Pentagon Says Strikes Weakening Iraqi Military

Published: Mar. 31, 2003 at 3:07 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 12, 2011 at 6:52 PM HST
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(Pentagon-AP) -- The Pentagon says allied air strikes are weakening Iraqi forces. Major General Stanley McChrystal says U-S and British planes dropped some three-thousand precision-guided bombs on Iraqi forces over the weekend. That's more than a third of the total number of bombs dropped since the war began.

McChrystal says that's caused a "very significant weakening" of Iraqi forces. And he says Iraqi commanders are shifting Republican Guard troops to shore up their strength. Pentagon spokeswoman Tori Clarke says U-S officials have seen evidence that members of Saddam Hussein's family have tried to flee Iraq. She also says the world hasn't seen Saddam since the fighting began -- only tapes of him.

Meantime, Pentagon officials say American troops are involved in "aggressive armed reconnaissance" on the southern edge of Baghdad. Units are trying to assess Iraqi troop strength ahead of a possible battle for the Iraqi capital.