Tuesday, March 25
Reporters' Log: War in Iraq
BBC News, 25 March, 2003, 17:56 GMT

The BBC's unrivalled team of correspondents is bringing you news from the Gulf and reaction from around the world. On this page BBC News Online logs their impressions and personal experiences as they watch events unfold.

Basra :: Richard Gaisford :: 1715GMT

This is a most significant development this evening. There is a popular uprising in the city of Basra.

People are rising up against the ruling Ba'ath regime, we are being told by military intelligence officers there that they have had enough.

Iraqi soldiers in the city are actually firing mortar rounds on their own people. That is the information we are getting.
Baghdad :: Paul Wood :: 1740GMT

Even gale force winds and a blinding sandstorm did not stop the B-52s. The rumble of heavy bombing was felt as much as heard in the centre of the Iraqi capital.

The airstrikes were targeted at the Medina division of the elite Republican Guards, digging in for what both sides agree will probably be a decisive encounter.

In the midst of all this Iraqi ministers are astonishingly confident, even relaxed. State television is tonight broadcasting a statement from Saddam Hussein. The message is this is a national struggle, not just a struggle for the survival of the regime.

Baghdad :: Andrew Gilligan :: 1516GMT

A very huge degree of sand is rushing through the city, there's a very limited visibility. It's starting to go away but what we have is a rainstorm now, so the gods must indeed be angry.

It's spared them a good deal of would be very difficult for any pilot to see where to drop the bombs through this cloud of sand.

Washington D.C. :: Michael Buchanan :: 1408GMT

With a sandstorm currently swirling around parts of Iraq, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Meyers acknowledges that the US-led invasion will be delayed, but vowed it would not be stopped. He says that while the war plan is continuing apace, the coalition expects their toughest battles are ahead of them.

General Meyers says that as they near Baghdad, resistance will increase as US-led forces encounter Iraq's Republican Guard, whom he called the best equipped, the best trained, and reportedly the most loyal. But he says that was always expected to be the case and that coalition forces have prepared for it.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1310GMT

There's now a swirling wind full of sand here - it's put an almost a yellow or light-brown filter across the city.

From my hotel room which is on the banks of the Tigris River, I can't see across to the other side of the river bank. It's an absolutely blinding sandstorm, and I would have thought it would be almost impossible for helicopters to be flying in this weather.[...]

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