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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

20 March Iraq Special Weapons News

US Policy
United Nations
Foreign Reactions
News Reports

Current Operations

  • IRAQ: MILITARY CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES 10 Downing Street 20 Mar 2003 -- "Our policy objectives were set out in Parliament on 7 January 2003. The prime objective remains to rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction and their associated programmes and means of delivery, including prohibited ballistic missiles, as set out in relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs)." [PDF 11Kb]
  • Transcript: Media Briefing Australia's commitment to Global Operations Australian Ministry of Defence 20 Mar 2003 -- "Operation Falconer* is the name given to the ADF contribution to the coalition to disarm Iraq. These briefings will be given regularly throughout the operation. The frequency will depend on the tempo of operations, however we will tend to provide briefings even when there's not too much new information, so that at least there's an opportunity for you to ask questions and of course so there's an opportunity for us to distribute any new vision. It's likely we'll move to daily briefings when that becomes appropriate."

  • Iraq: Soldiers Reportedly Surrender As Deadline Expires RFE/L 20 Mar 2003 -- U.S. military officials and Kuwaiti officials say 17 Iraqi soldiers crossed the border into Kuwait today and surrendered to U.S. troops. A few hours later, U.S. President George W. Bush's 48-hour ultimatum to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to leave or face military action expired (0200 Prague time).
  • Iraq: First Strikes By U.S. Target Top Officials RFE/L 20 Mar 2003 -- The United States has launched the opening strikes of a war aimed at toppling Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and disarming his regime of weapons of mass destruction.
  • U.S.-Led Forces Press On With Iraq Attack RFE/L 20 Mar 2003 -- U.S.-led forces pounded Baghdad for the second night tonight, setting off powerful explosions in the Iraqi capital as U.S. Marines and other forces crossed from Kuwait into Iraq as an advance force.
  • Ground War Kicks Off; Helicopter Crash in Kuwait Kills 16 AFPS 20 Mar 2003 -- A Marine helicopter crash is believed to have killed at least 16 coalition troops in northern Kuwait just hours before a major ground offensive kicked off in the Persian Gulf. Defense Department officials confirmed the Army's 3rd Infantry Division rolled into southern Iraq late March 20.
  • Missile attacks on U.S. troops in Kuwait foiled Army News 20 Mar 2003 -- On the first day of "Operation Iraqi Freedom," soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), out of Fort Campbell, Ky., made it through the first round of surface-to-surface missiles that were launched against them.
  • IRAQ WRAP- EVENING VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- U-S and coalition forces have invaded Iraq as a second night of air strikes have continued over the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Witnesses report huge explosions in or near the Iraqi cities of Basra and Mosul. Meanwhile, a U-S Marine helicopter has crashed in Kuwait, killing all 16 British and American personnel on board.
  • Secretary's Message to the Troops on Operation Iraqi Freedom 20 Mar 2003 -- "On Monday night, President George W. Bush, our Commander in Chief delivered an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein: to leave Iraq within 48 hours. Refusal to do so will result in military conflict. In rejecting the President's ultimatum, the Iraqi regime has chosen war over peaceful disarmament. Saddam Hussein's regime will be now removed from power -- and the Iraqi people will be liberated."
  • Rumsfeld Praises Troops, Cites Iraq War As 'Necessary, Just' AFPS 20 Mar 2003 -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld today praised American troops deployed overseas to disarm and oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, noting that their efforts support a just cause.
  • PENTAGON / SURRENDER VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- A senior Pentagon official says there are signs U-S efforts to get Iraqi troops to surrender without a fight are having increasing success.
  • PENTAGON / FOG OF WAR VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- U-S and British troops have begun pushing into southern Iraq following further airstrikes against selected Iraqi command and control targets. Few details are being released, but, he says, that is part of a strategy designed to keep Iraqis guessing.
  • U.S. Warships and Aircraft Strike Baghdad Washington File 20 mar 2003 -- Six U.S. warships and a number of U.S. strike-fighter aircraft participated in cruise missile and bomb attacks targeted at Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his inner circle March 20, in the opening hours of military hostilities to disarm Iraq, according to a U.S. Central Command statement.

  • Transcript: DoD News Briefing - Secretary Rumsfeld And Gen. Myers 20 Mar 2003 -- "The United States and the international community have made every effort to avoid war. Diplomacy and sanctions over more than a decade have not worked. And now, by rejecting President Bush's ultimatum, the Iraqi regime has chosen military conflict over peaceful disarmament."

