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Last Updated:  Saturday, 29 March, 2003, 04:07 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.

Friday, 28 March

Most recent postings are at the top.

Kuwait City :: Ryan Dilley :: 2330 GMT

There has been a large explosion near a shopping mall and large crowds of people are gathering. Police are cordoning the area off and the chemical weapon detectors from the Czech army have turned up in their full kit.

There are up to 1,000 people around but they do not have gas masks on. There was no air raid siren before the blast.

There are very chaotic scenes. There are parts of a missile scattered around the area - there is a green metal section probably about a metre across.

The front of the al-sharqiah cinema has been damaged and chunks have been taken out of the brickwork, but there appears not to have been a big impact.

Jassim Sadeq, who was inside the mall, told me: "I heard a very big sound, an explosion. There was a big shaking.

"There were echoes but only one explosion. We were told to stay inside in case there was danger.

"When I was finally allowed out the car park was full of police. There was thick smoke hanging in the air."

London :: James Robbins :: 2230 GMT

There has been a lot more almost public dispute between generals and politicians particularly in Washington about the nature of the strategy.

People are very clear that the allies have a problem - and the root of the problem I think is that they haven't really got a handle on the Iraqi people - they don't quite understand the nature of Iraqi fear.

These are a people who, let's remember, have lived for 20 years under an incredibly repressive , violent regime. Most young people don't remember anything before Saddam Hussein. Now that fear is magnified . I think most Iraqis don't know how they want this war to end - they just do want it to end.

Baghdad:: Rageh Omaar :: 2215 GMT

The explosion that took place only a few minutes ago was about half a mile from our hotel.

It seems to have come from somewhere near the main offices of Iraqi radio and television - but I still see that it is on air and presumably they are still finding alternative means of maintaining the Iraqi leadership on the airwaves.

Basra:: Ben Brown :: 2210 GMT

The British troops here are in a dilemma - do they go into Basra and face street by street fighting, or even house by house fighting ?

And let's face it - that would be on their enemy's terrain - terrain they would know much better than the British troops.

Or do they hold back and effectively just besiege Basra ? That's exactly the same dilemma that American troops are going to face when they get to Baghdad.

What the British are doing is hitting Ba'ath party headquarters, both in Basra and in surrounding towns. Now, The way commanders here have described it is using the analogy that really Basra and Iraq is like the human body - the body is healthy but the head - the Ba'ath party, the regime, is diseased. They want to cut off the head - decapitate the regime.

If they do that, they believe that the people of Basra and other cities will rise up. That is fine in theory - but in practice so far it hasn't happened.

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 2115 GMT

The hospitals have been clearing the non urgent cases out of for weeks now to cope with the injured.

With these very large number of casualties - we don't know the exact number, but clearly it is a large number - they will be under enormous strain.

People are arriving to try to find news of missing relatives. Of course the truth of this incident is vitally important to establish but the pictures are already going out across the Arab world - pictures of mothers wailing, slapping themselves, distraught with grief.

Pictures of children swathed in bandages, pictures of the bodies and the emotion of these pictures I think will overwhelm whatever arguments come out of the US Central Command to people in the Arab world and people in Baghdad.

And of course it helps president Saddam Hussein when he says this is not a struggle for the regime, for himself, this is a struggle for Iraq - a national struggle. It will be a rallying call for him.

Doha, Qatar:: Michael Voss:: 2110 GMT

Eight days of fighting and the end is not in sight. Iraqi resistance has been dogged and at times dirty, using civilians for cover and hospitals and health clinics as weapons sites.

Despite fierce fighting, coalition troops remain in control of key bridges across the Euphrates but are paying a price to keep the supply lines open.

Already some fifty British and American servicemen have died. With the sandstorms over, air superiority may help to turn the tide. Military planners must now decide whether to push ahead in the battle for Baghdad or wait for reinforcements to arrive.

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 2016GMT

The Iraqi information ministry has said a large number of civilians have been killed in bombing in Baghdad.

The casualty figures still have to be verified but, if what the hospital doctors are saying is correct, this could be the largest loss of life of the air campaign so far.

