Sussex County Delaware

U.S. Starts Bombing
After Deadline Passes
U.S.-Iraq War, 2003 ...

More than 300 Reservists
Called up in Sussex County

Photo: A load master marshals a fuel truck out of a C-5 Cargo plane from Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, deployed to Sidi Slimane Air Base, Morocco in support of African Eagle exercise. African Eagle is a bi-annual exercise designed to practice dissimilar air to air training with the Royal Moroccan air force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Delia A. Castillo)

President George W. Bush said American and coalition forces began the early stages of operations to disarm Iraq in a nationally televised speech to the nation at 10:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19, 2003.

C-5 at Dover Air Force Base, Dover, DelawareSpeaking from the Oval Office about two hours after the deadline President Bush had given Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to leave the country, President Bush said the United States and a coalition of 35 countries had begun an attack to remove Hussein from power.

President Bush said the initial strikes on areas believed to hold Iraqi leaders were the "opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign."

The President added that U.S. armed forces will "face an enemy with no regard for the conventions of war or rules of morality." He said Hussein's "final atrocity" was to use Iraqi citizens as shields. "We will make every effort to spare innocent citizens from harm", he said, adding that coalition forces will "help Iraqis achieved a united, stable and free country. We have no ambition in Iraq except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people."

Speaking to the approximately 300,000 troops involved in the effort, President Bush said, "The people you liberate will witness the honorable and decent spirit of the American military."

The United States began bombing "targets of opportunity" in Baghdad, Iraq, as dawn approached on Thursday morning in the Middle East, approximately 90 minutes after the 48-hour deadline President Bush had given Hussein to leave the country had passed.

Locally, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Defense, 420 National Guard and Reservists have been called to active duty throughout Delaware, including 303 in Sussex County.

The Sussex County number consists of 137 reservists in the 280th Signal Battalion in Georgetown and 166 more in the 946th Transportation Co. in Lewes. More than 212,000 reservists have been called to active duty in the United States as of Wednesday, March 19.

Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner raised the threat level in the First State to Orange, or "high", on Monday, March 17, when President Bush gave his ultimatum to Hussein.

The following links contain information about the war on Hussein, as well as local information regarding the state of Delaware and terrorism threats.

War Resources ...
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