I thought I would open this thread for the benefit of people who might not have access to news outlets for prolonged periods of time, like while at work for example, in order to help keep everyone abreast of developments in Iraq as the final hours of the ultimatum approach. All I ask is that only information from news sources be posted and no editorializing or arguing about the war. This is just for bringing news to people.
Presently, coalition troops are beginning to move toward the Kuwait-Iraq border into TAAs (Tactical Assembly Areas). The Speaker of the House has just informed Congress that he has received notification from President Bush, in accordance with requirements of the resolution passed last year, that in the president’s opinion, diplomacy has failed and Iraq has showed no signs of complying. It is a three-paragraph document that is required for the president to have congressional authorization to use force.
There are rumors, reported by the BBC and others, that Tariq Aziz, Saddam’s Deputy Prime Minister, has been shot trying to leave Iraq. No one has yet confirmed the rumor, and some people suggest that it is disinformation intended to disrupt Iraqi morale.
Turkey has just given the coalition permission to fly over its air-space, but has denied the usage of US air bases in Turkey.
CNN reports that refugees have begun to “stream across” the Iraqi-Jordanian border. It also reports that Saddam has posted hundreds of armed loyalists in groups of three and four throughout Baghdad for the purpose of “maintaining law and order” as the invasion progresses.
Anthony Shadid of the Washington Post reports in an MSNBC interview that Baghdad is beginning to look like a ghost-town. He says that whole neighborhoods have been abandoned, leaving boarded up homes and store-fronts. He also confirms reports of Bath Party loyalists establishing positions throughout the city, armed with rifles, grenades, and small rockets. He says that no gas masks or other protective equipment has been issued to people who remain in the city.
MSNBC reports that General Tommy Franks, leader of the coalition, has returned to his post in Doha, Qatar. This is considered by some to be a sign that operations are imminent. Fewer than 9 hours remain for Saddam to leave. Personnel on aircraft carriers in the Gulf and in the Mediterranean have been ordered to sleep through the day and be prepared to be awake all night. 20,000 soldiers in the army’s 3rd infantry division have now taken up positions somewhere in the demilitarized zone between Iraq and Kuwait.
Fox News reports that President Bush, Vice-President Dick Chaney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, General Richard B. Myers (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), and other top military brass are huddling in the “War Room” at the White House. Kurdish refugees are beginning to arrive at the border with Syria, and Turkish troops and equipment have taken positions near the northern border between Turkey and Iraq. On the southern border, in the DMZ, mobile chemical and biological warfare labs have been positioned at the forefront of coalition troops. Rumors are that Saddam intends to poison bridges and roads with VX and anthrax agents.
Thanks, Bernse. And that’s not a dumb question at all.
Sometimes, the traffic at news sites is so bad that people can’t get in. That’s how it was during 9-11, for example, and a lot of people stayed updated here. I’m lucky enough that I have a TV going and can keep up with things pretty well. I’ll keep tab on the thread views, and if it turns out that I’m the only one going in and out of here, I’ll let it drop off into the back pages.
Right now, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer is holding a press conference. If anything new comes out of it, I’ll report.
Not necessarily. Some places have firewalls that block known time-sinks like CNN or other major news outlets. However, fewer Sys Admins seem to know about the SDMB, otherwise known as the biggest time vampire on the interent.
MSNBC reports that German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said that, despite his own opposition, the US may use German air-space as well as US bases in Germany as facilities for the war. The Pentago has announced that all ground troops at the front are wearing bio-chemical protection suits, and that all carrier vehicles and tanks are equipped with air filtration systems. A powerful sandstorm is presently sweeping through the DMX. Fighters on recognizance missions from the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt have just returned fire against Iraqi anti-aircraft positions.
(Sorry for the misspellings… I’m sort of typing as I look back over my shoulder…)
Fox News reports that 15 Iraqi soldiers have attempted to surrender near the border with Kuwait. When told that they could not yet surrender since no war had begun, they reportedly replied, “Well then, we quit.” Airborne forces are being mobilized in three unknown theaters.
I too thank you for your keeping up with the news here, Lib.
As an aside, here is an Air Force site that has plenty of AF info and a list of links to other Defense Department sites on the lower right. I was going to just post the Army sit, but it sucks.
Thanks, Meatros and Gorgon! Might be short-lived, but I’m glad you and others are finding the thread useful.
MSNBC reports that Red Crescent personnel are working furiously to prepare for refugees in Jordan. Between 50,000 and 100,000 are expected. Coalition forces have not yet sent the surrendering Iraqi soldiers (now said to number 17) back to Iraq. It is not yet known why.
CNN reports that the 17 surrendering Iraqi soldiers have been turned over to Kuwaiti Border Police since they cannot be held as prisoners of war. The reports have been confirmed now by the U.S. military. The military is braced for hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war in the first several hours of the invasion.