The explosions are being blamed by local people on a cruise missile. There is no confirmation of that. The nearby hospital has taken in most of the dead and wounded.

Whether it was a cruise missile - and if it was - whether there was a military target nearby, has still to be established.

But for the people of Baghdad it is being seen as just a further example of civilian life being taken recklessly by the United States.

South of Basra :: Andrew Harding :: 2002GMT

Iraqi troops have been trying repeatedly to surrender to coalition forces but are being prevented from doing so by their own commanders.

This happened at an Iraqi military compound about three miles south east of Basra.

It started with an artillery barrage by British forces. Immediately afterwards a group of Iraqi soldiers raised a white flag indicating that they wanted to surrender.

But that never happened. During the course of a confusing afternoon, the white flag was raised a further three times. On each occasion, Iraqi reinforcements arrived and the soldiers, perhaps 300 in all, lowered the flag.

British troops who watched this, believe this proves that many Iraqi conscripts are desperate to surrender but are being prevented from doing so by commanders who travel round the front lines in civilian cars and taxis urging or forcing their troops to fight on.

The Pentagon :: Nick Childs :: 1921GMT

We heard a public warning, if you like, from Donald Rumsfeld to two of Iraq's neighbours - Syria and Iran.

He said there had been information of shipments of equipment, including night-vision goggles, crossing the Syrian border into Iraq.

In terms of Iran, he said there were reports that evidence of several hundred Iraqi dissidents with loyalty to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard having a presence in Iraq.

In the latter case they considered that an unhelpful act. And in the case of the shipments was a hostile act.

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 1908GMT

Local people are saying that 55 are believed to have died in a bombing incident on a Baghdad market place.

Very little else is known. We haven't had an opportunity to go yet.

But when the first reports of the Shaab district bombing happened a couple of days ago, people there were talking about 45 or 50 dead.

This attack which is alleged to have happened two hours ago is being blamed on a cruise missile.

New York :: Susannah Price :: 1858GMT

The United Nations has voted unanimously to pass a resolution reactivating the suspended oil for food programme, which had been a lifeline for more than half the population.

The programme allows Iraq to use billions of dollars of oil revenue to buy food and medicine for civilians.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has launched an appeal for 2.2 billion dollars to provide aid to Iraq over the next six months.

South of Basra :: Clive Myrie :: 1811GMT

We're getting snipets of information about what's going on in the city.

It seems that people are still trying to flee the area. They're having problems getting food and water.

And Iraqi positions within the city are being shelled by coalition forces.

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 1709GMT

The Iraqis have been preparing for US attacks on the media for a long time.

They've always thought it vital to keep the image of President Saddam Hussein visible and constantly in front of his own people.

I expect the coalition will come back to hit these targets again.

We've seen telecommunications towers going down and the Iraqi will come back again with relief transmitters.

Biara, northern Iraq :: Jim Muir :: 1701GMT

Thousands of Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters supported by US special forces have overrun the main strongholds in the mountains of north-east Iraq of the Ansar al-Islam.

Ansar al-Islam is an extremist Muslim group accused by both the Americans and the Kurds of having links with terrorism and al-Qaeda.

After an operation which began at dawn, Peshmerga forces said they had captured all the main centres held by the Ansar, who had controlled a string of around forty villages and small towns in the mountain area.

Tehran, Iran :: Miranda Eeles :: 1640GMT

Thousands of Iranians have been demonstrating in the streets against the war in neighbouring Iraq.

It is the first major anti war rally to be held in Iran since the United States and Britain started attacking Iraq just over a week ago.

The protest which was state organised, continued outside the British Embassy.

A hard core group of demonstrators threw stones at an embassy building, smashing around 35 windows.

South of Basra :: Clive Myrie :: 1635GMT

There have been a number of skirmishes as British Marines attempt to destroy Iraqi bunker positions to the north of our positions along the Basra road.

There was a particularly heavy fire fight last night. It lasted about an hour. It involved 40 Commando troops pursuing Iraqi troops.

