We are in Baghdad, in the heart of the city
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  1. #1

    We are in Baghdad, in the heart of the city

    This morning by 6:00 am, (7:00 pm west coast time) US military units moved into Baghdad from two different directions.

    One unit is in the heart of the City.

    The Republican Guard's Medina Headquarters near the city was captured... with little resisitance.

    Now what?

  2. #2


    Do you think the Iraqis collapsed too easily? Could they be giving up ground to pull our troops into one of their creative defenses?

  3. #3
    They haven't been too creative lately, and if these reports are true, they don't have much more real eatate to give up.

    Kuwait City - US armour penetrated the "heart of Baghdad" early on Saturday encountering occasionally stiff resistance from Iraqi forces using rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and horizontally fired anti-aircraft weapons, CNN reported.

    "Right now elements of the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division - that is a tank unit - are rolling in the heart of Baghdad itself. They are deep within the city limits," the US-based network's correspondent on the city's outskirts, Walter Rodgers, said in a live dispatch.

    "They are encountering resistance ... stiff resistance at times," he said, citing US military sources.

    The Iraqi defenders were using 20mm anti-aircraft guns in "direct fire mode" to pound US forces with shrapnel, as well as RPGs and small-arms fire, he added.

    The resistance "may have slowed progress, but there is continuing progress" into the capital, he said, adding that it must have been "quite a jolt" for Baghdad residents as they woke up to see coalition forces on their doorsteps.

    The incursion into Baghdad followed the announcement by US commanders that they had seized control of the capital's international airport, just 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the city centre. - Sapa-AFP

  4. #4
    I hope the Iraqis are only creative in talking trash.
    20 mm direct fire sounds brutal.
    Thanks for the update.

  5. #5
    CENCOM is now saying that both armour, infantry, and air support will be plainly visible to the public & the news media.
    I can't wait to hear what the Iraqi Information Minister has to say about this. He's been spinning some real whoppers lately.

  6. #6
    Sometimes I hear the Iraqi reports through a local radio station driving to work. I lmao at the slant on those reports from Baghdad. Still seems eerie to me. I remember times when I caught somebody pulling some sh*t and they tried to convince me that I hadn't seen it (always p*ssed me off). The Iraqi reports (and much of the anti-war talk) reminds me of that.

  7. #7
    Greybeard, yer just jealous, 'cause you can't lie like like yerself! LOL

  8. #8
    Man, I don't know anyone that can tell that many lies at one sittin.
    Evidently lyin ain't a sin in Islam.

  9. #9
    LMAO. At least not that many big ones at one sittin'! LOL

  10. #10


    Bones will teach you, Bones will say things and it'll take you weeks before you realize what he said... LOL

    get you to thinking...LOL

  11. #11
    The Iraqis that dont stand down will be hurt badly

  12. #12

    Summer in the City

    It's going to be a long, night for them, in the city

    To Play or stop the music click here

    U.S. Forces Head Into Heart of Baghdad
    In the Field: Reports From The Post's Embedded Correspondents

    From Baghdad: The Post's Anthony Shadid Reports

    By Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Peter Baker
    Washington Post Foreign Service
    Saturday, April 5, 2003; 8:21 AM

    KUWAIT CITY, April 5 (Saturday) -- U.S. Army troops and armored vehicles entered Baghdad in large numbers this morning for the first time, military officials said, probing toward the heart of an Iraqi capital now ringed by U.S. forces.

    After armored Marine columns pushed to the eastern outskirts of Baghdad on Friday and Army troops seized full control of the international airport, the U.S. forces appeared to have Baghdad and its 5 million inhabitants in a vise by day's end, with Marines in the east, Army brigades to the south and west and Special Operations forces blocking the main highway leading north.

    This morning, two task forces from the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, with at least 20 Abrams tanks and 10 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, entered the city from the south. The force moved as far north as the Tigris River, near the city center, then veered west to the airport, Air Force Maj. Gen. Victor Renuart said in a briefing at U.S. Central Command in Doha, Qatar.

