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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

23 March Iraq Special Weapons News

US Policy
United Nations
Foreign Reactions
News Reports

Current Operations

  • CENTCOM Operation Iraqi Freedom Briefing CENTCOM 23 Mar 2003 -- "We're now in the fourth day of operations in Iraq and continue to make good progress on the ground, in the air and at sea and in accordance with our military campaign plan. Operations in the west continue to put pressure on Iraqi units. We continue to hit command- and-control centers and logistics nodes in that area as well."mer U.S. diplomat in Iraq.
  • Transcript: Operation Falconer Media Brief Australian Department of Defence 23 Mar 2003 -- "In all, our boarding parties apprehended a total of three enemy vessels carrying a total of 86 mines and a wide array of military weaponry during the operation. These mines were destined for the waterways where our and other coalition ships are currently operating. The types of mines captured were the Manta seabed influence mine and the LUGM 145 buoyant contact mine. The Manta mine is a fairly sophisticated weapon that is laid on the ocean floor and is set off by a ship's magnetic, acoustic or pressure signature. The LUGM 145 is a more conventional sea mine that is moored on a chain or drifts on the surface and is set off by contact with a ship."

  • U.S. Military Denies Iraqi Claims It Shot Down Planes, Holds POWs RFE/L 23 Mar 2003 -- U.S. Central Command today categorically denied Iraqi claims that Iraq had shot down several U.S. aircraft and was holding American prisoners of war.
  • Iraq: U.S. Says Soldiers Missing As Alleged Prisoners Shown On TV RFE/L 23 Mar 2003 -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged that an unspecified number of allied troops are missing as Iraqi state television and another Arabic-language television network showed some men and one woman identified as American prisoners of war.
  • U.S.-Led Troops Head To Baghdad While Consolidating Positions In South RFE/L 23 Mar 2003 -- U.S. and British forces are fighting to build on their positions in southern Iraq today, as other units push northward toward Baghdad.
  • IRAQ / KUWAIT / WRAP VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- U-S Army ground forces raced to within 160-kilometers of Baghdad, while U-S Marines and British troops secured the port city of Basra and Um Qasr in southern Iraq. But coalition forces are still facing pockets of resistance from Iraqi troops.
  • PENTAGON/RUMSFELD WRAP VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- Senior U-S defense officials say the war in Iraq is going well and the drive by coalition forces on Baghdad is ahead of schedule. But the upbeat assessment is being tempered by word several American soldiers have apparently been captured.
  • BUSH PRISONERS OF WAR VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- President Bush says any American taken prisoner of war in Iraq must be treated humanely. He spoke shortly after an Arab television network showed images of what appeared to be dead and captured American soldiers.
  • IRAQ WRAP UPDATE VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- The United States has suffered its first significant casualties since the start of the war to topple the Iraqi government. Perhaps as many as ten American Marines were reported killed and another 12 Americans soldiers are listed as missing, believed to have been taken hostage or killed by Iraqi forces in what one American general calls a tough day of fighting for the coalition.
  • PENTAGON/EXECUTIONS VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- Defense officials say the bodies of what may be American soldiers shown in a controversial Arab television broadcast have wounds indicating they were probably executed.
  • BUSH / IRAQ WRAP VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- President Bush says the U-S-led coalition is still in the opening phase of a tough fight with Iraq. He says some pockets of resistance remain, and there are disturbing reports some Americans may now be prisoners of war. But Mr. Bush says, overall, the military plan is on track.
  • IRAQ / RESPONSE VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- The bombing of Baghdad continues as an Arab satellite television station airs interviews with what appear to be captured U-S soldiers.
  • BUSH IRAQ WAR VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- President Bush says he is pleased with the progress being made in the war with Iraq. But he is once again reminding the American people that victory will not be swift or easy.
  • IRAQ / BATTLE VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- A top U-S general in the Gulf says U-S Marines defeated Iraqi forces near the southern Iraqi city of An Nasiriyah Sunday in the toughest battle of the war so far. Lieutenant General John Abizaid, deputy commander of coalition forces, says that, despite casualties suffered in Sunday's action, his troops will soon be in Baghdad.
  • IRAQ WRAP VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- The Arab television network Al-Jazeera has broadcast footage of what it said were American prisoners of war held by Iraq. This latest development in the war comes as U-S led forces close to within 160-kilometers of Baghdad.
  • IRAQ CASUALTIES VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- As the war with Iraq continues, the number of casualties is certain to climb. But it is hard to verify how many civilians may have been killed or injured in Iraq.
  • Predator helps in ground war success AFPN 23 Mar 2003 -- Flying over coalition troops racing toward Baghdad, RQ-1 Predators are providing ground commanders up-to-the-second information on what lies ahead.
