Three journalists, including one from the Arab TV channel Al Jazeera, died today as U.S. forces pressed their assault on Baghdad. Two were killed when a U.S. tank fired a shell into the Palestine Hotel, where most reporters are staying. The Al Jazeera correspondent was killed in a separate incident.
The site bombed yesterday after the U.S. command said it received good intelligence that Saddam and at least one of his sons were there was a gaping crater. The location is under Iraqi control and the ruins were being searched. The U.S. said it would take some time to determine if Saddam was killed.
Bloody uniforms of U.S. POWs found at a Baghdad prison
U.S. Marines shot their way into a prison at the sprawling Al Rashid airport complex after receiving information that U.S. POWs were being held there. They found no POWs, but they did find the tops of two chemical suits bearing the names of two known American prisoners and a pair of camouflage pants. An officer said some of the items appeared to have bullet holes in them. The Marines also found used syringes and empty antibiotic packages, perhaps indicating that the POWs had received medical treatment.
Rules of engagement on a new battlefield
The assault on Baghdad by U.S. forces has greatly complicated their mission because of the measures needed to attempt to minimize civilian casualties.
Ray Rivera of The Seattle Times explains the military’s rules of engagement and what they’re intended to accomplish.
Chaos in Baghdad’s hospitals
Military and civilian casualties continue to overwhelm hospitals in the Iraqi capital.
The Washington Post’s Anthony Shadid describes the scene.
Next up for “regime change”: Syria
This time they want a new government installed by peaceful means, current and former senior U.S. officials say. But they do want a different government in Damascus.
The Syrian government of Bashar Assad has supported Saddam in the current war and Washington has a long list of grievances: possibly hiding some of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction on Syrian soil, allowing the transit of volunteer fighters from other Muslim countries into Iraq and allowing the transshipment of prohibited weapons to the Iraqi regime.
Support for the war rises among Americans
A new Washington Post poll shows 77 percent of those surveyed support the decision to go to war while 16 percent oppose it. Opposition to the war exceeds one-third only among two of the demographic groups surveyed, liberal Democrats and African-Americans.