I think the Marines here are encountering the kind of resistance that they expected. But they believe they can deal with it and continue to push north.

Northern Iraq :: Jim Muir :: 1619GMT

We understand there have been some retaliatory rockets strikes by the Iraqis on the town of Chamchamal.

This is about half way between the Kurdish held city of Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk itself.

Amman :: Richard Galpin :: 1534GMT

Hundreds of people marched through the narrow streets of this historic town after Friday prayers, chanting slogans against the United States and Britain.

They also said leaders of the Arab world who had given support to the American and British forces were traitors. The Kuwaiti government were singled out for particular abuse. Amongst the crowd were politicians and former ministers, who described the invasion of Iraq as an attack on both the Arab people and the Islamic world.

A senior member of the Jordanian Ba'ath Party, told us that more than ten thousand people had now signed a list volunteering to go to Iraq to help defend the country. He said they wanted to leave immediately and appealed to the Jordanian government to let them cross the border.

But it's highly unlikely the government would allow anyone to travel to Iraq to fight the American and British forces. Jordan enjoys close relations with both Washington and London.

Cairo :: David Bamford :: 1508GMT

Thousands of Egyptians have marched in the capital Cairo in protest at the American-led invasion of Iraq.

The mood was tense and the emotions raw as worshippers streamed out of al-Azhar mosque and headed towards the city centre. Effigies of President Bush were burned, along with the American, British and Israeli flags.

Loud-speakers blasted messages condemning the deaths of Iraqi civilians. Police lines stretched across the road at the edge of the Old City, where the main mosques are situated, in case the demonstrators tried, like last week, to break through to the modern city centre.

Moscow :: Nicholas Walton :: 1454GMT

Russia has kept up its criticism of the US-led attack on Iraq. Mr Putin said the crisis was the most serious the world had faced since the end of the cold war and a threat to global security. He went on to say that the situation was in danger of rocking the foundations of stability and international law and warned that with every hour the killing and destruction was increasing.

Southern Iraq :: Hilary Andersson :: 1420GMT

We've just heard more about the 2000 civilians who were trying to flee Basra this morning. We've been told in the last few minutes by British troops that they have now destroyed the Iraqi paramilitary positions and vehicles that supposedly opened fire on the civilians.

British ambulances have now been able to get through to treat the wounded. A handful of civilians were injured, but so far there are no reports of any deaths.

Central Iraq :: Gavin Hewitt :: 1401GMT

I'm embedded with the American troops, but on the other side of the road Saddam Hussein's regime is still in power. Forces from within the city are attacking the American convoys, and this is slowing the advance towards Baghdad.

The morale amongst the troops is pretty good. Everybody I've been travelling with feels up to the task they've been given. But this morning at 7am we were listening to the radio, and we heard General Wallace say this might be a long campaign, and that troops had encountered unexpected resistance. Then I detected some nodding of heads, and there was a sense that this was true - this wasn't what had been expected.

Of course none of the troops have had a shower for ten days, and there are no hot meals. People have to live off meals "ready to eat" which are military rations. There are frequent sand storms, and the sand is lethal on the equipment.

The other day the unit I was with, was engaged in some action when some Iraqi forces tried to ambush them. The Americans tried to use their guns, but some of those guns didn't work in the sand storm.

For both the soldiers and for everybody, it's a hard and unforgiving environment. One of them said to me: "there's no mercy in the desert".

Doha, Qatar :: Paul Adams :: 1328GMT

I think there is a serious re-examination of tactics going on here at central command.

I think the forces were just not prepared for the kind of guerilla warfare they have encountered as the troops move north.

But what do the military strategists do now, press ahead with the troops they have to Baghdad, or wait on more troops to arrive.

The outcome of that debate is not yet know but it is a very important one.

Bahrain :: Dominic Hughes :: 1257GMT

For the third successive day there have been protests held here against the war in Iraq. The demos have steadily grown across this island state during the last week.

The latest demos have been angry. Another one is due to begin within an hour.

