IN THE KUWAITI DESERT – Meeting no resistance, advance elements of the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division entered southern Iraq late Sunday to reinforce the American war effort.
The advance units were scouting the way for a convoy expected to roll in early Monday and continue throughout the day, said Maj. Mike Silverman. He said no resistance had been met.
With the advance of American troops into Tikrit on Sunday and the last vestiges of Iraqi resistance crumbling, it was not clear whether the division would see any action or take more of a stabilization role.
The division had initially been a key part of the American war plan, to invade Iraq from the north through Turkey as the 3rd Infantry Division invaded south from Kuwait.
But the plan had to be abandoned after the Turkish parliament voted against allowing the United States to use Turkey as a staging area. Instead, the division's 14,000 pieces of equipment and some 30,000 troops were sent to Kuwait but arrived too late to be part of the initial attack.
Using the cover of darkness, elements of the 1st Brigade made their way across sandy roads in Humvees and into Iraq.
The 4th Infantry Division is considered the Army's most deployable heavy division, equipped with a sophisticated computer system linking all vehicles and boasting the latest tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and Apache attack helicopters.