Long columns of U.S. and British troops, armored vehicles and trucks advanced through swirling sand toward the Iraqi border Wednesday, positioning themselves to invade on short notice.
Major General Buford Blount III, commander of 3rd Infantry Division, ordered on Wednesday his 20,000 troops and 10,000 tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and fuel trucks to line up near the border.
The 3rd Infantry Division is the only armored force in the region and is likely to attack Iraqi defenses head-on in the event of war. Troops of the 101st are expected to be flown in on helicopters to seize key installations ahead of the 3rd Division.
At the Army's Camp New Jersey, the commander of the 101st Airborne Division' 3rd Brigade summoned his officers for a "battle update" briefing. "We are one day closer to making history, everybody," said Col. Michael Linnington.
Meanwhile, warplanes from the USS Abraham Lincoln bombed Iraqi positions on Wednesday after coalition aircraft patrolling a no-fly zone were fired on by Iraqi forces, a top admiral said.
"There were yesterday four firings against our aircraft flying in the southern no-fly zone," Rear Admiral John Kelly told reporters onboard the Lincoln.
He conveyed U.S. forces had responded by bombing "a series of targets" he described as "command and control" positions in the western part of the no-fly zone early on Wednesday morning. (Albawaba.com)
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