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Targets in Baghdad left in flames/Baghdad Photos

DurableTear

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Credit: MSNBC.com



Photo from CNN.com


Photo from CNN.com


Photo from Orlando Sentinel (Day 2)


Photo from Fox News.com


Targets in Baghdad left in flames


BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 21 ?? Serenaded by the screech of air raid sirens, the sky over the Iraqi capital flared with the flashing light of anti-aircraft fire Thursday as U.S. and allied forces pursued a second day of precision strikes that emptied the city?s streets and left the nation?s Planning Ministry in flames.

U.S. TOMAHAWK cruise missiles slammed into President Saddam Hussein?s main palace after dark during an attack that set buildings ablaze in three distinct areas of the city and caused massive explosions.

Missiles flew in at low altitude and hit a string of targets across the capital in what was the second wave of missile attacks for the beleaguered capital, which awoke at dawn to a narrowly targeted volley of U.S. bombs and missiles intended to take out the Iraqi leadership. During that initial attack, cruise missiles also hit Saddam?s family home, Iraqi radio said.

U.S. intelligence officials told Reuters they believed Saddam and perhaps two sons were inside the compound when cruise missiles and then a bunker-busting bomb struck. However, Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf said in a news conference Friday that Saddam survived the air raids.

NBC News? Jim Miklaszewski reported from Washington that dozens of U.S. bombs and missiles rained down on Iraqi leadership targets in just 10 minutes Thursday night. Other targets in the second wave of attacks included the Planning Ministry in the center of the city, which was reported to be on fire.

The entire western bank of the Tigris River, which cuts through the city, was shrouded in smoke. Several government ministries are on the west bank, and an office of Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz was among those reported to have been hit in the first attack. There was no word on the fate of Aziz himself.

The International Committee of the Red Cross reported to the U.N. secretary-general?s office that the morning attack killed one person and wounded 14 others in and around Baghdad, a senior U.N. official told NBC News, confirming reports from hospitals in the city. There was no immediate word of casualties from the nighttime strikes.??
??
? ? ??
A CITY AT WAR

Although U.S. officials said the attacks Thursday were not the impending full-scale blitz designed to psychologically batter Baghdad into ?shock and awe,? it was undeniable that the city was the capital of a nation under full-fledged attack.

Air sirens first began blaring about 5:30 a.m., and yellow and white anti-aircraft tracers streaked through the sky.

Strong explosions could be heard. Most seemed to be outside the city, but one was followed by a ball of fire toward the southern part of Baghdad.

Some of the morning strikes were aimed directly at Saddam himself. CIA Director George Tenet had told President Bush that U.S. intelligence believed it had a probable fix on the residence where Saddam and other Iraqi leaders would be sleeping in the early morning in Baghdad, U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity.

Those other Iraqi leaders were believed to include Saddam?s two sons, Qusai and Odai, but officials said it was unclear Thursday whether any of them were near the target or had been killed. Both sons hold high-level security positions in Saddam?s regime.?

A man who looked like Saddam, appearing subdued, showed up on state-run television after the morning air strike, accusing the United States of a ?shameful crime? and urging his people to ?draw your sword? against the invaders.

It could not immediately be determined whether the message had been recorded before the attacks, although U.S. officials said the broadcast appeared to be a fairly impromptu production. U.S. officials also were investigating whether it was Saddam who was seen in the video or whether it was a body double.

?We will resist the invaders, and God willing, we will force them to reach the limits where they will lose their patience and thus lose the illusions they have entertained,? the man, in full military uniform, said in an address peppered with citations from the Quran.
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DAWN PRAYER

The initial firing in Baghdad stopped after about 30 minutes, and the capital fell still. A mosque?s muezzin issued the call for dawn Islamic prayers. Soon after, anti-aircraft fire and distant explosions broke the silence, setting off car alarms.

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, a spokesman for the Information Ministry, said that coalition forces hit a customs compound and an Iraqi television facility in western Iraq and that they had jammed an Iraqi satellite television station. He said two civilian locations were hit south of Baghdad.

The streets were mostly empty of civilians and of regular army troops or armor.

Many people had streamed out of the capital Wednesday for the relative safety of the countryside. Nearly every store was shut, and many people taped their windows.

Some coffee shops and cheap restaurants were open, and even some of the city?s double-decker public buses were moving in very light traffic. Some children were out on the streets riding bicycles or playing soccer.

By 7:30 p.m., there was hardly anyone on the streets and only a few cars speeding off. But within 90 minutes, the squawk of air raid sirens filled the air again, and the attack was under way.

Although longer in duration than the barrage that launched the war only hours earlier, the second night?s bombing lasted barely 10 minutes, hardly on the scale of bombings during the 1991 Gulf War. Hundreds of armed members of the Baath party were hunkered down in the capital waiting for the United States to unleash its full might, but there was no indication of when that might happen.

The blast of the air raid sirens resumed once again later, but there was no further attack. F-14 and F-18 jets armed with missiles and bombs took off from the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the eastern Mediterranean Sea; their targets were unknown.
 

AJBurnett34

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Man! I wouldnt want to be Sadam with those bombings we are giving Iraq...
 

Das Texan

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Damnit....



That was like hell's fury unleashed.
 

cgator

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Its getting there.

Look for a bigger display. As was said today, "They don't seem to be convinced yet."

Wait for the B-52s to come in when the Republican Guard mistakingly decides they want to show some sort of resistance.

later.............
 

DurableTear

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More photos from today's massive bombing in Baghdad


Credit: Orlando Sentinel / Newsday, Inc. / Los Angeles Times / Associated Press / Abu-Dhabi TV



Photo from Newsday, Inc.


Photo from The Angeles Times


Photo from The Angeles Times


Photo from The Angeles Times


Photo from Associated Press/Abu-Dhabi TV


Photo from Newsday, Inc.


Photo from Newsday, Inc.


Photo from Newsday, Inc.
 

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