Sir Galahad, Umm Qasr :: Owen Bennett Jones :: 1251GMT

We've just arrived in Umm Qasr. The trip was fine. There was some anxiety about the mine threat, and the captain felt there was also a threat of suicide small boat attack, but there was heavy protection for this boat as it went in. A minesweeper in front, a patrol boat behind, helicopters in the air, inflatable RIBS with mounted machine guns on the side, and with that escort it managed to make its way here.

The ship will now be unloaded presumably quite fast. It feels secure here - people seem relaxed. Just looking out at the dock, it seems calm.

But this dock is about the only part of southern Iraq that is secure. So it could be difficult to distribute the aid on board.

Wimbish Barracks, Essex :: James Blatch :: 1242GMT

I am at the HQ of the 33 Engineer Regiment in Essex. This is a unit in mourning today for their two colleagues killed in action near Basra. Sapper Luke Allsopp, 24, and Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth, 36, were members of the specialist bomb disposal unit.

Sergeant Cullingworth's wife and two children live here on the base.

This morning you can see the flags inside the front gates of the barracks at half mast.

The families of the two men had been told on Sunday that they were missing in action presumed dead.

That was later confirmed and pictures of the two dead soldiers were shown on the Arab TV channel Al Jazeera.

Northern Iraq :: Jim Muir :: 1238GMT

The battle to dislodge the radical Ansar-al-Islam group got underway in earnest at first light. More than 5000 Kurdish guerrillas had been mobilised for the campaign, they began pushing from the west along several axes towards the mountain strongholds held by the Ansar.

American Special Forces were meanwhile on strategic hill top locations providing some mortar and artillery fire, and calling in air strikes from jets which were circulating almost constantly over the rugged mountains.

As the battle continued, loud explosions echoed through out the area, plumes of black smoke rose into the sky. This battle is taking place in the harshest terrain, with the rugged peaks which mark the border with Iran still mantled with snow.

Nasiriyah :: Andrew North :: 1210GMT

It seems that the coalition forces are taking the gloves off here as the fighting continues.

I'm told they have bombed the HQ of the Ba'ath party and a regional army headquarters here.

An Iraqi general was taken prisoner of war last night, I believe he surrendered to the US forces.

Tehran, Iran :: Miranda Eels :: 1203GMT

I've just been at an anti-war demo in Tehran. It started after Friday prayers. There were tens of thousands of people there.

They gathered in Revolution Square, where there were anti-war speeches and the US flag was set on fire.

There was also criticism of the UK's role in the war. A small group then broke off and made their way to the British Embassy in the city, a walk of about fifteen minutes from the square.

They threw stones at the windows and a pot of red paint was also thrown at the building.

The group were dispersed by the police. I have just left there now and it is all quiet again.

Amman, Jordan :: Lyse Doucet :: 1159GMT

Today in Jordan they're expecting demonstrations in every single town and city, even in towns that have never seen protest before. It's not surprising given the newspapers people wake up to here.

The newspapers across the Arab world tend to display the views of the Iraqis, rather than the promises coalition forces.

One front page summarises Arab opinion. On one side it shows a picture of Palestinians suffering because of an Israeli action - a bulldozer - on their homes, and on the other side, another picture of an Iraqi suffering because of attack by American plane on his home.

Central Iraq :: David Willis :: 1133GMT

The Marines are now dug in here, they've not moved since the shelling overnight. Their supply lines seem severely stretched. Several infantry men told me they are now down to one meal a day. This is a high tech army which relies on logistics. It seems it needs to settle down for a couple of days while logistical demands are answered.

Sir Galahad :: Owen Bennett Jones :: 1109GMT

The port of Umm Qasr is being de-mined by dolphins attached to cameras. Apparently they go down and see something suspicious, then come back and tell their handler there's something suspicious. He then gives them an explosive charge, they take it down, put it next to the suspicious object, come back, it blows up, and then they go down and look at it again!

It sounds implausible, but the Australians are using them, and everyone around here - including a very senior American commander - says it works. I hope to see it for myself when the Sir Galahad gets to Umm Qasr.

