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.
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[NOTE: (inserted by JP, April
3, 2003, 0900 GMT) This translation is of material relating to the
situation on April 1, before the events of April 2:
April 2, 2003,
1335hrs MSK (GMT +4 DST), Moscow - Exceptionally difficult and unstable
situation has developed on the US-Iraqi front by the morning of April 1.
The coalition troops are persistently trying to take control of the strategic
"triangle" Karabela - Al-Khindiya - Al-Iskanderiya. At the same time the
coalition units are continuing their advance toward Al-Kut and An-nu-Manyah,
but so far the US forces were unable to take any of these towns. To move
forward the US units are forced to leave behind large numbers of troops
needed to blockade the towns remaining under Iraqi control. The An-Najaf
and An-Nasiriya garrisons are still involved in active combat deep behind
the coalition forward lines.
the "bridging" of the Tigris st Al Kut
by the Marines there, with the accompanying 'reduction' of the Baghdad
Division of the Republican Guard
the entry into An Najaf by the 101st
Airborne, with little resistance except for fire from the Shrine of Ali
Mosque which was ignored.
the bypassing of Karabela and the engagement
and apparent reduction of the Medina Division of the Republican Guard.
the capture and protection of the dam
at An Razazah
a drive North from the area of Karabela
toward Al Fallujah
the morale lifting operation rescuing
a POW from a hospital in An-Nasiriya. That rescue was undercover
of an intense, simultaneous firefight on the other side of An Nasiriya.
That firefight has apparently interested the Russian analysts, who seem
not to have noted its diversionary nature.
What a difference a day makes!]
command had to deploy two brigades from the 101st Airborne Division to
blockade and to storm An-Najaf and An-Nasiriya. These two brigades will
replace elements of the US 1st Marine Division (the 15th Marine Expeditionary
Unit under the command of Col. John Waldhauser) that has been fighting
in this area for the past six days. These "heavy" attack brigades are currently
being deployed to the area of intense fighting near Al-Hillah.
show that the territory "captured" by the coalition forces still contains
at least 30,000 Iraqi regular troops and militia engaged in active combat.
Military experts are already warning the US command about the danger of
underestimating the enemy: doing so may seriously complicate the situation
of the attacking forces and foil the coalition's very optimistic plans.
On the other
hand, the Iraqi command is being forced to withdraw its troops under the
protection of towns. Iraqis are also forced to minimize all active combat
operations outside the city limits as the desert terrain maximizes the
enemy's advantage in aviation and its technological superiority in reconnaissance
and targeting systems. This robs the Iraqis of their mobility and forces
them to resort to "fortress-like" type of warfare, which, clearly, is significantly
reducing their combat effectiveness.
the command of the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Division has completely abandoned
its plans to storm the town. After blocking Karabela on three sides the
3rd Infantry Division directed its main thrust toward the towns of Al-Musaib
and Al-Khindiya. Heavy combat is continuing in this area for the second
day. The US is continuously escalating the intensity of its attacks and
is using nearly all artillery and tank units available to the strike group's
command. Nevertheless, the coalition forces are still unable to penetrate
the Iraqi defenses. The commander of the 3rd Infantry Division Major General
Buford Blount is reporting fierce Iraqi resistance. According to the General,
elements of the 2nd Iraqi Republican Guard "Medina" Division that are defending
these positions maintain high combat potential and are repelling all attempts
to break through their lines. During the past day and today's early morning
the [coalition] field commanders have reported the loss of up to 5 tanks,
7-10 APCs and IFVs and no less than 9 killed. At least one helicopter was
hit and made an emergency landing. Two more helicopters reported taking
serious damage and their situation so far is unknown. Iraqi losses [near
Karabela], based on the US reports from the battlefield, include at least
300 killed and up to 30 destroyed tanks and APCs. In the morning the coalition
forces have ceased the attack and now the Iraqi positions are being engaged
by aviation. The next [coalition] attack is anticipated during the night.
is continuing in the town of Al-Hillah. Despite strong aviation and artillery
support the US Marine units are still unable to strengthen their positions
on the left bank of the Euphrates and to push the Iraqi forces out of the
town. During the past 24 hours the US Marines in Al-Hillah lost up to 5
armored vehicles; at least 10 soldiers were killed or wounded. According
to the reports by the US commanders, the Iraqi losses during this time
amount to at least 100 killed; 10 reinforced strongholds inside the town
have been destroyed; there are reports of 80 Iraqis captured during a cleanup
operation in the occupied part of the town.
A crisis situation
has developed in the area of Al-Divania. Having encountered no initial
Iraqi opposition elements of the US Marine 2nd Expeditionary Unit begun
advancing toward the town but were met with heavy artillery and mortar
fire and were forced to assume defensive positions resorting to close combat.
The exchange of fire continued for nearly seven hours resulting in up to
12 destroyed US tanks and APCs and up to 20 killed or wounded Marines.
Currently the Iraqi positions are being attacked by artillery and aviation.
attempts by the US troops to storm the part of An-Nasiriya on the left
bank [of the Euphrates] yielded no results. After moving behind the Iraqi
positions, while simultaneously attacking them from the front, the US troops
still were unable to break the Iraqi defenses and by morning were forced
to return to the their starting positions. The coalition losses in this
engagement, according to reports by [the US] field commanders, were 2 killed
and up to 12 wounded; a [US] helicopter took a hit and made an emergency
landing in the northern part of An-Nasiriya.
Also no results
came from the coalition attempts to capture An-Najaf. All US attacks were
repelled. There have been reports of 3 destroyed APCs and at least 5 killed
or wounded coalition troops.
Near Basra the
British forces are still unable to tighten their blockade of the city.
During the night the Iraqis attacked British units near the village of
Shujuh and threw the British back 1.5-2 kilometers. According to the Iraqi
reports, at least 5 British soldiers were killed in this attack. The British,
on the other hand, have reported 2 missing and 4 wounded soldiers. Iraqis
have reported that a destroyed British tank and two APCs were left behind
on the battlefield.
units from the US 82nd Airborne Division and the 22nd SAS Regiment, earlier
deployed to northern Iraq near the town of Al-Buadj, were destroyed and
dispersed as the result of a daylong battle with the Iraqi troops. The
exact number of [coalition] losses is still being verified. Intercepted
radio communications show that the coalition troops are retreating in small
groups and have no exact information about their own losses. Currently
the remaining units are trying to reach the Kurdish-controlled territory.
It is believed that up to 30 [coalition] soldiers were killed or captured
by the Iraqis.
believe that today and tomorrow will decide the outcome of the attack on
Baghdad that begun two days ago. If the coalition forces fail to break
the Iraqi defenses, then by the weekend the US will be forced to curtail
all attacks and to resort to positional warfare while regrouping forces
and integrating them with the fresh divisions arriving from the US and
Europe. Such a tactical pause in the war, although not a complete halt
in combat operations (the coalition command will continue trying to use
localized attacks to improve its positions), may last seven to fourteen
days and will lead to a full re-evaluation of all coalition battle plans.
04-02-03, translated by Venik)
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