Surprisingly, the march on Baghdad might come from Jordan in the west, not Kuwait in the south, it says here
at the Asian Times Online
. If this is true, it's getting into major "holy moly" territory, because officially Jordan says there are no more than 2,000 US and UK troops in the Hashemite Kingdom, and these only for defensive purposes. Yet a "top Jordanian official" tells ATO
that 7,000 US troops are heading toward Baghdad from Jordan, and thousands more are coming, landing at Aqaba. (Yeah, that's right, Aqaba as in "We've taken Aqaba!" from Lawrence of Arabia
.) This news via the excellent and up-to-date Agonist
Meanwhile, Agonist says the advance arm of the U.S. Army, the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Division (see below
) has stopped 150km/90m into the country near the city of Al Nasiriya, where there is an important bridge. This could be the next (and first) tough battle. According to my Hammond's World Atlas from the 1950s, Al Nasiriya is quite close to the ruins of the Biblical city of Ur
. (Yeah, that's right, Ur as in "Ur of the Chaldees," the home of Abraham mentioned repeatedly in Genesis
Big explosions right now on CNN in Baghdad. Shock. Awe. Salam
has been counting down.... Two more hours, he wrote two hours ago, until the B52 bombers reach Baghdad. Be safe....
CORRECTION (3/24): Ur was the birthplace
of Abraham. He left when he was relatively young. His homeland was in what's now eastern Syria. Also, it looks like the US forces coming in from Jordan are more likely to link up with Special Ops units in the north of Iraq, already fighting alongside the Kurds, rather than going straight to Baghdad. No further word on this alleged advance as of Monday.