Southern Iraq :: Tim Franks :: 1058GMT

We've now learned that British forces apparently tried to send ambulances in to treat the injured civilians who were fleeing Basra, but they couldn't breach Iraqi lines.

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 1034GMT

At one point, about 3 o'clock in the morning it almost felt like a small earthquake here. The room I was in shook for a sustained period - four or five seconds.

We believe that was a four and half thousand pound so-called "bunker busting bomb" dropped on a telecommunication installation half a mile away. Also, over the River Tigris a missile struck the main shopping street in Baghdad and destroyed the telephone exchange.

It was clearly an attempt to take out what allied forces see as communications also being used by the Iraqi military.

Military experts say that a "hard line", a copper wire running through the ground, is the best way for commanders to talk to each other in the field. It's very hard to tap into, it's not like a satellite signal which can be intercepted. That is why in the Kosovo conflict NATO forces destroyed telephone exchange in Pristina.

The allies here have been very reluctant to do this, because they haven't wanted to target infrastructure. They haven't wanted to alienate the people of Baghdad, but now they are having to do it.

Sir Galahad :: Owen Bennett Jones :: 1012GMT

We are moving up the channel, which is 50 miles long very narrow. We are half way up the channel now. It is hoped we will arrive there in three or four hours.

The ship is being heavily protected, both around us in the water and from the air.

There is a mine sweeper just in front of us too. The captain says he is confident he will get to Umm Qasr and be able to deliver this ship load of aid for the Iraqi people.

Southern Iraq :: Kylie Morris :: 0953GMT

A British military spokesman says there are civilians who have been injured while trying to leave Basra. Attempts are being made to get medical assistance to them.

Southern Iraq :: Tim Franks :: 0819GMT

According to a British military spokeswoman, between one thousand and two thousand civilians tried to leave Basra en masse. Those people were, in the spokeswoman's words, 'engaged' by Iraqi militia. The civilians turned back and returned towards the city.

As a result, the Black Watch battalion of Britain's 7th Armoured Brigade, which is sitting to the south and west of the city, started firing at the local militia. The fighting, we're told, is still continuing. The episode does not in itself indicate we're at a decisive military stage in the battle for Basra; it does suggest that conditions are bad enough in Iraq's second city for that number of civilians to try to flee.

Southern Iraq :: Tim Franks :: 0756GMT

We've just been told that 1000 to 2000 civilians were trying to leave Basra when they were fired on by local Iraqi militia and forced back. The British forces then engaged the Iraqi militia and fighting is going on.

HMS Ark Royal :: Matthew Price :: 0752GMT

The bodies of three British servicemen killed in action in the Gulf at the weekend have started their journey home to the UK. To date, just four of the bodies of the seven dead have been recovered from the sea.

The ship's crew gathered on the flight deck, a faultless blue sky above them. At the stern, Ark Royal's ensign at half mast. As the ceremony began, the ship's vast lifts brought three coffins up from the hangar below. Coffin bearers from 849 squadron slowly carried the coffins to a waiting Sea King helicopter.

A firing party fired a volley of shots. The Last Post was sounded. Then the deck of Ark Royal cleared, leaving behind the remaining members of 849 squadron. Time for a final goodbye as their three friends took off from the deck one last time.

Central Iraq :: David Willis :: 0723GMT

I'm about 100 miles south of Baghdad. Last night the starlit desert sky exploded with light, at times the ground shook beneath us. US Marines pounded targets they believe are linked to the so-called Fedayeen, militia men fiercely loyal to Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath party.

Earlier I witnessed a devastating assault on a complex in which Fedayeen members were thought to be holed up. First bombs F14 Tom-Cat planes dropped 500 lb. bombs, then mortars were fired at the target, followed by artillery rounds.

By the time the Marines had finished the complex was completely levelled to the ground. The Marines are now dug in, their supply lines severely stretched.

There's an edginess here following a string of ambushes and attacks. The greatest challenge is discerning friends from foes.

It's said a group of Marines open fired on a civilian vehicle at a check point after hearing what they thought was a gunshot. It later emerged the car had backfired. All three occupants of the car were killed.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 0712GMT

There's a huge enormous crater in the road which I passed this morning, left after a night of extensive bombardment.