  • PENTAGON: ROGUE REGIME VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- Coalition forces are rushing towards Baghdad, ahead of schedule. But the fourth day of fighting has had moments that one senior Pentagon official describes as "damned depressing."
  • Ammo airmen build munitions for war AFPN 23 Mar 2003 -- After two weeks of waiting, munitions airmen at a forward-deployed location began working day and night building M-117 and 85 GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions for the "shock and awe" phase of the war in Iraq.
  • Bush Pleased With Progress, Expects Iraq to Treat POWs Humanely AFPS 23 Mar 2003 -- President Bush is pleased with progress the military is making in the early stages of the war to rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction, he said during a press availability at the White House.
  • Air Element Boss Details Coalition Contributions AFPS 23 Mar 2003 -- Coalition air forces have flown more than 6,000 sorties to date in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Daniel Leaf today.
  • Iraq Campaign to Get Tougher as Troops Approach Baghdad AFPS 23 Mar 2003 -- U.S. and coalition forces have made great gains so far during Operation Iraqi Freedom, but the going will likely get harder in coming days.
  • U.S. Soldiers 'Unaccounted For' in Iraq AFPS 23 Mar 2003 -- Some U.S. soldiers in Iraq are "unaccounted for," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told CNN today.
  • 12 Americans Missing Following Ambush AFPS 23 Mar 2003 -- Twelve American soldiers are unaccounted for following actions around the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, U.S. Central Command officials said today.
  • Battle Intensifies Around Nasiriyah AFPS 23 Mar 2003 -- Today was a tough day for American forces in Iraq, but coalition forces still made good progress on the ground, air and sea, said Army Lt. Gen. John Abizaid, deputy commander of the Combined Forces Command.
  • Myers Says Coalition Forces Continue to Advance North Washington File 23 Mar 2003 -- U.S. and coalition forces are making significant military progress in Iraq, according the General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Myers spoke March 23 on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos and Fox News Sunday with Tony Snow.
  • General Describes U.S. Losses, but Says Victory Is Certain Washington File 23 Mar 2003 -- U.S. operations in Iraq are continuing successfully, but some resistance has been encountered in a number of locations, the most notable near An Nazariyah, where U.S. forces experienced "the sharpest engagement in the war thus far," U.S. Army Lieutenant General John Abizaid told the press during a March 23 U.S. Central Command briefing.
  • Coalition Will Prevail but Challenges Remain, General Says Washington File 23 Mar 2003 -- The United States remains confident that, along with its allies, it will prevail over the regime of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, but "we know challenges and difficulties may still lie ahead," a U.S. military officer said at the Pentagon March 22.
  • IRAQ/RESPONSE VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- Iraq's vice-president claims Baghdad is deliberately allowing coalition forces to move toward the capital. The senior official also claims American soldiers have been captured. Iraqi officials also say there were many civilian casualties in bombing raids on the southern city of Basra.
  • IRAQ/PLANE VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- Britain reports that one of its aircraft is missing after a mission over the Gulf. And a British military spokesman at coalition headquarters in Qatar says it could have been hit by a U-S missile.
  • IRAQ/WRAP VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- U-S-led coalition forces have advanced to the central Iraqi city of Najaf, 160 kilometers south of Baghdad. However, they are meeting pockets of resistance in the southern Iraqi port city of Umm Qasr. Coalition spokesmen say a British plane is missing in Kuwait, and could have been hit by a U-S Patriot missile.
  • PENTAGON/IRAQ VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- Senior U-S defense officials say the war in Iraq is going according to plan, but they say coalition forces are bracing for trouble as they move ever closer to Baghdad.
  • KUWAIT / GRENADE VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- U-S military spokesmen say one U-S soldier was killed and 12 others were wounded when at least three grenades were tossed into a command post at a U-S military camp in the Kuwaiti desert. A soldier who is suspected of carrying out the attack has been arrested.
  • American Units Meet Opposition, Still Ahead of Schedule AFPS 23 Mar 2003 -- Coalition forces are encountering greater Iraqi resistance as they move closer to Baghdad, U.S. Central Command officials said today.
  • THIRD INFANTRY DIVISION SOLDIER KILLED IN VEHICLE ACCIDENT CENTCOM 23 Mar 2003 -- One soldier was killed and a second injured in a vehicle accident in southern Iraq this morning.
  • 'Overwhelming force' at work in Iraq CENTCOM News 23 Mar 2003 -- Gen. Tommy R. Franks emerged from his forward command post yesterday and said operations in Iraq will be characterized by shock, surprise and flexibility.
  • BUFFs strike Iraqi targets USAFENS 23 Mar 2003 -- B-52 bomber aircraft from forward deployed location participated in their first strike operations March 21 and continue to pound targets in the U.S. Central Command theater of operations in a coalition effort to disarm Iraq and free the Iraqi citizens.
  • Maintainers unleash BUFFs on Iraq USAFENS 23 Mar 2003 -- More than 70 aircraft maintainers worked earnestly through the early morning March 21 to unleash the first wave of B-52 Stratofortress bombers on Iraq from a forward-deployed location.


