VodkaPundit

Jumped the Gun?

In case you haven’t caught this from Drudge yet:

British and American troops were involved in fierce fighting near Iraq’s main port today as the war to topple Saddam Hussein began.

The firefight broke out near Basra as men of the Special Boat Service targeted the strategically vital city and the oilfields in southern Iraq.

At the same time allied troops were flooding into the demilitarised zone on the Iraqi border with Kuwait 40 miles away to take up positions for an all-out invasion.

Cruise missiles were also loaded onto B52 bombers at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, a clear sign that the bombardment of Baghdad could be only hours away.

British troops taking up “forward battle positions” were ordered to switch off satellite phones and allied warplanes bombed targets in Iraq after coming under fire in the no-fly zone.

By lunchtime, allied forces were in position to strike from the moment the 48-hour deadline set by President Bush for Saddam to quit Iraq expires at 1am British time tomorrow. But the White House had refused to rule out a strike before that.

The fighting reported at Basra was believed to involve British special forces and US marines in an operation to prepare landing sites for amphibious craft during an invasion.

Too soon to comment or speculate.