U.S. Forces Begin Moving Into Fallujah
By Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Robert Worth
The New York Times
Sunday 07 November 2004
Fallujah - Explosions and heavy gunfire thundered through the outskirts of Fallujah on Sunday night and early Monday as American soldiers and marines swept toward strategic bridges, hospitals and other objectives in what appeared to be the first stage of a long-expected invasion of the city.
Hours earlier, Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, faced with an outbreak of insurgent violence across the country, declared emergency law for 60 days across most of Iraq. The proclamation gave him broad martial powers that allow him to impose curfews, order house-to-house searches and detain suspected criminals and insurgents.
"We declared it today and we are going to implement it whenever and wherever it is necessary," Dr. Allawi told pool reporters inside the fortified compound that houses the headquarters of the interim Iraqi government. "This will send a very powerful message that we are serious."
Troops were on the move by 9 p.m. to the west and south of Fallujah, just across the Euphrates River, and after two hours of steady pounding by American guns, tanks, Bradley armored vehicles, artillery and AC-130 gunships, at least one objective - a hospital less than a mile from downtown Fallujah - had been secured by American special forces and the Iraqi 36th commando battalion.