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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 March, 2003, 00:06 GMT
Reporters' Log: War in Iraq
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The BBC's unrivalled team of correspondents is bringing you news from the Gulf and reaction from around the world. On this page BBC News Online logs their impressions and personal experiences as they watch events unfold.

Thursday, 27 March

Most recent postings are at the top.

Qatar :: Peter Hunt :: 2320GMT

Officials here are sticking to the line that the coalition is "on course".

But this is in contrast to what we are hearing at the front line, where journalists are embedded.

And some of those injured, who are now in Germany, say they didn't expect resistance but that's what they got.

The extra 100,000 personnel is clearly an acknowledgement that they are slightly overstretched.

But it's difficult getting a clear overview from here of what is happening because they say that would frustrate their operations on the ground.


New York :: Susannah Price :: 2238GMT

Tony Blair and Kofi Annan are going to be talking about UN involvement in Iraq.

Their most pressing concern is the future of the Oil for Food Programme. Tony Blair is very keen for this to be passed as quickly as possible so the UN can take full control of it and reactivate it again.

It's a programme that feeds 60 percent of the population.

But he'll also be telling the Secretary General that he is extremely keen to get the UN involved as much as possible in Iraq after the conflict.


Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 2227GMT

There's been some heavy explosions in the last few minutes all around the city - some deep thuds, coming very much from the heart of the city.

I've been talking to officials here in the Minister of Defence and he said that the expectation was that the capital would be surrounded in the next 5 to 10 days

But he stated that at the end of the day, the British and American soldiers would have to enter and fight for the city.

And they will have to fight street by street and we've made our preparations to fight a guerrilla war that will be bloody and costly for the British and US soldiers.


Washington D.C. :: Andrew Marr :: 2212GMT

These are early days but what we're seeing here, with reports from the military in Washington, is that the war could go on for quite a long time, it's what we might call the Week One Wobble.

The most important thing that George Bush and Tony Blair had to do today was stand up and say "we are undeterred". I'm sure that they did not think they were going to have to stand up at this stage in the war and say it.


Doha, Qatar :: Michael Voss :: 2123GMT

There is fighting reported tonight near several key towns along the American supply route that follows the Euphrates River. Najaf in the north, closest to Baghdad, Al-Samawah and Nasiriyah with its key river crossings.

The sandstorms have lifted enabling troops to call in helicopters and other close air support.

The coming days should show just how determined Iraqi resistance really is and whether the Americans can protect their supply lines.

In the south a British tank squadron destroyed fourteen Iraqi tanks attempting to break out of Basra, while in northern Iraq a thousand American troops parachuted into Kurdish held territory. It's the first sign of a northern front, but far too small to march on Baghdad.


Baghdad, Iraq :: Paul Wood :: 2106GMT

The Iraqi Defence Minister, Sultan Hashim Ahmed, said at a news conference this evening that he expected Baghdad to be encircled within five to ten days but that the capital "could not be taken."

The Iraqi Defence Minister also acknowledged that the first US units were just a hundred and forty kilometres, or ninety miles, from the city limits


Doha, Qatar :: Nicholas Witchell :: 2027GMT

The Americans are saying they have lost a Predator.

This is an unmanned craft which is used for surveillance and reconnaissance. It has been lost over Iraq.

Sometimes they're fitted with missiles and are given targets to hit.


Umm Qasr, southern Iraq :: Karen Allen :: 2018GMT

This small boarder town that earlier this week was under fire, is poised to get it's own water supply - directly from Kuwait.

It's usual source - Basra - has completely dried up since hostilities began, so the Royal Engineers are working to lay a pipeline which should be pumping through fresh water by Sunday.

People I met were clearly relieved that coalition forces have secured this small town - the defaced mosaic of Saddam Hussein in the main street showed their growing confidence.

But the coalition forces have just a tiny window of opportunity to deliver on a promise that they won't turn their back on Iraqis.


Sulaymaniyah :: Jim Muir :: 2015GMT

At the moment the American paratroopers are consolidating their position. Of course, it's very friendly terrain.

They dropped into the middle of the Kurdish controlled zone here.

The air field where they landed had been prepared for them. The Kurdish have been waiting enthusiastically for their arrival.

After all the uncertainty over the negotiations with Turkey they'll be relieved to see them come.

The paratroopers will be preparing to see more of their colleagues who should arrive in the coming days.


