The Day in the Gulf
* FIRST BIG BATTLE: Twelve Marines were killed and two wounded in the first major ground battle of the Gulf War, said the U.S. commander, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf. He also reported more than 24 Iraqi tanks destroyed and heavy Iraqi casualties in the border action in Khafji, Saudi Arabia. However, some Iraqi troops were said to hold central Khafji.
* AIR WAR ADVANCES: Two weeks of bombing raids have forced Iraq to abandon centralized control of its air defense, Schwarzkopf said. More than 30,000 sorties have been flown and 19 allied aircraft lost since the war started, he said. He also reported more than 70 Iraqi planes destroyed. Allied forces have destroyed all of Iraq’s nuclear reactors, half its biological warfare plants, and many chemical production sites, he added.
* NEW SLICK SPOTTED: The allied military commander threatened to bomb an Iraqi site reported to be the source of a new oil slick in the Persian Gulf. BBC Radio said the source of the slick is Mina al Bakr, a large offshore Iraqi terminal northeast of the Kuwaiti island of Bubiyan. Officials reported that the Iraqis were dumping the oil deliberately, he said.
* MORE OIL CLEANUP: A Norwegian ship capable of sweeping up 1,400 tons of oil an hour has begun skimming crude from the world’s largest oil slick, salvage executives said. The ship is believed to be operating north of the huge desalination plant at Jubayl, Saudi Arabia, which processes 30 million gallons of drinking water a day. Washington says Iraq caused the slick.
* EGYPTIAN REFUGEES: More than 1,000 Egyptian refugees straggled into Jordan from Iraq. They said their escape route has been all but severed in the last few days by allied bombings. The air raids are targeting every vehicle that moves across Iraq’s western desert, toward mobile Scud missile launchers that are attacking Israel, witnesses said.