Saturday, April 5
Saddam under siege:The deadly choice now facing Badhdad

American troops on the very edge of the Iraqi capital now face a terrible decision. They can stage an all-out attack and risk killing thousands of innocent civilians or lay siege to the city, jeopardising the coalition's hopes to minimise casualties as shortages threaten to create a humanitarian crisis

Peter Beaumont in Amman and Patrick Graham in Baghdad, The Observer, April 6, 2003

In the Second World War, the Germans gave a word to the kind of hopeless military dilemma that Saddam Hussein now faces. They called it a kessel - a cauldron. Sealed in by encircling US troops, the Iraqi leader is bottled up inside his capital city. If he is still alive, it is going to be his fate to stew in Baghdad, it seems.
Certainly, the remnants of Saddam's regime, if not yet defeated, have been shrunk to a modest, albeit still dangerous, enclave. The question is: how come? How have allied forces managed to lay siege to the Iraqi capital so quickly? [...]
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