Explosions rocked the Iraqi capital Friday night, triggering giant fireballs and causing plumes of smoke to rise from the city. Among the targets hit was Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's presidential complex. Witnesses say the northern cities of Kirkuk and Mosul have also come under attack.
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told a Pentagon briefing that the Iraqi government is starting to lose control of the country.
The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, said several hundred targets will be hit in the air campaign in coming hours. He said ground forces have pushed 160 kilometers into Iraq.
The US military had said it would launch a major aerial war that would invoke "shock and awe" in the campaign to oust President Saddam.
US and British forces seized territory in southern and western Iraq on Friday after launching their ground offensive.
US defense officials say American forces seized two airfields (called H-2 and H-3) in western Iraq. Coalition forces raced across the desert toward Baghdad, while other troops seized the port of Umm Qasr. British forces secured the strategic Faw peninsula on the Persian Gulf. Coalition forces are now moving to take Iraq's second largest city, Basra.
General Myers said coalition forces also boarded three Iraqi tugboats in the Persian Gulf and found mines, weapons, and uniforms.
The British military's chief of staff, Admiral Michael Boyce, says Iraqi troops are surrendering in significant numbers. He says only seven oil wells have been set on fire in southern Iraq -- not 30 as previously reported.
Two US Marines were killed in southern Iraq -- the first coalition combat fatalities of the war. Four other Americans and eight Britons died in northern Kuwait early on Friday in what is believed to be an accidental crash of a U-S Marine helicopter.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair told reporters in Brussels the military campaign is going well, but he said the war will not be won overnight. He said there are signs of continuing Iraqi desertions and disagreements at all levels of the Iraqi government.
In Washington, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said a number of channels are open to Baghdad to convey the message that it is now inevitable that there will be a leadership change in Iraq. He said it would be wise for Iraqi leaders to realize, in his words, "their day is over."