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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

24 March Iraq Special Weapons News

US Policy
United Nations
Foreign Reactions
News Reports

Current Operations

  • CENTCOM Operation Iraqi Freedom Briefing CENTCOM 24 Mar 2003 -- "Well, we are in our fifth day of combat operations of Iraqi Freedom. Our forces are operating throughout Iraq, on the ground and in the air. United Kingdom and American marine forces are in the southern oil fields as we speak protecting Iraqis' future. Our air forces continue to strike regime command and control and military formations virtually all over the country with precision munitions and precision application of those munitions. Our special operations forces -- from the United Kingdom, the U.S., Australia -- are conducting direct action and strategic reconnaissance operations across the country. And major land combat formations continue to move, as you have seen them move over the last three or four days. Progress towards our objectives has been rapid and in some cases dramatic."
  • Transcript: DoD News Briefing - ASD PA Clarke and Maj. Gen. McChrystal 24 Mar 2003 -- "Operation Iraqi Freedom continues. Coalition ground forces continue their attack towards Baghdad, and we are now more than 200 miles into Iraqi territory. Forces are meeting sporadic resistance. Coalition forces have engaged Republican Guard Medina Division troops with attack helicopters. And as General Franks mentioned, one Apache helicopter went down during this engagement. The crew is listed as missing."
  • Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon - Lobby briefing at the Foreign Press Association UK Ministry of Defence 24 Mar 2003 -- "Turning to the military action, it is worth noting that before the campaign actually began, most people were predicting an initial phase of air strikes lasting for days, if not weeks, before any ground operations. In fact the start of the land operations, including 3 Commando Brigade's assault on the Al Faw Peninsula, was just as significant to the early part of the campaign as the use of air power."
  • Transcript: Op Falconer Media Brief Australian Department of Defence 24 Mar 2003 -- "Before we start in detail, I would like to clarify two key points from yesterdays brief. Firstly, the HMAS ANZAC did not fire missiles whilst providing gunfire support, as detailed in some media reports. The ANZAC used its main armament, which is a 5" Gun. Secondly, I would like to recap yesterday's story about the aborted FA18 strike mission. Some reporting of the incident would lead you to believe that this was an exceptional event likely to cause friction between coalition partners. This is not the case. Any coalition pilot would make the same decision in any case where there is insufficient information or support available to positively identify and hit a target"