New York :: Susannah Price :: 1929GMT

The American ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, has walked out of the UN Security Council debate on Iraq.

He did so as the Iraqi ambassador, Mohammed al-Douri, was summing up his country's stance as the council neared the end of the two-day session.

Mr al-Douri had accused the US-led coalition of trying to exterminate the Iraqi people.

The open meeting of the UN Security Council on the war in Iraq ended without any resolution being passed.

Many UN members called for a central role for the UN and Security Council in the future of Iraq.


Erbid, northern Jordan :: Richard Galpin :: 1829GMT

The funerals have taken place in Jordan of four students reported to have been killed in the bombing of northern Iraq by American and British war planes.

The students had been studying in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

According to their families a missile exploded close to their car as they tried to flee the city earlier this week.


Northern Iraq :: John Simpson :: 1816GMT

There have been a couple of raids in the last few minutes. Bright lights in the sky showing where the bombs were landing, showing too that the attack is continuing in force up here.

The 1,000 US paratroopers who have arrived in the North is not a great force. They are the precursors of others. We don't know how many.

It's suggested that British troops may also be coming in here, as well as tanks and other types of armour.

This represents a change of attitude, a change of interest that the US may use this front quite soon.


Camp David, Maryland :: Andrew Marr :: 1810GMT

Medium term, the role of rebuilding Iraq is by far the most significant difference between Britain and America.

Here we have Colin Powell telling Congress that America wanted a significant controlling influence on what happens to Iraq afterwards.

Back in Britain Clare Short said that Britain didn't have any legal authority to establish a new government and needs a UN mandate.

That the great difference between the two.

In the short term they are aware there's a great deal of deconstruction to be done before they talk about construction.

And it's proving a little harder than they expected.


Sulaymaniyah :: Jim Muir :: 1737GMT

The most startlingly development here is the loss of Iraqi frontline positions manned about an hour's drive from Sulaymaniyah, to the west, between here and the city of Kirkuk.

On the front line there is a town called Chamchamal. The Iraqi troops manning a ridge to the west suddenly pulled back 20 kilometres towards Kirkuk.

Kurdish Peshmergas were then free to move forward and have taken up those positions.

But they know that if they cross the 'Turkish red line' they'll be in trouble with Turkey which does not want to see the Kurds moving into such a major city.


Doha, Qatar :: Michael Voss :: 1702GMT

Now that the sandstorms have lifted, coalition forces are hoping to regain the initiative.

Helicopters and aircraft are offering close air support once again, and clear skies should limit the ability of Iraqi units to mount hit-and-run raids.

Fierce clashes continue around Najaf and Nasiriyah, with its key bridges across the Euphrates.

Latest reports talk of air strikes near Nasiriyah, suggesting that a counter-offensive may be underway.


Camp David, Maryland :: Guto Harri :: 1628GMT

This morning George Bush and Tony Blair received an assessment of the military situation from their commanders on the ground and from their experts.

Their assessment, as just revealed to us in a press conference, sounds very low key.

Tony Blair was saying "we are confident our goals will be met", George Bush saying "slowly but steadily, we are making progress".

This does not sound like the words of two men who expect a breakthrough. Indeed they're preparing us for something that's going to get worse.


Nasiriyah :: Andrew North :: 1542GMT

American forces on the edge of Nasiriyah have launched a new artillery barrage on Iraqi positions in the town as night falls.

In the past few minutes there have been at least ten powerful explosions as artillery batteries behind me open fire.

From what I could see, several missiles were also fired towards the town. I can see smoke rising from several points across Nasiriyah.


Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 1539GMT

Over the past few minutes I've heard several loud thumps which sound like bombs being dropped.

It's really the Americans living up to their promise to make full use of the return of clear weather conditions.

We have had pretty constant bombing throughout the day including a laser-guided bomb falling about half a kilometre away from where journalists work from the Ministry of Information.

Anti-aircraft fire began from the top of the building. And all journalists cleared out fearing that it would invite a retaliatory strike.


HMS Ocean :: Andrew Harding :: 1522GMT

There's a helicopter just coming onto deck here. That's evidence of the continuing activity in the Gulf. The Royal Navy has been very busy over these last 24 hours.

Two Royal Navy minesweepers were active overnight. They found two mines in the estuary leading into the port of Umm Qasr.

They have detonated those mines but the work continues to check if there are any more mines that could endanger Sir Galahad the other Navy vessel that's in the Gulf which is carrying a great deal of humanitarian aid.