  • PENTAGON/ATTACK ANALYSIS VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The U-S military campaign against Iraq is under way. The offensive appears to be escalating, but it is not unfolding with the kind of massive countrywide strikes and overwhelming ground assault some observers originally expected. The opening attacks appears to be a strategic gambit aimed at ending the war quickly, with as few casualties and as little damage as possible.
  • PATRIOT BATTERIES INTERCEPT, DESTROY TBMS CENTCOM 20 Mar 2003 -- PATRIOT firing batteries successfully intercepted and destroyed two tactical ballistic missiles during an attack on Kuwait at approximately 12:24 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. (4:24 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. EST). The PATRIOT's guidance and control system locked onto the ballistic missiles, successfully engaging the targets with Hit to Kill PAC III and Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM).
  • MISSILE STRIKE AT CAMP COMMANDO CENTCOM 20 Mar 2003 -- An unidentified missile struck outside Camp Commando at approximately 10:28 this morning. Initial reports cite that soldiers from the United Kingdom and Marines sighted a gray missile land just outside the compound.
  • BUSH IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- President Bush met with his cabinet at the White House (Thursday), as U-S led forces sent sea-launched cruise missiles into Baghdad and began moving into Southern Iraq. It was Mr. Bush's first public event since announcing the start of military action.
  • PENTAGON / IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- U-S Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the United States attacked a senior Iraqi leadership position in its initial military strikes, but is still assessing the damage caused by the bombing. Mr. Rumsfeld also says Iraq may have begun setting oil wells on fire.
  • IRAQ WRAP VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The top U-S defense official says the initial air and missile attack on Baghdad early Thursday struck what he calls a "senior Iraqi leadership compound." But Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld did not say whether Saddam Hussein survived the attack.
  • PENTAGON / IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The Pentagon is assessing the damage from its initial strikes against targets in Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the Persian Gulf region remain poised to launch an invasion of the country. A helicopter carrying U-S special forces has crashed in southern Iraq.
  • Iraq Launches Missiles Into Kuwait AFPS 20 Mar 2003 -- Iraq has fired surface-to- surface missiles at U.S. forces based in Kuwait, DoD officials said this morning.
  • IRAQ/WAR VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The United States launched a limited strike at specific targets in and around Baghdad Thursday morning, in the first phase of military action to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. Iraq responded by firing several missiles at Kuwait.
  • KUWAIT MISSILE ALERT VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Kuwait has been through several missile alerts in the hours after the first attack on Baghdad.
  • IRAQ/MILITARY VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The United States has launched the opening round of a military effort to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, firing cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs against selected targets near Baghdad. But a spokesman at the U-S-led coalition's headquarters in Qatar says Thursday's strikes do not mean that a full-scale war has begun.
  • IRAQ/WRAP VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The United States launched a limited air strike near Baghdad early Thursday, signaling the start of the military campaign to oust Saddam Hussein from power.
  • Ships, aircraft involved in morning strike CENTCOM 20 Mar 2003 -- The following ships were involved in Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) strikes this morning
  • U.S. Navy Ships Fire Tomahawks in Gulf Navy NewStand 20 Mar 2003 -- By order of President George W. Bush, four ships and two submarines currently assigned to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet launched Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) March 19.

  • IRAQ/WAR VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Operation "Iraqi Freedom" has begun. Early Thursday morning, missiles intended to crush Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war were fired at locations in Baghdad and south of Baghdad.
  • IRAQ/ KUWAIT TROOPS VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- U-S warplanes and cruise missiles have struck targets around Baghdad, opening a U-S-led war to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. But U-S and British ground troops in Kuwait are still awaiting orders to move forward.
  • Tanker crews launch first combat support operations USAFENS 20 Mar 2003 -- While most people were just waking up and drinking their first cup of coffee, the first of several KC-135 aircrews from the 401st Air Expeditionary Wing launched combat support missions over the skies of Southwest Asia March 19.


  • Stealth bomber joins team AFPN 20 Mar 2003 -- The B-2 Spirit multirole bomber has joined forces with the B-52 Stratofortress and KC-135 Stratotanker at a forward-deployed location.
  • Signal 'Predators' spread out to provide commo Army News 20 Mar 2003 -- For members of the tropospheric platoon of V Corps' 578th Signal Company, moving to points unknown is part of the reality of their mission.

