Daily developments

Los Angeles Times

* Tallil air base near Nasiriyah became operational with the arrival of a U.S. C-130 transport. The base will become an important position into which troops and supplies can be flown, easing dependence on roads where convoys are exposed to Iraqi irregular fighters.

* Fighting continued on several fronts, including around Nasiriyah, Basra and Najaf, where the 3rd Infantry Division has surrounded the city.

* Massive explosions rocked central Baghdad with the strongest blasts felt in the city in days. Buildings close to the Information Ministry appeared to have been hit.



Winds will strengthen a bit over Iraq, so a few areas of blowing sand and dust are expected. Leftover dust from the recent storm may persist over Qatar and the central Persian Gulf.

War briefing: Supply lines stretched Attacks on allied convoys headed north through central Iraq, combined with three days of sandstorms and fog, have slowed the flow of fuel, ammunition, food and other supplies to front-line troops.

Sources: Eastview Cartographic, Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, Reuters - Researched by Times graphics reporter Tom Reinken

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