- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 20, 2003


A second round of U.S.-led air attacks was launched Thursday night in Baghdad, but U.S. military officials said the assault was not the beginning of the massive air campaign the Pentagon has planned.

The air attacks underway in Baghdad were sea-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles fired at Special Republican Guard strongholds in Baghdad, according to two senior defense officials with direct knowledge of the operation, who asked not to be identified.

Thursday's airstrikes were not the beginning of the massive air assault that the Pentagon plans to unleash later, three officials said. Two of the officials said Thursday's strikes involved a smaller number of Tomahawks than Wednesday's opening volley, which numbered approximately 40.

The latest attack included Tomahawk cruise missiles fired by British ships as well as American ships, one official said.

A huge plume of smoke could be seen from the west bank of the Tigris in central Baghdad but it could not be determined what was hit.

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