CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Baghdad Quiet Following Continuous Attacks
Aired March 20, 2003 - 17:42 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I want to check in with Nic Robertson. He's also far from home. He's in Baghdad right now, watch listening, trying to assess what's going on. We're showing our viewers live pictures. It seems like it's fairly quiet right now, Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, very quiet indeed. The roads are empty, the stars are out in the sky above, very few clouds at this time. And looking across the city, very, very, very quiet.
That ministry building that bore the brunt of several strikes earlier still smoldering, smoke coming out of the base of that building, just across the river from where I am. But very quiet at this time, Wolf.
Certainly, it is an eerily sense. However, at the same time as being quiet in this city, expecting very heavy bombardment to come. They don't know when, but they do expect it to come. The lights all on in the city, the streetlights, the lights in many of the buildings and the apartments close where we are in the suburbs.
I'm looking at good visibility now, looking out toward the suburbs, maybe 10, 12 miles off in the distance. All of the lights on there, the lights are on in the bridges along the river, all on here -- Wolf.
BLITZER: There's nothing that mandates, Nic, the U.S. military from only launching these kinds of missiles and precision-guided bombs at night. They can do it during the day. Many of our viewers probably remember during the first Gulf War, a cruise missile flying over Baghdad during daytime hours. Very visible. The Iraqis trying to shoot down those cruise missiles.
Do Iraqis differentiate between nighttime and daytime as far as the threat level that they perceive?
ROBERTSON: I think certainly they feel the threat is greater at nighttime. They certainly know that their capabilities probably do not match in terms of night visions, do not match the capabilities of coalition forces at this time.
That is, however, having said that, the level of security on the streets here seems perhaps slightly higher during the day than it is at nighttime. But it does seem to be the nighttime that they fear the most, the streets are at their emptiest and during the daytime, some limited, very limited traffic about. But people perhaps lulled into a false sense of security, thinking because it's daytime, nothing will happen.
Indeed, I suppose if one was to analyze what happened this particular day, they would be foolish to think the other days that follow should be models for this. But indeed the daylight hours here on this day, no big impacts in this city no big attacks in this city during the daylight hours. So perhaps for Iraqis, they may get the impression therefore the days are somewhat safer -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Nic Robertson in Baghdad. Nic, thanks very much for that report. We'll be checking back with you often.
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