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Operation Iraqi Freedom2

Operation Iraqi Freedom2

Ratings: (0)|Views: 179 |Likes:
Published by Alka Seltzer
Various news articles from Operation Iraqi Freedom April 2003. U.S.-led forces advancing on Baghdad have moved to within 30 miles of the Iraqi capital and two of Saddam Hussein's loyal Republican Guard units "are no longer credible forces," a top U.S. general said Wednesday.
Even so, Maj. Gen Stanley McChrystal said that planning was going forward "for a very difficult fight ahead in Baghdad. We are not expecting to drive into Baghdad suddenly and seize it" easily.
Various news articles from Operation Iraqi Freedom April 2003. U.S.-led forces advancing on Baghdad have moved to within 30 miles of the Iraqi capital and two of Saddam Hussein's loyal Republican Guard units "are no longer credible forces," a top U.S. general said Wednesday.
Even so, Maj. Gen Stanley McChrystal said that planning was going forward "for a very difficult fight ahead in Baghdad. We are not expecting to drive into Baghdad suddenly and seize it" easily.

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Published by: Alka Seltzer on Jan 16, 2009
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09/29/2012

 
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOMAPRIL 2003
Coalition Is Within 30 Miles of Baghdad
Source: Associated PressPublication date: 2003-04-02
U.S.-led forces advancing on Baghdad have moved to within 30 miles of theIraqi capital and two of Saddam Hussein's loyal Republican Guard units "are nolonger credible forces," a top U.S. general said Wednesday.Even so, Maj. Gen Stanley McChrystal said that planning was going forward "fora very difficult fight ahead in Baghdad. We are not expecting to drive intoBaghdad suddenly and seize it" easily.McChrystal, vice director of joint operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, saidthat resistance from Republican Guard forces defending the city was "sporadic,but not able to stop coalition manuevers." The highly trained forces most loyal to Saddam are "arrayed for a defense onthe southern side of Baghdad at this time, and on the flanks as well,"McChrystal said. "Whether they intend to defend in place or just delay is justnot clear."Allied troops were closing in on Baghad from two directions - Army forces fromthe southwest and Marines from the southeast - in what could become thefiercest combat of the war. Two of the Republican Guard's six units - the Medina and Baghdad divisions -are "no longer credible forces," said McChrystal.Asked whether the allied offensive was the start of the battle for Baghdad,McChrystal said that U.S. forces are "threatening Baghdad, threatening the coreof the regime.""We've moved to within 30 miles of Baghdad, but there remains tough fightingahead," he said.McChrystal said there was no way to tell, at this point, whether the city'sdefenders were trying to lure allied forces into the heart of Baghdad to engagein street-by-street combat.Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said that risks were increasing that Iraqiforces would use chemical weapons as coalition troops closed in on the capital."The likelihood ...is in front of us," she said. The Pentagon is still hoping that Saddam's regime will collapse before troopsare drawn into bloody urban warfare.Republican Guard forces are the main military forces standing betweenAmerican invading troops and Saddam's centers of power in the capital of morethan 5 million."The dagger is clearly pointed at the heart of the regime," Brig. Gen. VincentBrooks told a news conference Wednesday at the war's command center inQatar. Asked if troops would enter the city, he said they would "approachBaghdad" but didn't elaborate.Brooks said the Baghdad Division of the Guard had been destroyed by Marinesfighting near the city of Kut. At the time, Army units were still battling the1
 