Cairo, Egypt :: David Bamford :: 1506GMT

Fielding questions on an Egyptian satellite TV broadcast, President Hosni Mubarak insisted that official opinion in Egypt was identical to the public one as far as the Iraq war was concerned.

But he said that freedom of expression must be civilised and there was no need to attack businesses in Egypt, even those that happened to have American names.

He was speaking as security forces gear up for likely street protests after Friday prayers in Cairo.


Sulaymaniyah, Northern Iraq :: Stuart Hughes :: 1502GMT

Command sources from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan - the PUK - have claimed a massacre has taken place near the Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

PUK sources say yesterday evening government forces, loyal to Saddam Hussein, moved into the town of Hawi Jah, near Kirkuk, and tried to persuade members of the Jabbor tribe to fight alongside them on the northern front.

When they refused a clash ensued between the Jabbor tribe and the Iraqi army, from the Jaysh Al-Quds Brigade.

And this morning the Iraqi army allegedly butchered five hundred tribesmen with knives.

These claims come from PUK sources and the BBC has no way of independently verifying them.


Southern Iraq :: Jonathan Charles :: 1451GMT

Coalition forces in one village near a military forward base in southern Iraq, are trying to win over the population, by holding medical clinics.

Squadron Leader Simon Chappel, an RAF doctor, recognises that he has a tough job to persuade the local people that the British force that has invaded their land is friendly.

Simon is holding the first of what he hopes will be many medical clinics.

The first job for him and his team is treating children who have developed severe diarrhoea after drinking ditch water, and adults who have been wounded by shrapnel from missiles.

It is the only medical treatment they have received for weeks.


Camp David :: Guto Harri :: 1433GMT

George Bush and Tony Blair have been talking for about an hour and a half now. The American networks are calling it a council for war.

On the plane coming over Tony Blair's message was that the war should lead to a better life for Iraqis.

But behind closed doors, essentially the two of them take a fundamentally different view on how to get from this stage of war to the rule of law, human rights and a form of democracy for Iraqis.

They won't fall out in public at this stage. But down the line there will be genuine tension.


London :: James Robbins :: 1335GMT

Geoff Hoon was very keen to paint a picture of a war on many fronts, in which he said British and American forces were meeting stiff resistance, but were gradually overwhelming it.

He also made a new accusation against the Iraqi forces. He said there was clear evidence they were preparing for the possibility of using chemical weapons. The evidence he cited, that soldiers of the Royal Irish Regiment had found some one hundred chemical warfare suits and respirators in an Iraqi command post that had been deserted. And the Defence Secretary questioned why the Iraqis would need such defensive preparations when they knew that coalition forces had no chemical weapons.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, took a slightly different line. He made it clear there was no evidence yet that the Iraqis had offensive capabilities, it was merely defensive suits that they had found.


Camp David, Maryland :: Guto Harri :: 1327GMT

President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair are meeting here now at Camp David.

At the moment they are engaged in a link up with military chiefs in Washington, London and Qatar. People are anxious in the USA about how this campaign is proceeding. That must be something the two leaders are concerned about too.

I would not be surprised if the two of them don't look each other in the eye and address the scenario of a stalemate.

That is an issue they will have to wrestle with, but I don't think they'll be too keen to discuss that with the press.


Nasariyah :: Andrew North 1330GMT

More fighting - more explosions - US aircraft are continuing to strike - this appears to be a counter offensive following some severe guerrilla style tactics against them.

I have seen about 200 civilians fleeing the town. In some cases they have been ordered out - it not clear by who - but it is clear, some of the civilians do feel at risk which is not surprising, given the scale of the attacks.


Doha, Qatar :: Paul Adams :: 1319GMT

We've just had a briefing here and a spokesman for the coalition forces has said that it was entirely possible that the carnage in a Baghdad market place yesterday was caused by an Iraqi missile.

He said that as the campaign has gone on the Iraqi authorities were becoming more and more desperate.

He said the campaign was very much on track and that coalition forces were one day closer to achieving their objectives.


Southern Iraq:: Peter Grant :: 1310GMT

I am with an engineering unit pushing forward with a specific task - I am not allowed to say what - but it will be important in what it is believed to the final push on Baghdad.

This unit has been not in the front line but close to it. That's meant for a large convoy of huge lorries carrying engineering equipment a constant push ever since crossing the border on Friday on back roads and indeed across trackless desert.

