This is a partial transcript from FOX News special coverage of the war to liberate Iraq on March 20, 2003. It has been edited for clarity. Click here to order the complete transcript.
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FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR SHEPARD SMITH: Among those reporting on the first softening up around the border was our own correspondent, Greg Kelly, who is traveling with the military, the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division ... Greg, where did you go and what are you doing now?
GREG KELLY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: We went extremely close to the Iraqi border about two and a half hours ago and saw a spectacular barrage of Iraqi fire. We don't know what they were firing at ... Now, what comes next? It is hard to say. Is it going to be another phase of this battlefield prep or are we poised for a massive land invasion? We really cannot say ...
SMITH: Greg, I want to ask you a few questions about your recent travels ... Did the enemy, to your knowledge, fire at coalition forces?
KELLY: Reporter: No, at least not in our position. So in that sense I don't know if I would call it a firefight. It did look very much like a battlefield, but fortunately, the fires, the munitions, were going in one direction, and that was toward Iraq. Nobody returned fire, at least at our position.
But again, just a spectacular scene. It was extremely quiet before those palettings, those M1-09-ers lit up the night sky, and when they stopped -- about seven minutes later -- again, complete peace. Really, a serene battlefield -- serene battlefield -- if there is such a thing! For a moment, it was just about everything you'd imagine war to be, then just another calm night in the Kuwaiti desert.
SMITH: Greg, multiple reports from other correspondents who are traveling with, or are "embedded," in military terms, with the military, there are different sporadic reports of Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi military personnel surrendering.
Were you close enough to the border for anything -- well, how close did you get to the border? And did you see any signs of anything like that?
KELLY: Well, I can't tell you how close we were to the border. If I told do you that, that would tell you where the M1-09 palettes were that were firing those munitions. But, I will tell you this. It is a small border but there are a lot of different elements of the military here, a lot of different units. Some might encounter different things. We did not see any surrendering Iraqis, at least in our area.
I would probably say we were a little bit too far away from the actual fence itself
to see that. That's one of the reasons why artillery was used in the attack. There is that area in the complex. Artillery are more suited to fire over a berm than a tank, which is still very much a line of sight weapon used to take out point targets. Artillery very great, great for suppressive-type fire over any kind of terrain ...
SMITH: Well, clearly, as promised by the Pentagon, and the administration for a period of months now, in the event of war it would be the most open and watched and seen and videotaped war in the history of warfare ... My question to you now is when they take you out there and allow you to begin to take pictures are they restricting what you do ... ?
KELLY: They are very much letting us on our own almost to our own devices. They give us some advice about safety, but their overarching concern is, "don't say anything about our position." That of course makes sense. But it really is, as you said, kind of amazing... The idea of broadcasting live from a battlefield... Actually being able to see this, being escorted into a position from which we can see these live fires, these first actions in a war. It's just an amazing -- it's just an amazing endeavor that the Pentagon has made here.
I will tell you that there is some concern in what I tell you. We're always kind of double checking with our brigade commander. Something that you or I might not think is very sensitive, they think is very sensitive and that has happened once or twice.
We certainly don't want to put anybody in jeopardy, we don't want to put ourselves in jeopardy and I think the Pentagon is relying on that. We're embedded with them. Our future lies with their future and we certainly don't want to jeopardize them or us.
SMITH: Certainly not. Absolutely amazing perspective and so fascinating to see this cooperation between the media the eyes and ears of the American public and the Pentagon -- and finding a balance where everybody can get his or her job done without causing problems for those on the ground. No doubt the history books will reflect that this was a first on this planet and Greg Kelly and [FOX News Correspondent] Rick Leventhal and many others are a part of it.
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