US Policy

  • White House Daily Briefing White House 20 Mar 2003
  • CONGRESS IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The U-S Senate has passed a resolution expressing support for U-S troops fighting the war to disarm Iraq. The House of Representatives is expected to follow suit shortly.
  • CONGRESS / IRAQ O'NITER VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Members of the U-S Congress will be briefed by the Bush administration Friday about progress in the U-S-led war to disarm Iraq. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld discussed developments in the war with lawmakers later Thursday night.
  • US / IRAQ EMBASSIES VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The United States, in a rare diplomatic move, is asking governments around the world to expel Iraqi ambassadors and shut down that country's embassies and consulates until a post-war interim authority takes over in Baghdad and names replacement diplomats.
  • BUSH / IRAQ ASSETS VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The U-S-led war against Iraq is now being fought not only on the battlefield, but on the financial front as well. The Bush administration has consficated all Iraqi government assets in the United States, except for those used for diplomatic purposes.
  • Opponents and Supporters of Iraq War Submit Resolutions to House Washington File 20 mar 2003 -- On the day U.S. Armed Forces commenced military action against the Baghdad regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, lawmakers opposed to the war were introducing resolutions to overturn the authorization Congress gave President Bush to use force against Iraq, and to say that only Congress had the "sole and exclusive power to declare war."
  • Rumsfeld Urges Iraqis Not to Fight "for a Doomed Regime" Washington File 20 mar 2003 -- Coalition forces "are poised for battle," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says, "and they will prevail" in their drive to remove the Iraqi regime from power.
  • Boucher Says U.S. Aims to Provide Quick Relief for Iraqi People Washington File 20 mar 2003 -- The United States does not view the struggle in Iraq as just a military conflict, says State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher.
  • Frozen Iraqi Assets in U.S. to be Used in Postwar Iraq Washington File 20 mar 2003 -- President Bush March 20 issued an executive order to confiscate non-diplomatic Iraqi government assets in the United States that have been frozen since the 1991 Gulf War and which will be used for humanitarian assistance in postwar Iraq.
  • State Department Details Saddam's Defiance of U.N. Resolutions Washington File 20 mar 2003 -- The State Department's Bureau of International Organization Affairs issued a fact sheet March 20 detailing Saddam Hussein's defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) over the past 12 years.
  • CONGRESS / IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The U-S Congress is expected (Today / Thursday) to approve (has approved) a resolution expressing support for U-S troops engaged in the military operation to disarm Iraq.
  • Saddam's Days Numbered, Rumsfeld Says AFPS 20 Mar 2003 -- U.S. Central Command exercised "flexibility" in attacking a senior Iraqi leadership compound last night, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today.
  • CONGRESS IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- U-S Congressional Democrats, who have been divided over Bush administration policy toward Iraq, are standing unified in support of U-S troops taking part in the military operation to disarm Iraq. The Senate is expected to pass a resolution expressing its support for the troops later.
  • EDITORIAL: THE COALITION OF THE WILLING VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Nearly three dozen countries have joined the United States in its effort to end the Iraqi dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. The coalition includes countries from every continent. From Africa: Eritrea and Ethiopia and Rwanda. From Europe and Eurasia: Albania, Azerbaijan, Britain, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. From the Western Hemisphere: Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Singapore are also members of the coalition. More than a dozen other nations will provide access, basing, and over-flights or defensive assets if Saddam Hussein resorts to using weapons of mass destruction.
  • BUSH / IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The White House says it is drawing no conclusions about the authenticity of a television appearance by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein following the start of a U-S led war to topple the government and disarm the military.
  • IRAQ WRAP VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The United States has begun its long-awaited military campaign to topple Saddam Hussein from power. Iraq responded by firing a few missiles at coalition forces in northern Kuwait.
  • BUSH / IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The White House says it is drawing no conclusions about the authenticity of a television appearance by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein following the start of an American- led war to topple his government and disarm the military.

United Nations

Foreign Reactions

  • Prime Minister's Address to the Nation 10 Downing Street 20 Mar 2003 -- "On Tuesday night I gave the order for British forces to take part in military action in Iraq. Tonight, British servicemen and women are engaged from air, land and sea. Their mission: to remove Saddam Hussein from power, and disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction."
  • The Prime Minister's Address to the Nation, March 20, 2003 Prime Minister of Australia 20 Mar 2003 -- "The Government has decided to commit Australian forces to action to disarm Iraq because we believe it is right, it is lawful and it's in Australia's national interest. We are determined to join other countries to deprive Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction, its chemical and biological weapons, which even in minute quantities are capable of causing death and destruction on a mammoth scale."