  • ARMY NAMED EXECUTIVE AGENT FOR COMBATING IRAQ OIL FIRES 24 Mar 2003 -- The Department of Defense has designated the Army as Executive Agent for implementing plans to extinguish oil well fires and to assess the damage to oil facilities during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • Screaming Eagles pay last respects to fallen brother Army News 24 Mar 2003 -- The dim dust of the desert settled lightly upon a pair of combat boots this morning. An inverted black rifle stood prone, topped by a camouflage helmet embossed with the black club of the Bastogne Brigade.
  • Secretary, chief address Operation Iraqi Freedom AFPN 24 Mar 2003 -- The following is a joint message from Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper
  • Officials discuss progress of air war AFPN 24 Mar 2003 -- As the number of sorties flown by coalition air forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom reaches into the thousands, officials from U.S. Central Command said March 24 they were pleased with the results of those efforts.
  • Coalition leaflets provide safety instructions to civilians AFPN 24 Mar 2003 -- Coalition aircrews dropped more than 1 million informational leaflets into Iraq on March 23 providing a variety of messages, including instructions to Iraqi civilians and military troops about how to stay safe during coalition military activities.
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom casualties arrive in Germany EUCOM 24 Mar 2003 -- The staff at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC), Landstuhl, Germany, are treating 10 patients who suffered combat injuries as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Two Marines arrived yesterday; six marines arrived today along with two Army soldiers.
  • LRMC News Conference, Operation Iraqi Freedom Casualties EUCOM 24 Mar 2003 -- "Today 12 patients arrived from Operation Iraqi Freedom. Those 12 patients consisted of eight combat injuries and four non0combat injuries. We had six Marines and two soldiers were counted among the combat-related injuries"
  • Harrier Carrier: Strike Force for Freedom Navy NewStand 24 Mar 2003 -- With each roar of the engine and pressing of the throttle, the AV-8B Harrier thrusts itself off the flight deck of USS Bataan (LHD 5). Up until now, it has been for practice in the preparation against the global war on terrorism.
  • Iraq: Fourth Day Of War Brings Bad News To Allies RFE/L 24 Mar 2003 -- After three days of nearly uninterrupted success, the fourth day of the U.S.-led war against Iraq was a day for U.S. President George W. Bush and his defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to deal with some bad news for the coalition forces.
  • Iraq: Bombs Fall In Baghdad As Fighting Intensifies RFE/L 24 Mar 2003 -- Baghdad was bombed off and on early this morning a day after the U.S. military said coalition troops had faced the toughest resistance yet from Iraqi forces.
  • U.S.-Led Forces Enter Fifth Day Of Fighting As Hussein Praises Iraqi Troops RFE/L 24 Mar 2003 -- Air raids against the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and the northern city of Mosul continue this morning as U.S. and British forces enter their fifth day of fighting in Iraq.
  • Iraq: Coalition Says War Going As Planned, Despite Setbacks RFE/L 24 Mar 2003 -- As the ground war in Iraq entered its fifth day, U.S. and British officials expressed confidence in the continued coalition advance on Baghdad, saying troops are moving ahead on schedule, despite a series of skirmishes with Iraqi forces.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- One of the U-S military's tactics in waging war against Iraq is a huge psychological operations campaign that is aimed at winning over the enemy without physically fighting. Experts say it is too early to tell whether or not the campaign has been effective.
  • PENTAGON / DECEPTION VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- The Pentagon says the Iraqi regime is engaged in more of what one senior official terms "deadly deception" --- and the latest could prove lethal to journalists on the battlefield.
  • PENTAGON: THE LIMITS OF WAR VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- In Operation Iraqi Freedom, U-S led coalition forces are nearing Baghdad. Now defense officials are bracing for the toughest fighting of the five-day-old war. But U-S promises made before the conflict all but ensured that the fighting, once it started, would be difficult.
  • PENTAGON / AID VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- The Pentagon says the drive by allied forces towards Baghdad is going well. But efforts to bring in relief supplies for Iraqi civilians are still being held up.
  • IRAQ WRAP VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- U-S led forces closing in on the Iraqi capital Baghdad are now striking at one of Saddam Hussein's toughest lines of defense his highly trained Republican Guard units which ring the city, and coalition commanders are warning some of the hardest fighting of the war may lie ahead.
  • PENTAGON/BAGHDAD VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Coalition forces have begun attacking a key Iraqi Republican Guard division guarding the southern approaches to Baghdad.
  • IRAQ / FRANKS VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- The top U-S commander in the Gulf says allied forces have made rapid progress in achieving their objectives in Iraq. General Tommy Franks says his forces have attacked elite Republican Guard contingents around Baghdad.
  • IRAQ / SADDAM VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein addressed his country Monday lauding his troops and his people and promising they would be victorious.
  • PENTAGON / IRAQ VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Coalition warplanes are continuing to pound military targets in Baghdad and in northern Iraq, near key oil facilities. U-S Commander General Tommy Franks says coalition forces are making "rapid, and in some cases dramatic" progress in their push toward Baghdad.
  • IRAQ / HUMANITARIAN VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- United Nations officials confirm at least three Syrians were killed and 16 others injured on Sunday when their bus was hit by a stray missile as it traveled inside Iraq toward the Syrian border.
  • PENTAGON/ATTACK VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Coalition forces are moving ever closer to Baghdad on the fifth day of Operation Iraqi Freedom and have begun engaging what is reputedly one of Iraq's best and most powerful Republican Guard divisions.
