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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 March, 2003, 21:39 GMT
Iraq crisis hour-by-hour
BBC News Online charts developments in the Iraq crisis hour-by-hour as President Bush's deadline nears for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq or face military action. [All times GMT and approximate]

Wednesday 19 March

1950 The Pentagon confirms new air strikes by the US and British planes against what it says are surface-to-surface missiles and artillery in the no-fly-zone in south-eastern Iraq.

1650 The US says 17 Iraqi soldiers surrender to American forces on the Kuwaiti border.

1600 US President George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair hold a 20-minute telephone conversation.

1600 Opponents of the use of force against Iraq - notably Germany and France - restate their objections at a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.

1540 Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix in a briefing to the council expresses "sadness" that it had not been possible to produce the assurances needed about Iraq's arsenal.

1430 The secretary general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, says military action against Iraq would be outside international law.

1120 Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says Italy will provide political but not military support for a US-led military assault on Iraq.

1100 Jordan's national airline - the only commercial airline with regular flights to Baghdad - reportedly cancels flights scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

0900 Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak blames Iraq for bringing the Gulf region to the brink of war, but warns that toppling Saddam Hussein is not the solution.

0730 The Iraqi parliament opens an emergency session with a rejection of the US war ultimatum.

0715 Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says "there is every chance" that a war against Iraq will begin on Thursday.

0507 South Korea declares support for the US policy and says it may send non-combat troops to contribute to the war effort.




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