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6 April 2003 (morning)
Subj: [liberation_news] Russian Intel update: April 6, Iraqi Baghdad defense intact
Date: 4/6/2003 11:36:01 AM Central Daylight Time
Russian Military Intel update: War in Iraq, April 6 (morning)
"All the claims made by aviation commander of the coalition, general Michael Mosley, about '¡Iraqi army, as an organized structure consisting of large units, exists no longer¡' are contrary to fact and, according to analytics, are probably connected with severe pressure put on the military command by American financial groups that desperately needed good news from the US-Iraqi front by the end of the financial week. In fact, the Republican Guards defending Baghdad have not lost even 5% of their numerical strength and military equipment."
April 6th, Morning
By the morning of April 6th an uncertain and quickly changing situation has developed. Coalition divisions are continuing to advance toward the city outskirts. The 22nd and 15th expeditionary marine squadrons are trying to break into the region of military airport ¡°Rashid¡± from south-east. Iraqis are holding the line along the Diyala river and currently the marines cannot capture beach-heads on the right bank.
A hard situation has formed near the international airport. The day before yesterday the Iraqi minister of propaganda claimed that the coalition forces in this region would have been eliminated by this morning, and the Iraqi command ordered to storm the airport. At 10am it was attacked by 3 Republican Guards battalions enforced with militia troops. Americans requested artillery and aviation support. The battle lasted for almost 6 hours. After several unsuccessful attacks Iraqis managed to drive Americans back from the second runway to the airport building. Currently the coalition forces control the building itself and the new runway bordering it. During the day the foes had to increase their strength and deploy reinforcements. By the evening up to 2 regular Iraqi brigades and 2 thousand militiamen were fighting for the airport. Americans had to use all available forces of the 3rd Mechanized Division and 101st Airborne Division to repulse the attacks. Only assault aircraft and battle helicopters made more than 300 operation flights to this region.
During the fight Iraqis lost up to 20 tanks, 10 APC, about 200 men killed and up to 300 wounded. The American losses were up to 30 men killed, about 50 wounded, at least 4 tanks, 4 APC and 1 helicopter. But it is impossible to obtain the exact data yet. By this hour there have been more than 20 flights for evacuation of killed and wounded coalition soldiers and the command have requested ambulance aviation again.
The combat was so intense that commander of the 3rd Mechanized Division general-major Bufford Blunt had to issue an order to organize a false strike. Around 8am from Khan-Azad road junction an attack was organized in order to demonstrate tank vanguards of a large subdivision advancing toward Al-Daura from south. The group was able to reach the outskirts of the town near the Avajridge village. After entering the village the group was met by Republican Guards. In direct combat the group lost 2 tanks, 3 APC, 3 men killed, up to 10 wounded and, after two hours of fighting, withdrew to the main forces. Iraqis lost 4 tanks, 2 APC and up to 30 men killed.
By the evening the foes reduced their activity and were regrouping last night. Americans are rapidly fortifying their defense positions and deploying reinforcements to the airport region, increasing their forces at Khan-Azad and Abu-Harraib. Iraqis are moving anti-armor divisions closer to the city outskirts.
Despite the exchange of strikes there are no reasons to expect any serious attempts to capture the city in the nearest future. By numerical strength the coalition troops that have reached the city borders do not meet even the minimal requirements for storming and heavy urban fights. Coalition forces by Baghdad number up to 18-20 thousand men and can be enforced with no more than 3-5 thousand men while the minimal force necessary to capture a city like Baghdad equals from 80 to 100 thousand soldiers.
According to weather forecasts, in the coming day the weather may abruptly change to the worse. The wind is expected to intensify, visibility may reduce to 200-300 m.
All the claims made by aviation commander of the coalition, general Michael Mosley, about ¡°¡Iraqi army, as an organized structure consisting of large units, exists no longer¡¡± are contrary to fact and, according to analytics, are probably connected with severe pressure put on the military command by American financial groups that desperately needed good news from the US-Iraqi front by the end of the financial week. In fact, the Republican Guards defending Baghdad have not lost even 5% of their numerical strength and military equipment. Most of those losses were due to bombardments and not land combat. The total losses of Iraqi army since the beginning of the war have not exceeded 5-8% of their defensive potential. This means the main battles are still to be seen.
The situation in other sectors of the US-Iraqi front will be summarized closer to this evening.
[ translated by Necroman ]