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After Saddam: Full coverage

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  • After the fall of Baghdad, the focus of the war switched to the north of Iraq, where US special forces and Kurdish fighters had been closing in on the strategic cities of Kirkuk and Mosul

  • Both cities had also been bombarded by US air strikes during the campaign

  • Early on 10 April, the city of Kirkuk, centre of the country's largest oil field, fell to Kurdish fighters without a battle after the Iraqi army reportedly left in trucks or laid down their weapons

  • BBC correspondent John Simpson said he had been told the coalition had intended to attack Kirkuk a few days later, but Kurdish special forces entered the city on 9 April and started the downfall
  • US special forces then had to move in rapidly to establish a presence there

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