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U.S. Soldiers Worn Out Due to Delay of Supply Convoy

Posted March. 30, 2003 22:30,   


The U.S. 1st Marine Regiment of the 1st Division which journalists accompany has reduced its portable food rations to two meals a day on Saturday. It then further reduced its food rations to one meal a day on Sunday; however the only meal for Sunday was still served until 12 p.m. Soldiers can take enough daily required calories from two portable meal packs which consist of steak, seasoned roasted chicken, biscuits and other items. Soldiers on the front line however can hardly endure a single day with only one meal.

Soldiers appeared to be worn out since Saturday when rations started to be reduced. Soldiers lying in the streets because they have nothing to do since the unit stopped an advance were seen. “Some things are already going wrong. It’s only the beginning of war,” some soldiers muttered to themselves.

One meal a day was also not enough for journalists, their stomachs were rumbling. They took out and ate leftovers from previously saved portable meals. “We are in deep trouble if the supply convoy does not arrive today,” an anxious staff sergeant mumbled.

Military vehicles of the unit were supposed to be refueled on Saturday, but it was delayed on Sunday morning. The unit probably has to delay its advance to Baghdad because of its fuel shortage.

Kurtalhi where the unit was located since Saturday at 6 p.m. is between the Euphrates River and the Tigris River and is another 30km south to reach Kurt. Kurtalhi was a region historically known for farming. Now it is surrounded by bushes and barley fields. On the way to Kurtalhi, a few houses were seen every few hundred meters. U.S. soldiers were anxious because they could not predict where Iraqi militiamen would pop up.

“Houses and buildings within 500 meters, the Russian RPG-7 rocket launcher range, must be first checked to see if the area is safe to enter. Iraqi militiamen might be hiding in one of the houses,” said one captain.

Iraqi militiamen not only attack with RPG-7 rocket launchers but also carry out suicide attacks by shooting from civilian vehicles at U.S. troops. One small truck ran into a U.S. infantry soldier crossing National Highway 7. U.S. soldiers warned them to stop in Arabic but the truck ignored the warning and continued driving. Machine guns were fired at the driver`s seat and when the car was inspected, the driver was already dead.

(Editor`s Footnote: All articles of war correspondents must undergo pre-censoring by U.S. authorities. This article did not clearly write whether the truck driver was a militiaman.)