desert advance, stage ammo Army News 19 Mar 2003 -- Soldiers with the 19th Armored Cavalry Regiment installed winches this week onto their High-Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles during final preparations for a possible advance into Iraq.
  • V Corps 'Vipers' ready to rock Army News 19 Mar 2003 -- "It's important that you stay close together. I've said it 100 times, and here's 101: 'We ain't got no friendlies in front of us,'" said a stern Staff Sgt. Wade Cherms.
  • CONGRESS/BIO-CHEM THREATS VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- U-S officials have told Congress that U-S soldiers will be fully prepared for any chemical or biological threats they may face from the Iraqi military.
  • Coalition of the Willing Provides Formidable Force AFPS 19 Mar 2003 -- The number of countries willing to be part of disarming Saddam Hussein gives lie to the charge that U.S. action is unilateral, according to State Department officials.
  • Technology, Doctrine Changes Allow for Better Bombing Runs AFPS 19 Mar 2003 -- In the first 24 hours of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, coalition military aircraft "struck more targets than were struck in all of 1942 and 1943 by 8th Air Force during the Combined Bomber Offensive," an Air Force officer said in the Pentagon today.
  • PENTAGON / IRAQ VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- Nearly 300-thousand soldiers in the Persian Gulf region are prepared to launch a massive attack against Iraq.
  • U-S TROOPS / PREPARATIONS VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- As the deadline nears for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq, about 250-thousand U-S and British troops in Kuwait are making final preparations to go to war with Iraq. Correspondent Alisha Ryu is with the pilots and crew members of the U-S Army's 12th Aviation Brigade in northern Kuwait and reports the mood there is serious, but calm.
  • DoD Experts Testify on Much-Improved Troops' Chem-Bio Defense Gear AFPS 19 Mar 2003 - - American troops deployed overseas for the war against Iraq are much better equipped to deal with possible chemical or biological attacks than their Gulf War predecessors, DoD expertstargets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war.
  • Commando Solo II: Weapons of Mass Persuasion CENTCOM News 19 Mar 2003 -- -- U.S. Special Operations personnel armed with broadcasting equipment and "the truth" are preparing the Iraqi people and military for a possible U.S.-led strike against Saddam Hussein.

US Policy

  • White House Daily Briefing White House 19 Mar 2003
  • Text: Bush Tells Congress Diplomacy Alone Will Not Resolve Iraq Crisis Washington File 19 Mar 2003 -- President Bush formally informed the U.S. Congress of his determination that diplomatic and peaceful means alone would not lead to Iraqi compliance with United Nations demands that it would disarm.