That of course has brought its own problems - fatigue for the drivers. There was an accident - that cost the life of one driver and left a female soldier who was with him, severely injured.


Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 1308GMT

Just over the past half hour we've had very loud explosions, very close to where I am, near the ministry of information.

There is the rumble of bombing on the outskirts now.

Mushroom clouds can be seen on the horizon. Low rumbling sound, possibly B52's dropping bombs again.


Qatar :: Michael Voss :: 1252GMT

A column of Iraqi heavy armour broke out of Basra this morning. They ran into a contingent of Royal Scots Dragoon Guards with their modern Challenger-II tanks. All fourteen Iraqi tanks were destroyed, without a single British casualty.


Northern Iraq :: Jim Muir:: 1255 GMT

The thousand US paratroops who came in the night will be holding the arena for the arrival of more troops - perhaps several thousand - and perhaps with tanks.

The question is, what will they do when they are here ? I believe the first operation will be against the Ansar al Islam - the radical Islamic group which holds mountain territory towards the Iranian border to the east.

Then they may turn their attention south. How much they will be able to do with a relatively relatively small number of troops they are going to be bringing in, remains to be seen.


Nasiriyah :: Andrew North :: 1250 GMT

A new American bombardment of Iraqi positions in and around Nasiriyah has started.

Very heavy explosions have been heard in the last few minutes, multiple explosions that suggest the use of cluster bombs.

As I talk I can see large white clouds of smoke and hear more explosions, multiple explosions as the bombs land.

These bombs appear to be falling on targets about a mile or less from where I'm standing and it appears that American forces are intensifying their attack on Iraqi units operating in the town.


Camp David, Maryland :: Guto Harri :: 1241GMT

In about half an hour or so Tony Blair and George W. Bush will be having a briefing from the Gulf on how things are developing there.

That will last about an hour and then it is down to discussions on what happens next.

People here I think are a bit surprised that this war has not taken a decisive direction already.


Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1230GMT

There have been a series of explosions right through the morning and into the afternoon here.

Heavy and nervous anti aircraft fire, some not too far from here in the last few minutes, which caused a little bit of panic.

The city is still ringed with plumes of smoke from oil burning The bombardment overnight came to the centre of Baghdad, with the targeting of a communications tower.

The enormous sandstorms which had been vicious for the last 48 hours have now gone, so people expect more bombing to start again tonight.

I think what is evident is that the Iraqis are finding alternative routes to communicate, the Iraqi TV centre has been hit but they have managed to stay on the air.

The tactics are different here, the message is getting through to the population that Saddam is still in power, his ministers are still in power - we are seeing them here in the city every day.

That would suggest that someone is giving some orders to someone somewhere.


Nasiriyah :: Andrew North:: 1215 GMT

The only significant movement on the road is what appears to be a flow of Iraqi civilians away from the town. At least 200 Iraqi civilians have walked down the road heading south.

Many of them carrying belongings - many on their heads. People are clearly leaving the town - possibly because of the damage there. I am not really able to see what damage has been caused.

The situation here has become so volatile, because the Marines say they have been attacked often by people dressed in civilian clothes.

I think the Marines look at any civilians now as potentially hostile.

These people certainly appear to be refugees, but I am sure the US forces are not taking any chances.


Cairo, Egypt :: David Bamford :: 1140GMT

The Arab press has had its first full opportunity to react to the deaths, on Wednesday, of Iraqi civilians in the market in the north of Baghdad, in the wake of television images graphically showing the human devastation caused by the explosion.

There is all but unanimity in describing the attack as a massacre of civilians and much of the commentary that follows seems to assume that the civilian deaths were intended.

Some of the newspaper photos used are as lurid as anything shown on TV. But Arabs are broadly dismissive of, and affronted by, what they say are moralistic comments that their coverage falls on the wrong side of good taste.


Washington :: Ian Pannell :: 1138GMT

We are being told here that this war is on course but we also being warned that it will be difficult.

30,000 more US troops are moving to the region. There have been some criticisms that the force is not large enough or have enough punch.

There are problems at the moment but they are not unmanageable.


Southern Iraq :: Caroline Wyatt :: 1132GMT

The Sir Galahad is trying to bring aid into Southern Iraq but it has been delayed.

It won't be easy to distribute aid around when it finally gets in. They are hoping to get 500 tonnes into Um Qasr as soon as it is safe.

They will then drive it across the desert towards Basra.

