Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, March 20, 2003

Bush Declares War Has Begun on Iraq

US President George W. Bush said Wednesday that he had launched war against Iraq, promising a "broad and concerted campaign" to disarm Baghdad and topple Saddam Hussein.


Bush Declares War Has Begun on Iraq
US President George W. Bush said Wednesday night that he has ordered military strikes againstIraq but the war is still in early stages.

"At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq," Bush said in a nationally-televised address.

"On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war," he said.

Bush said that these strikes "are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign."

He vowed that the US-led forces would fight until victory, noting that the war in Iraq could be longer and more difficult than some people have predicted.

Bush was speaking two hours and 15 minutes after his 48-hour ultimatum for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave their country or face a war expired.

The war was declared after the US, Britain and Spain failed to win support of majority in the UN Security Council for their draftresolution that would have authorized a war on Iraq.

Three permanent members of the Security Council, namely China, France and Russia, opposed the US-led military attack on Iraq and insist that inspections should continue.

More than 250,000 US troops in and around the Gulf region, joined by tens of thousands of British troops, are launching military strikes on Iraq.

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White House Declares War on Iraq


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