  • POWELL / IRAQ VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday the United States has intelligence information that, in a play for international sympathy, the Saddam Hussein regime might launch a chemical attack on its own civilians and blame U-S led coalition forces.
  • IRAQ WRAP VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- The commander of U-S led forces in Iraq says his troops are making "rapid" progress, despite what he calls "sporadic" resistance from Iraqi soldiers and militia. Meanwhile, an Iraqi television broadcast showed President Saddam Hussein predicting victory.
  • IRAQ/AZIZ VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- A senior Iraqi official says the Iraqi government remains intact and President Saddam Hussein is fine. The Iraqi leader has not been seen in public or on live T-V since the allied attack began last week.
  • IRAQ / WAR / LEAFLETS VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- U-S forces in Iraq are distributing millions of leaflets around the country in an unprecidented effort to get Iraqi forces to surrender without a fight. The leaflets also contain messages for ordinary civilians.
  • IRAQ WRAP VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- U-S led forces in Iraq are closing in on the Iraqi capital Baghdad, with coalition commanders warning some of the toughest fighting of the war may lie ahead. This, as a top Iraqi official tries to clear up questions about the status of Saddam Hussein.
  • GENEVA CONVENTIONS VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- U-S officials have responded to Iraq's capture of several U-S troops by demanding that Baghdad follow the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war.
  • Joint Chiefs Chairman 'Couldn't Be Prouder' of Troops AFPS 24 Mar 2003 -- The U.S. military's top general said he is proud of the performance of American and coalition troops, as they continue to battle Saddam Hussein's forces from the land, sea and sky.
  • Two Apache Pilots Missing; Progress Against Baghdad 'Rapid' AFPS 24 Mar 2003 -- Two American Apache helicopter crewmen are missing in action as coalition forces continue to pound Iraqi Republican Guard units ringing Baghdad, Army Gen. Tommy Franks said today in Qatar.
  • Iraq Flouting Laws of War, Geneva Conventions AFPS 24 Mar 2003 -- The Iraqi regime is flouting the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions, said Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke at the news conference today.
  • Pentagon Says Coalition Moving to "Break the Back" of Iraqi Regime Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke says the coalition is acting together to "break the back" of Saddam Hussein's leadership regime "with as few casualties as possible."
  • Franks Says Coalition Forces Moving Rapidly Toward Iraqi Capital Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- Coalition forces now engaged in intense combat with Iraqi conventional and irregular forces are moving rapidly toward the Iraqi capital, and in some cases the advances have been dramatic, the commander of the U.S.-led coalition says.
  • PATRIOT BATTERY INTERCEPTS, DESTROYS IRAQI MISSILE CENTCOM 24 Mar 2003 -- A PATRIOT firing battery successfully intercepted and destroyed an incoming Iraqi tactical ballistic missile during an attack on U.S. and Coalition Forces in Kuwait at approximately 1:00 a.m. (5:00 p.m. EST).
  • MARINE DIES, THREE OTHERS INJURED IN VEHICLE ACCIDENT CENTCOM 24 Mar 2003 -- A United States Marine from the First Marine Expeditionary Force died early yesterday morning after he was involved in a vehicle accident.
  • First Predator Strike Takes out Anti-Air Threat CENTCOM 24 Mar 2003 -- A U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator found and destroyed a radar-guided anti-aircraft artillery piece in southern Iraq Saturday at 5:25 EST making it the first Predator strike of Operation Iraqi Freedom, defense officials announced.
  • America's Big Stick Launches Operation Iraqi Freedom Strikes Navy NewStand 24 Mar 2003 -- Months of training and sacrifice paid off for the crew of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 March 22, with the launch of its first strikes in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • IRAQ / WRAP OVERNIGHT VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- As coalition forces in Iraq advance toward Baghdad, they are encountering heavy fire from the Iraqi army and the elite Republican Guard. Meanwhile, other allied units are trying to consolidate their hold on areas of southern Iraq where they are still encountering pockets of resistance.
  • PENTAGON / IRAQ VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Coalition warplanes continue to pound military targets in Baghdad and in northern Iraq near key oil facilities.
  • IRAQ / SADDAM VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Saddam Hussein gave a speech today on Iraqi television lauding his troops and his people and promising that victory would soon be achieved.
  • IRAQ / WAR VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Baghdad has been battered overnight by bombs and missiles, as coalition ground forces continue to advance toward the Iraqi capital. The air strikes follow a day that U-S officials are calling the most difficult since the war on Iraq began five days ago.
  • BRITAIN / HUSSEIN VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Britain says the television broadcast of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was pre-recorded, and questions remain about his fate.
  • Combat JAG: Navy Legal Officer Brings Expertise to Operation Iraqi Freedom Navy NewStand 24 Mar 2003 -- What would you do if you were totally out of contact with your life as you know it? What if you were living in the sand - working in a foreign place - not knowing exactly what to do, when to do it, or how to deal with a legal problem half-way around the world? This is how some deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom feel and live.
  • Stealth fighters use new munitions to hit Baghdad ACCNS 24 Mar 2003 --U. S. Air Force F-117 stealth fighters struck five strategic targets in Baghdad March 21 using a new precision-guided munition, the EGBU-27, as Coalition forces turned the Operation Iraqi Freedom air campaign into high gear.
  • Aussie naval gunfire destroys artillery battery, bunkers CENTCOM News 19 Mar 2003 -- Australian naval gunfire destroyed Iraqi coastal defensive positions, an artillery battery and bunkers overnight, said Brigadier Maurie McNarn, commander of Australian forces in the Middle East.


