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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 9 April, 2003, 23:37 GMT 00:37 UK
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.

Most recent postings are at the top.

Wednesday, 9 April

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 2200GMT

The question "Where is Saddam now?" remains unanswered. But given the euphoric scenes of the day, it hardly seems relevant any more.

Washington D.C. :: Tom Carver :: 2145GMT

There's a personal sense I suspect for George Bush, who embarked on this after 11 September, calling this a battle between good and evil, something with very religious overtones. And I suspect that today he feels that a major blow has been delivered for the forces of good.

One got a sense of that from Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman, who talked about the freedom being expressed on the streets of Iraq not being a man-made concept, but a God-given doctrine.

Northern Iraq :: John Simpson :: 2122GMT

I've seen the Kurds fight in the past and they haven't always been that careful, that disciplined, that sensible. But this time they knew that something important was at stake, which is their part as strong and important players in the new Iraq. So they've simply followed American orders, done exactly what the Americans wanted them to do.

CentCom, Doha :: Nicholas Witchell :: 2110GMT

There is still resistance and the prospect of having to move up to Tikrit, the city north of Baghdad which is the redoubt of Saddam Hussein, where it is thought, possibly, he has fled to with his family.

There is the Adnan division of the Republican Guard said to be waiting in Tikrit. There are some 10 other regular army divisions up in the north of the country.

What will be the impact on all those forces of the information they must have gained from Baghdad, that there is no regime to defend any more?

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 2052GMT

Some American units ran into opposition as they swept into Baghdad. There may be Iraqi units who don't know it's over. There are certainly the die-hard loyalists, those whose personal fate is tied to Saddam.

Conquering Iraq was one thing, running it will be quite another.

Washington D.C. :: Justin Webb :: 2045GMT

There's been a low-key reaction in the White House, with spokesmen talking of an historic day, but warning that dangers lay ahead. The Vice President Dick Cheney is the only senior figure to have spoken openly of the war strategy being vindicated.

Basra :: Clive Myrie :: 2033GMT

The Basra Teaching Hospital is a testament to the pain of war.

It's one of the hottest days of the year here. This hospital is one of the best in the area. But times are hard. Power cuts and shortages of clean water plague every ward, every operating theatre. And soon the medicines will run out.

Baghdad :: Andrew Gilligan :: 2017

The war in Baghdad might not quite be over, as distant explosions tonight have made clear. But Saddam has been both actually and symbolically toppled.

It's now become as taboo to be in favour of Saddam, as it was taboo to be against him a few hours ago.

Amman :: Richard Galpin :: 1915GMT

The Jordanian Government has been praying this war would be over very quickly because it's been so pro-Western. And we've had such strong and angry demonstrations on the streets by the population.

As far as the reaction of the public so far, it's similar to Egypt. People are saddened, shocked and angry at Saddam Hussein. This man who they looked up to previously as a hero for his resistance and defiance as an Arab leader to the west, has suddenly it appeared, given up the fight.

Washington D.C. :: Nick Childs :: 1845GMT

There's still a message of caution from the Pentagon. Both the Defence Secretary and the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers, warned there were difficult and dangerous days ahead, with the prospect of more fighting and casualties.

North west of Baghdad :: Gavin Hewitt :: 1833GMT

The unit I've been travelling with say as they were coming back tonight they did see a little bit of looting going on.

Earlier in the day this unit was attacked, with probably between 30 to 40 rocket-propelled grenades. They took a couple of minor casualties, and killed some Iraqis.

Baghdad :: Andrew Gilligan :: 1733GMT

The capital is now gripped by unbounded joy and equally unbounded looting. Outside the smashed government ministries, middle-aged men wheel away their booty on office swivel chairs.

Relaxed US soldiers moved at will through the city, troubled only by the odd sniper.

Days of serious lawlessness, difficult months of reconstruction lie ahead, but for now the Iraqi people can hardly believe their freedom.

