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)
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.
RFE/RL correspondent CHARLES RECKNAGEL also covered the beginning of the war from Kuwait and Iraq. Here are some links to his reports:
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: To view an archive of RFE/RL's coverage of the beginning of combat operations in Iraq, click here.