British officials say that a larger operation is about to start
The third division of the US Army started a powerful artillery preparation for the offensive. US forces strike targets in the south of Iraq, not far from the border on Kuwait, using the self-propelled artillery for those purposes. Fox News reports that American forces struck blows every fifteen seconds. Yet, it was also said that reporters were not allowed to unveil the information about military men’s further actions.
US Marine Corps started the artillery preparation too. Iraqi border-deployed troops were ordered to be ready for battle. This means that soldiers must wear chemical-proof clothing, and have gas masks.
As it was reported from Downing Street, Tony Blair recorded his television address to the people of Iraq in order to broadcast it on a good moment. British Defense Secretary, Geoffrey Hoon, said right after a session of the British cabinet of ministers that a larger operation was about to start.
According to the information that was received from the Marine Corps deployment, Iraq launched another missile on American targets. Marine troops opened fire on Iraq-based targets as well.
CBS television company reported about explosions and glow in the city of Basra. There was a precise goal set – to seize oil wells in the south of Iraq. For the time being, it is known that Iraqis set several wells on fire. This information was confirmed by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who said that there were at least four oil wells burning to the south and to the west off Basra.
American military men’s second goal is to remove the top of the Iraqi leadership. As it is already know, the first US practice did not turn out to be perfect, Hussein was not wounded.
CIA Director George Tenet told the American president that intelligence sources did not exclude an opportunity that Iraqi leaders might have held a session in the area of the conflict. President Bush gave a signal for an attack in order to lure Saddam out and to destroy the brain center of the Iraqi regime.
It also became known that Iraq struck back against American daybreak attacks. One civilian was reportedly killed as a result of a Scud missile launch on Kuwait-based targets. American officials say that missiles were aimed at American troops. Two missiles fell down on the territory of Kuwait, two others were destroyed with Patriot missiles.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Rescuers found the pilot of one of the two Su-34 fighters that had collided in midair in the Far East on January 18