Opening up a humanitarian corridor into Basra however will be very difficult as there is still resistance there.


Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1104GMT

We're heard from the west of Baghdad some heavy explosion sounds. It lasted in bursts about five or ten minutes. Just now there is a sudden staccato burst.

The authorities here have said in the last few minutes that they are sending about 18 lorries with relief supplies, to Basra to the citizens there.


Sir Galahad, North Arabian Gulf :: Owen Bennett-Jones :: 1006GMT

I'm on board the Sir Galahad ship. Military personnel from Britain, the US and Australia, together with a team of dolphins, have spent the last four days clearing a fifty-mile shipping lane into Umm Qasr.

Shortly before the Sir Galahad was due to head for the port, two suspected mines were found on the seabed and destroyed in controlled explosions.

The need for further mine-sweeps of the channel have caused the twenty-four-hour delay. There's also the threat of possible suicide or radio-controlled small boat attack.

The captain of the Sir Galahad says that once he's unloaded his supplies in Umm Qasr, he hopes other ships will feel it's safe to follow. But delivering supplies to those who need them won't be easy. Much of southern Iraq remains insecure and coalition forces may be reluctant to distribute aid when they're still being attacked by people dressed as civilians.


Kuwait City :: Ryan Dilley :: 0933GMT

The air raid sirens sounded in Kuwait City just before midday here. People's progress to the shelters is markedly less hurried, with some pedestrians and drivers choosing to carry on about their business.

With almost 20 air raid warnings under their belts, Kuwaitis now seem to feel the true danger has passed.

This alert was not, it seems, a false alarm though. Shortly after the sirens began, I heard two thuds. A Patriot battery in the desert outside the city reportedly intercepted an Iraqi missile.


Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 0923GMT

I've just come from a briefing with the Iraqi minister for health. He told us that for the whole of the country for the whole of the war, the number of injured civilians was around 4,000 and he said that 350 people had died.

He said that the Iraqi authorities had all medical facilities and supplies that they needed and that all hospitals are carrying on as normal. He told us there had been offers of help from relief teams from around the world and that while these were welcome, he said they didn't need them.


Northern Iraq :: John Simpson :: 0912GMT

A lot of the activity here in Northern Iraq is being dealt with by the CIA. In a house near our position there are some special forces, the SAS. They don't want their faces on camera or their positions.

We're seeing the military just as military here, and not the smoother face of the military that we're seeing in the south with their PR spokesmen.

I think this is going to be the most reported war in history, given the type of pool reporter coverage we have from the front line, known as the "embeds".


Doha, Qatar :: Jonathan Marcus :: 0903GMT

There's no doubt the resistance was expected from irregular units loyal to Saddam Hussein's regime, but its scale and intensity does seem to have taken US and British commanders by surprise.

It may be militarily insignificant in the long-term, but for now it is clearly going to tie down forces that might be needed elsewhere. These irregulars, along with the terrible weather, have probably slowed the tempo of the US advance.


Nasiriyah :: Andrew North :: 0859GMT

American aircraft have renewed their bombing of Nasiriyah. The sound of aircraft has been heard high overhead several times, followed by large explosions and then smoke rising from positions in the western and central parts of the town


Samawah, Iraq :: Gavin Hewitt :: 0845GMT

Samawah is a crucial town on the supply route south towards Baghdad and this is typical of how this war is going. This morning, quite a major battle has been taking place for the last two hours inside this town.

American tanks and fighting vehicles headed towards the centre of the town where they think there are about 1500 Fedayeen, Saddam Hussein's militia, who are guarding a bridge across the Euphrates.

It's been an intense battle, heavy guns have been used, tank shells have been used and at least seven Apache helicopters have come in trying to attack the Iraqi positions.

I can see black smoke rising above the main area of the city in at least three places.


Amman, Jordan :: Caroline Hawley :: 0814GMT

The newspapers here are full of the bombing of the market in Baghdad. They say that victory at the price of civilian causalities is a defeat.

There had been fears of a refugee crisis on the border here but that has not happened yet.

The movement of people from Jordan has been back into Iraq. We're hearing that some 5,000 Iraqis have requested to go back, to be with their families and to help fight for their country.


Doha, Qatar :: Peter Hunt :: 0758GMT

At a news briefing here in Doha, the British spokesman Air Marshall Brian Burridge was keen to trumpet the triumphs, as he saw them, on the battlefield.

