Push Toward Baghdad

After Friday's intense escalation of the campaign to unseat Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, U.S. Army tanks and armored fighting vehicles pushed halfway to Baghdad, and American and British forces in the south closed in on Basara, Iraq's second-largest city. In the meantime, allied warplanes commenced a nearly continuous pounding of the Iraqi capital.

Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers surrendered and thousands of others headed home, said Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, who boasted that the military campaign will be "unlike any other in history." Still, there were pockets of Iraqi resistance, and the number of American fatalities increased to eight when a soldier was killed in a collision of two British helicopters that also took the lives of six Britons.

Smoke Over Baghdad

On the third day of American and British airstrikes on the capital, Iraqi forces tried to foil them by setting fire to at least 20 trenches of oil, blanketing Baghdad in acrid smoke. Still, bombs fell during daylight for the first time in the war and continued intermittently past dusk, knocking out power to a neighborhood that houses the pillars of Hussein's powerful Republican Guard headquarters, intelligence services and government offices.

Resistance in the South

U.S. Marine helicopters bombarded Basra from two directions, interspersing missile strikes with heavy machine gun fire. The attacks underscored Iraqi forces' resistance as they defended the nation's second-largest city, despite earlier reports that U.S. and British troops had already taken it. British and U.S. tanks and armored vehicles were seen racing toward the fighting, but there were no visible attempts by ground forces to enter the city.

Protests Are Widespread

Large demonstrations against the war persisted across the world in Japan, South Korea, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Spain, Britain and elsewhere. In the United States, nearly 200,000 marched down New York's Broadway in an antiwar rally. Smaller demonstrations were held in San Francisco, Washington and elsewhere, while in Chicago a group of about 800 demonstrating in support of the troops outnumbered antiwar activists.

A Cost Estimate

In Washington, administration officials said President Bush was planning to tell congressional leaders Monday that the Iraq war would cost about $80 billion. Last week both chambers of Congress passed budget plans and authorized tax cuts without an administration estimate of war costs.

The $80 billion includes about $60 billion for combat and the first months of reconstruction, with the rest going to foreign aid, homeland security and humanitarian relief.

-T.A. Frail