Qatar, CentCom :: Nicholas Witchell :: 1715GMT

This has been a vindication of the American strategy - the dash for Baghdad. It has also been a vindication for air power, because they pulverised the Republican Guard positions from the start.

American commanders are now saying that the combat phase of the war could be over in a few days.

But they are nervous, because the post-combat phase they may be less able to control. There could be a backlash from the north, or even from the people of Baghdad, released from a straightjacket after so many years.

Baghdad :: Andrew Gilligan :: 1625GMT

I've just gone and had a tour of the city and I'm starting to feel a little like the Queen, with so many people waving at me. One person was even waving a New Zealand flag - it has a Union Jack in the corner and I guess that was all he could get his hands on.

People are rushing up to tell us how much they hate Saddam.

The US troops near where we are at the media enclave at the Palestine Hotel are extremely relaxed. But further out they are on guard. They are screaming at people to get out of their cars and to wave white flags.

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 1610GMT

The straitjacket which has been around the Iraqi people has been broken. And the pictures that the White House and Downing Street were looking for took place in the square behind me. I saw one soldier with a crimson rose stuffed into his helmet by a local person. Other soldiers had dandelions in their combat webbing.

Cairo :: Heba Saleh :: 1555GMT

People are worried the Americans would appoint a puppet regime, one that lacks legitimacy. The Egyptian President just said it's very important that Iraq should be governed by Iraqis as soon as possible. And of course, then Arab public will be waiting to see if an American military government will be installed, and for how long.

Because they're likely to react very negatively to anything which looks like occupation.

Madrid :: Chris Morris :: 1551GMT

If UK Foreign Minister Jack Straw needed any reminder of the strength of anti-war opinion in Europe, he got it in Madrid. Spanish journalists walked out of a news conference after one question, about the death of a Spanish cameraman in Iraq yesterday. Their focus was not on the dramatic pictures from Baghdad, but on the American tank shell which killed one of their colleagues.

Qatar, CentCom :: Paul Adams :: 1538GMT

I want to tell you about some of the events that have been happening today. We had a call from our journalist colleagues in the Palestine Hotel earlier this morning. They said: "Our minders have left, there are men with guns all around, when are the Americans coming?" There was a sense of alarm.

In Doha we went around the corridors of CentCom and tried to find out what was happening. We were told to pass on this message: "Tell them to hunker down. They will be there soon."

Nobody imagined the Americans would get there so soon. Within a couple of hours there they were in the square outside the hotel.

It was a huge relief to all of us who were very concerned about what might happen in these final hours.

Also today something struck me about that moment with the flags - when an American flag briefly went up over the face of Saddam Hussein but soon came down.

I think someone may have got onto the radio and told those marines: take that flag down and put an Iraqi flag up. Because the real need now is to focus on the post-war settlement.

And finally, I don't want to sound like a party-pooper. But that was a small crowd celebrating in the square. Vociferous, yes, but not large. So officials are urging caution, there still might be pockets of resistance left to come.

London :: Guto Harri :: 1517GMT

An official spokesman from Downing Street has confirmed the Prime Minister is watching these pictures like so many other people today, and that he is excited about what he's seeing.

I would imagine Tony Blair feels pretty vindicated, although he is stressing that this is still a dangerous situation.

I think there must be a lot of smiles on faces in Downing Street today.

Washington :: Nick Childs :: 1502GMT

Everyone here at the Pentagon is glued to these pictures as well. There were cheers as the statue collapsed.

But there is an attempt to rein in expectations. As one official put it to me, you won't be hearing any victory speeches just yet.

The Pentagon don't know whether Saddam is dead or alive. Clearly while the images we are seeing may have an impact on some of the die-hards, knowing definitely where the man is would help much more.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1453GMT

The people are smashing the statue of Saddam Hussein to pieces and American marines are doing nothing to stop them.

These were the kinds of images President Bush and Tony Blair were hoping for, of ordinary Iraqis rising up. And the statue was taken down before the Iraqi people and captured by the world's media.

