RealNews

War in Iraq begins

The United States and its allies have begun a war to disarm Iraq, U.S. President George W. Bush announced as anti-aircraft artillery was heard firing in Baghdad early Thursday — some two hours after Bush’s ultimatum to Saddam Hussein expired. “My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger,” Bush said in a nationwide television address at 10:15 p.m. EST, 6:15 a.m. Baghdad time. “On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein’s ability to wage war,” Bush said. “These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign.” The opening salvo of the war came around sunrise Iraq time with a limited number of cruise missile and precision-bomb strikes against key targets in Baghdad and elsewhere. A Pentagon official late Wednesday said the strikes were part of the “preparation of the battlefield.” Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke was officially mum on the operation, saying she could “not improve upon the president’s words.” CNN reported about two dozen cruise missiles and some F-117 Nighthawk fighter jets were unleashed against at least two time-critical targets — one in Baghdad and one south of the city — and they were attempting to target Saddam. Full Story

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