Accessibility links

Bush Optimistic On Anniversary Of Iraq Invasion --> U.S. President Bush addresses an American Legion conference on terror on February 24 (epa) March 19, 2006 -- Top U.S. administration officials today expressed optimism about Iraq's future on the third anniversary of the U.S.-led war that toppled Saddam Hussein's regime.

U.S. President George W. Bush said "victory in Iraq will make this country more secure and will help lay the foundation of peace for generations to come."

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney described the ongoing violence in Iraq as desperate tactics by terrorists trying to foment civil war and resist the move to democracy. He predicted they would be unsuccessful.

(compiled from agency reports)

See also:

Iraq: Three Years After Operation Iraqi Freedom

Three Years After Invasion, Challenges Grow More Complex

Boots On The Ground

RFE/RL correspondent Ron Synovitz with U.S. troops in Iraq in March 2003 (RFE/RL)

THE SOUND OF THE GUNS: In the days just before and after the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 19-20, 2003, RFE/RL worked hard to cover the unfolding conflict. RFE/RL correspondent RON SYNOVITZ was embedded with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team in the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division as it crossed the border from Kuwait and drove deep into Iraq. Synovitz stayed with the U.S. troops through mid-April, covering the battle for Baghdad and the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime.

Listen to Synovitz's report from the Iraq-Kuwait border on March 18, 2003 (about four minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media

Listen to Synovitz's report from March 19, 2003, just hours before the 3rd Infantry Division began to cross into Iraq (about three minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media

See also:

Embedded RFE/RL Correspondent Recalls War's First Day

RFE/RL correspondent CHARLES RECKNAGEL also covered the beginning of the war from Kuwait and Iraq. Here are some links to his reports:

Iraq: Desert Dispatch -- The View From Kuwait

Kuwait: Desert Dispatch -- Kuwait City Under Constant Air-Raid Alerts

Iraq: Desert Dispatch -- Correspondent Crosses Iraq Border

THE COMPLETE PICTURE: To view an archive of RFE/RL's coverage of the beginning of combat operations in Iraq, click here.

RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.