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  Daily Iraq update: week four
Updated 17 April 2003, 08.23

We have now stopped the daily updates, but you can read all the main stories and guides to Iraq in our special section.

You can also use the links to the right of this story to see what happened hour-by-hour during the war.

The most recent events are at the top of this page. All times are UK time.

Week four

Tuesday 15 April

6.35pm US Defence bosses say coalition forces now control Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit

5.50pm Tony Blair says, in principle, the United Nations must have a "key role" in re-building Iraq

5.10pm The new leadership of Iraq will come from meetings like the one held near Nasiriya today, says US Secretary of State Colin Powell

4.25pm US President George W Bush says victory in Iraq is "certain but not yet complete", and that "desperate and dangerous" elements are still there

2.30pm A US-organised meeting of Iraqi opposition leaders near Nasiriya ends with a vote to meet again in 10 days

11.40am Security is still a key concern in Baghdad, a BBC reporter says. There have been explosions all morning in the city.

9.35am US troops in Baghdad start handing out leaflets appealing to the people of the city stay at home during the night and to return to work in the daytime

8.39am Doctors in Kuwait say preparations are being made for 12-year-old Iraqi boy, Ali Ismail Abbas, - who lost both his arms in a coalition air raid - to be flown out of Baghdad for life-saving surgery

7.25am Rallies take place in Baghdad, with people calling for law and order to be restored in Iraq

6.40am British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw calls on Syria to co-operate with the US-led coalition, saying it has a chance to prove it is not a rogue state

3am The Australian Government says it is sending a team of 12 to help search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that it hopes to bring its 2,000 military personnel home soon

Monday 14 April

3.45pm US Navy officials say two of the three American aircraft carriers in the Gulf have received orders to leave

2.45pm Tony Blair outlines a three-point plan to re-build Iraq after the war - it's hoped there'll be full elections in a year - and he says there are "no plans to invade Syria"

2.40pm Tony Blair says Saddam Hussein's army has collapsed across Iraq and remaining resistance is coming from foreign irregular forces

2pm A White House spokesman warns Syria against secretly helping members of the Iraqi government and says "Syria is a terrorist state".

12 noon Five Iraqi police cars go out on their first patrol in Baghdad, escorted by US Marines

11.30am Operation in Tikrit was "really the only significant combat action" in the past 24 hours, US Brigadier General Vincent Brooks says

9.10am BBC correspondent in Tikrit says town is quiet with no sign of Iraqi resistance, lots of US troops there and shops boarded up

8.30am UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw tells the BBC that Syria is not "next on the list" of potential US targets

7.10am US forces secure centre of Tikrit - al-Jazeera television shows US tanks in main square

5.35am US sources in southern Iraq report Iraqi prisoners of war have tried to break out of a detention camp in Umm Qasr in the south-east of the country.

5.19am Republican Guard general in Mosul tells BBC that senior military figures have fled to Syria.

4.45am Efforts to restore order in Baghdad are stepped up, with joint patrols by US troops and local security forces.

4.00am A US military spokesman says the fall of Tikrit does not mean the war is over - smaller towns and villages have been bypassed during the rapid US advance north.

3.06am US tanks take up position in the main square in Tikrit.

1.45am Iraq conflict has led to North Korea softening its position on nuclear issues, say South Korean officials.

12.15am Fresh air strikes under way in Tikrit, as fighting continues between US and Iraqi forces.

Sunday 13 April

11.30pm Australian Prime Minister John Howard defends the war on Iraq as the only way to oust Saddam Hussein, a day after peace protestors marched through Australian cities.

10.25pm US marines exchanged fire with snipers in a building in Baghdad early on Monday close to the Palestine Hotel, home to foreign media covering the war on Iraq.

8.39pm Yemen grants asylum to Iraq's ambassador to Egypt, Mohsen Khalil.

6.48pm Ayatollah Sistani's office in Iran says the lives of senior clerics in Najaf are under serious threat and it is the responsibility of the US-led coalition to ensure their security.

6.10pm More than 30 boats, including the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior, stage a protest against the war in Iraq by sailing to and fro for two hours in the Spanish port city of Barcelona, sounding their sirens.

6.03pm Several hospitals in Baghdad are without water and electricity and short of medical equipment due to looting, the International Committee of the Red Cross reports.

5.33pm"We believe there are chemical weapons in Syria," President Bush says.

4.35pm Fire breaks out in Baghdad's National Library, home to Iraq's national archives, an AFP correspondent reports.

