• Baghdad airport fight: U.S.-led coalition forces launched an assault on Saddam International Airport southwest of Baghdad Thursday. U.S. officials and embedded reporters said coalition troops heading from the southeast had drawn within 10 miles of the Iraqi capital. Full Story
• Lights out: Shortly before the airport assault, Iraqi authorities began turning out the lights in Baghdad and closing all checkpoints, CNN's Nic Robertson reported. A source in Baghdad told CNN the blackout did not appear to be the result of bombings. A series of explosions followed the outage, the source said.
• Pushing forward: The 3rd Infantry Division pushed through the Karbala Gap on Thursday as soldiers with the division's 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment and the 3rd Brigade Combat Team continued a relentless assault. CNN Correspondent Walter Rodgers, embedded with the 7th Cavalry Regiment, said the soldiers were under constant fire. Full Story
• Baghdad residents: In neighborhoods near Baghdad's airport, Iraqi officials driving vehicles equipped with public address systems ordered residents to leave their houses and walk toward the airport, a source told CNN. Full Story
• Marines near Kut: The 1st Battalion of the 7th Marines secured two sites Thursday on the outskirts of Kut, an ancient city whose location on the Tigris River about 40 miles south of Baghdad makes it strategically important. The two locations were a suspected Republican Guard post and an Iraqi air base. Full Story
• Palace raid: Coalition special operations forces raided the Thar Thar presidential palace 56 miles north of Baghdad, a U.S. official said Thursday. Once inside the palace, the troops retrieved some documents and then left, the official said. AC-130 | 3D model
• Airborne divisions: The 101st Airborne Division took control of Najaf and isolated Iraqi forces in that area, the Army said. Near the southern city of Samawa, the 82nd Airborne Division launched "surprise attack" on paramilitary forces attempting to organize north of the city, the Army said. 101st Airborne | 82nd Airborne
• Basra bombarded: British forces late Wednesday and early Thursday bombarded Iraqi forces around Basra and Zubayr with long-range artillery and rockets. Full Story | Braveheart howitzer
Gallery: War photos | Map: Troop movements
• Baghdad bombed: Coalition forces unleashed a barrage of air attacks on Baghdad around 5 p.m. EST Thursday (2 a.m. Friday Baghdad time), pounding the city center and its outskirts as ground forces closed in on the Iraqi capital. The bombardments came in waves, sometimes with explosions rocking the capital one after another for minutes on end.|
• Iraqi Air Force bombed: Coalition airstrikes bombed the Iraqi Air Force headquarters in central Baghdad at approximately 12:45 p.m. EST on Thursday. The airstrike used laser-guided JDAM bombs to hit the buildings, located of the Tigris River, near the Baghdad/Muthanna airfield.
• Flight totals: More than 23,000 coalition sorties have been flown since the war began two weeks ago, according to a U.S. Department of Defense official.
• Northern strikes: U.S. Air Force B-52s bombed Iraqi forces Thursday on the edge of Kalak in northern Iraq after artillery and mortars were fired on advancing Kurdish fighters. B-52 | 3D Model
• Coalition: 81 coalition deaths reported.|
List of coalition fatalities
• Iraq: The Iraqi government has not released information on military casualties but has said that 420 civilians have been killed. CNN cannot independently verify Iraq's numbers.
• Rescued POW: Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, who was rescued after being held prisoner, underwent a successful surgery on a fractured disc in her back Thursday, her parents said. Full story
• Missing or captured: Seven U.S. troops are being held as POWs, and 15 are listed as missing in action.
|ON THE SCENE|
Rodgers: Edging closer to Baghdad|
Chilcote: Cooler heads prevail
Savidge: Marines move with ease
Sadler: Kurds say time is ripe
More On the Scene reports