Saturday, April 05, 2003

The quagmire continues:

U.S. Army troops and armored vehicles entered Baghdad in large numbers this morning for the first time, military officials said, probing toward the heart of an Iraqi capital now ringed by U.S. forces.

After armored Marine columns pushed to the eastern outskirts of Baghdad on Friday and Army troops seized full control of the international airport, the U.S. forces appeared to have Baghdad and its 5 million inhabitants in a vise by day's end, with Marines in the east, Army brigades to the south and west and Special Operations forces blocking the main highway leading north.

This morning, two task forces from the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, with at least 20 Abrams tanks and 10 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, entered the city from the south. The force moved as far north as the Tigris River, near the city center, then veered west to the airport, Air Force Maj. Gen. Victor Renuart said in a briefing at U.S. Central Command in Doha, Qatar.
And no sooner do I finish saying that than this happens:

U.S. armored forces rolled into parts of Baghdad on Saturday, smashing through Iraq's Republican Guard to reach the ultimate destination of their two-week surge across southern Iraq. In one skirmish, Marines with bayonets battled Arab fighters from abroad in a marsh on Baghdad's outskirts.

While Iraqi television played patriotic music and soldiers and militiamen loyal to President Saddam Hussein vowed to keep fighting, resistance to the American onslaught seemed tenuous. The U.S. sweep left burning tanks and bodies of Iraqi fighters behind.

"American armored combat formations have moved through the heart of Baghdad, defeating the Iraqi troops we have encountered," said Navy Capt. Frank Thorp, a U.S. Central Command spokesman.
Oh, yeah, we're doomed.

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