  • SENATE QUESTION TIME Australian Parliament House 20 Mar 2003 -- "What I was saying is that now more than 40 nations will participate in or support the coalition to disarm Iraq. Among those who have publicly stated their support are Japan, South Korea, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, the Czech Republic, the Philippines and Denmark. It is said by some on the other side that they are not part of the operation and that all they are doing is providing base or overflight rights."
  • Iraq: Hussein Denounces Start Of War, World Reaction Mixed RFE/L 20 Mar 2003 -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has appeared on state television to denounce the start of U.S. military operations in Iraq, vowing ultimate victory. Meanwhile, world reaction to U.S. strikes has been vocal. Australia, Japan, Britain, and the Philippines are expressing support for U.S. actions, while reaction from other countries in Asia and Europe has been negative.
  • White House Releases List of Coalition Members Washington File 20 mar 2003 -- The White House March 20 issued a list of more than 40 Coalition member nations, working to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction and "liberate the Iraqi people from one of the worst tyrants and most brutal regimes on earth."
  • Bush: More than 40 Nations Support Action Against Iraq Washington File 20 mar 2003 -- Over 40 nations now support the coalition military action now under way against Iraq's Saddam Hussein regime, President Bush told reporters March 20 following an afternoon Cabinet meeting at the White House.
  • BRITAIN / BLAIR VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he has ordered British troops to fight for the overthrow of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. His remarks in a broadcast statement were his first public comments on the war.
  • TURKEY KURDS VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The United States Thursday restated its long-standing warning to Turkey not to send Turkish troops into northern Iraq. Turkey is worried that the war across its southeastern border could lead to the emergence of the Kurdish state it has long opposed.
  • IRAQ/ EU VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The European Union (Thursday) was unable to smooth over deep divisions about the war with Iraq, at the first day of a previously scheduled summit in Brussels. Analysts say the issue has caused the worst diplomatic crisis in the 15-nation bloc in decades.
  • TURKEY / U-S / IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Turkey's parliament approved a resolution Thursday authorizing U-S warplanes to fly through Turkish airspace in the military campaign to overthrow Saddam Hussein. The measure also allows Turkish troops to cross into Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.
  • IRAQ - KURDISH FIGHTERS VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Tens of thousands of armed Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq are ready to join the fight against Saddam Hussein's army. But they are waiting for the right time.
  • KURDS / TURKEY VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Fears that war in Iraq could lead to fighting between Kurds in the north of the country and soldiers from neighboring Turkey intensified after leaders from the two sides clashed over a possible Turkish troop deployment in Iraq.
  • FRANCE / U-S RELATIONS VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- As France sits out the war against Iraq, some French politicians and business executives fear they may end up paying for their country's forceful stance against the U-S led effort to unseat Saddam Hussein. The concerns range from a boycott of French products, to fewer American tourist dollars, to the possibility of diplomatic retaliation by the United States and its allies.
  • IRAQ / JORDAN / REACT VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Jordanians have reacted to the start of war in neighboring Iraq with a mixture of anger, humor and pragmatism. And some Iraqis residing in the Jordanian capital are tempering their anger by seeking refuge in religion.
  • Statement to the House of Commons - Secretary of State for Defence on 20 March 2003 UK Ministry of Defence 20 Mar 2003 -- Our forces will make a substantial contribution to the military action to disarm Iraq, which we will pursue at a time and on a schedule of our own choosing. Thet are trained, equipped and ready for the tasks they may now need to undertake. British forces are already engaged in some military operations, although the House will understand why I cannot give further details at this stage.
  • RUSSIA / IRAQ REACT VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has strongly criticized the U-S missile strike in Iraq and called for the earliest possible end to military operations.
  • BRITAIN / IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Britain says the airstrikes in Baghdad are part of what will be an ongoing campaign to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon is cautioning that the war may last longer than many people expect.
  • IRAQ / ARAB REACT VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The leaders of many countries in the Arab world expressed regret and anger over the U-S air strikes in Baghdad. Thousands of people took to the streets of the Egyptian capital in protest the attacks.
  • ISRAEL/IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Israel's air force has been put on high alert, making preparations to intercept any incoming Iraqi missiles.
  • IRAQ / ASIA REACTION VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- In Asia, there are strong and varied responses to U-S-led military strikes on Iraq. Predominantly Muslim nations issued stark condemnations, as did China and India, while traditional U-S allies expressed support for what they called a justified action.
  • BRITAIN / IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Britain says Thursday's air strikes on Iraq are just the first phase of what will become a bigger campaign targeting the Iraqi leadership. British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon also says America's chief ally was fully involved in the planning of the raids on Baghdad.
  • IRAQ / EUROPE REACT VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- In Europe there has been widespread criticism of the war to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, but supporters of military action say the threat from weapons of mass destruction is real and leaves no room for neutrality.
  • IRAQ / ARSENAL VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Hours after the military campaign to overthrow Saddam Hussein began Iraqi President Saddam Hussein appeared on national television promising victory for his country.
  • ISRAEL / IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon received advance warning of the early morning strike against Baghdad, but Israeli officials say Israel plans to keep a low profile in a war that is not its own. Israelis began the day normally, but many carried their gas masks just in case of an Iraqi retaliatory strike.
  • FRANCE/IRAQ-REACT VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- French President Jacques Chirac has expressed regret at the U-S led attack on Iraq. The President's sentiments were echoed by other politicians in France, which had pressed for a peaceful solution to the crisis.
  • IRAQ / SADDAM VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein went on national television Thursday morning following the beginning of military action to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.
  • IRAQ / ASIA REACTION VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Washington's Asian allies are expressing support for U-S military action to disarm Iraq - calling the move justified. But Muslim leaders in the region condemn the move as an unlawful attack.
  • ISRAEL / IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon received advance warning of the early morning strike against Baghdad, but Israeli officials say Israel plans to keep a low profile in a war that is not its own.
  • BRITAIN / IRAQ VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair is convening his war cabinet this morning (at 8:30 UTC) to review the overnight military action in Iraq. Mr. Blair was told about the attacks shortly before they occurred.
  • JORDAN: Third Country Nationals pour across border from Iraq IRIN 20 Mar 2003 -- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched a shuttle bus service from the Jordanian side of the Iraqi border to transit camps near the town of Ruweished, located 50 km inside Jordan, to help refugees and Third Country Nationals (TCNs) fleeing Iraq, IOM announced in a statement issued in the Jordanian capital, Amman, on Thursday.
  • IRAQ: IFRC launches major appeal IRIN 20 Mar 2003 -- In an effort to assist hundreds of thousands of people who might be forced to flee the ensuing conflict in Iraq, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an appeal for US $80 million. Thursday's appeal is being made on behalf of the Red Crescent Societies of Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Syria and Turkey.
  • IRAN-IRAN: Agencies gear up for possible influx IRIN 20 Mar 2003 -- With war in Iraq now underway, international aid agencies in Iran were working hard on Thursday to boost preparedness levels in the event of a refugee influx. About 1.3 million Iraqi refugees crossed the border into Iran during the 1991 Gulf War.

