U.S. troops entered the "red zone" within 20 miles of Baghdad on Wednesday, after advancing past the city of Karbala and completing key crossings of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Coalition forces made new moves toward Baghdad Monday delivering an intense barrage of artillery fire and heavy bombings on the city's outskirts.
Coalition forces launched fresh air strikes against Baghdad Sunday while U.S. forces attempted to shore up military positions in northern Iraq on the eleventh day of the U.S.-led war with Iraq.
Coalition warplanes on Saturday pounded Baghdad with one of their fiercest air assaults yet. The bombing came as Iraqi and coalition officials blamed one another for scores of reported civilian casualties.
Smoke continued to billow out of Baghdad Friday after U.S.-led forces unleashed the heaviest bombardment of the Iraqi capital in days, using B-52 bombers to drop two 4,700-pound, satellite-guided "bunker-busting" bombs on Iraqi targets.
With bombs falling on the southern outskirts of Baghdad, the Iraqi minister of defense said Thursday he expects U.S. forces to encircle the capital in as soon as five days.
U.S. Defense Department officials on Wednesday said coalition forces did not target a Baghdad neighborhood where explosions reportedly killed at least 14 people and wounded some 30 others.
Waves of heavy air strikes hammered areas around Baghdad Tuesday, while coalition ground forces fought a blinding sandstorm as they advanced to within 50 miles of the Iraqi capital.
Despite pockets of intense resistance and a blinding sandstorm, elements of the U.S. Third Infantry Division have driven to within 50 miles of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, American military officials said Monday.
The U.S. Army's Third Infantry took its "steel wave" of tanks, troops and artillery nearly 300 miles from the Kuwaiti border in two days in a race toward Baghdad, encountering pockets of sporadic resistance from Iraqi fighters along the way.
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