4.33pm Kuwaiti fire-fighters extinguish the last oil-well fire in Iraq's al-Rumeila field, just across the northern border, a Kuwait oil industry spokesman tells AP.

4.10pm A senior Kurdish official, Hoshyar Zebari, reports the arrest of Saddam Hussein's half-brother in an interview. Watban Ibrahim al-Tikriti was captured in a joint US and Kurdish operation north-west of Mosul, he said. No official US confirmation yet reported.

4.04pm US troops plan to mount joint patrols of Baghdad with Iraqi security forces, a marine spokesman tells AFP.

3.45pm Sounds of fierce fighting are heard from the direction of Tikrit, witnesses tell AFP.

3.24pm Heavy fighting erupts on the southern outskirts of Tikrit between US marines and Iraqi forces, a Canadian reporter with US troops reports.

2.50pmThousands of Iraqis are returning to Baghdad from the countryside where they sheltered from US-led air attacks, Reuters reports. A tailback of traffic stretching several kilometres is reported to the east of the city.

2.47pm US forces have yet to find conclusive proof that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction but several thousand sites remain to be searched, General Franks says.

2.31pm More than 90 Iraqi refugees are stranded at the Jordanian border in dire conditions, the UN agency for refugees (UNHCR) reports. The UNHCR is asking Jordan to allow them to cross.

2pm According to an unconfirmed report by AFP news agency, US marines say they have discovered 278 artillery shells carrying a substance which tested positive as a chemical agent.

1.55pm Kurdish refugees returning to Kirkuk are telling Arab families living in their former homes for more than a decade that they must leave or be kicked out, a BBC correspondent reports.

1.45pm US commander General Franks says the war in Iraq is not over yet despite all the advances made, and it will continue until all pockets of resistance are overcome.

1.16pm Unconfirmed Kurdish reports say coalition forces arrested a half-brother and advisor to Saddam Hussein, Watban Ibrahim al-Tikriti, as he was attempting to cross the border into Syria. He is on the coalition's wanted list.

1.09pm US Defence Secretary Rumsfeld says he has no doubt that some Iraqis from the ousted regime have fled to Syria.

1.05pm Israel lowers its state of alert over the war in Iraq, telling citizens they no longer need carry gas masks and keep a sealed room in their homes.

1pm US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dismisses claims by Amir al-Saadi, the arrested scientific adviser to Saddam Hussein, that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction.

12.45pm US tanks and armoured personnel carriers roll into Kirkuk to boost security there.

11.37am US General Tommy Franks says US forces are moving on Tikrit and "there was not any resistance".

10.59pm Six American prisoners-of-war have been rescued by marines north of Baghdad, reports say. The US war commander, General Tommy Franks, says the six "appear to be healthy".

9.53amMosul seems to be calming down after looting and violence, reports the BBC's John Simpson in the northern city. US troops are patrolling the streets, a few shops have reopened and some looters have even returned stolen goods, he says.

9.38am US marines are advancing rapidly towards Tikrit, the home town of Saddam Hussein and the last remaining Iraqi city outside coalition control, US military spokesman Captain Stewart Upton said.

8.30pm Gunmen are surrounding the home of Iraq's leading Shia cleric in Najaf and have given him 48 hours to leave the country or face attack, reports say.

7.08am Abducted Malaysian journalists are reported to have been released unharmed.

6.02am UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will travel to Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to discuss rebuilding of Iraq, officials say.

5.05am US forces use air patrols over Baghdad for the first time to try to improve security.

3am China calls on the US to restore law and order in Baghdad as a matter of urgency, after its embassy in the city is looted.

1.45am The United States sends home the B-2 Stealth bombers it sent to the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia for the Iraq war - a sign that air war may be winding down, says BBC Pentagon correspondent Nick Childs.

Saturday 12 April

4.29pm Reports from Mosul say 15 people have been killed and at least 200 injured during fighting between Arabs and Kurds in the city.

4.27pm Red Cross officials say US troops in Baghdad have begun steps to protect humanitarian facilities, securing a hospital and a water treatment centre against looters. Reports say American forces plan to introduce a night-time curfew as soon as they can.

4.17pm US troops in Baghdad fight off an attack by about 15 gunmen on the west bank of the Tigris in a 20-minute battle. One marine is killed by a gunman on the east bank, at a hospital near the Palestine Hotel.

4.12pm US forces re-open two strategic bridges in central Baghdad, and crowds of looters surge across on their way to parts of the city not already looted.