  • Military Weather Forecasting VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- U.S. troops in Iraq will rely on accurate weather forecasts for every mission they attempt. Their information will come mainly from halfway around the world: the 28th Operational Weather Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base, in South Carolina. The squadron is part of a sophisticated new weather prediction system put in place after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

US Policy

  • White House Press Briefing White House 24 Mar 2003
  • BUSH IRAQ OVERNIGHTER VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- President Bush goes to the Pentagon today (Tuesday) to press Congress to pass his war budget. He wants roughly 75 billion dollars in emergency funds to cover the cost of the conflict in Iraq and related expenses.
  • CONGRESS / WAR BUDGET VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- President Bush Tuesday is to formally ask Congress for some 75 billion dollars in emergency funds to help pay for the U-S-led war to disarm Iraq. Congressional leaders received a preview from President Bush late Monday.
  • Wolfowitz: Iraq War Is Part of Global Anti-Terror Efforts AFPS 24 Mar 2003 -- Operation Iraqi Freedom "is all a part of the war on terrorism," U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz said here March 23.
  • USAID Notes $105 Million in U.S. Funding for Aid to Iraq Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) March 24 issued a fact sheet noting $105 million in United States' contributions for humanitarian assistance in Iraq.
  • Bush Phones Putin on Russian Hardware Sales to Iraq Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- President Bush phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express U.S. concerns "involving prohibited hardware that has been transferred from Russian companies to Iraq," White House Press Spokesman Ari Fleischer told journalists during the March 24 White House press briefing.
  • "A Fight for Freedom," by Senator John McCain Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- Critics who deem war against Saddam Hussein's regime to be an unprecedented departure from our proud tradition of American internationalism disregard our history of meeting threats to our security with both military force and a commitment to revolutionary democratic change.
  • Wolfowitz Urges Iraqi Regime to Surrender Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- The goal of the coalition military operation against Iraq is to end a regime that terrorizes its own people and "has weapons of mass terror -- chemical and biological weapons and is working on nuclear weapons -- and that has these connections to terrorists and uses terrorism as an instrument of national policy," U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said March 23.
  • Coalition Aid to Iraqi People Ready to Move, U.S. Says Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- The United States and its coalition partners are prepared to provide a wide range of humanitarian assistance to Iraqis once security is established in the country, says State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher.
  • Powell Says Coalition Forces Have Made "Remarkable" Progress in Iraq Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- Secretary of State Colin Powell says the progress of coalition forces in the invasion of Iraq has been "remarkable" since hostilities got under way March 19.
  • USAID Commits to Protecting Iraq Environment Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will use environmental protection procedures during reconstruction efforts in Iraq, the agency says.
  • BUSH / IRAQ / RUSSIA VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- The White House says it has "credible evidence" that Russia has sold sensitive military equipment to Iraq in violation of a U-N embargo. President Bush telephoned Russian leader Vladimir Putin to discuss the alleged sales, transactions Russia denies.
  • U.S. Concerned That Russian Companies Aiding Iraqi Military Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- President Bush told Russian President Vladimir Putin March 24 in an early morning phone call that the United States is concerned that at least one Russian company is providing "ongoing cooperation and support to Iraqi military forces," White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said March 24.
  • Powell Says Coalition Against Iraq Has Solid Strategy Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- Secretary of State Colin Powell says U.S. commanders leading the coalition to disarm Iraq have "a solid strategy that will work" and he has no doubt the regime of Saddam Hussein "will be taken down."
  • Powell Says No Doubt Iraqi Regime "Will Be Taken Down" Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- Secretary of State Colin Powell says it is "amazing" that coalition forces have penetrated to within 50 to 60 miles of Baghdad since military action began in Iraq March 19.
  • BUSH IRAQ VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is predicting victory over American-led forces who have invaded the country to topple his government and disarm the military. U-S intelligence analysts are studying the Iraqi leader's speech.

United Nations

  • UN-IRAQ-AID VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- As the fighting continues in Iraq, international relief organizations are warning of a looming humanitarian crisis. The war has cut off the supply of food and medical supplies.
  • UNEP Calls for Action Plan to Save Iraqi Marshlands Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Executive Director Klaus Toepfer says the post-war rehabilitation of Iraq should include a full assessment and action plan for the restoration of the Mesopotamian marshlands of southern Iraq, which are continuing to disappear at an alarming rate.
  • World Food Program Bringing Food Aid to Iraq Washington File 24 Mar 2003 -- The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) is bringing food aid into Iraq.

