SANDSTORMS MAY SLOW BAGHDAD PUSH

A sandstorm was blowing in over U.S. troops advancing on Baghdad early on Tuesday, Reuters reports, Visibility is down to about 500 meters, making it tough for American Apache helicopters to fly. Those helicopters were part of a coalition assault near Kerbala on Republican Guard armored units. These forces are believed to be the outer ring of Saddam's final defenses.THERE'S MORE: "Caught between their worry of a humanitarian disaster and stiffening resistance in Basra, Iraq's second-biggest city, the British Royal Marines said today that they had changed strategy and would now take the southern capital by force if necessary," reports the New York Times. "Up until now, coalition forces said they wanted to avoid urban combat in the urban center of Basra, where fedayeen militia forces have been operating."

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