The British now control the port and small southern town of Umm Qasr. Iraqi people were getting their first taste of freedom, he said. Children were being born who wouldn't have to suffer under Saddam's regime.

The far larger, nearby city of Basra still remains in the control of the Iraqis. British troops stationed outside are experiencing stiff opposition, according to their commander.

He was scathing in this criticism of the Arab satellite TV station, Al-Jazeera, for their decision to broadcast pictures of two dead British soldiers, which he said was a flagrant breech of the Geneva Convention. A journalist from the station told the news conference they wanted to show their audience the truth about this dirty war.


HMS Ocean :: Andrew Harding :: 0735GMT

The arrival of a British ship loaded with humanitarian aid for Iraq has been delayed after the discovery of two suspected mines in the estuary near the southern port of Umm Qasr.

Two British ships, HMS Ledbury and HMS Blythe, detected two suspicious objects on the sea bed and sent down remote vehicles to lay explosive charges next to them.

Each explosion triggered a second one, proof that these were indeed mines. British and American mine hunters are trying to map a safe corridor from the Gulf up the narrow Khawr Abd Allah waterway to Umm Qasr. British divers have been checking the harbour itself, in places doing what is called a fingertip search of the seabed in zero visibility.


Northern Iraq :: John Simpson :: 0734GMT

About 1,000 US troops landed in an air field in northern Iraq and have secured it. They are going to bring in some armour, probably some tanks, then they'll start to open this northern front. There has been no ground fighting as yet, but that will change in about seven or eight days.

There has been a sense of impatience here on the Kurdish side for some time. They are frustrated that Turkey would not let US or UK troops in.

I've heard that about a dozen Iraqi troops have surrendered and have come across to the Kurdish side.


Southern Iraq :: Caroline Wyatt :: 0724GMT

The British say that last night they took out TV and radio networks in Basra and are now using those to broadcast messages into Basra. The information war in Basra has certainly started.


Southern Iraq :: Clive Myrie :: 0716GMT

It's very confusing the information we're getting from a number of sources.

I am with 40 Commando here, who co-ordinated this attack. Last night they said there were up to 120 vehicles, this morning they are revising the figure down.

They are saying four to five vehicles, probably tanks were destroyed from air, in an operation that last over three hours.

It remains very confused.

But why would an Iraqi convoy make themselves an obvious target, why did they leave Basra in daylight, we just don't know.


Nasiriya :: Andrew North :: 0705GMT

The situation around Nasiriyah seems to be becoming ever more dangerous for US forces. There has been regular sniper fire and now a multiple Iraqi rocket attack on a marine position south of the town which had been thought to have been relatively safer.

Hundreds of troops dived for cover as the rockets came in groups of four, some landing near my position. There are now reports that some US marines operating in the area were wounded as a result of friendly fire following that Iraqi rocket attack.

The reports have not yet been confirmed, but some injured marines have said they believe they were shot by their own side during the US response to the Iraqi rocket attack.


Southern Iraq :: Kylie Morris :: 0657GMT

British military sources have denied reports that a convoy of more that 120 armoured vehicles launched an attack from the southern city of Basra last night.

A senior British officer said they think there were no more than three tanks in the convoy, all of which were destroyed from the air.

More troops are being sent to the Al Faw peninsula to re-enforce troops already there.


Washington :: Justin Webb :: 0630GMT

The feeling in Washington is very anti-UN, specifically very anti-French, and the French are still on the Security Council and still have their veto. They still could cause huge difficulties, if as the Britain seems to be suggesting, they and the US go back to the UN and say 'will you please give us broad authority to rule Iraq for a little while'.

The feeling is that just isn't going too happen, the French are going to get in the way and try to limit the amount of power the Americans can wield in Iraq immediately post-war.

Even Colin Powell the Secretary of State is saying we have put a lot of effort into this and we are not give up the right to tell people what goes on after we've won the war. It looks as though at some stage there has to be that clash.


Northern Iraq :: John Simpson :: 0609GMT

At the moment it's only a thousand Americans landing in Northern Iraq, they are talking about bringing in heavy armour to this airfield in Bashur which is in Kurdish hands.

Over the next four or five days they will build up capability here and we will see something towards the end of next week.

Once they've established themselves and worked out with the Kurdish forces who will bear a large amount of fighting, they will probably move on to Mosul and to Kirkuk.

I assume the Kurds will have to play an important part in this, just as they will in the separate campaign against the pro-Islamic guerrillas up in the far north of the country.

