AMMAN, JORDAN, JAN. 17 -- Air raid sirens screamed through Baghdad's deserted streets at sunset today, as fighter-bombers of U.S.-led allied forces blasted selected targets in the city on the first full day of war, according to reports reaching here.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein addressed his countrymen today and toured Baghdad in an orchestrated show of courage aimed at boosting a population bracing itself for what he described as "the mother of all battles between the right and the wrong."

Iraqi television today showed footage of Saddam strolling through empty streets, chatting on the telephone, smiling and shaking hands with cheering residents and government employees.

Western reporters said they witnessed the Iraqi Defense Ministry coming under bombardment. British Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Bob Simpson said he watched as three bombs hit the heavily defended building. "They have just hit the Ministry of Defense, which I had a clear view of from my bedroom window. It seems it was hit very, very accurately and it appears that there was extraordinarily little damage around it."

News agencies quoted an eyewitness in the Iraqi capital as saying that attacking aircraft had hit the airport, the Defense Ministry, the Presidential Palace and the telecommunications building on the banks of the Tigris River.

{Soviet Foreign Minister Alexander Bessmertnykh told leaders of the Supreme Soviet, "The Presidential Palace was completely destroyed," Reuter reported from Moscow. The foreign minister, citing Soviet intelligence reports, said, "Two airports within the city limits of Baghdad were put out of action. Damage was caused to a number of industrial enterprises, including a power station supplying electricity for Baghdad. . . . In all, at least 75 sites on Iraqi territory were hit.

{"No strikes were carried out on residential districts, on districts of towns or population centers," Bessmertnykh said. "Our own intelligence information confirms this."}

Iraqi authorities ordered Cable News Network to submit its tapes to censorship. The network had provided the first live accounts of the raid on Baghdad.

A trickle of traffic came to a complete halt as intensive air raids resumed over Baghdad and Iraqi radio stations disclosed preliminary casualty reports of 23 dead and 60 wounded in air attacks on Iraqi towns and villages. New waves of bombers buzzed over Baghdad as night fell.

Iraqi television showed Saddam at prayer, but went off the air at dusk, according to the Iranian news agency. Baghdad radio claimed the Iraqi army had shot down 44 planes and recovered 23 cruise missiles. The U.S.-led alliance admitted to losing four planes, one each from the United States and Kuwait and two from Britain.

In a message apparently taped after the first series of attacks, the Iraqi leader, donning a military uniform, cursed "the Satan of the White House" and vowed that Iraq would be victorious.

Baghdad radio welcomed the beginning of the war in the gulf and paid special tribute to Iraq's elite Presidential Guard, one of the targets of the aerial onslaught. "Blessed are you, heroes of the special Presidential Guard," the radio said.

Iraq's Revolution Command Council, chaired by Saddam, "praised the capability of our armed forces for confronting the American and Zionist aggression and inflicting huge casualties on them," Baghdad radio reported. "It is a day of holy struggle against the infidels," the command statement said.

The radio broadcast patriotic and revolutionary songs, airing news bulletins, military communiques, prayers and nationalist poems praising the "heroic stand of Iraqis repulsing the forces of evil and aggression."

Concentrated bombing raids continued tonight. Telephone communications were severed for several hours and convoys of foreign journalists, urged by their news organizations to leave, headed out to the Jordanian border post at Ruweished in Iraq's western desert tonight.

Three military communiques and a message from Saddam were aired after the television station resumed transmission late tonight.

"Victory is certain for you, as it was for the Prophet Muhammad," Saddam said to his troops.

The Iraqi media were hostile to Saudi Arabia's King Fahd today, calling him a "traitor of the Holy Places."