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  US military says it controls Baghdad Airport
Updated 04 April 2003, 07.27
US forces met little Iraqi resistance
US forces have taken control of much of Baghdad's international airport, according to US military bosses.

They fought their way into the airport - called Saddam International - after heavy bombing on Thursday, but are still checking it over.

But the top US military officer, General Richard Myers warned that there were "still a lot of tough fights ahead".

Control of the airport is important for a number of reasons:

  • It shows everyone how close the soldiers are to Baghdad
  • They can also use it to fly in supplies for the troops
  • It can be re-named Baghdad International, a big dent in Saddam Hussein's control
  • It will be much more difficult for Saddam Hussein to escape Iraq by air

Around 1,000 US troops were used in the mission, while there are reports of 320 Iraqis being killed.

Saddam Hussein was on Iraqi television again
Saddam Hussein was on Iraqi television again
Other US troops are said to be less than seven kilometres (four miles) away from the centre of Baghdad.

There were not many Iraqi soldiers opposing the US troops, and experts are starting to wonder where they have all gone.

Some think lots of the soldiers are hiding in Baghdad itself, waiting for the US soldiers to move into the city before fighting back.

The Iraqi soldiers would like to fight inside Baghdad because they know the area better and because they know coalition soldiers have to be very careful not to hurt civilians.

Other main points:

  • British troops reported to be within four miles of Basra city centre
  • Kurdish fighters in the north of Iraq have taken more land from Iraqi forces

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