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pieinsky at igc.org
Wed Mar 26 07:44:10 MST 2003
Iraq Paramilitary Strength Surprises U.S.
Wednesday March 26, 2003 1:40 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) - Surprised by the power of Iraq's paramilitaries, the
Pentagon is adjusting its tactics in the push to Baghdad, defense officials
Instead of racing to the capital, the American-led invasion will slow to
clear out pockets of resistance, including from the Fedayeen Saddam, a
militia that has been rallying other Iraqi forces to fight and in some case
reportedly keeping them from surrendering.
The unexpected level of resistance and battering sandstorms are creating a
drag on troops headed to Baghdad, where President Saddam Hussein and his
regime are expected to make their last stand, said officials at the Pentagon
and the U.S. military command center in Qatar.
Storms grounded scores of coalition aircraft Tuesday, blinded the array of
electronic eyes needed to target Iraq and were gumming up guns, breaking
down engines and generally slowing a military campaign designed for speed.
The Fedayeen - which means ``those ready to sacrifice themselves for
Saddam'' - are accused of organizing such battlefield ruses as posing as
civilians and faking surrenders in order to ambush invading forces.
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