Some conflicting reports here: Some rumors (from al-Jazeera) report that Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz has fled to Turkey and defected. (No links yet that I can find. Source is U.S. Army.) But another report on Al Bawaba reports that he was caught trying to enter Iraqi Kurdistan and shot dead.
Also, DEBKA is reporting reports of Tariq Aziz’s whereabouts. (DEBKA is currently under heavy strain and not easily reachable):
Kurdish sources confirm that Iraqi deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz is in their hands and is being questioned by US intelligence officials.
Earlier, as American and British forces began invasion of Iraq, DEBKAfile?s military sources reported persistent rumor that two leading powerbrokers of Saddam?s regime had fled Baghdad: deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz, who is thought to be hiding in Kurdistan in northern Iraq, and vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan who has not been seen for three days.
It also reports that U.S. Marines and British 1st Armoured Division have moved into Iraq in the direction of Umm Qasr. A second column of 3rd Infantry Division troops have crossed into the demilitarized zone on Iraqi border with Kuwait, with thousands of tanks, combat vehicles and fuel trucks. [I heard this one on NPR today — Ed.]
Also– Back-to-Iraq’s hosting service is currently experience massive bandwidth problems, which is why the site is so slow. We don’t yet if it’s a router problem or what the issue is. We are working to resolve the issue.