American forces brake into Iraq from Kuwaiti borders
Iraq-USA, Military, 3/21/2003
The American land forces broke into southern Iraq following intensive artillery bombardment of the Iraqi positions.
An Iraqi military spokesman said that four Iraqi soldiers were killed and other six wounded in the attacks led by the USA. The statement did not clarify the conditions of killing the four military-men and whether the incident took place near the border with Kuwait. The source said that the American forces fired 73 Cruz missiles on Baghdad.
An officer in the US marines said that more that 1000 troops of the first contingent Marine force and the third contingent crossed the border and incurred for one and a half kilometers into the Iraqi lands escorted by tanks.
Meantime some 12 American soldiers and 4 British were killed of a helicopter crash while returning back to Kuwait after attacking Iraq.
The American 155 mm heavy artillery near the Kuwait- Iraqi borders bombarded the Iraqi territories. Army officers in the area said that more than 50 artillery of Baladen type of 30- Km range took part in the intensive bombardment operation.
This army officer added that crossing traffic of the borders was basically halted on Friday morning.
American officials said that these units crossed from Kuwait to southern Iraq in order to start ensuring positions for the deployment of the British and American forces gathered in Kuwait near the borders to the north.
However, the American officials who asked to be anonymous said that the move of the forces and the new wave of the air bombardment by Cruz missiles against Baghdad are not the main attack.
On the other hand, an Iraqi military spokesman said that one American helicopter was downed during this attack.
In a statement broadcast by TV, the spokesman said that an America Sikorski plane carrying soldiers and equipment was downed while trying to violate the Iraqi airspace to carry "out an aggressive operation."
On the other hand, the Iraqi radio said that the missiles which was launched in the American raids against Baghdad hit the residence of the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, especially the houses of his elder son and his three daughter, but none of them was hurt, according to the source.
News reports said that the bombardment targeted three governmental buildings on the western bank of the Tigris river. Eye witnesses said that the fire is burning in buildings around the ministry of planning, downtown of Baghdad.
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