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The Fall of Baghdad
As U.S. Troops Arrive, Saddam Hussein's Regime Crumbles

moreListen to Vice President Dick Cheney's comments on the war. April 9, 2003

moreListen to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's news briefing on the fall of Baghdad. April 9, 2003

An Iraqi man throws stones at a 20-foot-tall statue of Saddam Hussein as it falls in central Baghdad, April 9, 2003.
An Iraqi man throws stones at a huge statue of Saddam Hussein as it falls in central Baghdad, April 9, 2003. Showing contempt for the man who ruled them for 24 years, Iraqis attacked the statue with sledgehammers and put a noose around its neck.
Credit: Reuters Limited 2003


Iraqi Kurds wave Iraqi Kurdish flags in the northern town of Arbil, April 9, 2003, to celebrate the arrival of U.S.-led coalition forces in Baghdad.
Iraqi Kurds wave Iraqi Kurdish flags in the northern town of Arbil, April 9, 2003, to celebrate the arrival of U.S.-led forces in Baghdad.
Credit: Reuters Limited 2003



Iraqis greet advancing U.S. Marines on the way to central Baghdad, April 9, 2003.
Credit: Reuters Limited 2003


April 9, 2003 -- As U.S.-led forces take control of Baghdad, Iraqi security officials disappear from the capital city's streets, replaced by looters. Iraqi civilians cheer on advancing U.S. troops as they celebrate the apparent end to Saddam Hussein's oppressive 24-year-long rule. Iraqis aided by U.S. Marines topple a huge statue of Saddam in central Baghdad. Pockets of resistance are reported in parts of the Iraqi capital, and fighting continues elsewhere in the country. Follow NPR's coverage:

Iraqi Regime Crumbles as U.S. Forces Take Baghdad
Fighting is still reported in parts of Baghdad, but the central government appears to have collapsed. U.S. Marines sweep into the heart of the city from east, meeting up with U.S. Army units. Hear from NPR's Anne Garrels in Baghdad and NPR's John Burnett with the Marines. April 9, 2003

Iraqis Celebrate in Baghdad Streets
In Baghdad, security forces desert the streets, replaced by looters, and government officials have disappeared. Hundreds of Iraqi civilians take to the streets, cheering U.S. soldiers and ripping up posters of Saddam Hussein. And with the help of a U.S. Marine vehicle, a crowd of Iraqi citizens topples a giant statue of Saddam Hussein. Hear NPR's Anne Garrels. April 9, 2003

The Mood in Baghdad
As Saddam Hussein's regime falls, Baghdad's residents take to the streets, some looting, some in celebration. "Something just snapped" among the Iraqi populace, NPR's Anne Garrels reports. The few journalists covering the war from inside Baghdad are breathing easier as Iraqi security officials seem to have completely disappeared, Garrels says. April 9, 2003

Muslims Called to Action against U.S.
Saddam Hussein's government has fallen, but for many Muslims the war is now about the United States vs. Islam. That's a sentiment heard in Egypt, where a Muslim cleric has given his blessing to anyone who wished to aid Iraq. The cleric said the war in Iraq really amounted to an attack against all Muslim nations. NPR's Michael Sullivan reports. April 9, 2003

Marines Sweep Eastern Baghdad
U.S. Marines moved with relative ease through much of eastern Baghdad, which is now under their control. But intelligence officials warn that Saddam loyalists are still out there, waiting in ambush. NPR's John Burnett is with the Marines in Baghdad. April 9, 2003

Looters Hit Baghdad as U.S. Troops Take Control
As signs of government authority in Baghdad disappear, hundreds of Iraqi civilians take to the streets, cheering U.S. soldiers and ripping up posters of Saddam Hussein. But many loot government buildings throughout the Iraqi capital. Hear NPR's Anne Garrels and NPR's Nick Spicer. April 9, 2003

Images on the Road to Baghdad
Andy Nelson, a photographer embedded with a U.S. Marine division approaching Baghdad from the south, shares some of his images taken along the road into the Iraqi capital city. View a photo gallery of Nelson's images. April 9, 2003

White House Urges Caution Despite U.S. Gains in Baghdad
President Bush is pleased with the U.S. military's progress in Baghdad and believes the "historical moment" is a "powerful testament to mankind's desire to live free," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says. But the White House also warns that dangers for U.S. troops could still lie ahead. Hear NPR's Brian Naylor. April 9, 2003

Arab Americans in Dearborn Rejoice over Baghdad's Fall
Spontaneous celebrations break out in Dearborn, Mich. -- home to a large Arab-American community and many Iraqi immigrants -- as news arrives that Baghdad is in U.S. hands. Celeste Headlee of member station WDET reports. April 9, 2003

Analyst: Iraqi War Plan 'Most Inept' Ever Designed
Though U.S. military might certainly played a role, the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime is largely a result of Iraqi military ineptitude, says military historian John Keegan. Iraqi forces failed to make use of the country's natural defenses and threw away whatever advantages they may have had, Keegan says. April 9, 2003




   
   
   
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