News Reports

  • ANTI-WAR PROTESTS VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Public anger over the U-S-led war with Iraq is bringing people out into the streets in Washington and throughout the United States. Large-scale demonstrations also took place Thursday around the world.
  • TERRORISM AND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The United States and its allies are confronting Iraq in large part out of concern that Saddam Hussein might arm terrorists with weapons of mass destruction
  • IRAQ / OIL FIRES VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Environmentalists fear Iraq could set fire to its own oil fields in a repeat of the scorched-earth tactics used in Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf War. The consequences could be worse this time.
  • McIntyre-Iraq VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Dr.~David McIntyre of the ANSER Institute. He is a retired Army Colonel and well-versed in the strategies, tactics, and weapons related to the current and past Gulf war.
  • IRAQ WRAP VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- U-S led troops have entered Iraq as a second night of coalition air strikes are underway over the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. U-S officials are examining bomb damage from an air strike early Thursday to determine whether it may have killed Iraq's top leaders, possibly even Saddam Hussein.
  • OPEC / OIL VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, says it can make up any oil shortage caused by the Iraq war.
  • WAR BEGINS VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The beginning of the war to disarm Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein is drawing a large outpouring of editorial comment in the U-S press.
  • IRAQ / RED CROSS VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross has called for combatants in Iraq to protect civilians and prisoners. The Red Cross and its sister organization, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, have launched appeals for more than 235-million-dollars to aid Iraqis.
  • Francophobia VOA 20 Mar 2003 -- Relations between the U-S and French governments have turned frosty since France took the lead in opposing American military intervention in Iraq. And VOA's Ted Landphair says the French actions in the United Nations Security Council appear to have released a pent-up wave of francophobia -- or open contempt for everything French -- on the streets of the United States.
  • "Legal Authority Exists For A Strike on Iraq," by Ruth Wedgwood Washington File 20 mar 2003 -- "It was not supposed to work this way. President George W. Bush's visit to the United Nations general assembly in September last year was designed to renew UN support for the project of disarming Iraq. And yet after six months' hard work, the Americans now have to punch their way out of a paper bag in order to go to war. Tony Blair, UK prime minister, has had to risk his political career to act as an ally. Saddam Hussein must chuckle at the west's imbroglio."

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