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.
NOTE: This translation is as
of ca. 0307 hrs Pacific Time on the 4th, and was posted at 0224 hours PT
on the 5th.
The tactical information included
is estimated to be as of ca. 2100 on the 3rd of April, Pacific Time, US,
which is 0900 on April 4, Moscow
That is a 29 hour lag time.
12 hrs clock, 17 hrs. slippage.
[ < previous
report | next
report > ]
2003, 1507hrs MSK (GMT +4 DST), Moscow - By the morning of April 4
the situation on the US-Iraqi front showed a tendency toward stabilization.
As the forward coalition units reach Baghdad they fulfill their primary
orders outlined by the coalition command. During the four days of the advance
elements of the US 3rd Mechanized Infantry Division have bypassed from
the east the Iraqi defenses at Karabela and, without encountering any resistance,
advanced around 140 kilometers along the Karabela-Baghdad highway and reached
the Iraqi capital. However, the goals of this attack will be fully achieved
only when the US Marine brigades, now advancing along the left bank of
the Tigris, reach the southeastern outskirts of Baghdad.
are that the breakthrough by the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Mechanized Infantry
Division toward the Baghdad international airport, although a significant
thrust forward, did not come as a surprise to the Iraqi command. The US
units occupying the airport area did not encounter here any significant
resistance (the airport was guarded by no more than 2-3 Iraqi companies
without any heavy weapons) nor did they see any indication that the Iraqis
were even planning on defending the airport. Except for the line of trenches
along the airport's perimeter the US troops found no other defensive structures.
The airport was clear from all aircraft with the exception of a few old
fuselages and a passenger plane (possible belonging to a Jordanian airline
company), which did not have time to leave the airport before the flight
restrictions were announced by the coalition with the beginning of the
coalition group of forces in the airport area number up to 4,000 troops,
up to 80 tanks and about 50 artillery systems. It should be expected that
several helicopter squadrons from the 101st Airborne Division will be deployed
here in the next several hours.
electronic surveillance the coalition command in Qatar order the attacking
US forces to halt on at least three occasions. The command ordered additional
reconnaissance to be done in the airport area fearing there may carefully
concealed Iraqi units and extensive defenses. The coalition command issued
the final order to capture the airport only until the coalition reconnaissance
units contacted the command headquarters directly from the airport terminal.
The Iraqi forces protecting the airport offered little resistance and after
a few exchanges of fire withdrew toward the city. Communication was lost
with one of the coalition units protecting the flanks of the advancing
column. It is still being determined whether this unit got lost or if it
encountered an ambush.
the US positions [in the airport area] were attacked by the militia forces
probably from among the local population. The militia was dispersed by
tank and APC fire.
The 2nd brigade
of the [3rd Mechanized Infantry] Division reached the southern outskirts
of Baghdad and is currently located near the intersection of the Baghdad-Amman
and Baghdad-Karabela highways.
claims of "completely destroying" the "Media" ("Al Madina al Munavvara")
and the "Hammurali" Republican Guard divisions of the 2nd Republican Guard
Corps received no confirmation. No more than 80 destroyed Iraqi armored
vehicles were found along the coalition's route of advance, which corresponds
to about 20% of a single standard Iraqi Republican Guard division.
It has been
determined that only a few forward elements of the "Hammurali" Division
participated in combat while the entire division withdrew toward Baghdad.
A single brigade of the "Medina" division was involved in combat. The brigade
was split in two groups during fighting and withdrew toward Baghdad and
toward Karabela to join the main forces of the ["Medina"] division.
are the numbers of the Iraqis captured by the coalition. In four days of
advance the US troops captured just over 1,000 people only half of whom,
according to the reports by the US field commander, can be considered regular
troops of the Iraqi army. There are virtually no abandoned or captured
Iraqi combat vehicles. All of this indicates that so far there has been
no breakthrough for the coalition; Iraqi troops are not demoralized and
the Iraqi command is still in control of its forces.
changes occurred at other Iraqi resistance areas.