  • BUSH / IRAQ / WAR VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- The U-S deadline for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq has passed unheeded, with American-led coalition troops ready for action.
  • U.S. Seeks Quick Return of Iraq to Its People Washington File 19 Mar 2003 -- A senior State Department official has emphasized that in a post-conflict Iraq, the United States wants to "return Iraq as quickly as possible to the Iraqi people."
  • Statement by Chairman Duncan Hunter on the Iraq Conflict House Armed Services Committee 19 Mar 2003 -- "Saddam Hussein was given 12 years to disarm as a condition of ending the first Gulf War. He chose another path. Our armed forces will meet him at the end of this path. I believe we will win this conflict in overwhelming fashion."
  • U.S. Has $154 Million in Aid Ready for Iraqi People Washington File 19 Mar 2003 -- The United States has been doing a lot of planning on humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people "who have been suffering all too long from the neglect of their own government," State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said March 19 during his daily press briefing in Washington.
  • CONGRESS / WAR VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- A key U-S lawmaker is denouncing President Bush's decision to lead a war to disarm Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
  • DEMOCRATS / IRAQ VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- Opposition Democrats in Congress say they stand by U-S fighting forces in the looming conflict with Iraq. However, they continue to criticize President Bush, and are linking this criticism on Iraq with the U-S economy.
  • As Deadline Expires, U.S. Prepares for Military Action Washington File 19 Mar 2003 -- In the final hours before the 48-hour deadline to Saddam Hussein was to expire at 0100 GMT March 20, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said the White House had little hope that the dictator would leave Iraq.
  • U.S. Success in Iraq War Could Nip Possible Rise in Global Terrorism Washington File 19 Mar 2003 -- The debate over the possibility of increased terrorism when U.S. and Coalition forces invade Iraq arose at a March 18 congressional hearing on "Diplomacy and the War on Terrorism" that included witnesses from the State Department, the Treasury Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  • Transcript: U.S. Ready With Aid for Iraq, Says Negroponte Washington File 19 Mar 2003 -- The United States is sending the largest ever Disaster Assistance Response Team to the Middle East to assess the needs of the Iraqi people and has pre-positioned $16.5 million worth of food rations and relief supplies in the region, U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said March 19.
  • U.S. Outlines Initial Aid for Iraqi Civilians Washington File 19 Mar 2003 -- With the prospect of war looming over Iraq, the U.N. Security Council quickly turned a March 19 meeting on the work of U.N. weapons inspectors into a preliminary discussion on humanitarian aid for Iraqi civilians, giving a preview of the work that will occupy the 15-nation body in the near future.
  • Text: U.S. Has Clear Authority to Use Force Against Iraq Washington File 19 Mar 2003 -- The United States has clear authority to use military force against Iraq to assure its national security and compel Iraq to comply with applicable UNSC resolutions, states a White House report released March 19.
  • EDITORIAL: BUSH MESSAGE TO IRAQ VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- As the United States prepares to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, President George W. Bush has spoken directly to Iraq's military -- and to the Iraqi people.
  • U-S-SADDAM EXILE VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- As the deadline set by President Bush approached, the State Department reiterated the United States' readiness for an exile deal for Saddam Hussein, that would include amnesty from war-crimes prosecution. But officials say there is no sign of any interest in such an arrangement from Baghdad.
  • BUSH IRAQ VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- President Bush is reviewing plans for military action against Iraq as his deadline nears for Saddam Hussein to leave power.
  • EDITORIAL: SADDAM MUST BE REPLACED VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- The Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein has a long history of aggression in the Middle East. In the 1980s, Iraq went to war against Iran. In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, only to be forced out by a U.S.-led coalition. Saddam Hussein has used poison gas against Iraq's own people, including the Kurdish minority. And, the Iraqi regime has aided, trained, and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al-Qaida.
  • CONGRESS / IRAQ VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- President Bush has sent Congress formal notification that diplomatic efforts to disarm Iraq have failed, signaling his intention to press forward with military action.
  • White House Report, March 19: U.S. Policy on Iraq Washington File 19 Mar 2003 -- "Last night, consistent with authorization for the use of military force against Iraq resolution the routine determinations required by the resolution were sent to the Hill. These are the determinations that reliance on the United States diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will not adequately protect the national security of the United States continuing against the threat posed by Iraq nor likely lead to enforcement of United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq," White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters.