This kind of thing is happening all over this city. Pictures of Saddam are being defaced, statues are being torn down.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1448GMT

The engines are fired up. Here it comes! It's tipping! It's falling!

Iraqis are scrambling past the Americans marines to smash the statue of their leader. It's an expression of their rage and hatred.

They are jumping up on the statue. They are smashing it to pieces. They are chanting. Some of them are in floods of tears and emotion.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1441GMT

It is about to happen. The marines are giving instructions. The armoured personnel carrier is reversing.

This is the most symbolic moment. A 25-year rule is about to come crashing down.

People are throwing stones. They are chanting "death to Saddam". The statue is teetering on the edge.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1438GMT

The Iraqi flag is now tied to Saddam's neck. The soldiers are climbing down from the statue.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1435GMT

The American flag was put on the head of the statue, like a hood. There was a huge applause. I turned to one of my Iraqi friends and he said he wouldn't forget this moment for the rest of his life. It was the ultimate humiliation.

They've taken the flag down now, it may have been felt it was a little too much.

There's a man now on top of the armoured carrier. Now he's holding the old Iraqi flag. That has now raised a huge cheer. They are throwing flowers.

Baghdad :: Andrew Gilligan :: 1432GMT

I want to talk to you about my favourite Saddam statues, in anticipation they may not be here for much longer.

One of my favourites is a moody-looking Saddam on a tall plinth. And there are tiny little models of Margaret Thatcher, George Bush Senior and the President of France, Jacques Chirac cringing at his feet.

This is a memorial to what the Saddam regime called the American occupation of Kuwait - the first Gulf War. Now I imagine that will probably come down pretty soon.

There's another one by the telephone exchange saying "Saddam on the phone". They tend to be themed, these things.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1426GMT

They've pulled a huge chain out from the belly of the armoured vehicle, and that's what they're going to use to bring it down.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1419GMT

The marines have just told us the problem is that the cable needs to be around his neck to get the statue down. Now it's around his feet. So the armoured vehicle is now moving forward again.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1417GMT

There are ordinary Iraqis here, and American marines. The Americans are throwing their rations to the people. In any minute they are going to pull this statue down, it's a breathtaking moment.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1415GMT

Here it comes. It's not long now. The marine captain is just giving instructions to the soldiers. He's worried that if the cable snaps people will get hurt.

Everyone wants to be here for this moment of enormous symbolism.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1412GMT

I'm literally propped up on the side of the armoured vehicle which has come up to the statue of Saddam Hussein. They're now putting a wire around the neck of the statue and trying to pull it down.

American marines are trying to take pictures of this moment to take home to their families in the States.

It's about to come down.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1408GMT

I'm at the foot of a statue of Saddam Hussein where an American armoured personnel carrier has driven up. Some Iraqi men have been using a sledgehammer at the base of the statue to try and bring it down.

It looks like the Americans are going to help the Iraqis pull the statue down. It's just delirium here.

Cairo :: Heba Saleh :: 1348GMT

Still not a lot of reaction, I don't think the news has sunk in. But people I have spoken to have said these are crowds of looters welcoming the Americans and we're not seeing the whole picture.

To them an Arab country has been occupied by the Americans, even if some Iraqis are happy.

I think the government and other Arab governments will be thankful that pictures of hospitals overflowing with injured Iraqis are about to leave their screens. The absence of these pictures and pictures of bombing will probably dampen the angry spirits of those people, but will leave a certain sullenness.

Damascus :: Kim Ghattas :: 1344GMT

Syrian state television is not showing any of the pictures of Iraqis celebrating the downfall of the Saddam regime.

Obviously Syria is very much against the war, and after having warned about the consequences of the war, the state television has chosen not to show any pictures of jubilant crowds. They are keeping to their official line that the international community is still condemning the war.

But some Syrians watching al-Jazeera television in some of the shops are saying simply that it was "very bad" to see American troops in Iraq.

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 1327GMT

The Americans are certainly being welcomed here, as agents of the removal of President Saddam Hussein, if not welcomed as the people who are going to run this country for the next twelve months.