    "It was a clear statement of the ability of coalition forces to move at the time and place of their choosing," Renuart said.

    Television news footage showed groups of civilians gathering at intersections to wave at the advancing column as destroyed Iraqi armored vehicles smoldered all around.

    President Saddam Hussein's government responded to the swift advance with rhetoric as well as force, though U.S. officials described resistance to this morning's assault as sporadic and relatively light.

    Iraq's information minister, Mohammed Saeed Sahhaf, said today that Baghdad was firmly under Iraqi control. He denied reports that U.S. troops had reached the city center and said Iraqi troops had defeated U.S. forces at Baghdad's airport overnight. "Everything is okay," Sahhaf said.

    On Friday, state television aired a tape of Hussein on Friday exhorting Iraqis to "strike the enemy with force" and subsequently showed footage of a grinning man said to be Hussein, clad in an olive-green military uniform and black beret, walking down a Baghdad street and getting mobbed by enthusiastic supporters.

    Both tapes appeared to have been filmed after the war started on March 20; the speech referred to an AH-64D Apache helicopter that went down March 24 and the street scene showed smoke from oil fires set over the past two weeks. As a result, they provided the strongest evidence to date that the Iraqi leader had survived a U.S. airstrike designed to kill him on the first night of the war as well as the relentless pounding of government buildings and palaces that has persisted ever since.

    Although the worst fears of U.S. commanders failed to materialize -- Hussein's Republican Guard divisions did not mount a concerted counter-offensive or use chemical weapons -- unconventional strikes continued against U.S. troops as promised last week by Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan.

    Three U.S. soldiers were killed Thursday night in a suicide attack at a checkpoint near the Haditha Dam, on the Euphrates River 130 miles northwest of Baghdad, when a pregnant woman crying in distress lured the troops toward a vehicle rigged with explosives. Journalists traveling with a Marine convoy also reported that a truck drove up to an Abrams tank traveling toward Baghdad and detonated; it was not known whether any U.S. troops were killed or injured in that incident.

    U.S. officials said the three Americans killed near Haditha were Special Operations forces assigned to screen traffic on the road between Baghdad and the dam, which was captured earlier this week to prevent the Iraqi government from sabotaging the structure and flooding the Euphrates. The attack was the second suicide bombing against U.S. forces in Iraq. Four soldiers were killed last Saturday when a taxi exploded at a military checkpoint near Najaf.

    In addition, the Pentagon announced this morning that eight bodies found during the rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch in the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah were those of American soldiers. And a U.S. Super Cobra attack helicopter crashed early today in central Iraq, killing two Marine pilots, the Central Command said.

    As of Friday, the Pentagon had identified 58 U.S. soldiers and Marines killed in action or missing in action since the war began 16 days ago, with well more than 100 wounded. The Defense Department count, which awaits positive identification and notification of families, lags behind battlefield reports.

    Michael Kelly, a columnist for The Washington Post and editor at large for The Atlantic Monthly magazine, was killed Thursday night along with a U.S. soldier when their Humvee ran off a road. Kelly became the first American journalist to die in the war.

    Suicide Attacks Vowed

    Sahhaf, the Iraqi information minister, threatened more suicide bombings, proclaiming that Hussein's loyalists would mount "martyrdom operations in a very new, creative way" and that Saddam International Airport -- which American commanders renamed Baghdad International Airport -- would be "the graveyard" of U.S. forces.

    To protect their beachhead at the airport 10 miles from downtown Baghdad, soldiers from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division fanned out across the eight-square-mile compound to flush out Iraqi fighters from buildings, trenches and subterranean tunnels. An infantry battalion from the 101st Airborne Division headed north to the airport to assist in securing the facility and surrounding areas.

    Although military officials touted the compound as being fully under U.S. control, Army Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, vice director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged that U.S. troops still were "sporadically engaging forces on airport grounds."

