(31 Dec 2003) A U.S. led air assault bombarded Iraqi positions in the north, near the Kurdish town of Kifri.
1.4.03 – Kifri, Iraq
Three Iraqi soldiers walking near fortification, massive explosion erupts behind wall, shock waves sweep out
Skyline of town, explosion in distance on frontline Iraqi positions
Further inroads, as members of the U.S. 101st Airborne entered the city of Najaf. Their primary aim was to clear out the Fedayeen, the paramilitary fighters leading resistance to the coalition invasion.
The search led to sporadic firefights in the city’s sprawling suburbs.
3.4.03 – Najaf, Iraq
Mid shot of U.S. military convoy passing through Najaf
3.4.03 – 30 kilometres south of Baghdad
Burning tank by roadside, black smoke
In a major exclusive, APTN filmed U.S. soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division as they seized Saddam International Airport. The battle produced some of the most dramatic footage of the entire conflict. The airport, just 15 kilometres (nine miles) from central Baghdad, was to become a crucial base for coalition forces staging the final assault on Baghdad.
4.4.03 – Baghdad
Truck on road to airport
Close up airport sign
Picture of Saddam with tank in front at airport entrance
Soldiers sheltering behind fortification
Missile launched, soldier with launcher runs back
Explosion behind wall with soldiers sheltering in foreground
Pan of destroyed Iraqi aircraft
Shortly after broadcasting what appeared to be an address read by Saddam Hussein, Iraqi television a few hours later showed footage from Baghdad in which the Iraqi president appeared. He was shown walking in the street with a small entourage.
There was no independent confirmation of when the video was shot, though it led to speculation that Saddam was still in Baghdad.
4.4.03 (broadcast date) – Baghdad
Various crowd surrounding Saddam
Close shot of Saddam
Saddam standing on car bonnet, crowd cheering
5.4.03 – Baghdad
Plumes of smoke over Baghdad
British soldiers pulled down a massive statue of Saddam Hussein at the gates of Basra.
Britain’s 7th Armored Brigade – the famed Desert Rats – and the Royal Marines were positioned around Basra awaiting orders to launch a final push into Iraq’s second-largest city.
5.4.03 – Basra, Iraq
Various of Saddam statue crashing down at the gates of Basra
U.S. soldiers with the 3rd Infantry Division fought with Saddam Hussein’s elite Republican Guards in suburbs southwest of Baghdad.
Members of the U.S. infantry moved towards the Republican Guard barracks from Baghdad’s international airport – and were met with resistance from small ammunition arms and snipers.
5.4.03 – Baghdad
U.S. troops on the ground running between buildings
Various tanks firing, smoke rising
Various thick columns of smoke rising
Mid shot of tank in position, then firing at Iraqi positions
British forces near Al Zubayr in the south discovered shocking evidence of the brutality of Saddam’s regime. Hundreds of coffin-sized boxes were discovered containing human remains. The site was sealed and treated as a mass grave.
5.4.03 – Zubayr, southern Iraq
Wide pan of coffins on floor, soldier walks past
Tracking shot of bags containing human remains
Various of Captain Jack Kemp, Royal Horse Artillery leafing though book containing notes and photographs of dead people
British forces stormed into Basra, a column of more than 40 armoured personnel carriers and tanks plowed deep into the city. British forces and
Iraqi fighters had waged exhaustive battles for control of the city since the war began.
5.4.03 – Basra, Iraq
Anti-tank missile released
Missile hits Iraqi tank and blows it up
6.4.03 – Basra, Iraq
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