One Iraqi I had a long conversation with said "we are very happy that the regime is going, but we're very uncertain about what it's going to be like to live under American rule".

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1313GMT

A mixture in ordinary Iraqis of wonderment and utter relief. This day has been much more than about the Americans taking control. It's much more about the end of Saddam, and the end of his government, and the end of a quarter of a century of rule in which people lived in fear.

For young Iraqis this must be very strange, a bit like Martians landing. They have never known anything else.

There are hardcore elements holding out in pockets, but there's no overall government control in this city anymore.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1259GMT

I've been covering Iraq for six years and even after the war started I never had the image in my minds eye of what it would be like the moment I came across American, or for that matter, British soldiers. But now they're here it leaves you almost speechless.

It is an extraordinary sight. American soldiers in the very heart of Baghdad, and in the car park of the hotel from which we've covered this war.

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 1251GMT

To my right are some flats traditionally used by Iraqi security men, because these are government hotels. We did see armed men going into these flats this morning, and we were a little bit worried that it might be an ambush for the Americans. But the American troops are very relaxed.

Baghdad :: Andrew Gilligan :: 1242GMT

We always wondered whether the American tanks would roll up in front of our live cameras in time for the American morning TV shows, and they just about have - 0845 on the East Coast, 0545 on the West Coast. It is more or less picture-perfect timing for the Americans.

East of Baghdad :: David Willis :: 1231GMT

US Marines are moving into the centre from the suburbs. They're coming in from the east through an area called Saddam City where I am now. This is a Shia area, much of it made up of slums. Now these are not natural allies of Saddam Hussein in the first place, so their response to the presence of US Marines is probably to be expected.

Basra :: Hilary Andersson :: 1147 GMT

The looting is continuing. The city has descended into disorder. People are taking everything they can get their hands on. A lot of people are doing this because their livelihoods have been destroyed, through bombing or someone has looting their house, so they are now looting too.

What people are saying to us is: "A week ago we had order in our city, we had water, an administrative structure, and now the British have come and its descended into chaos".

The war has turned the people of Basra's lives completely upside-down. They can't really get to grips with the bigger political context of the end of Saddam's regime.

But the British already have an Arabic newspaper out on the streets today, trying to explain to the citizens of Basra what they intend to do about governing the country, and the message they are sending is the government will be Iraqi.

South of Baghdad :: Andrew North :: 1136 GMT

What the Americans are trying to do to win over public opinion in one local town is to try to solve the water supply problems, the electricity problems, and getting the local school going again. And it's proving quite difficult.

The water supply problem, for instance. They thought it would be a case of getting the generator up and running again, but it's not as simple as that.

The problem is that these are marines, they are combat troops. They don't have the full resources, the civil affairs specialists they need to address these issues.

Maqlub, Northern Iraq :: Demita Luthra :: 1131 GMT

There hasn't been any movement, the Turks have definitely built up their forces along their border with Northern Iraq.

They've said they're waiting there and will come in if there looks like there will be a refugee influx purely to help the refugees.

So far there haven't been any refugees and so far they've stayed on their side of the border.

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 1127 GMT

The Americans are able to move with ease around the city now.

However America isn't really popular here. Today they might be cheered tomorrow it might be a different story.

South of Baghdad :: Andrew North :: 1054 GMT

News is starting to filter down here of what is happening in Baghdad. In a way it confirms a mood change that I've seen over the last 24 hours.

People are really starting to believe that Saddam Hussein's regime is starting to falter.

Having said that, people are maintaining a cautious stance, they want to make sure the Americans are going to stick with them this time.

East of Baghdad :: David Willis :: 1046 GMT

The reports we're getting suggest that the Americans coming into Baghdad were hailed as liberators. There were crowds celebrating, giving flowers to the troops, locals coming out to shake their hands.

This is coming in from the Shia areas in the east, and those people are not natural allies of Saddam Hussein, so the response is to be expected.

In the north it's a different picture, in the Sunni areas - the pro-Saddam areas - the troops have had to fight their way into the outskirts. So this is not a straight-forward situation.

