Israelis think it will be hard to take Baghdad

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at
Wed Mar 5 14:17:58 MST 2003

The following appeared on an Australian anti-war list. I've excerpted the
item from Ma'riv, because there is no link. But there's a link to the other
paper below.
>Exclusive translation for Middle East Information Service
>[Some time over the weekend a “senior member of the defence establishment”
>held a briefing for Israeli military correspondents. The description
>either the director of military intelligence, the chief of staff or his
>Respectively generals Amnon Zeevi (Farkash), Moshe “Boogi” Ya’alon and
Gabi Ashkenazi . The amazing piece of news is that the Israelis (who have
plenty of experience) do not share the Western media and governments (Viz
Australian Foreign
>Minister Alexander Downer) optimism of a short sharp war with low
casualties. The extracts below are from the Internet editions of the two
largest dailies Yediot Acharonot and Ma’ariv.  The translation is by Sol

>The American army will suffer heavy casualties in Baghdad
>By Itti Asher , Yitzhak Ben-Horin
>A senior source in the Israeli defence establishment has recently warned
the >United States of the serious consequences of fighting in Baghdad.
>‘If you encounter resistance, keep out of Baghdad,” the military sources
>advised the Americans. He said that “an American entry into Baghdad that
shows resistance would be unwise. Urban confrontation is simply unwise. The
entry of armed forces into Baghdad would increase Saddam Hussein’s ability
to resist. He would extract a high price and relay the photos to the whole
world. In 1991 the American suffered 150 dead. If they enter Baghdad, they
would end with a much higher death toll. Baghdad isn’t Nablus or Tul-Karm.”
>The military source recommendation to the American was “to lay siege to
Baghdad while simultaneously hitting hard and accurately at targets closely
identified with the Iraqi regime. Tell the Iraqis that their choice is
between a regime
>change or the continuation of the siege.”
>The London publication Foreign Report [Weekly] has reported that in the
IDF military intelligence’s [better known by the Hebrew acronym Aman]
assessment the war in Iraq would not necessarily proceed along US
expectations. According >to that publication, seeing that the bulk of
fighting would be
concentrated in Baghdad, in Aman’s view, the American would be unable to
take advantage of their enormous technological advantage. They would be
facing 60,000 soldiers of >the Republican Guard, fighting desperately for
their lives armed with sub machineguns and RPG launchers.

>Felix Frisch in Yediot Acharonot had obviously attended the same briefing.

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