United Nations

  • Introduction of draft UNMOVIC Work Programme, Security Council 19 March 2003 Executive Chairman Dr. Hans Blix 19 Mar 2003 -- naturally feel sadness that three and a half months of work carried out in Iraq have not brought the assurances needed about the absence of weapons of mass destruction or other proscribed items in Iraq, that no more time is available for our inspections and that armed action now seems imminent.
  • Press Release SC/7696: IMPORTANCE OF HUMANITARIAN AID FOR IRAQ STRESSED, AS SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS VOICE DIFFERENT VIEWS ON DISARMAMENT PROCESS 19 Mar 2003 -- In a morning meeting of the Security Council today, perhaps only hours or days away from military action in Iraq, members debated the wisdom, indeed, the right under the United Nations Charter and international law, to use force to compel that country's disarmament of mass destruction weapons. Agreeing on the need for humanitarian aid for Iraq's people in the current situation, the Council also heard the presentation of a work programme by the chief weapons inspectors, whose mission had recently been suspended.
  • Annan appeals for worldwide relief aid for Iraq in case of war UN News Centre 19 Mar 2003 -- With the prospect of war in Iraq looming over Security Council deliberations on the key remaining disarmament issues for Baghdad to resolve, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan appealed to the international community today to do "everything we can to mitigate the imminent disaster" of the humanitarian crisis facing the Iraqi people.
  • Outlining disarmament tasks for Iraq, Blix laments lack of time for inspections UN News Centre 19 Mar 2003 -- Top United Nations arms inspector Hans Blix today presented a work programme to the Security Council on the key remaining tasks for disarming Iraq, expressing also his sadness that inspections had run out of time and that it appeared war was "imminent."
  • As war looms, Security Council discusses Iraqi disarmament, relief aid UN News Centre 19 Mar 2003 -- In the shadow of imminent war, the Security Council today discussed reports from the two top United Nations arms inspectors on key tasks for ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and also emphasized the importance of humanitarian aid to that country in the event of armed conflict.
  • U-N / IRAQ / RELIEF VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- The United Nations is expected to play a crucial role in providing humanitarian relief in Iraq. Efforts are underway to continue the organization's "Oil for Food Program" in Iraq.
  • U-N / IRAQ VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- The U-N Security Council met Wednesday to discuss Iraq, with several foreign ministers in attendance. But it was a sorrowful moment at the United Nations.
  • U-N/DIPLOMACY VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- With war appearing imminent, the question arises: why did diplomacy fail? Efforts to accomplish Iraq's disarmament without war fell apart in sharp disagreements among council members over the time, methods, and the ultimate aims in Iraq.
  • IRAQ: IRIN Interview with Iranian refugee head IRIN 19 Mar 2003 -- In the event of a war on Iraq, neighbouring Iran, which shares a 1,458-km border with the country, could be on the receiving end of a major influx of refugees. In the aftermath of the Gulf War in 1991, some 1.3 million Iraqi refugees crossed into Iran, making it the primary host country, while another 500,000, mostly Iraqi Kurds, fled to Turkey.

Foreign Reactions

  • RUSSIA / U-S RELATIONS VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin have vowed to keep talking, as the United States readies to launch a war against Iraq, a move long opposed by Moscow. Both leaders have expressed the hope that their disagreement over Iraq will not side-track what had been a flourishing bilateral relationship.
  • TURKEY / IRAQ / U-S VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- Turkish Prime minister Tayyip Erdogan confirmed Wednesday that the country's parliament will debate a bill allowing U-S forces to use Turkish airspace in a war against Iraq.
  • Iraq: Bahrain Offers Hussein Sanctuary RFE/L 19 Mar 2003 -- Bahrain's official BNA news agency says Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa is ready to offer sanctuary to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to avert a U.S.-led war.
  • Protest Thwarted at Rota Port Navy NewStand 19 Mar 2003 -- Spanish authorities thwarted an attempt by the environmental activist organization Greenpeace to block the entrance to Naval Station Rota's port recently, when the group's members used small inflatable boats and their mother ship, Rainbow Warrior II, to try impede ship traffic in and out of the port.
  • TURKEY/IRAQ BORDER VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- On the eve of possible war in Iraq, Turkish Kurds living near the border with Iraq are nervously watching the military buildup, worried that the war may spread to their hometowns.
  • EGYPT / MUBARAK VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told his country that Iraq must bear much of the responsibility for the war that Baghdad almost certainly faces. The Egyptian leader says Iraq failed to rebuild international confidence following the 1991 Gulf war.
  • IRAQ / PARLIAMENT VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- The Iraqi parliament is meeting in emergency session, following President Bush's ultimatum to Saddam Hussein and his sons that they leave Iraq or face military action. It appears the Iraqi parliament -- like its leader -- will reject the ultimatum.
  • POPE / IRAQ VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- Pope John Paul II made another call for peace during his customary general audience in Saint Peter's Square. For weeks the pope has been one of the most powerful voices against war in Iraq.
  • EGYPT / MUBARAK VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told his country that Iraq must bear much of the responsibility for the war that Baghdad almost certainly faces. The Egyptian leader says Iraq failed to rebuild international confidence following the 1991 Gulf war.
  • ISRAEL PALESTINIANS-IRAQ VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says there is little chance his country will be hit by an Iraqi attack during a U-S-led invasion of Iraq. Israeli preparations include a continuing closure of the Palestinian territories.
  • BAGHDAD/MOOD VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- In what may be the few remaining hours before missiles and bombs begin raining down on Iraq, the country's capital has reportedly become very quiet.Observers in Baghdad say the usual hustle and bustle of the city is all but gone.
  • AUSTRALIA DOWNER WAR VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- The Australian government says there's every chance the war against Iraq will begin Thursday, as soon as the U-S deadline for the Iraqi leader to leave the country passes. The United States has given Saddam Hussein until one o'clock universal time Thursday to leave Iraq.
  • IRAQ/PARLIAMENT VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- The Iraqi parliament, like the country's president, has made it clear the Iraqi military intends to stand and fight a U-S led military invasion. The parliament met in emergency session and legislators said they will stand and fight with their leader Saddam Hussein.
  • ERITREA-ETHIOPIA: Countries join coalition forces IRIN 19 Mar 2003 -- Ethiopia and Eritrea are to play a role in the disarmament of Iraq, according to the US government.

