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Posted by Thank you from ( on Monday, March 24, 2003 at 10:58PM :

In Reply to: (!) GRU: March 24, 2003 posted by andreas from ( on Monday, March 24, 2003 at 5:54PM :

Because of you we can have a clearer perspective of what is going on. Keep it up. It is very much appreciated. Thank you.

: "The US made serious errors in their estimates of the Iraq's army strength
: and combat readiness. The US military intelligence and the CIA failed to
: uncover the true potential of the Iraqi forces and, in essence, misinformed
: the top military and civilian leadership of the coalition member
: countries."

: ------------------

: GRU - Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravleniye - Main Intelligence Directorate

: War in Iraq - situation at An-Nasiriya (update)

: March 24, 2003, 0800hrs MSK (GMT +3),

: Moscow - As of morning (MSK, GMT +3)
: March 24 the situation in Iraq can be characterized as quiet on all fronts.
: Attacking coalition forces have settled into positional warfare, they are
: exhausted, lost the attacking momentum and are in urgent need for fuel,
: ammunition, repairs and reinforcements. The Iraqis are also busy regrouping
: their forces, reinforcing the combat units and setting up new defense
: lines.

: Exceptionally heavy fighting continued for two days and nights near
: An-Nasiriya. Both warring sides employed large numbers of tanks and
: artillery. More than 20,000 troops of the US 3rd Motorized Infantry
: Division, supported by 200 tanks, 600 other armored vehicles and 150
: artillery pieces, were opposed by the Iraqi 3rd Army Corps consisting of up
: to 40,000 troops, up to 250 tanks, more than 100 artillery, up to 100
: mortars and 1000 rocket propelled grenade launchers (RPG) and anti-tank
: guided missiles (ATGM). The two-day battle ended without any significant
: results.

: The Americans have failed in trying to use their momentum in capturing
: An-Nasiriya and attempted to encircle the town from the west, where they
: encountered strong layered Iraqi defenses and forced to withdraw. The Iraqi
: forces used this opportunity to attack the US flanks with two brigades,
: breaking the US combat orders and causing panic among the US troops. The US
: command was forced to halt the advance of its forced toward An Najaf and
: once again redirect several tank battalions to support the attacked units.
: Nearly 6 hours was needed for the US aviation to stop the Iraqi attack and
: restore combat order of the US forces.

: During the past day the coalition aviation flew more than 2,000 close
: support missions in this area [An-Nasiriya]. "We can only thank God for
: having air dominance! said the commander of the US 15th Marines Exp. Corps
: Col. Thomas Waldhauser in a private conversation with one of the CNN
: reporters. Later the CNN journalist cited the Colonel in a phone
: conversation with his editor. The conversation was intercepted.

: According to the intercepted radio traffic, the US forces have sustained up
: to 40 killed, up to 10 captured and up to 200 wounded during the fighting
: near An-Nasiriya. There is confirmed information about one lost attack
: helicopter and an unconfirmed report about a lost ground attack plane. The
: US forces have also lost up to 40 armored vehicles, including no less than
: 10 tanks. Several intercepted reports by the US field commanders stated
: that their troops are unable to advance due to their soldiers being
: demoralized by the enemy's fierce resistance and high losses.

: Four days of continuous advance exhausted the coalition forces, which now
: have settled into defensive positions nearly on every front to rest and
: regroup. As of this morning (MSK, GMT +3) the coalition forces are in
: control of the western part of An-Nasiriya but have no foothold on the left
: bank of Euphrates. The left bank of the river is controlled by the Iraqi
: forces, which are conducting engineering works to reinforce their defenses.
: A part of the Iraqi forces have been deployed to strengthen the defense of
: An-Najaf, where they expect the next coalition attack.

: Around 2300hrs (MSK, GMT +3) March 23 a British platoon was ambushed by
: Iraqi Special Forces unit near Basra. Following a powerful initial
: artillery barrage the Iraqis engaged the British in close combat and
: destroyed several armored vehicles. After the Iraqis withdrew the British
: commander reported up to 8 killed, two missing and more than 30 wounded
: British soldiers. Thus over the 30% of the unit's troops have been disabled
: in the attack. Reinforcements and medevac helicopters have been dispatched
: by the coalition to the scene of the attack.

: During the past day there has been a sharp increase in combat activity in
: the coalition's rearguard.

: Reports have been intercepted showing at least 5 attacks on the coalition
: military convoys, 8 vehicles destroyed by landmines and 2 ambushes. Iraqi
: special operation units are mining the roads, setting up ambushes and
: conduct search and reconnaissance operations. The coalition forces have
: been ordered to halt the movement of convoys during dark hours and to
: provide each convoy with combat escort units and air cover.

: The situation around the borderline town of Umm Qasr (population 1,500)
: still remains unclear. Radio intercepts and satellite images show that the
: town was under constant bombardment throughout out the night. The morning
: photos indicate its complete destruction. This shows that the coalition
: command, fed up with the Iraqi's stubborn resistance, ordered the complete
: destruction of the town using aviation and artillery. However, according to
: reports by the British troops ordered to "clean up" Umm Qasr the town still
: contains many pockets of resistance. The overall coalition losses at Umm
: Qasr during the past four days amounted to up to 40 killed and up to 200
: wounded. Currently it is impossible to estimate the Iraqi losses at Umm
: Qasr. As of yesterday's morning the Umm Qasr garrison consisted of 1600
: troops.

: The units of the British marine infantry have failed to establish control
: over the strategically important Fao peninsula. After yesterday's
: counterattack by the Iraqis the British forces have been thrown back some 3
: to 5 kilometers and were forced into defensive positions. Intercepted
: radio communications indicate that today the British command will attempt
: to regain the lost ground after spending the night reinforcing their units
: on Fao with two additional marine infantry battalions. The overall British
: losses on the Fao peninsula during the past four days of fighting include
: up to 15 killed and up to 100 wounded. The Iraqis lost here up to 100
: killed and around 100 captured.

: A heated exchange of fire continues near Basra. The coalition units
: hesitate to enter the city and limit their actions to constant artillery
: and aviation bombardment of Basra. So far the coalition forces have failed
: to completely surround the city and to cut off the defending Iraqi garrison
: from the main Iraqi forces.

: The US troops continue landing in northern Iraqi territories controlled by
: the Kurds. It is expected that as early as tomorrow morning these forces
: supported by the Kurdish units will make an attempt to capture the town of
: Kirkuk.

: Aerial strikes against Iraq continued throughout the night. A total of up
: to 1,500 combat flights were carried out by the coalition aviation.
: Additionally, B-52 bombers launched more than 100 cruise missiles from the
: so-called "Turkish corridor". Some 150 more cruise missiles have been
: launched by the US and British naval forces.

: Intercepted radio traffic indicates another lost coalition plane this
: morning. There was a confirmed loss of a "Predator" unmanned aerial
: reconnaissance aircraft.

: Any further advances by the coalition within the next 8-12 hours are
: unlikely. The coalition command in Qatar has been in meeting since the
: early morning and is expected to come up with significant changes to the
: overall operational plan. According to most experts the coalition command
: made a most serious strategic error by starting the ground phase of the
: operation nearly at the very start of the war. The Americans have violated
: their own doctrine where the ground phases of a military operation coincide
: in time with the destruction of the enemy from the air.

: The US made serious errors in their estimates of the Iraq's army strength
: and combat readiness. The US military intelligence and the CIA failed to
: uncover the true potential of the Iraqi forces and, in essence, misinformed
: the top military and civilian leadership of the coalition member countries.

-- Thank you
-- signature .

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