analytical center was created recently by a group of journalists and military
experts from Russia to provide accurate and up-to-date news and analysis
of the war against Iraq. The following is the English translation of the
IRAQWAR.RU report based on the Russian military intelligence reports.
[ < previous
report | next
report > ]
2003, 0924hrs MSK (GMT +4 DST), Moscow - During the past day the situation
on the US-Iraqi front remained largely unchanged. The US is continuing
reinforcing the attack group near Karabela for a thrust toward Baghdad.
By the morning of March 29 up to 20,000 coalition troops were massed in
the area of Karabela. This forces includes up to 200 tanks, 150 artillery
systems and more than 250 helicopters. The order for the attack will be
given by the coalition commander Gen. Tommy Franks, who, according to intercepted
radio communications, will personally inspect the troops during the next
yesterday an Apache attack helicopter crashed. Intercepted radio communications
show that the helicopter was heavily damaged in a combat mission. The helicopter's
pilot lost control during landing and the helicopter crashed, causing serious
damage to another helicopter that landed earlier.
troops have so far failed to take An-Nasiriya despite of the categorical
orders from the command and more than 800 combat missions by the strike
aircraft. All attempts to break through the Iraqi defense were met by Iraqi
counterattacks. After 24 hours of fighting the coalition troops only managed
to advance several hundred meters in two sectors near An-Nasiriya at the
cost of 4 destroyed armored personnel carriers, no less that 3 Marines
killed by sniper and mortar fire, 10 wounded and 2 missing in action. The
exact Iraqi losses are being determined.
have also failed to advance near An-Najaf. Every coalition attack was met
by massive artillery barrages from the Iraqi side. Later during the day
the Iraqis mounted a counterattack throwing the US forces back by 1.5-2
kilometers. No fewer than 10 Marines were killed or wounded. After exchanging
fire for six hours both warring sides remained in the same positions. Iraqi
losses in this area are estimated to be 20 killed and up to 40 wounded.
Near Basra the
British troops pushed the Iraqi defense lines on the Fao peninsula but
were unable to capture the entire peninsula. The British advance was a
maximum of 4 kilometers from the highway leading to Basra. Radio intercepts
show that in this attack the Iraqis shot down a British helicopter. Additionally,
two tanks and one APCs were destroyed by landmines. At least 2 [British]
servicemen were killed, around 20 were wounded and 15 were captured by
fire continued in the area of the Basra airport. The Iraqis destroyed one
coalition APC wounding two coalition soldiers. The Iraqi losses are difficult
to estimate, but available information suggests that up to 20 Iraqi soldiers
and local militia members might have been killed in the air and artillery
by the British troops to break through the Iraqi defenses from the south
along the Al-Arab river have yielded not results. The British command reported
that it is unable to storm Basra with the available forces and will require
no less than two additional brigades and at least five additional artillery
battalions. Thus, to avoid further casualties the British are adopting
defensive tactics, while trying to maintain a tight blockade around Basra
and trying to improve their positions with small localized attacks. The
British are also maintaining pressure on the Iraqi positions on the Fao
levels among the city's residents, according to interviews, is far from
critical. The Iraqi military made several public announcements to the residents
offering them a chance to leave the city. However, most of the residents
do not want to leave, fearing the faith of the Palestinian refugees, who,
after losing their homes, gained pariah status in the Arab world. Basra's
residents were extremely depressed by the video footage aired by the coalition
command showing Iraqis on the occupied territories fighting for food and
water being distributed by the coalition soldiers. The city's population
views this as a sample of what awaits them if the Americans come...
At the Al-Kuwait
airport the unloading of the 4th Mechanized Infantry Division is continuing
and is expected to be completed by the night of April 1. During a night
flight one of the US military transport aircraft requested an emergency
landing. What happened to the plane is still being determined.
coalition command is deciding how better use the 4th Infantry Division.
The complete deployment [of the division] and preparations for combat are
expected to take at least 10 days. However, the combat units require immediate
reinforcements and it is possible that the [4th Infantry} Division will
be joining combat in stages, as the units become ready. This will mean
a considerable reduction of the Division's combat effectiveness.
A report was
obtained, prepared by the Al-Kuwait-based [coalition] Psychological Operations
Tactical Group for the [coalition] Special Ground Forces Command. The report
analyzed the effectiveness of the information and propaganda war. According
to the report, analysis of the television broadcasts, intercepted radio
communications, interrogations of Iraqi POWs show that psychologically
the Iraqis are now "more stable and confident" that they were during the
last days before the war. This, according to the report, is due primarily
to the coalition's numerous military failures.
nervousness and depression [of the Iraqis] during the first days of the
war we can now observe a burst of patriotic and nationalistic feelings.
...There has been a sharp increase in the number of Iraqi refugees, who
left the country before the war, returning to Iraq. A "cult of war" against
the US and the UK is now emerging among the Iraqis...", the report states.
[Reverse translation from Russian]
analysts believe that if this attitude of the Iraqis is not changed within
the next 7 days, a "resistance ideology" may take over the Iraqi minds,
making the final [coalition] victory even more difficult. In response to
this report the US Army Psychological Operations command decided to combine
all Iraqi POWs into large groups and to distribute the resulting video
footage to the world media. A more active use of the Iraqi opposition was
suggested for propaganda work in the occupied villages. The same opposition
members will be used to create video footage of the "repented" Iraqi POWs
and footage of the local [Iraqi] population "opposing Saddam."
intercepted during the last five days suggest that the coalition is using
Israeli airfield for conducting night air strikes against Iraq. Combat
aircraft are taking off regularly from the [Israeli] Hatzerim and the Navatim
airbases do not return to the same bases but fly toward the border with
Jordan while maintaining complete radio silence.
are just Israeli Air Force exercises, However, [Russian] radio intercept
and radar units observe increased intensity of radio communications coming
from the Jordanian air force and air defense communication centers during
such overflights, as well as changes in the operating modes of the US Army
"Patriot" tracking radars deployed in Jordan. This indicates the Israeli
airbases as used as forward airfield or that some of the coalition air
force units are based there. Normally the IAF F-15I fighter-bombers and
A-4N strike aircraft operate from the Hatzerim airbase and the F-16 fighter-bombers
operate from the Nevatim base.
that these airbases may be used by the F-117 stealth bombers "officially"
based at the Al-Udaid airbase in Qatar. Using these two locations minimizes
the risk to the F-117s by allowing them to fly along the left bank of the
Euphrates (in the direction of Turkey) and to avoid the dangerous maneuvering
of the telephone stations in Baghdad did nothing to disrupt the communications
of the Iraqi army. The coalition command acknowledged this fact after analyzing
the dense [Iraqi] radio traffic. Because of that the USAF was ordered to
employ the most powerful available [conventional] munitions against predetermined
strategic targets. This attacks will be carried out immediately before
renewing ground advance.
03-29-03, translated by Venik)
[ < previous
report | next
report > ]