The military tally at the end of the second day of the Persian Gulf War was a mixture of success and frustration, U.S. officials said yesterday.

The military forces of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein remained besieged by hundreds of U.S. and allied warplanes in an unceasing bombardment. His palace, ministry of defense and air defense headquarters were destroyed; his primary chemical weapons factory and his nuclear research facilities were seriously damaged, according to intelligence officials and some eyewitness accounts from Westerners in Baghdad.

But Saddam himself appeared to be safe and in control of some of his armed forces, including many in Kuwait and roughly 30 mobile Scud missile launchers that evaded U.S. attack by deception and hiding. More than 100 of his aircraft had been launched, although few directly engaged the enemy and none scored kills, U.S. officials said.

Senior U.S. military and intelligence officials told Congress yesterday that most of Saddam's 545,000 troops and accompanying armor in Kuwait and southern Iraq appeared to be intact. They said the contest continued to run in their favor but cautioned that it will be "days" before a substantial part of Saddam's forces are destroyed and, according to other U.S. officials, possibly much longer before the Iraqi leader seriously considers capitulation.

"What we believe is that he is regrouping -- trying to come up for air -- and consolidating and continuing to think his way through an eventual counterattack," according to an official who was briefed yesterday on the latest U.S. military and political intelligence on Iraq. "A massive amount of damage has been done, but the nervous system {of his military forces} has not been severed from the brain."

The official added, "We are now trying to figure out when and how the other shoe will drop." He was referring to a possible repetition of the orchestrated launch of seven Scud missiles into Israel early Friday morning, an attack of greater political than military significance that experts said could have occurred only on Saddam's direct order. This morning, more explosions rocked Tel Aviv, at least two of which were caused by Scuds, according to a senior Israeli government official.

The U.S. official said terrorists believed to be in Saddam's pay may eventually begin operating against Western targets, and that other surprises may be in store.

"While there have been a lot of hits in a lot of areas, I don't think that his forces have been 'shattered' -- that's just ridiculous," a defense official said. "It's like a ballgame in which our team is still batting in the first inning -- we've got a long way to go."

Although U.S. military officials have said about 80 percent of the roughly 2,100 aircraft bombing runs in the first 44 hours of war "successfully engaged their targets," U.S. officials cautioned that this figure refers only to planes that correctly sighted their targets and released their weapons.

A source with access to intelligence information on the extent of bomb damage during the first day of the air war said that the weapons had achieved, on average, only 50 percent of the desired level of damage. Due to extensive cloud cover that has hindered satellite reconnaissance, the data were primarily drawn from recording devices carried by the planes and from pilot debriefings.

Senior U.S. military officials acknowledged yesterday that many of the raids in the second day were designed to hit targets that survived the initial waves of attack planes.

The top commanders of the air war, Army Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf and Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles A. Horner, showed videotapes to reporters in Riyadh yesterday that demonstrated precision bombing of an Iraqi military runway, an apparent storage building for Scud missiles, and the air defense headquarters near Baghdad. In one tape, a laser-guided bomb flew directly down a building's air shaft and caused doors at an entrance to burst from an explosion inside.

But Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Kelly, senior operations officer for the Joint Staff, said yesterday afternoon that the bombardment had not yet given the United States and its allies uncontested control of the skies over Iraq, a key objective for the initial phase. "I would say we're proceeding toward it," Kelly said. "I don't think we've achieved it completely, but we will in due course."

Officials said his caution stems from uncertainties about how many of Iraq's estimated 700 military aircraft had survived extensive bombing because of their hardened bunkers. Congressional sources said they were told in briefings that only 11 aircraft were confirmed destroyed, including three on the ground. But many additional planes -- not directly visible to U.S. reconnaisance -- may have been crushed, and some Iraqi runways were believed to be heavily cratered.

"{The} decimation of the Iraqi air force has not taken place," one congressional source said.

The Pentagon also told legislators early yesterday that up to 30 functional Scud missile launchers had escaped attack, and U.S. military officials said later that there had been no striking success in the continuing effort to find and destroy them. The missiles are believed to pack mostly a political punch; they cause less damage than a car bomb but have threatened to draw Israel into the war.

Several sources said the Iraqis apparently have been able to hide more Scuds than anticipated by carefully controlling telltale electronic signals and swiftly moving them around after launches. "The Soviets taught these guys deception and denial {of location} very well," a congressional source said of the Scud missile units. Another source said he had concluded after yesterday's briefing that attacking planes would never "get every Scud."

Military facilities associated with Saddam's elite Republican Guard troops, estimated at roughly 150,000 before the war began, were pounded yesterday by B-52 bombers and other aircraft, and Iraqi troops in Kuwait also were hit, U.S. officials said.

But only 10 to 20 tanks of the 4,100 in the Kuwaiti theater were confirmed killed by U.S. and allied planes by early yesterday. While some communications towers have been knocked out, Saddam apparently has been able to maintain contact with forces by underground cable.

"There are considerable Iraqi assets which have yet to be accounted for," said Sir David Craig, chief of Britain's defense staff.

The massive earth berms created by Saddam's ground forces diminished the effectiveness of other air attacks by deflecting all but direct hits, said an informed congressional source. He added that military officials were predicting highly dangerous, low-level bombing would be needed to dig them out.

French pilots attacking ground forces in Kuwait reported intensive machine-gun fire, and were complaining about the exceptionally hazardous duty, Washington Post correspondent William Drozdiak reported from Paris.

"{Saddam's} society is still functioning, and he has been able to restore some level of communications," an Army official said. "He is still trying to resist {the attacks} and he could soon start playing one of the cards being held in reserve." Officials said that besides initiating terrorist attacks, Iraqi near-term options include launching anti-ship Exocet missiles or ordering ground troops across the Saudi border.

Staff writers Tom Kenworthy in Washington and Glenn Frankel in London contributed to this report.