    The airport, in flat suburbs southwest of the city, and the Marines' forward encampment, in the southeastern suburbs near a strategic intersection, provided U.S. forces with footholds from which to mount probes and raids into the heart of Baghdad aimed at testing defenses and weakening Hussein's grip on power, McChrystal said.

  13. #13

    PART 2

    Civilians Flee Baghdad

    With Baghdad's electricity and water still cut off, explosions reverberating across the city and with short-wave radio reports announcing the capture of the airport, thousands of residents packed their families into cars, trucks, buses and anything else with wheels and headed out of the capital. Most headed toward farming villages northeast of the city, causing traffic on some roads to back up for as many as five miles.

    U.S. commanders have been surprised at the paucity of stiff resistance, particularly from the Republican Guard, as U.S. forces charged toward Baghdad. Although some U.S. military officials asserted that the 70,000-soldier Republican Guard was a largely broken force, others warned that Guard units still could pose a threat to U.S. troops massing outside Baghdad.

    McChrystal said two of the Guard's six divisions have been destroyed and the other four are "significantly degraded," although he added that the exact condition and number of the remaining forces were unclear. Some U.S. officials have noted that elements of the four remaining Guard divisions have been trying to circle around the city in recent days to challenge front-line U.S. units on the southern approaches. Many Guard soldiers also may have retreated into Baghdad with the apparent intention of luring U.S. forces into urban combat.

    With Baghdad's outer defenses in a state of apparent collapse, Army and Marine war planners met Friday to coordinate options for the capital itself. Although they focused on replenishing extended front-line troops, U.S. commanders were eager to take advantage of what they saw as a new situation. "We have to get ahead of it, and that's what we're trying to do," said Col. Fred Milburn, who coordinates planning for the Marines. "The situation is dynamic right now. We see opportunity, and we want to take advantage of it."

    Commanders said they are reluctant to enter the city in force, fearing that urban combat in the sprawling city would be a treacherous and bloody undertaking. As a consequence, military officials in Washington said the Army and Marine forces arriving on Baghdad's outskirts will form a cordon around the city and mount targeted raids, rather than try immediately to seize control of the entire capital.

    "The hope is that Baghdad doesn't turn out to be a larger version of Basra," a senior official said, referring to Iraq's second-largest city, where hundreds of die-hard militiamen and Hussein loyalists have held off thousands of British troops for nearly two weeks.

    Fueling fears of urban combat is the presence of the Special Republican Guard, paramilitary forces and troops from Hussein's secret police in the center of the city. The Special Republican Guard, commanded by Hussein's younger son, Qusay, is a force of between 15,000 and 25,000 trained in urban warfare.

    Marines Meet Resistance

    As the Marines advanced on Baghdad from the southeast, they were challenged by a contingent of Iraqi forces that had regrouped on the outskirts of the capital, attacking with ferocity and coordination -- and reminding the Americans that resistance could get stiffer as they enter the capital. An estimated 2,000 Iraqi troops, Republican Guard, regular army and paramilitary fighters, held up the Marines for hours with a hail of rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire. The Iraqi defenders took out three U.S. tanks and forced two U.S. attack helicopters to the ground, according to reports reaching Marine headquarters.

    Eight Marines were injured, but no deaths were reported.

    Ultimately, the Marines responded with an intense barrage of artillery fire, tank rounds and airstrikes, enabling them to push through after hours of combat.

    "This is the heaviest resistance we've run into to date," said Lt. Col David Pere, senior watch officer in the Marine command center. "It was a coordinated defense. They were volley-firing RPGs. . . . It takes a command and control. It takes a boss telling everyone to fire. They've got command and control."

    Even so, the Iraqi defenders, grouped loosely under the Nida Armored Division of the Republican Guard, did little more than slow the Marine assault. By the end of the day Friday, the 1st Marine Division had reached the edge of the capital and seized a key intersection in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood about 12 miles from the city center, their primary objective. A Pentagon official said at least two of the Nida Division's three brigades were destroyed by the Marines.

