Battle Reports -- Note aircraft "missing"


23 March 2003

British aircraft missing Sunday morning following mission in Gulf region. No information on what type of plane or where it disappeared. UK has lost 14 men in two helicopter crashes since Thursday.

Grenade attack in Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait Saturday night killed one American soldier of 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, injured 12, three seriously.

Member of unit, suspected Muslim American, rolled three grenades into three command tents. Unit was due to leave Sunday morning for front

Saddam is shown on Iraqi state television early Sunday praising bravery of commanders and soldiers and demanding UN halt and condemn attacks on Iraq

More explosions in Baghdad Saturday night. Pentagon: Allied forces fired 500 cruise missiles, dropped several hundred precision-guided bombs into Iraq during Saturday. Giant US B-52 bombers take off again from RAF Fairford base in UK for second Gulf mission in two days

DEBKAfile Military Sources report American column moving towards Baghdad carefully skirted Shiite town of Najaf 165 km south of Baghdad Saturday.

Iraqi TV reports of big US-Iraqi battle around town in which Iraqi commander killed are suspected bid by Baghdad to show Shiites Americans are out to seize their cities which Iraqi soldiers are dying to defend.

Battle tale is attempt to rouse Shiites to fight Americans in South

Twenty US supply ships with US 4th Infantry Division tanks and equipment are redirected from Turkish waters to Gulf through Suez Canal after Washington finally abandons Turkish option for Iraq war.

IST 17:00 Iraqis ignite oil trenches around Baghdad as allied columns advance on capital

Australian journalist and three Kurdish fighters killed by car-bomb in north Iraqi Kurdistan Saturday, believed Ansar al Islam attack, hours after al Qaeda-linked group's enclave hit by 70 US missiles. Three ITV news crew members still missing Saturday after coming under fire on way to Basra. One crew member injured and made his way to safety

Iraq War Commander Franks does not know if Iraq can still fire ballistic missiles into Israel or other neighbors. Two dozen Scud launchers unaccounted for since 1991 and no 100pc certainty of preventing firing. Six surface missiles were fired into Kuwait in last 72 hours, four intercepted by Patriots.

Senior Israeli military source Saturday: While encouraged by allied advances in western Iraq, Israel is sustaining current high preparedness since Saddam still capable of extreme and harsh retaliation.

As to reports of crippling injury to Iraqi leadership in Baghdad bombing, source sees no sign Iraq is in leaderless state

US truck convoys transport hundreds of floating bridges from Kuwait into southern Iraq. DEBKAfile: Bridges prepared to carry allied forces across marshes northwest of Basra on way to strategic confluence of Tigris and Euphrates Rivers