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U.S. Attacks Baghdad in Force

Posted April. 09, 2003 21:56,   


The United States Army, which has seized most of the western embankment of the Tigris River splitting Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq, engaged in street-by-street fighting on April 9. The forces began enveloping attacks from the western, northern and southern parts of Baghdad in order to advance east.

The Iraqi Army and what is left of the Republican Guard launched counterattacks against the U.S., but it looks as if their already-battered defenses are giving way.

Quoting from eyewitness reports, AFP Communications reported that the U.S. Army entered Saddam City located in northeast Baghdad on the night of April 8 without any resistance from the Iraqis.

AFP Communications reported that U.S. soldiers were welcomed by the Iraqis living in Saddam City where Shi`a Moslems are mostly concentrated. However, they also reported that the city is full of civilians taking part in looting throughout the entire city.

Following the capture of Al Lasid Airport located 5 kilometers southeast of central Baghdad on the previous day, the U.S. Army First Infantry Division began its advance into the center of the city after crossing the Diyali River on April 9.

Foreign correspondents communicated that the Fifth Infantry Division is continuously narrowing its gap towards Baghdad from the north.

This is the first instance of a major push by U.S. forces from north of Baghdad.

The Third Infantry Division, which has established its headquarter at the old Presidential Palace on the western embankment of the Tigris River, engaged in fierce fighting with Iraqis in such places as Al-Jumhuriya bridge, which crosses the Tigris River.

The British press, quoting from reports from their correspondents, said that it seems that President Saddam Hussein has survived despite the `targeted attack` of the U.S. Army earlier in the week. The United States clarified their position by stating that the survival of President Hussein is still unclear.

Eun-Taek Hong euntack@donga.com