An enormous bunker buster was used in the city centre overnight, the hotel shook, the windows rattled and the whole building swayed. It looks like it came straight into the ground and left this huge hole.

A large amount of bombs dropped on government buildings and presidential sites but also on communications buildings.

This is the first real impact on a civilian infrastructure. I understand some phone lines have been knocked out. The ability of people to stay in touch with their family and friends will have been affected.

Iraqi TV is still on the air and despite the continuing attacks on transmitters and TV buildings, they are finding alternative methods of keeping state TV on air.

Daytime life is continuing as normal, traffic is busy on the streets despite the fact that it is the Muslim holy day when most people are stay at home.

I can still see smoke on the horizon, civilians are out on the street and shops are open. Despite the onslaught people are still believing in their city.

I have been to a briefing this morning with the Minister of Defence. He said that the coalition troops have not taken any major urban centre, which we know is true. He said that he expected Baghdad to be encircled within five to ten days. He warned they would have to fight for the city, street by street.

Baghdad :: Andrew Gilligan :: 0704GMT

It has been a very heavy night of bombing in Baghdad.

These were the loudest explosions we've heard and it was genuinely frightening here. I was on the 17th floor of a tall hotel and you could feel the building moving to and fro. It really was very scary.

We know that two telecommunications centres were hit during the night. I have been out to see one of them and it is completely mangled.

I managed to get a telephone call through in the city this morning, so some of them are still working.

Southern Iraq :: Kylie Morris :: 0700GMT

There's a sense there has to be some kind of move to get the humanitarian aid into Basra fairly soon, but at the moment the forces say their main aim is to get the Ba'ath party out.

British forces say they've destroyed Ba'ath headquarters there, and that they're picking off "aggressive patrols" against unconventional fighters in that area. There is still a lot of pressure on Basra by British forces, but at the same time they are hoping that Iraqis will gain confidence in their presence and perhaps take action themselves.

Nasiriyah :: Andrew North :: 0650GMT

Forces here are saying they've captured an Iraqi army general in his home. They're also saying they found documents and a safe and they've taken that away. I actually saw the safe a short time ago, and they're planning to blow it up so they can see what's inside.

In Nasiriyah overnight the scale of Iraqi resistance has subsided a bit, it's not as serious as it has been, probably because of heavy bombardment that was going on most of yesterday.

But from talking to quite a few Marines here, they are admitted that the way this conflict has been going has worn them down, it wasn't the kind of fighting they were expecting, and it has affected morale.

Southern Iraq :: Hilary Andersson :: 0643GMT

We've just heard that in some of the towns, Safwan for example, that Iraqis are not only holding up white flags, but also black and green flags. This is being interpreted as people who want independence for their country, that these people are anti-Saddam.

They are now trying to identify paramilitaries within these towns and are trying to root them out.

Southern Iraq :: Jonathan Charles :: 0618GMT

I was talking to one American Marine - Staff Sergeant Eric Young - a few minutes ago.

He was saying they find it very frustrating because every time they engage Iraqi units they often find these Iraqi units just change into civilian clothes and then melt away.

And then next thing they know the Americans are being hit from behind by civilian Iraqis - obviously these men who have changed into civilian clothes and are now guerrilla fighters.

Southern Iraq :: Hilary Andersson :: 0615GMT

The British forces have quite a significantly sized prisoner of war camp.

They are, I think, about 2,000 prisoners in there.

The British forces say they are being very well treated, that they are giving them food, huge numbers of cigarettes.

Different reports coming from the types of prisoners - some of them from the regular army are more relaxed with the British forces.

RAF Sir Galahad :: Owen Bennett- Jones :: 0546GMT

The Sir Galahad is approaching Umm Qasr with great caution.

Teams of minesweepers, some working with dolphins, have cleared a channel 50 miles long but only 200 metres wide.

The Sir Galahad is moving up the channel slowly, following the route taken by a specialist mine-hunting vessel.

