Caught in the Middle

Allied forces made some hard-won gains in three Iraqi cities Sunday while top U.S. military and civilian commanders strongly defended their war plans. Meanwhile, a convention in Baghdad of about 300 sheiks from throughout Iraq brought pledges of allegiance to Saddam Hussein and vows to unleash thousands of fighters on invading forces. Elsewhere, another helicopter crash claimed three Marines and injured a fourth in the south, while chaos on bridges to Basra could be allowing Iraqi fighters to slip in and out of the nation's second-largest city.

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