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War Tracker: March 27, 2003
Forces



WAR UPDATE BATTLEFIELD
AIRSTRIKES
• U.S.-led forces unleashed one of the heaviest bombardments on Baghdad overnight, sending clouds of smoke rising into the air. The airstrikes came as coalition forces opened up a northern front and their campaign in the south continued. Full Story | premium content Video
• Pentagon sources said two 4,500-pound GBU-37 "bunker-buster" bombs were dropped Thursday on a target in Baghdad from a B-2 stealth bomber. It marked the first time the bombs have been used in this war.
• With the forces on the doorstep of the Iraqi capital, Iraq's information minister said Baghdad would be the "graveyard" for coalition troops. Full Story
• Improved weather let U.S. planes focus airstrikes on Republican Guard units south and northwest of Baghdad, Pentagon sources said. Full Story | premium content Video
• B-52 bombers struck a convoy of Iraqi military vehicles overnight before they could reach U.S. Army troops in Najaf, about 60 miles south of Baghdad, CNN reported. U.S. Air Force air traffic controllers told CNN that the B-52s "pounded" the convoy "almost into oblivion." Full Story | premium content Video
• Coalition forces destroyed an Iraqi missile launcher near Basra believed to be responsible for missiles fired against Kuwait, military sources told CNN.
Weapons: 3-D models, descriptions and more
BATTLES
• About 1,000 U.S. soldiers from parachuted into Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq Thursday. An airlift of troops, tanks and equipment began once the airfield was secure. Full Story | premium content Video | 173rd Airborne Brigade
• About 30,000 troops from the Army's 4th Infantry Division and other units will leave Fort Hood, Texas for Iraq in a few days, and another 100,000 ground troops will be deployed next month, Pentagon officials said Thursday. Full Story
• After braving nearly constant fire for 72 hours, the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division fighting near Najaf got a break Thursday -- reinforcements got a chance to go to the back of the line for a short respite. Full Story | premium content Video
• British forces near Basra face "stiff opposition" from Iraqis, a British commander said. Full Story | premium content Video
• British military officials said they found chemical weapons suits when Iraqis abandoned a facility in southern Iraq. Full Story | premium content Video
• The Republican Guard are positioned in rings around Baghdad and Saddam Hussein's ancestral home of Tikrit, the U.S. Secretary of Defense said Thursday.
Gallery: War photos | Audio Slide Show: In harm's way
Weapons: 3-D models, descriptions and more
CASUALTIES
• Coalition deaths in the war total 47.
Killed in Action: List of coalition fatalities
• Iraq's health minister said Thursday more than 350 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the war. CNN cannot verify Iraq's claims. Full Story
• Military officials said 14 Marines from Camp LeJeune were wounded in fighting around Nasiriya.
POWs/MIAs
• Twelve Marines with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force were listed as missing amid fighting near Nasiriya, military officials said Thursday.
• Iraq has executed some prisoners of war, the Pentagon's No. 2 general said. There are seven known U.S. prisoners of war. Full story | premium content Video
Who are they? Coalition POWs/MIAs
ON THE SCENE
Sadler: U.S. troops fall from sky
Savidge: Digging in with Marines
Nettleton: Parade of C-17s
More On the Scene reports

U.S. MILITARY DEPLOYMENTS

Note: Pentagon figures. The numbers do not include U.S. troops already stationed in the Persian Gulf region.
HUMANITARIAN RELIEF
• The World Health Organization is distributing health supplies in northern Iraq and is seeking permits to travel from Baghdad to Basra, where lack of access to clean water threatens Iraqis.
• U.S. and British leaders asked the U.N. to resume the oil-for-food program in Iraq. Full story | premium content Video
• A British ship carrying more than 200 tons of humanitarian aid was delayed because there may be mines in the water near the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr.
Full Story | Audio Slide Show: Aid for Iraq
STRATEGY
Explore U.S. war plans and tactics
with CNN's military analysts

Clark: Northern front 'desperately needed'
Clark: Quick victory 'not going to happen'
Grange: Iraqis fight with 'economy of force'
Map: Major flash points
Grange: Treatment of POWs a violation
Grange: Teams keep an eye out for troops

Animation: Battle scenarios
PREVIOUS DAYS
March 26: Northern front opens
March 25: Firefight in sandstorm
March 24: Advancing on Baghdad
March 23: Battle at Nasiriya
March 22: Halfway to Baghdad
March 21: U.S.: Iraq in 'disarray'
March 20: Troops push into Iraq
March 19: 'Decapitation attack'

EDITOR'S NOTE: CNN's policy is to not report information that puts operational security at risk.
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