DEBKAfile Intelligence - Iraq Opens Euphrates River Flood Gates!

31 March 2003


US Patriot shoots down Iraqi surface missile fired from south of Baghdad against Najef 100 miles away. Missile thought al-Samoud intercepted before hitting US troop concentrations. Earlier Kuwait Patriot downed Iraqi missile.

Pentagon: Iraqi commando forces still present in parts of western Iraq offering potential for ground missile launch.

Sunday, Israeli defense minister said state of war readiness remains in place.

US Intelligence believes Saddam’s cousin - Gen. Ali Hassan al Majid, “Chemical Ali” and nephew called Rakan were killed in allied targeted attack Monday on Iraqi military convoy near Ash Shatra

US CENTCOM: Seven Iraqi women and children shot dead by coalition troops when car carrying 13 civilians failed to halt at checkpoint north of Najef. Conflicting reports on incident under investigation

Street battles continue in Hindiya to secure Euphrates bridge 50 miles from Baghdad day after US 101st Airborne units broke through Iraqi defense lines to town that straddles river.

Heavy US artillery fire heard in southern Baghdad as massive non-stop air blasts rock city

Iraq opened Euphrates-Tigris floodgates in path of US troops advancing on Baghdad

US Marines capture huge Iraqi munitions depot of forty warehouses in south-central Iraq.

Saddam Eyes Endgame, Gathers in His Elite Forces - DEBKAfile Special Analysis of war's turning-point below

Powell warns Syria to stop backing Iraq. In second US warning to Damascus in week, Secretary says Damascus takes responsibility for its choices and its consequences.

DEBKAfile: Tehran-backed Iraqi Shiite leaders tell community not to rise up against Saddam or support allies – but wait to collect spoils from victor