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US, British Forces Move Quickly to Secure Key Military Targets and Oil Fields

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US, British Forces Move Quickly to Secure Key Military Targets and Oil Fields
Meredith Buel
21 Mar 2003, 17:33 UTC

U.S. and British forces are capturing in southern and western Iraq, moving quickly to secure military targets and oil fields.

U.S. Marine raises flag over new port area of Umm Qasr -->
Pentagon officials say American and British soldiers have captured two key airfields in western Iraq called H-2 and H-3 without encountering much . Officials say the airfields could be sites where Iraq is keeping Scud missiles or weapons of mass .

Coalition soldiers are encountering both hostile fire and white flags in their race across the desert toward Baghdad and Basra.

British soldiers have secured the Faw on the Persian Gulf, where strategic oil facilities are located. U.S. Marines have captured the port in the southern Iraqi city of Umm Qasr. Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers have surrendered, while others have fired at advancing coalition troops.

U.S. military officials are reporting the first combat of the war. They say a U.S. marine was killed in fighting during an advance on an oil field in southern Iraq.

Earlier, eight British and four American soldiers were killed when a U.S. Marine helicopter crashed in northern Kuwait.

There were no reports of fire in the area.

Pentagon officials are denying claims by the Iraqi military that its anti-aircraft batteries shot down a U.S. or British warplane during an air raid Friday.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon released a saying water could be used as a weapon in the Iraqi military . Defense officials say Iraq could deliberately use flooding by releasing water from or destroying dams. The Pentagon says Iraq used this tactic to deter Iranian troop advances during the Iran-Iraq war.

Defense officials say such a move could thousands of Iraqis, causing a major crisis.


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