Maqlub, Northern Iraq :: Dumeetha Luthra :: 1040 GMT

A few burnt out trucks litter the newly taken positions on the Maqlub mountains. The overnight retreat was the result of heavy US bombing.

But still the speed of the retreat was unexpected. Maqlub was said to be a hub for air defence against air strikes, as well as a munitions centre.

A key strategic position up to now, it had been heavily defended. Kurdish officials said this time there was little resistance and their troops with special forces moved in easily.

The vantage point this gives over Mosul, officials say, will make it significantly easier to take the city.

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 1030 GMT

I think the mood here is still one of fear and one of caution, there are no Iraqi soldiers on the streets or Iraqi policemen,- they have disappeared from this part of town.

I think the authority of the regime is crumbling even here, although we do hear sporadic fighting from somewhere in the city.

The people are now worried about looting. They are worried about the predominantly Shia Muslims coming from about 1km away and going through the town looting things. People have bricked up their homes and their windows. The shutters are down.

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 1000 GMT

I have heard artillery coming in but I have got a feeling it is the Americans firing at isolated pockets here.

You have to remember that Saddam Hussein probably sent out his orders to his units before air strikes began, thinking his command and control and his communications would be destroyed. And there may be some organised units out there who like the Japanese after World War II don't yet know exactly what is happening.

There are those, too, whose fate is personally linked to that of Saddam - the Fedayeen, the top party officials and the true believers, the Baath party militias. They may be carrying on something of a fight.

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 0940 GMT

I have just spoken to an eyewitness who just come back from an enclave held by soldiers in the western side of Baghdad where there are apparently American tank shells landing.

We have had the sound of artillery intermittently behind us, and this might go on for days if not for several weeks.

It is a story, I think, of liberation in the east of this capital. You see the Shias cheering, beating their breasts, which is a characteristic expression that Shia Muslims make - which they have not been allowed to do here under the Sunni-led regime of Saddam Hussein.

There were reliable reports of people having been shot dead in the street for doing this.

What the crowds are saying is "we are glad that Saddam Hussein is gone or going - but we don't like the Americans , and what we want is to be able to rule our own lives."

I think the question here for the Americans is they can take Baghdad - but can they keep order here ?

Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 0910 GMT

I'm speaking to you form the small and shrinking island of territory nominally under the control of President Saddam Hussein's government. I say nominally under the control because the government officials that usually keep a check on us have simply disappeared. Other members of the regime are quietly shredding their government identity cards.

We have heard this morning the sound of sporadic machine gun fire from somewhere quite close to us.

That could be the die-hards, the true believers, the most loyal of the loyal putting up a last ditch resistance. It could be shopkeepers trying to defend their property from looters.

We're seeing pictures from Saddam City in the east now of a man hitting a picture of Saddam with his shoe and that is a great insult in the Arab world. I think now the authority of the regime has been totally destroyed. The death grip that Saddam Hussein held on this country for 25 years is about to be broken.

Caversham, Reading :: Mike Baker :: 0850GMT

We know most of the pan-Arab services seem to be saying there seems to be little regime control in Baghdad.

There is still no clarity about what has happened to Saddam Hussein. One intriguing report from an Iranian television station is quoting its correspondent there who in turn is quoting eyewitnesses saying that Saddam had left this restaurant that was bombed yesterday a few minutes before it was actually hit. But we still don't know where he is and whether or not he survived this.

There is real anger in the Arab media about attacks which hit journalists yesterday.

Baghdad :: Andrew Gilligan :: 0840GMT

In many parts of Baghdad the outcome George Bush and Tony Blair have been hoping for. Jubilant crowds chanting pro-American and anti-Saddam slogans have appeared on the streets.

Flowers have been thrown at US tanks and even where there are no Americans to be seen, in the Shia suburbs to the north, people have clearly decided the regime is finished.

Spontaneous demonstrations as well as looting and disorder have broken out. Saddam pictures are being torn up and there seem no Iraqi forces to stop it.