The captain of the Galahad says he's emptied the fuel tanks at the rear, just in case.

Northern Iraq :: Jim Muir :: 0520GMT

Ansar-al-Islam are a home-grown Islamic extremist group, most of them are Iraqi Kurds who went to Afghanistan, fought against the Soviets and obviously got mixed up with the Taleban and Al Qaeda.

They have an agenda of Islamic extremism, they're blamed here for a number of attacks, including most recently just a week ago a car bomb attack where an Australian cameraman was killed, just the latest of a large number of similar attacks.

As far as the Kurds are concerned they have a very big bone to pick with them, and that coincides with America's interest based on the claim they are linked with Al Qaeda.

Qatar :: Paul Adams :: 0505GMT

We now know that the airbase at Talil, outside Nasiriya that was captured in the first 36 hours of the campaign, is now operational.

They've spent a couple of days clearing debris off the runway. It hasn't been used since the Gulf War.

The first transport planes have flown in to that airbase, which will make a huge difference to that logistic chain the Americans can use as they get supplies to their troops much further up to Baghdad.

We will see the use of that airfield very extensively in the next few days.

We also know the first elements of the 101st Airborne Division are also deploying into southern Iraq, possibly to another airbase.

New York :: Susannah Price :: 0421GMT

The deeply divided Security Council appears to have united to agree on the urgent need to resume aid to Iraq.

The members have drawn up a draft resolution that will give the Secretary General, Kofi Annan, control over the crucial Oil for Food programme, previously jointly run by the Iraqi government and the UN.

The programme allowed Iraq to sell oil to buy food and medicines for more than half the population.

Diplomats here called it the largest humanitarian assistance programme in the history of the United Nations.

Qatar :: Peter Hunt :: 0404GMT

No-one here wants to be involved in a time and duration issue. What military officials say is they are very conservative, they have never been the ones who created the expectation of a short war.

But the expectation was created in London and Washington. The talk had been of Baghdad taken in a few days, jubilant Iraqis in the street. That hasn't been the reality on the ground.

There were some 60,00 troops earmarked to be available on day one of the campaign to come in to the north of the country. That plan had to be put on hold when Turkey didn't give permission to use its land to enter land to be used. They have been standing idle and are available.

They will come in very useful particularly if as President Bush has hinted this war lasts for several weeks if not months.

The Pentagon :: Nick Childs :: 0158GMT

The Pentagon continues to face criticism that it hasn't got enough forces in Iraq.

Senior defence officials still reject the charge. They say there are now 90,000 US-led troops inside Iraq, and they insist the 100,000 to 120,000 personnel that will be deployed over the next few weeks, including heavy forces, were already in the pipeline, as they put it.

Most of these forces were put on alert to deploy three weeks ago. Just what they do when they arrive will depend on where things stand in the campaign.

Qatar :: Peter Hunt :: 0030GMT

More than a week into this war and a pattern is emerging, not of capitulation and liberated cheering Iraqis, rather of American military might being intermittently frustrated as it pushes towards the capital.

Indeed, a senior officer with the American Fifth Corps is quoted in the Washington Post as saying "We didn't know they'd fight like this."

Coalition forces will be hoping that with the sand storms gone, they'll be able to regain the initiative.

Their troops on the ground have continued to encounter stiff resistance around Najaf and Nasiriya, where the Americans want to keep a bridge open on this important supply route north and the Iraqis want to frustrate them.

New York :: Andrew Marr :: 0005GMT

The American administration is quite deeply split about the United Nations as an institution: "Is it worth it? Is it worth anything? Has it collapsed to the status of the League of Nations?".

There are plenty of voices around George Bush saying "just ignore the thing, put in your military administration, civilian administration, contracts for American companies, and if the French and the Russians bleat let them bleat".

Tony Blair sees it completely differently - the UN should be in early and in deep, and that should be part of the binding and healing process.

There is a big disagreement I think about the medium term way Iraq is going to be rebuilt. However, as we've been saying, they have an awful lot on their plates before they get to the reconstruction.

There is a certain amount of deconstruction still to be achieved.

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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