    Fighting for Airport

    The U.S. 3rd Infantry Division also faced significant resistance as it sought to capture the airport Thursday, leading soldiers to unleash an earth-shaking barrage of artillery and volleys of rockets. U.S. military officials estimate that 2,500 Iraqis were killed in the battle for the airport and 100 Iraqi tanks were destroyed.

    As Marine and Army units moved beyond the arid deserts of southern Iraq and into the verdant terrain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, they encountered another surprise: Crowds of people gathering on the side of the road, waving as the convoys rolled by. "Thank you! Thank you!" some shouted. Others shouted the Arabic word for "go on," screaming: "Yallah! Yallah!"

    Iraqi officials nevertheless repeated that victory was within their reach. They dismissed the loss of Saddam International Airport and declared that U.S. forces there are besieged.

    "We consider it an isolated island," Sahhaf said at a news conference in Baghdad, in remarks sprinkled with boasts of Iraqi perseverance and insults of the United States. "Our initial assessment is that none of them will get out alive."

    He warned that Iraqi forces would employ non-conventional attacks to retake the airport -- a possible reference to suicide attacks. Shortly after he spoke, state television broadcast a brief address by Hussein in which he implored citizens and Baath Party faithful to take up arms against the Americans.

    "The enemy is overtaking our valiant defenses around Baghdad just like it did around other cities," he said. "They are deploying here and there, just like we expected, and these deployments are normally thin, and we can confront them with the weapons available."

    In the city of Najaf, a Shiite Muslim stronghold about 90 miles south of Baghdad that had been scene of furious battles between U.S. troops and Iraqi militiamen earlier this week, soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division began pulling out after judging the threat lowered. The 101st plans to leave a single brigade of 3,000 soldiers to maintain order, while much of the rest of the division's 17,000 soldiers will focus on operations to the north.

    In contrast to the pitched street battles and artillery blasts that rocked Najaf just a few days ago, the city was relatively peaceful, with pedestrian and vehicle traffic returning to normal. "It's like being in Quincy, Florida," said Col. Ben Hodges, commander of the 101st Airborne's 1st Brigade and a native of the Sunshine State. "Cars, buses, people playing soccer, more kids on the street than I've seen any day so far."

    But efforts by U.S. officials to meet with the city's preeminent Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, were once again unsuccessful. U.S. commanders would like to enlist Sistani's help in pacifying the Shiite majority throughout Iraq, but the scholar has remained in seclusion. The Central Command said Sistani issued a religious decree Thursday calling on Iraqis not to interfere with U.S. and British forces. But on Friday, his office denied to Arab news agencies that he had issued such a statement. Five other prominent Shiite scholars in the city issued a competing edict that called on Iraqi people to confront the U.S. and British "enemies."

    Along the U.S. forces' supply line to the south, troops with 82nd Airborne Division took control of much of the key Euphrates River city of Samawah, ensuring that lines of communication and transit through the city remain open.

    Baker reported from Marine Combat Headquarters in Iraq. Correspondent Rick Atkinson and staff writers William Branigin, Jonathan Finer and Monte Reel with U.S. forces, correspondent Alan Sipress in Doha, Qatar, and staff writer Bradley Graham in Washington contributed to this report.

    2003 The Washington Post Company

  14. #14
    Marine Free Member gwladgarwr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Northern Virginia-Metro DC

    Thumbs up Deploying Today

    It's been a long time since I got to post anything here, and I guess it'll be a lot longer since my unit, Delta Co., 4th LAR, is flying out this afternoon to Kuwait City. It's not going to be easy from all the news I've been hearing, but we're up and ready to go.

    I hope everything will go well. Have a beer or two for me.

    Semper Fidelis,

    LCpl F. A. Race
    Delta Co, 4th LAR

  15. #15

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