Our own government minders never turned up for work this morning, another part of the regime that has simply vanished.

It may not all be over. Some resistance may go on and with the breakdown of law and order possibly to come, the people of Baghdad may be entering dangerous times. But this does appear to be much closer to the end.

Basra :: Hilary Andersson :: 0740GMT

There are still sporadic threats of attacks by irregular forces around southern Iraq. In the city of Basra itself things are fairly under control militarily.

The British military has appointed an Iraqi civilian administrator and asked him to form a local government committee representing all the tribes in the area.

They want it to be seen that Iraqis will soon be running their own affairs, but it's a complicated business. This is a huge city and at the moment things are pretty chaotic, with the looting going on. There isn't a police force operating so there's a huge amount of work to be done.

Qatar, CentCom :: Jonathan Marcus :: 0730GMT

All the indications are that the decisive moment in this campaign is at hand.

Over the next 24 hours, the Americans are set to double the brigade size force that they already have deep inside the Iraqi capital.

US marines are already pushing along the Saddam canal to the north of Baghdad.

The plan is to advance along both banks from the north-west and the south-east. This will take the marines close to a predominantly Shia area of the city where there may be little love lost for Saddam Hussein's regime.

There is a sense here - I put it no stronger than that - that far from the regime's grip gradually weakening there may simply be no centralised command to destroy.

What you have is a patchwork of individual small units and groups of fighters who may continue to resist. But the Iraqi regime in an organised sense may simply be no more.

Basra :: Tim Franks :: 0715GMT

Coalition forces say that they are planning to hold a regional conference very soon to establish political leadership for the whole of southern Iraq.

Speaking exclusively to the BBC, the commander in charge of all British forces in the region, Major General Robin Brims, said the delegates would be drawn from local leadership committees across the region. Military sources said it may also include leading figures from the Iraqi opposition abroad.

In a sign of confidence that the emerging political leadership is to be trusted, the general said he himself may not even be present at this conference which is due to be held very soon.

Central Iraq :: Andrew North :: 0655GMT

It seems around here that there is really no sign of resistance now. The other significant development is that the US marine unit that I'm with has taken control of an armoured division headquarters in eastern Iraq, near the Iranian border.

They did this without a fight, without firing a shot - it appears that the Iraqi soldiers in the unit simply melted away, and this was a division that was probably up to 15,000 strong.

They had been using psychological operations to try to persuade these soldiers to give up and it does appear to have worked.

Basra :: Clive Myrie :: 0612GMT

It seems a little more stable here than it was yesterday.

The scenes that we saw were pretty horrific - with shops, hotels, restaurants being looted and systematically burned.

This went on late into the night and we understand the situation is a little bit easier today - but I think British forces are expecting more of the same, and the question is - will they step in and do anything about it?

They really don't want to get embroiled in trying to police this city. It is a huge place - 1.5 million people. They really don't want to be chasing looters down back alleys.

The British troops paramount role is to secure the city and to deal with any remnants of Iraqi forces, Iraqi paramilitaries and Fedayeen fighters who might still be around.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 0610GMT

It's been one of the quietest nights in the whole of this war. There has been very sporadic gunfire but no heavy artillery, no sound of warplanes.

It's eerily quiet here, it's a bizarre sort of atmosphere, as if the whole city is in some sort of strange limbo waiting to see what the Americans do next.

The mood among the journalists here is a bit stunned. We're all safe, we've all had a safe and quiet night. There was reflection last night and concern for our colleagues who are in hospital receiving attention.

There's concern for the journalists at the Al-Jazeera and Abu Dhabi's offices. There are still a large number of people in a basement at the headquarters of Abu Dhabi Television and no one has been able to get through to them.

US CentCom, Doha :: Peter Hunt :: 0535GMT

This whole talk about Saddam Hussein - is he alive or is he dead - is quite fascinating because on one level, people here in Doha aren't that fussed about it.

What they are happy about is that we are talking about it, it is being discussed, and it adds, they would argue, to the whole destabilising effect.