US Policy

  • BUSH TURKEY VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- President Bush is again warning Turkey not to unilaterally send its troops into Kurdish-held northern Iraq.
  • Iraqi Freedom Coalition Readies Humanitarian Aid AFPS 23 Mar 2003 -- The U.S.-led coalition to disarm the Iraqi regime is poised to open massive channels of humanitarian assistance for the Iraqi people.
  • Rumsfeld: Despite Difficulties, Liberation of Iraq Is Certain Washington File 23 Mar 2003 -- Although war is inherently uncertain, the outcome of the military campaign in Iraq is clear -- the regime of Saddam Hussein will be gone, the Iraqi people liberated, and the world will be a safer place, according to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
  • Time Frame Unknown But Regime's End Clear, Rumsfeld Says Washington File 23 Mar 2003 -- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, speaking March 23 on the news program Face the Nation, said that "no one can predict when the regime of Saddam Hussein will be eliminated, "but it will end, and he will be gone."
  • Rumsfeld Calls Liberation of Iraq Inevitable Washington File 23 Mar 2003 -- Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld said that, despite the difficulties of war, the coalition military campaign in Iraq is making steady progress on all fronts, and that the outcome is certain -- the elimination of the regime of Saddam Hussein and the liberation of the people of Iraq.
  • Bush Says Massive Humanitarian Aid to Flow into Iraq Soon Washington File 23 Mar 2003 -- President Bush said that coalition forces are working hard to make the port area in southern Iraq secure so that humanitarian aid can begin moving into the country immediately.

United Nations

Foreign Reactions

  • JORDAN / IRAQ DIPLOMATS VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- Jordan has allowed two of the five Iraqi diplomats it expelled to stay, and Jordanian officials are calling for efforts to stop the U-S-led war in Iraq.
  • ARABS / PROTEST FALLOUT VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- As war continues in Iraq, Arab governments are facing their own collateral damage. Governments in the region are battling the fallout of anti-war sentiment.
  • BRITAIN / IRAQ VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- Britain's military commander in the Iraq war says the Iraqi leadership is in significant disarray and the fate of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is largely immaterial.
  • AFRICA-IRAQ REACT VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- As the U-S-led war against Iraq continues, so does reaction from around the world.
  • IRAQ/ARAB LEAGUE VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- The Arab League is preparing for a Monday meeting to show unified Arab opposition to the U-S-led war on Iraq.
  • JORDAN/IRAQ DIPLOMATS VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- Jordan has expelled five Iraqi diplomats. The move comes after Washington asked 60 nations to close down Iraqi diplomatic operations.

News Reports

  • AMB. JOSEPH WILSON VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- Joining us now, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, with J.C. Wilson International Ventures Corp., a for
  • WILKISON GROUND WAR VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- Coalition forces are battling Iraqi troops on the ground in southern Iraq, as they advance towards Baghdad. Some of the most intense fighting has taken place near the southern Iraq port city of Umm Qasr.
  • IRAQ / RED CROSS VOA 23 Mar 2003 -- Teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross that are still operating in Iraq have managed to visit hospitals in Baghdad to help treat the wounded there.

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