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Phase 1 of US Military Campaign Against Iraq Under Way - Gapfill

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Phase 1 of US Military Campaign Against Iraq Under Way
Greg LaMotte
20 Mar 2003, 12:19 UTC

The United States a limited strike at specific targets in and around Baghdad Thursday morning, in the first phase of action to rid Iraq of weapons of mass . Iraq responded by firing several missiles at .

At 5:30 a.m. local time Thursday, warning sirens wailed throughout Baghdad. Moments later, U.S. bombers and Tomahawk missiles began targeting what were described as "targets of ."

Iraq responded with anti-aircraft guns.

Iraqi officials claim several were wounded during the attack, although that has not been confirmed by sources. Police cars and ambulances were speeding through the streets of Baghdad shortly after the attack.

Hours later, several Iraqi missiles hit in the northern of Kuwait, but there were no reported .

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein appeared on national television three hours after the attack, pledging that Iraq would be victorious. It was not known if the broadcast was .

His information , Mohammed Said Kazin al-Saahaf, held a news conference and lashed out at U.S. officials, based on reports that Thursday's strikes targeted Iraqi leaders. "I am sure they are stupid and will never succeed," he said. "But at the same time, this is good proof that they are criminals, and they are killers, and they are believing in . So, I think they should be condemned."

According to the Cable News Network as many as 2.5 million leaflets were dropped by coalition forces Thursday morning. The leaflets reportedly contained a drawing of a man wearing a gas mask standing near an explosion. The leaflets told Iraqi military personnel not to use weapons of mass destruction, and said there would be if such weapons are used.

An expected mass has not yet been launched.

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