continuing at An-Nasiriya where the US troops are still unable to capture
the part of the town on the left side of the river. Despite of the announcement
by the US command about the "near complete control of the city", exchanges
of fire are continuing and just during the last day the US forces sustained
one killed and no fewer than three wounded. The US troops are no longer
trying to storm the areas [of An-Nasiriya] held by the elements of the
Iraqi 11th Infantry Division, but instead use artillery and aviation to
methodically destroy these areas.
was also unable to take the city of An-Najaf. The designated brigade of
the 101st Airborne Division was able to take control only of the southern
outskirts of the city and now has halted its advance using artillery and
aviation to destroy the city blocks occupied by the Iraqi defenders. Intercepted
radio communications indicate at least three killed or wounded US troops.
The Iraqis remain
in control of Al-Hillah on the left side of the river. There are continuing
exchanges of fire and the city is under a constant artillery barrage.
Nearly all fighting
has stopped near Karabela, where the US forces limit their action to blockading
the city and launching artillery attacks against Karabela’s outskirts.
The available US forces in this region are only sufficient for the blockade
and for now no reinforcements can be expected. The 4th Infantry Division,
currently unloading in Kuwait, will be able to move into Iraq no sooner
than April 6. Additionally, the “newest”and the most modern division is
actually only a partially-deployed force and numbers up to 12,000 troops
–only about half the size of the 3rd Infantry Division already fighting
A tense situation
remains near the town of An-Divania. According to radio surveillance, the
coalition forces were forced out of the town and thrown back 3-5 kilometers
as the result of a three-hour-long firefight. The US field commanders reported
2 lost tanks and up to 5 lost APCs. Some 7 [coalition] soldiers were killed,
4 are missing and up to 20 were wounded. During the past 24 hours coalition
medevac helicopters flew more than ten missions to this area. As an emergency
measure a 101st Airborne Division’s battalion is currently being deployed
to An-Divania. The town is under artillery and aircraft attacks.
With much difficulty
the British marine infantry is advancing near Basra. However, despite their
best efforts the British are only able to attack the outer defensive perimeter
stretching along the Shatt-al-Basra canal. By today’s morning the British
were finally able to take control of the bridge on the As-Zubair –Basra
highway and to establish positions of the opposite side of the river. During
the fighting one British tank was hit, one APC was destroyed and up to
10 soldiers were killed or wounded. Now the British are facing Basra’s
main defense lines located 1.5 kilometers ahead of them.
The Iraqis still
control a portion of the Fao peninsula. Today the Iraqi artillery attacked
the Al-Fao port. No casualty figures are currently available.
reveals Iraqi resistance units fighting on the territories occupied by
the British. A Kuwaiti radio source reported an attack last night resulting
in a fire on one of the oil wells where the previous fire was just recently
extinguished. Coalition troops deployed in Umm-Qasr come under regular
automatic weapons fire during the night hours. Radio surveillance indicates
that yesterday coalition troops conducted a massive operation in the town
to find the resistance members.
In the north
of Iraq the Kurdish units have stopped their advance after encountering
resistance by the Iraqi troops. Kurdish field commanders told the US officers
they will not go forward unless the Americans “clear the way”for them.
There is information pointing to certain financial motives behind this
attitude of the Kurdish commanders. The US Brig. Gen. Osman, who commands
the US troops in this area, told one of the Pentagon officials during a
phone conversation: “for them [the Kurds] to move forward we literally
have to throw a stack of dollars in front of them!”
At the same
time the “Patriotic Union of Kurdistan”leaders are trying to distance themselves
from these [Kurdish] field commanders, calling them “uncontrollable borderline
gangs”According to them [the Kurdish leaders] these rogue units number
no more than 3000 fighters.
coming from Qatar indicates that the coalition command is seriously concerned
with the possibility of another sand storm. Not only will this delay the
blockade of Baghdad, but it will also leave the coalition without its major
advantage –the aviation, without which the coalition will be left one on
one with a numerically superior enemy
04-04-03, translated by Venik)
[ < previous
report | next
report > ]