We're told that after an apparent mutiny that the troops based on the Iraqi front line have been pulled back and new troops, presumably tougher troops, have come in. But they must have been having a tough time of it because they've been bombed heavily.


HMS Ark Royal :: Matthew Price :: 0532GMT

It is hoped Sir Galahad will reach the port of Umm Qasr later on Thursday, with 500 tonnes of aid on board

But this a drop in the ocean and no-one knows when the next ship will arrive.


Nasiriyah :: Andrew North :: 0530GMT

They have managed to get some forces through Nasiriyah, but increasingly this area is looking very difficult for US forces.

Overnight there was a rocket attack on the camp where I am, it took the whole place by surprise. The rockets came down in groups of four, there was shrapnel all over the place and in fact 20 marines were injured.

It's this kind of thing that's making it very difficult. They did get forces through Nasiriyah, but they want to keep the route open so they can keep supplies coming. But at the moment it's very difficult for them to do that.

The Iraqis are launching surprise attacks almost to try and wear the US forces down. There aren't any pitched battles.


Baghdad :: Andrew Gilligan :: 0509GMT

Was the explosion that killed 14 in Baghdad an Iraqi missile - I would be surprised to be honest, we haven't heard very much Iraqi anti-aircraft fire for days now.

We certainly didn't hear any in the immediate hours before this attack happened.

We heard about 30 bomb explosions. It seems the Iraqi TV service is off air again. We heard some extremely heavy bomb blasts.

At the moment the city isn't particularly badly damaged. The main thing that disrupted life in Baghdad yesterday was the most appalling mud storm, a combination of sand dust and heavy rain that made it almost impossible to go out.

The Iraqis are saying it's been sent by God to save them.

I do get the impression that people are sincere in a lot of their denunciations of the US. The people at that shopping parade yesterday were very angry indeed, and I think genuinely angry. People have started to get a lot more worked up about the US operation

They may not like Saddam a whole lot, but they may dislike the Americans even more.


Northern Iraq :: Jim Muir :: 0448GMT

In the part of Iraq where I am, there have been US special forces being brought in every night by air. There are hundreds here but not thousands.

It's not clear where this airfield is which paratroopers have reportedly taken tonight.

I think what we're seeing is a slow and steady build up of a northern front - albeit not on the scale of that first thought of when the US thought they could get ground forces through Turkey.

As for a push on Baghdad, I think we're talking at least a week away from anything serious happening on the ground - there needs to be more of a build up of forces.


Qatar :: Peter Hunt :: 0302GMT

Military officials have confirmed that they believe that the two dead bodies which were shown in television footage from Iraq, are those of the two British soldiers reported missing in action.

A spokesman said: "We are shocked and appalled by these close-up television pictures. It is a flagrant and disgraceful breach of the Geneva Convention.

"We have yet to undertake formal identification but it is probable that these are the two currently missing. Their next of kin have been informed that these soldiers are missing believed killed."


New York :: Susannah Price :: 0150GMT

The question of whether the UN will be involved in the administration of a post-conflict Iraq is seen as crucial.

Kofi Annan has been rather coy on this, he's basically saying it will depend on the Security Council.

But again there are divisions in the Security Council as to how they should get involved and to what extent. We know Britain is very keen, and that the United States would like it to have some sort of supporting role.


Qatar :: Peter Hunt :: 0050GMT

Central Command are now saying reports of 1000 Republican Guard vehicles heading south of Baghdad are untrue. The understanding on the ground was that they were heading to take on American forces.

Central Command is saying it has not happened and Republican Guard units remain dug in around Baghdad.

And now that US paratroopers have opened an airfield they will be able to bring in heavy aircraft that can bring in armour.

They were frustrated and robbed of that because they couldn't bring their forces in through Turkey.

Now a week into the campaign they are beginning to attempt to bring forces into there and open a second front and move on Baghdad from the north and the south.


The Pentagon :: Nick Childs :: 0009GMT

First elements of the 173rd Brigade have dropped into a location in northern Iraq.

They are going to be reinforced quickly by their comrades and equipment.

This is a very significant development in this campaign as America tries to establish a presence in this area.

They were hoping to have a much heavier force to drive overland through Turkey.


The movements of those reporting from Baghdad are restricted and their reports are monitored by the Iraqi authorities. Reporters with the US and British military are restricted in what they can say about precise locations or military plans. Click here for more details.



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