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baqqa mqarqra
A Frog's-eye view

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Monday, March 24, 2003

Al-Jazeera's lead story at the moment is the downing of an Apache helicopter. According to this report, it was shot down by an agricultural worker (pictured, along with his brothers, next to the interviewer) using a primitive rifle. The Iraqi TV report also showed two helmets (presumably belonging to the crew), and Al-Jazeera notes that the Apache helicopters normally have a two-man crew. The report states that Washington has so far only admitted to losing one helicopter.

Meanwhile, Saddam has called upon the Iraqi people to exploit the opportunity of the invasion to inflict the maximum amount of losses, charging that the allies have avoided direct conflict by depending upon aircraft and missiles. [He's only jealous because the allies have destroyed his airforce.] He called upon the people to be patient and bearing.

At the same time, the aerial attacks against Iraqi cities continue. Bombardments have shaken the two large Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Mosul, and several other smaller cities. The attack on Baghdad was the fiercest in two days. The report claims that sirens were not heard, except for those of ambulances collecting up the wounded from the streets. The huge explosions came as Saddam was presenting his televised address.

[A thought: perhaps the US is deliberately using loud bombing during Saddam's speeches in an attempt to establish if they are live; no bombing can be heard through these speeches.]

The attacks once again targeted Saddam's palaces.

At the time of the Al-Jazeera report, Basra was once again under heavy attack, with the attacks focused around the western sector of the city, particularly the Shaher Bridge. Mosul was also bombarded this morning. Missiles apparently attacked western Mosul, but there was no confirmation as to whether they hit civilian or military targets. The Iraqis claim that they managed to push back the allied forces around Kerkuk.

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