Around Baghdad skirmishes between coalition forces and Iraqi
divisions are going on. As we said before, during the next two
days the coalition troops will extend the zone of blockade to
the west and north-west using local strikes. Currently a part
of the 1st brigade of the 3rd Mechanized Division is
outflanking the city from Abu-Harraib, trying to reach the
south outskirts and seize a strategic bridge across the Tigris
at the north of the Tunis area (Salakh-Khasan).
Fire has not stopped near the Airport, both sides are using
artillery. According to the most recent data the rush of the
coalition forces toward to the southern borders of Baghdad,
though expected by the Iraqi command, was tactically surprise.
Hidden in the interiors of the city, parts of the Iraqi army
were unable to leave their covered positions, advance and face
the enemy. There arouse confusion that led to disorganization
of the Iraqi squadrons that engaged their rivals “on the
move”, without proper reconnaissance and concentration of
forces. According to specified information in different
conflicts and during the assault of the airport up to 400
Iraqi soldiers were killed, 25 tanks and 12 guns were lost.
But the coalition command also faced serious problems.
Powerful Iraqi attacks aimed at the airport immobilized most
of the force breaking towards Baghdad and it turned out
necessary to bring reinforcements from other sectors of the
front in order to succeed. In particular, up to 2 battalions
of the 101st Airborne Division located by An-Nasiriya and An-Najaf
and at least 1 battalion of the 82nd Division were moved
there. Americans tolls at the south and south-east of Baghdad
for the last 24 hours amount to: up to 30 men killed and at
least 80 wounded, 15 soldiers are known to be missing. The
Americans lost at least 8 tanks and 5 APC.
Marine squadrons are still incapable of breaking down defenses
by the Diyala river. Currently the vanguards are trying to
outflank the city from east and seize the bridge in the New
There are not enough coalition forces to block such a city,
and the troops blocking An-Nasiriya, An-Najaf, Al-Kut and Al-Diwaniya
were given categorical orders to break down the Iraqi
resistance in the next 3 days, take control of those areas and
advance toward Baghdad to join the blockade.
To organize offensive against Karbala the blocking troops were
enforced with one expeditionary marine squadron, and another
storm started this morning. There is no information about
casualties from this region yet.
Analogous tasks were set before the British command at the
south of Iraq near Basra.
For the past 2 days the British have tried to overcome Iraqi
defenses from An-Zubair and the Manavi regions 3 times, but
they still cannot break down the resistance. This morning an
armored column was able to come up to a strategic cross-road
near Akhavat-Rezan, but got under heavy fire and had to
Yesterday and during this morning the British lost at least 3
armored units, 2 men killed and 6 wounded.
The coalition command and the foreign policy departments of
Russia and USA are now making every effort to close all the
information related to the Russian embassy getting fired near
Sources claim that the embassy ceased its activities in many
respects because of the danger of an air strike on the
embassy. The American command was utterly irritated by the
presence of the Russian embassy in Baghdad and believed that
some technical intelligence equipment was deployed there that
provided the Iraqis with information. Moreover, some officers
in the coalition HQ in Qatar openly claimed that it was on the
territory of the Russian embassy that the “jammers”
hampering the high-precision weapons around Baghdad were
Yesterday morning the Secretary of State Colin Powell demanded
of immediate evacuation of the embassy from the Russian
Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov. Yesterday evening the
Russian minister informed the Americans that on the 6th of
April the embassy column would be leaving Baghdad heading for
the Syrian border. This gave rise to dissatisfaction among the
State Department officials who suggested that the column
should move to Jordan.
The coalition special operations HQ were sure that the embassy
column would contain secret devices taken from military
equipment captured by Iraqis. In this connection one cannot
shut out the possibility of “revenge” from the coalition
Moreover, experts claim that the purpose of this armed assault
could be to damage a few cars where the Russians would have to
leave some of the salvage. This is also indicated by the fact
that neither the ambassador himself nor journalists in the
column were among the injured. In this case we can expect that
this action was committed by coalition special forces and the
column was shot using Russian-made weapons to conceal the
origin of the attackers to blame the Iraqis afterwards.
According to the most recent data the column got ambushed
almost 30 km to the west from the city on the territory
occupied by the coalition, but moving fast it escaped from
fire and made a few more kilometers where it was blocked by
military jeeps. On attempting to establish contact with their
crews it received fire again, then the jeeps vanished.
Today at 5pm a phone conversation between president of Russia
Vladimir Putin and president of the USA George W. Bush took
place. Before this conversation, his assistant for National
Security Affairs Condoleezza Rice, who came into Moscow today,
had consulted Bush. At this time Rice is meeting Igor Ivanov,
the head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The
details of this meeting are unknown so far, but we can suppose
that very soon some “unknown squadrons” will be made
responsible for the incident and the situation will be
dampened to the maximum.
Analysts reckon that the situation with the nuclear submarine
“Kursk”, when a whole series of private contacts between
top Russian officials and American representatives brought
more questions than answers, is about to occur again to some
[ translated by Necroman ]