Foreign Reactions

  • IRAQ/ARAB LEAGUE VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Arab League foreign ministers are calling for the immediate withdrawal of U-S and British forces. This, observers say, was the least these governments could do in the face of recent public protests against the war.
  • IRAQ / ARAB LEAGUE VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Arab League foreign ministers have condemned the U-S led military action against Iraq and are calling for the immediate withdrawal of U-S and British forces.
  • RUSSIA-US-IRAQ VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has denied U-S allegations that Russia sold sensitive military equipment to Iraq in violation of U-N sanctions. The State Department leveled the accusations during the weekend and said Russia's response to U-S concerns had been unsatisfactory.
  • BRITAIN / IRAQ VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Britain says the battle for Baghdad is close at hand. British Prime Minister Tony Blair says difficult days lie ahead in the Iraq war, but the strategy is unfolding as planned.
  • BRITAIN / IRAQ VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- British officials say the Iraq war is going well despite a string of incidents that have left 18 British servicemen killed or missing. Prime Minister Tony Blair can expect questions about the casualties when he appears in parliament today
  • INDONESIA LOWKEY PROTESTS VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Thousands of people have taken to the streets of the Indonesian capital to protest the war in Iraq. But the number is low, given expectations of massive protests. The Indonesian government's stiff opposition to the war may be muting the public response.
  • ASIA / IRAQ REACT VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- The war in Iraq has sparked massive demonstrations in cities around the world but, with a few notable exceptions, much of Asia has not seen the large turnout at protest rallies that had been expected. There is still widespread opposition to the war despite the scale of the protests.
  • IRAQ: EC gives €21 million in humanitarian aid, more possible IRIN 24 Mar 2003 -- The EC has announced an initial grant of €21 million (about US $22.3 million) in humanitarian aid following the commencement of military action against Iraq.
  • JORDAN: Border remains quiet IRIN 24 Mar 2003 -- The situation at Jordan's Al-Karamah border crossing remained quiet on Sunday, with no Iraqi refugee arrivals, but several dozen third country nationals (TCNs), including 25 Somalis and eight South African "human shields" having arrived on Saturday evening, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported to a news conference in the Jordanian capital, Amman.
  • SYRIA: First Iraqi refugees in region cross border at Al-Yarubiyah IRIN 24 Mar 2003 -- The first officially-recognised Iraqi refugees fleeing the conflict in Iraq entered neighbouring Syria from the north on Sunday at the Al-Yarubiyah border crossing, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, reported.
  • JORDAN: Prime minister calls on "brotherly countries" for humanitarian aid IRIN 24 Mar 2003 -- Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu al-Raghib on Sunday told IRIN that the Kingdom "expected both humanitarian and economic support from our brotherly countries in the international community", noting that "some countries" had already offered such assistance.
  • JORDAN: Japan set to bolster Amman and Damascus IRIN 24 Mar 2003 -- The government of Japan has announced that it will extend humanitarian aid to Jordan and Syria in anticipation of a possible fallout from the conflict in neighbouring Iraq.

News Reports

  • Vandenberg security forces respond to protesters AFSPC 24 Mar 2003 -- Security forces here responded to nearly 50 protesters at a base gate March 22 and arrested three. Another group of military supporters gathered at the gate to lend their encouragement to the base and its people.
  • NORTHERN IRAQ - WAR WITHIN A WAR? VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Fighting has intensified in northern Iraq, where U-S-led coalition forces have bombed Iraqi army positions near key oil centers. Because there are various groups and countries with strong interests in the region, some analysts say the conflict in northern Iraq could become a "war within a war,"
  • RED CROSS/IRAQ VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross says Iraqi authorities and coalition forces have not provided information on prisoners of war.
  • IRAQ-ANTIQUITIES VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- Scholars are worried that the Iraq war will further damage the country's vast archaeological treasures. Much of this cultural heritage has been looted since the 1991 gulf war. In an effort to avoid further ravages, academics have asked U-S military leaders to avoid targeting sites of archaeological value.
  • BOBB IRAQ VOA 24 Mar 2003 -- The U-S-led military campaign in Iraq continues with Baghdad a key target.

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