4.01pm Group of Seven economic powers call for a United Nations Security Council resolution on Iraq as part of the post-war effort to rebuild the nation.

3.50pm Thousands of peace campaigners march through the streets of central London in protest at the continuing war in Iraq. Large protests also take place in Rome, Berlin and Paris, and in Dhakar, Calcutta and Tehran.

3.53pm Situation in Mosul has turned into an extremely ugly street battle between Kurds and Arabs, a BBC correspondent reports.

3.37pm US command says fighting in the Iraqi town of Qaim, near the western border with Syria, is dying down with reports that Iraqi leaders want to surrender.

3.10pm US marines take the town of Kut in eastern Iraq, possibly opening up a new supply route to Baghdad from the south, a BBC correspondent reports.

3.05pm About 200 US troops in Mosul are forced to withdraw to the civil airport after coming under attack.

3.00pm Reports speak of heavy shooting in central Baghdad, near the Palestine Hotel in which many foreign journalists are staying. The BBC's Arabic Service correspondent says US tanks are firing towards the River Tigris and the north of the city.

2.26pm US plans to cut the number of its aircraft carriers in the Gulf soon, according to the war's naval commander Vice-Admiral Timothy Keating. He says the USS Kitty Hawk may leave the Gulf "in a couple of days, maybe a little bit longer".

1.44pm German TV says a senior adviser to Saddam Hussein has surrendered to US forces in Baghdad.

12.53 Private Jessica Lynch, the American prisoner-of-war rescued from an Iraqi hospital, is on her way back to the US from Germany with other injured personnel, a military spokesman says.

11.40am A rewards programme is being established to encourage Iraqis to give information to coalition forces to help them to capture key leaders of Saddam Hussein's regime, says US Brigadier-General Vincent Brooks.

10.59amUS marines say they have found dozens of "suicide vests" packed with explosives and ball bearings stored at a school in Baghdad.

10.52am Hundreds of Iraqis demonstrate in central Baghdad demanding urgent action to stop the wave of lawlessness sweeping the city, a BBC correspondent reports.

10.46am Turkey's Foreign Minister, Abdullah Gul, says his country sees no immediate need to send troops into Iraq but adds that the soldiers remain on standby.

10.11am United Nations staff will return to northern Iraq on Monday, to be followed by more teams of international workers heading to the west and south of the country, according to the UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq.

9.45am An airfield near Tikrit was attacked by a B-52 using a new targeting system - the first time the laser-guided "Litening" technology has been used in combat, US commanders say.

9.30am US military officials say marines recovered four journalists from a hospital in Baghdad. One was dead, one was unhurt and two were taken to a field hospital for treatment.

8.07am The BBC's Paul Wood in Baghdad says violence is now taking place across the religious divide, with Sunni Muslims fighting gun battles with their Shia neighbours.

7.49amUK troops hope to start patrols with local police in Basra to calm civil disorder, according to a military spokesman, Group Captain Al Lockwood.

6.58 US reinforcements reported to have reached Mosul.

6.40am Overnight air strikes reported against Tikrit, said to be the last remaining stronghold of loyalists to Saddam Hussein.

4.52 Kurdish soldiers begin leaving northern city of Kirkuk which they seized on Thursday.

2.22am Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammed al-Douri, leaves the US, Reuters news agency reports. He is heading to Paris, and then on to Damascus, Syria.

2.00am An official overnight curfew declared by US forces in the city of Mosul is due to end, at 0600 local time.

Friday 11 April

7.45pm US President George W Bush says the war is over when his top soldier General Tommy Franks says it is. He says he does not know whether Saddam Hussein is alive or dead, but that he has certainly lost power

7.29pm Medical staff and civilian volunteers are defending some of Baghdad's hospitals with guns because the looting is so bad, a BBC correspondent reports

7.25 pm Russian President Vladimir Putin asks why coalition forces have not found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

7.22pm Russian, French and German leaders call for a central role for the United Nations in rebuilding Iraq

6.29pm US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the media coverage of the Iraq war is too often about looting and violence and not freedom

6.03pm The US releases new casualty figures for Iraq war: 107 US troops killed and 399 wounded or otherwise injured

4.15pm Television pictures show government and commercial buildings on fire in Baghdad

1.30pm Jay Garner, the retired general picked by the US to oversee the creation of a new Iraqi administration, says his first priority will be to set up a new police force

11.45am Britain is beginning to scale back its forces in the Gulf, according to Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram. Some personnel have already returned and others will return shortly

11.36am Baghdad's international airport will be opened to humanitarian flights "soon" but risks remain, says US Brigadier-General Vince Brooks

11.13am The US has identified 55 leaders of Saddam Hussein's regime it will "pursue, kill or capture", according to General Brooks. He said some of them were trying to leave Iraq and coalition troops had been given playing-card-like guides to identify the "most wanted" people.