News Reports

  • Transcript: Effects Based Operations Briefing 19 Mar 2003 -- " And one of the challenges I know we face when we talk with the media and the types of operations we do is just trying to get to some sort of common understanding of when I say "effects based operation" what is that? Is it -- I mean, rocket science? Is it secret code? Is it something like that? "
  • TERRORISM AND IRAQ VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- The war on terrorism is being won, say Americans who are fighting it. One by one, members of al-Qaida are apprehended, and their capture leads to information on others. Yet there are fears these terrorists may be be replaced by others recruited in outrage over the war with Iraq.
  • Oil Prices Fall VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- Crude oil prices fell for a fifth consecutive trading session in London and New York Wednesday with prices falling below 30 dollars a barrel for the first time since December. Oil analysts expect continuing price volatility in the weeks ahead.
  • IRAQ WRAP VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- Thousands of U-S troops have been moving across the Kuwaiti desert towards the Iraqi border as the deadline set by President Bush for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq (draws near/has passed). The White House says it has seen no sign that the Iraqi leader is ready to go into exile, setting the stage for what looks to be an impending U-S led invasion to topple his government.
  • SADDAM HUSSEIN / LEADING BY FEAR VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- What motivates Saddam Hussein and how has he managed to survive for so long as Iraq's leader?
  • ANTI-WAR PROTESTS VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- With the war against Iraq near, anti-war activists continue to call for peace, and say they will keep on demonstrating even after the United States launches military action against Iraq.
  • GOING TO WAR VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- The world's press is reacting negatively to a likely military strike on Iraq. A majority of European dailies lament the failure of diplomacy, while Middle Eastern papers are assailing what they term an "unjust and immoral war."
  • Nuclear Threat, Rights Abuses Justify War on Iraq, Pollack Says Washington File 19 Mar 2003 -- As war with Iraq looms possibly only hours or days ahead, a former U.S. intelligence official says an invasion is fully justified on two key grounds: Saddam Hussein's avid pursuit of nuclear weapons that he plans to use offensively, and Iraq's uniquely appalling human rights record under his leadership.
  • KENNEDY-GULF WAR VOA 19 Mar 2003 -- [T]he Constellation has been very busy in the past couple of days, launching a lot of its planes for reconnaissance missions over Iraq. They have been looking at the area especially of Basra and An-Nasariyah, looking for the strengths and position of Iraqi forces in that area. They have been, of course, going across the no-fly zone of southern Iraq as well. And there has been a lot of preparation in the hangars here, getting planes ready, putting on extra tanks.
  • JORDAN: Humanitarian overview on the verge of conflict in Iraq IRIN 19 Mar 2003 -- With a deadline for military action looming just across the border, UN agencies and NGOs based in Amman, Jordan are putting the final touches on their planned response to any possible humanitarian fallout from neighbouring Iraq.

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