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U.S. Baghdad Invasion `D-Day`

Posted April. 03, 2003 22:22,   


U.S. forces won the first all-out-battle with the Republican Guard which was expected to be a fierce battle without much effort. The high spirited U.S. forces swept away the Iraqis up to 32 km south of Baghdad on Thursday.

On the progress of war Wednesday and Thursday, coalition commanders and major media said, “We`ve gained solid momentum for victory after having overcome the initial difficulties” in excitement.

The all-out-war took place nearby Babylon, southwest of Baghdad and Kut, southeast of Baghdad on Wednesday. U.S. forces crossed the `red line` around Baghdad that the military believed could trigger a chemical attack by Iraqi forces, but Iraqi resistance was weaker than expected. The U.S. 3rd Infantry Division, which fought with the Medina Division southwest of Baghdad, claimed that they secured major bridges along the Euphrates River and killed 500 Iraqi soldiers 32 km south of Baghdad on Thursday.

The 1st U.S Marine Division also achieved an easy victory against a Baghdad Division near Kut and advanced towards Baghdad along Highway 6 after crossing the Tigris River.

There are conflicting analyses on the reason for U.S. forces` easy to achieve victory against the Iraqi elite forces. Some claim that Iraqi forces retreated to concentrate all their defense capabilities to Baghdad while the others claim that massive air raids conducted over the past week dramatically weakened Iraqi military forces by over a half.

There are however three remaining Republic Guard Divisions which still are in good shape. The Adnan Division is lying in ambush southeast of Baghdad, the Medina Division is hiding in ambush at strategic points in southwest Baghdad. The Special Republic Guard is also deployed widely in hospitals and residential districts as well as others in the city of Baghdad itself.

U.S. forces seem to continue their advance towards Baghdad and will reach Baghdad on Friday at the earliest. Military experts, however, believe that U.S. forces are unlikely to advance on the city of Baghdad immediately. According to their analysis, U.S. forces are likely to engage in reconnaissance or wait for the 4th Infantry Division.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who prefers an intensive surprise offensive, could conduct a street-to-street fight in the city of Baghdad immediately. In other words, this would not be all-out-war, but Marines could advance troops from the southeast, and could attack the last defensive line of the Iraqis.

Field army commanders however, are opposed to this strategy as there are not yet enough soldiers to conduct street-to-street fighting in Baghdad.

U.S. forces believe the chance of Iraqi forces in using chemical weapons has been reduced. Even if Iraqi forces, now almost certain to lose the war, use chemical weapons, U.S. forces would not be much affected by them, and the Iraqi government would in turn, lose justification in fighting the U.S. in the first place.