Blair confirms Fao peninsula captured, Umm Qasr still in Iraqi hand

21 March 2003
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair confirmed at a press conference in Brussels on 21 March that the US-led coalition had captured the Fao peninsula, an area of land west of the Shatt al-Arab waterway flowing into the northern Gulf.

A British army spokesman said that the area had been captured in a combined airborne and amphibious assault involving UK marines and other coalition forces.

However, the BBC World Service reported at 12:00 GMT that Umm Qasr, Iraq's only deepwater port and a key element of any post-invasion reconstruction plan, was still in Iraqi hands. A BBC Television report that Kirkuk had been taken by the coalition was still not confirmed. Umm Qasr is close to Kuwait's northern border.

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