10.03am Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, describes the US-led war as an aggression against Islam, though he adds that Iran is happy to see the end of Saddam Hussein's regime.

9.50am General Tommy Franks, commander of US forces in Iraq, says the leaders of Saddam Hussein's regime are dead or trying to flee

745am Television pictures show people looting cash from a bank in the centre of Mosul

7.23am Two Iraqi children have been shot dead by US marines at a checkpoint in Nasiriya; nine other Iraqis were injured when the marines shot at a car which failed to stop

4.43am Iraqi defenders reportedly abandon northern town of Mosul.

1.04am US military says its warplanes have dropped six JDAM "smart bombs" on a home west of Baghdad of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's half brother Barzan Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti. He used to head Iraq's secret police.

Thursday 10 April

10.20pm US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says small numbers of US troops and Kurdish forces are moving into Iraq's third city of Mosul after signs of Iraqi surrenders in the area.

09.25pm A senior Pentagon official says Kurdish forces went into Kirkuk against a specific US request not to.

6.27pm The top official of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Barham Saleh, tells the BBC that the two main Iraqi Kurdish parties have agreed to withdraw their forces from Kirkuk

5.40pm The Pentagon says aid deliveries to Iraq have dramatically improved

4.56pm There are reports that several ministries have been set on fire in central Baghdad amid widespread looting.

4.30pm The US strongly condemns the murder of a leading Shia Muslim cleric in Najaf

3.40pm At least four US marines are injured in an apparent suicide bombing attack near a military checkpoint in Baghdad

2.52pm Important Iraqi Shia leader Sayyid Abd al-Majid al-Khoei are reported to have been murdered in the central Iraqi town of Najaf. Relatives of Mr al-Khoei - who went back to Iraq from exile earlier this week - say he was stabbed inside the Imam Ali mosque.

2.12pm President George W Bush's spokesman Ari Fleischer reassures Turkey by saying that US forces "will be in control of Kirkuk", not Kurdish fighters.

2.00pm UN Secretary General says Kofi Annan says Iraqis have paid a heavy price for the fall of Saddam Hussein's government. He says the main priority now is the getting back law and order.

1.53pm A Baghdad hospital is looted and other hospitals in the Iraqi capital are closed because of the street violence and looting, Red Cross spokeswoman says.

1.52pm Syria calls for an "end of the occupation" of Iraq "so that the people of Iraq can choose their government freely" in a statement released by the Syrian Foreign Ministry.

1.05pm A crowd in Kirkuk topples a statue to Saddam Hussein.

1.00pm UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush talk to Iraqi people directly on a new TV station called "Towards Freedom", promising that power in the country will be given to the Iraqi people.

12.13pm Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul says he has been told by US Secretary of State Colin Powell that fresh US forces will be in the northern Iraqi town of Kirkuk within a few hours.

10.50am UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush to make a speech to Iraqi people directly on Thursday on a new TV station called "Towards Freedom," Mr Blair's office says. In pre-recorded statements both leaders promise new freedom for Iraqis.

10.30am Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul says Ankara is watching events in northern Iraq closely.

10.05am US military says fighting around mosque in north-western Baghdad has ended.

9.15am Kurds seen looting buildings in Kirkuk, making off with trucks piled high with fridges and other goods.

8.32am A BBC journalists in outskirts of Kirkuk reports chaotic celebrations in street as Kurdish fighters and US special forces enter the northern oil city. The fighters say they control city centre, but there is still some Iraqi resistance.

7.35am US B-52 bombers pound Iraqi division dug in near Kirkuk in north.

7.00am Marines search mosque after heavy gun fire from large group of Iraqi defenders - one marine killed, at least 13 wounded, US military says.

5.30am Heavy fighting breaks out close to one of Saddam Hussein's palaces. A convoy of US marines is under heavy fire from a large group of Iraqis. There rumours Saddam might be inside.

3.30am A series of loud blasts are reported in Baghdad, apparently coming from the city's outskirts.

1.50am US military is moving more giant Moab bombs to the Gulf area, news agencies report.

1.10am Latest Pentagon figures show 101 US soldiers killed and 399 wounded in Iraq, with seven being held as POWs.

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