- 4/8 (morning)

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at
Tue Apr 8 12:28:53 MDT 2003

This morning battles in Baghdad resumed. The US marine units at 7am
managed to break to the right bank of the Diyala near Al-Jassir, and at
8am advanced to the left bank of the Tigris in the Bessaf district, on
the junction of streets Abu-Nuvas and Al-Rashid. Currently up to one
battalion have got over the bridges opposite to the Ministry of
Information and TV center and are now assaulting those buildings.

According to specified data, after yesterday’s raid into Baghdad up to
two companies of Americans fortified in the Al-Shihud palace, which was
attacked by Republican Guard troops this morning. The coming reports
indicate that the American command is trying to take control of the
administrative center of Baghdad whereupon proclaim to have practically
captured the city.

 From the northern district As-Sulaija toward the city center battalions
of the 3rd Mechanized Division are moving. As early as by 5pm they can
reach the Abbasid Palace and split Baghdad along the Tigris. The
right-bank part of the city is also under threat of a split along the
Mansur roadway line.

Information on casualties is quite desultory so far. By now, only the
loss of 2 marines during the storm of the bridge across the Diyala and 1
tank destroyed by the Ministry of Information has been verified.
The battle of Baghdad has broken into multiple skirmishes and therefore
the casualties sustained by both sides will only be specified along
toward evening.

According to reports by American commanders the resistance of the Iraqis
does not make an impression of them acting under a united organized
command and looks more like operations of autonomous groups.
Moreover, the Americans note very limited use of Iraqi tanks and
artillery. There are almost no serious artificial obstacles and strong
points prepared for a long defense. This does not give grounds to
consider Baghdad prepared for a long siege. And, under such level of
resistance the battles for Baghdad may end in 5-7 days.
But in spite of certain success, the US forces are still unable to break
the Iraqi opposition. Even units fortified at the outskirts are being
attacked and are constantly receiving fire.

It is still unknown where the top political and military Iraqi leaders
are. Out of the high-ranked officials only the Minister of Information
Mohammad Saed Sahaf is certainly present in the city.

According to arriving information, at about 11am an American helicopter
was shot down over the southern suburb of Baghdad.
The US command has confirmed their loss of a heavy attack plane A-10 at

This morning in Basra marine units began to “clean up” the old city
blocks where remains of the Iraqi garrison held the line yesterday.
Currently, according to the first reports, the advancing marines do not
face any resistance and there is a high probability of the Iraqis having
abandoned their positions and left the city or mixed with Basra citizens
when darkness fell.

[ translated by Necroman ]

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