Amarah, Iraq :: David Loyn :: 0530GMT

American marines are consolidating positions in eastern Iraq taken without resistance on Tuesday. A force of 500 or so US marines newly arrived in Iraq made easy progress from positions in the centre of the country towards the town of Amarah in the east.

They are now close to being able to link up with British troops coming from Basra in the south, opening an eastern supply corridor to Baghdad.

Iraqi forces in this region appear to have melted away. At an abandoned airbase where we have spent the night, gas masks and other equipment to protect against a chemical attack litter the ground.

A substantial number of damaged Iraqi armoured vehicles show the effects of relentless air campaigns over the last three weeks.

Baghdad.:: Andrew Gilligan :: 0520GMT

It's been a relatively quiet night. We heard a certain amount of machine gun and mortar fire about an hour ago but it's all gone quiet now.

We've heard very few aircraft and relatively few bombs overnight which suggests to me, either that the Americans haven't done a great deal or that there has been less resistance.

The Americans control many important strategic locations on the west bank of the Tigris, that's where mist of the government Ministries and palaces are. On the east their control is much more limited.

There are a lot of problems with the water supply in the city and that's really very serious because very soon people will start dying from disease and thirst caused by lack of water.

Washington D. C.:: Ian Pannell :: 0420GMT

The US administration - and this dates from the Clinton administration - has had a great deal of involvement with Iraqi opposition groups, in particular with the Iraqi National Congress headed by Ahmed Chalabi. Now the history of that is there are people in the administration who have effectively gone off Mr Chalabi and don't feel he is the right person to represent the exile groups and in actual fact the opposition groups shouldn't have too much involvement.

The State Department isn't alone on this. Elements in the CIA and other key administration figures also feel that. Interestingly, somebody - it's one of those unnamed officials - has been briefing the press here on a CIA document which has been presented to members of congress which casts doubt on the Iraqi people's willingness to accept these exile groups forming a significant part in any new government.

However, certainly Donald Rumsfeld and even more so his deputy Paul Wolfowitz, are very close to these kinds of groups, in particular the Iraqi National Congress, and seem to have a much greater view of their role in any future interim authority.

It is interesting to note that Mr Chalabi who was operating in northern Iraq has been flown down by the US military to southern Iraq in and around the Basra area and is believed to be operating there.

Qatar, CentCom:: Dominic Hughes :: 0345GMT

Regarding the journalists who have died over the last 24 hours, coalition forces point out that they repeatedly warned journalists that Baghdad would be an extremely dangerous place to be if the coalition engaged the regime in combat.

So on the one hand they make these statements of regret which I think you have to take at face value as genuine, but they are also saying in some way: "We told you so."

London:: Liz Rowley :: 0130GMT

The River Tigris meanders through Baghdad roughly from north to south. It is the heart and soul of the city with 11 bridges crossing it. But, after Tuesday's fighting along its banks, it has now become a dividing line separating Iraqi-held and American-held territory.

The Americans control a large enclave on the West Bank. That's the administrative area of the city where some of the most important symbols of Saddam Hussein's power are located - lavish presidential palaces, key government ministries and Baath Party headquarters.

The East of the city is still in Iraqi hands. That's the commercial centre of Baghdad, the old part of the city and where most people live.

Inevitably, there have been civilian casualties but it's impossible to say how many.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it is concerned about the situation in Baghdad's hospitals where doctors say they are being overwhelmed by the number of casualties.

Qatar, CentCom:: Dominic Hughes :: 0110GMT

Militarily what we're seeing is the isolation of Baghdad. A spokesman here said to me a short time ago that coalition forces would continue to penetrate and probe the defences in Baghdad.

People here still say we expect tough fighting days ahead - they've had this line consistently for the past 72 hours. No one believes the Iraqis have just rolled over and gone away.

But you get the impression that they are surprised at how poorly organised the defence of Baghdad has been as a whole. There is no one, it seems, organising a grand defence of Baghdad.

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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