War News Roundup -- 11:00am 3/21/03


Battle flares at Nassariyah outskirts where coalition’s northward advance Friday afternoon faces first serious Iraqi armed resistance. Main allied force presses on leaving unit behind to engage Iraqi force.

Fresh flare-up of US-Turkish military frictions. Ankara holds back permission for American over-flights in reprisal for US denial of Turkish troop entry into northern Iraq.

Ankara also furious over US joining forces with Kurds for northern oil fields takeover.

US-British coalition troops advance rapidly on all warfronts Friday, clearing way to Baghdad and northern oil cities. Northern and southern oil fields are reported secured by US forces. US special forces enter Kirkuk oil fields Friday to flush out Iraqi troops

American forces capture west Iraqi H-2 and H-3 air base complexes from which Scuds missiles fired at Tel Aviv in 1991

In the south, US Marines take key port of Umm Qasr. One Marine is killed in battle. The Faw Peninsula on the Gulf has fallen to British Marines. Both were launching sites for Iraqi missiles that hit Kuwait Thursday. Friday, Kuwait army units enter Umm Qasr and hoist flag. Sooner after, siren alert sounds in Kuwait City.

Eight Britons and 4 American troops were lost in CH46 helicopter crash over Kuwait Thursday.

Friday, American-British armored infantry column that crossed in from Kuwait is pushing north past big southern port of Basra towards Euphrates crossing and road to Baghdad.

Several oil wells are still blazing at Rumailah south of Basra. British defense minister Hoon says Iraqis set up to 30 wells alight.

Eight giant US air force B-52 bombers, capable of carrying 30 tons of bombs, take off from British RAF Fairford air base due in Gulf Friday evening

Overnight Thursday, American cruise missiles struck Baghdad, starting fires in several parts of city.

In the north, Kurdistani Bamerni airfield passes from Turkish to US control. American forces landing there Friday are driving towards Kirkuk and Mosul.

Some US units are linking up with Kurdish PUK and KDP militias in Kurdish town of Kalak for joint assault to capture Kirkuk and its oil fields.