April 6th, Morning
By the morning of April 6th an uncertain and quickly changing
situation has developed. Coalition divisions are continuing to
advance toward the city outskirts. The 22nd and 15th
expeditionary marine squadrons are trying to break into the
region of military airport “Rashid” from south-east.
Iraqis are holding the line along the Diyala river and
currently the marines cannot capture beach-heads on the right
A hard situation has formed near the international airport.
The day before yesterday the Iraqi minister of propaganda
claimed that the coalition forces in this region would have
been eliminated by this morning, and the Iraqi command ordered
to storm the airport. At 10am it was attacked by 3 Republican
Guards battalions enforced with militia troops. Americans
requested artillery and aviation support. The battle lasted
for almost 6 hours. After several unsuccessful attacks Iraqis
managed to drive Americans back from the second runway to the
airport building. Currently the coalition forces control the
building itself and the new runway bordering to it. During the
day the foes had to increase their strengths and deploy
reinforcements. By the evening up to 2 regular Iraqi brigades
and 2 thousand militiamen were fighting for the airport.
Americans had to use all available forces of the 3rd
Mechanized Division and 101st Airborne Division to repulse the
attacks. Only assault aircraft and battle helicopters made
more than 300 operation flights to this region.
During the fight Iraqis lost up to 20 tanks, 10 APC, about 200
men killed and up to 300 wounded. The American losses were up
to 30 men killed, about 50 wounded, at least 4 tanks, 4 APC
and 1 helicopter. But it is impossible to obtain the exact
data yet. By this hour there have been more than 20 flights
for evacuation of killed and wounded coalition soldiers and
the command have requested ambulance aviation again.
The combat was so intense that commander of the 3rd Mechanized
Division general-major Bufford Blunt had to issue an order to
organize a false strike. Around 8am from Khan-Azad road
junction an attack was organized in order to demonstrate tank
vanguards of a large subdivision advancing toward Al-Daura
from south. The group was able to reach the outskirts of the
town near the Avajridge village. After entering the village
the group was met by Republican Guards. In direct combat the
group lost 2 tanks, 3 APC, 3 men killed, up to 10 wounded and,
after two hours of fighting, withdrew to the main forces.
Iraqis lost 4 tanks, 2 APC and up to 30 men killed.
By the evening the foes reduced their activity and were
regrouping during the last night. Americans are rapidly
fortifying their defense positions and deploying
reinforcements to the airport region, increasing their forces
at Khan-Azad and Abu-Harraib. Iraqis are moving anti-armor
divisions closer to the city outskirts.
Despite the exchange of strikes there are no reasons to expect
any serious attempts to capture the city in the nearest
future. By numerical strength the coalition troops that have
reached the city borders do not meet even the minimal
requirements for storming and heavy urban fights. Coalition
forces by Baghdad number up to 18-20 thousand men and can be
enforced with no more than 3-5 thousand men while the minimal
force necessary to capture a city like Baghdad equals from 80
to 100 thousand soldiers.
According to weather forecasts, in the coming day the weather
may abruptly change to the worse. The wind is expected to
intensify, visibility may reduce to 200-300 m.
All the claims made by aviation commander of the coalition,
general Michael Mosley, about “…Iraqi army, as an
organized structure consisting of large units, exists no
longer…” are contrary to fact and, according to analytics,
are probably connected with severe pressure put on the
military command by American financial groups that desperately
needed good news from the US-Iraqi front by the end of the
financial week. In fact, the Republican Guards defending
Baghdad have not lost even 5% of their numerical strength and
military equipment. Most of those losses were due to
bombardments and not land combats. The total losses of Iraqi
army since the beginning of the war have not exceeded 5-8% of
their defensive potential. This means the main battles are
still to be seen.
The situation in other sectors of the US-Iraqi front will be
summarized closer to this evening.
[ translated by Necroman ]