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THE GULF WAR: The Battle Front : The War, Day by Day

A summary of the war, which started Jan. 17 in the Mideast (the afternoon of Jan. 16 in the U.S.). Day One includes events in United States and abroad through Jan. 17: DAY ONE:

* Less than 24 hours after time ran out on a U.N.-mandated deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, the U.S.-led coalition forces launched a massive air attack against Iraq. More than 1,000 sorties were flown at the start of Operation Desert Storm, and allied casualties were limited to a single U.S. pilot, two British airmen and a Kuwaiti pilot.

* Iraqi President Saddam Hussein vowed to crush “the satanic intentions of the White House.”

* First reports indicated that Iraqi resistance was limited.

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* “Things are going well,” President Bush said. Allied warplanes hammered Iraq in what one American commander vowed would be war “24 hours a day” to expel the Iraqis from Kuwait.

* Crude oil prices had their biggest one-day fall in history. New York’s stock market swept to its second-largest point gain ever, with the Dow Jones average of 30 industrials jumping 114.60 points.

DAY TWO:

* Iraq retaliated, as promised, by hitting Israel with at least eight Scud missiles. None of the missiles were armed with chemical warheads and casualties were limited. Israel reacted by threatening to retaliate.

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* Allied tanks rumbled north toward the Kuwait border. U.S. warplanes struck at Iraqi missile launchers.

* President Bush expressed cautious optimism, saying that it “will take some time” to liberate Kuwait.

* Israeli air raid sirens Friday provoked fears of a second wave of Iraqi missiles, but it was a false alarm. Later, officials said it was a Soviet satellite burning in the sky above Israel that caused sirens once again to wail.

* CNN reported that an Iraqi official said American pilots had been captured. The army said four American aircraft--and seven crew members--were lost in the first 48 hours. Four other allied aircraft were reported lost.

* Congressional sources said bombardment had destroyed 11 of an estimated 700 Iraqi warplanes.

* The Mauritanian government denied rumors that the wife and children of Saddam Hussein took refuge in the North African country.

DAY THREE:

* Israel was hit by a second Iraqi missile attack, with conventional warheads. There were a few slight injuries and damage in Tel Aviv.

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* Israel’s anti-missile protection was boosted by Patriot missile batteries and their U.S. crews.

* The first Iraqi prisoners of war were captured. The military said the 12 POWS were taken in an operation against Iraqi antiaircraft units on nine Kuwaiti oil platforms in the gulf. Five Iraqis were killed.

* Allied pilots faced more vigorous defenses but better bombing weather. They blasted Iraqi missile sites and Baghdad, devastating its telephones and cutting off electricity and water. Ten Iraqi aircraft were confirmed destroyed in air-to-air combat so far.

* Six U.S. aircraft were confirmed lost so far--five to enemy fire. The Pentagon listed nine American airmen as missing. Four other allied planes with seven crew members also were missing.

* Iraq and the United States made their first wartime diplomatic contact. The deputy chief of mission from the Iraqi Embassy in Washington was summoned to the State Department and told that the United States expected “humane treatment” of any prisoners of war.

* Coalition bombers--including B-52s--pounded elite Iraqi ground troops, the Pentagon said.

* Anti-war rallies evoked images of the ‘60s from Washington to San Francisco, while supporters of the U.S.-led offensive also took to the streets. About 1,800 protesters have been arrested since the start of war. President Bush was at Camp David, Md., where he spoke by phone twice with the Israeli prime minister.


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