Destroying Regime Forces
By Jim Garamone,
April 2, 2003 – One Iraqi Republican Guard division is destroyed
and others are severely degraded, said Army Brig. Gen. Vincent
Brooks during a briefing in Qatar today.
There is heavy
fighting around Al Kut and Karbala, he said.
approach Baghdad," Brooks said. "The dagger is clearly
pointed at the heart of the regime and will remain pointed at
it until the regime is gone."
deputy operations chief for U.S. Central Command, reported that
the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and the Army’s 5th Corps started
an attack to destroy Republican Guard forces defending the outskirts
attacked the Baghdad division near the town of Al Kut and have
crossed the Tigris River. "The Baghdad division has been
destroyed," Brooks said.
attacked around Karbala and hit formations of the Medina division
and the Nebukadnezar division. Fifth Corps units also attacked
Iraqi forces near Najaf.
attacking unit was welcomed by thousands of citizens," Brooks
said. "It was also welcomed by regime forces that positioned
themselves inside the Ali Mosque – one of the most important
religious shrines to Shi’ia Islam."
He did not
go into too much detail about the status of the rest of the Iraqi
in contact with them right now," Brooks noted. "The
situation continues to develop. It’s premature for me to characterize
the current condition of the other divisions, other than to say
they are in serious trouble, as they’re in contact right now with
the most powerful force on Earth."
the land component, Iraqi forces had to face attacks from coalition
air forces. Defense officials said air forces flew more than 1,900
sorties on April 1. More than 800 were strike sorties with the
vast majority targeted at the Medina, Hammurabi and Baghdad Republican
has achieved complete air dominance over "every square inch"
of Iraq, said defense officials.
more than 400 tankers sorties and around 250 airlift missions
April 1. Coalition command and control and intelligence, surveillance
and reconnaissance aircraft flew just under 150 sorties. Overall,
just over 70 percent of the coalition munitions are precision-guided.
gave a preliminary read-out on the March 26 market incident where
Iraqi officials claimed coalition bombs went astray and killed
a number of civilians. He said after examining all aspects of
the incident, the coalition had "no jets, missiles, bombs
or anything else" in the area when the explosion occurred.
special operations forces have seized a dam that could potentially
have flooded the Euphrates River toward Karbala, Brooks said.
There were heavy regime losses around the dam.
cooperation with coalition forces increases each day, Brooks said.
Locals are helping target regime death squads and military units.
forces currently hold more than 4,500 enemy prisoners of war and
all are being treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.
The International Red Cross has met with the prisoners at the
POW camp near Umm Qasr, and engineers are building another facility