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOMAPRIL 2003
Republican Guard's Medina and Nebuchadnezzar divisions near Karbala to thewest.Days of thunderous airstrikes, artillery barrages and skirmishes with U.S. armedreconnaissance units have weakened the Guard."They're being attacked from the air. They're being pressured from the ground.And in good time, they won't be there," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeldtold reporters Tuesday before the assault began. The Republican Guard forces are the best trained and best equipped inSaddam's military. Still, they've been in decline since losing the 1991 PersianGulf War and rely on Soviet-built tanks and other out-of-date heavy weapons.At issue is whether the Republican Guard forces have some of the chemical andbiological weapons that U.S. leaders say Saddam is keeping - and whether theycould or would use them. Coalition troops searching captured Iraqi areas havefound no such weapons, but have discovered thousands of chemical protectivesuits and masks as well as nerve agent antidotes and chemicaldecontamination equipment. The initial fighting is over terrain where American troops have advantages:Open country and small towns, rather than the urban sprawl of Baghdad. Iraqiofficials have said they hope to draw the American forces into urban combat,which is chaotic, difficult and bloody both for military forces and for civilians. The urban environment shifts some of the advantage to the defender, who canuse smaller numbers of fighters sheltered in buildings and underground to pickoff invading troops. U.S. military doctrine on urban combat focuses not on thestreet-by-street fighting that Iraq hopes to bring about but instead on grabbingand holding key areas such as government buildings and military compounds.
11 Bodies Found With Rescued U.S. POW
Source: Associated PressPublication date: 2003-04-02
Eleven bodies - some believed to be Americans - were found with prisoner of war Pfc. Jessica Lynch when she was rescued in a U.S. commando raid on anIraqi hospital, a military spokesman said Wednesday.Lynch, a 19-year-old Army supply clerk, was captured by the Iraqis more than aweek ago after her maintenance unit made a wrong turn and was ambushed inthe southern city of Nasiriyah. Twelve other members of her unit were alsofeared captured; five of them are officially listed as POWs.Acting on a CIA tip about Lynch's whereabouts, U.S. special operations forcesslipped behind enemy lines and seized Lynch from the Saddam Hospital undercover of darkness Tuesday, American officials said. The U.S. forces engaged in a firefight on the way into and out of the building,but there were no coalition casualties, said Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, a U.S.Central Command spokesman. He said ammunition, mortars, maps and aterrain model were found at the hospital, along with "other things that made itvery clear it was being used as a military command post."2
 
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOMAPRIL 2003
President Bush was informed of Lynch's rescue at 4:50 p.m. EST on Tuesdayduring his afternoon call with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. "That'sgreat," he told Rumsfeld, according to White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.During the rescue operation, 11 bodies were recovered in and around thehospital. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed."We have reason to believe some of them were Americans," said Navy Capt.Frank Thorp, another U.S. Central Command spokesman.He said the military has not confirmed whether they were members of Lynch'sunit, the 507th Maintenance Company. "We don't yet know the identity of thosepeople," Thorp said. "And forensics will determine that." Two of the bodies were in a morgue in the hospital, while the nine others wereburied outside the building, Brooks said. He said U.S. forces were led to thegraves by someone who had been taken into custody.Lynch was treated for undisclosed injuries. U.S. officials in Kuwait said oncondition of anonymity that she is believed to have broken legs, a broken armand at least one gunshot wound.She is being transferred to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center insouthwestern Germany and was expected to arrive there about 4 p.m. EST,said Heather Miller, spokeswoman for the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein AirBase.Brooks would not comment on her condition. But in a green-tinted, night-visionvideo taken of the rescue operation and shown to reporters Wednesday, shewas carried on a stretcher from a helicopter to another aircraft.A still photograph showed a folded American flag resting on her as she smiledand looked at the camera.An Iraqi pharmacist who works at Saddam Hospital told Britain's Sky televisionthat he treated Lynch for leg injuries but that she was otherwise healthy andthat "every day I saw her crying about wanting to go home." The pharmacist, who gave his name only as Imad, told the TV network thatLynch knew the U.S. troops were on the other side of the Euphrates River and"she kept wondering if the American Army were coming to save her."Until Tuesday, Lynch had been listed as missing in action, and her family didnot know whether she was dead or alive."You would not believe the joys, cries, bawling, hugging, screaming, carryingon," Lynch's cousin Pam Nicolais said after the rescue. "You just have to behere.""I thought at first it was an April Fools joke," said her father, Greg Lynch Sr. "Ithought this was a cruel joke. I can put up with most things, but not that. Theyassured me, no, it's not a joke." The rescue operation included Air Force pilots, Marines, Navy SEALS, ArmyRangers - "loyal to the creed they know that they never leave a fallencomrade," Brooks said."Some brave souls put their lives on the line to carry this out," Brooks said.U.S. military officials said a battle that was going on in the Nasiriyah area at thesame time was related to the rescue. That raised questions whether the battlewas a diversionary action to allow the commandos to slip into the hospital.3

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