Regime’s True Colors Are Showing
Kathleen T. Rhem, AFPS (updated)
March 27, 2003 –Another
scud missile from Iraq was fired into Kuwait City about 11:30
am – the U.N. banned missile was intercepted and destroyed
by the U.S. Patriot 3 system, preventing loss of life in Kuwait
“Coalition forces of U.S. Fifth Corps sustained
a few damaged vehicles, and in turn inflicted significant damage
on the Iraqi force,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks
during a daily press briefing at CENTCOM in Qatar.
Near An Nasiriyah, the First Marine Expeditionary
Force gained control of a hospital that was in use as a paramilitary
headquarters staging area and storage area. Notably within the
hospital, there were 200 weapons, Iraqi military uniforms, one
tank, 3000 chemical protective suits, and nerve agent antidote
United Kingdom forces conducted aggressive patrols
in the Al Faw area and in Umm Qasr to increase the security in
those areas and also conducted a raid that destroyed a Baath Party
headquarters in Basrah. They continue to have success against
the regulars in the area.
Brooks also talked of the major counter mining
missions in the water ways that have been underway to bring in
the humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people.
Officials had thought that the water ways had
finally been cleared of all mines, but the Australian maritime
component said that two more appeared this morning. Their special
boats are made out of copper and fiberglass and have other specialties
in order to work around the mines. The mines are sensitive to
metal and are designed to attach to ships and explode upon impact.
These last mines should be cleared within hours
and waterways to the Port of Umm Qasr will be completely open,
and the waiting vessels will dock with the humanitarian supplies
for the people.
The General said “progress is being made
daily by the coalition in our effort to preserve the resources
vital to Iraq’s future. Humanitarian supplies have been loaded
and are moving on their way to Umm Qasr as we speak, and port
workers have been invited to come back and begin work.”
“And I would also say that there are now
— in the Rumaila oil fields, there are now six wells that are
on fire. Yesterday, one was put out with the aid of the Kuwaiti
Oil Company. "
Saddam’s military dressing in U.S. military
uniforms, complete with ID tags, in order to trick his own people
into surrendering and them murdering them is part of the unusual
threats Coalition forces have faced There are hundreds of accounts
of schools, and civilian buildings being used by Saddam’s
forces that put his own people is critical danger.
Brooks said Iraqi “forces are repressing
the Iraqi population and deliberately endangering protected sites.”
The Iraqi regime has "shown its true colors"
in recent days with brutality and disregard for international
rules of warfare, a U.S. Central Command official said today.
In the southern city of Basra, Brooks said coalition
forces have seen "a significant degree of violence"
done to the civilian population by Iraqi paramilitary forces (Many
Iraqis say they are actually terrorists). He noted Iraqi forces
have fired mortars at civilians and that British troops have been
working in the region to cut off any Iraqi reinforcements from
entering the town. U.K. forces are also firing on Iraqi positions
that are attacking the town.
He said these and other actions of Iraqi paramilitary
forces — sometimes in uniform, sometimes not — are "more
akin to the behaviors of global terrorists than they are to a
"It’s clear to us that the people of Basra
have had about enough of what the regime is doing to them,"
Brooks said, adding, "We remain committed to their liberation,
not their destruction."
In an earlier briefing in recent days, Brooks
showed photographs of an Iraqi MiG fighter jet parked in a cemetery.
Today, he showed images of military communications equipment located
"right beside" 2,000-year-old ruins on the banks of
the Tigris River 20 miles southeast of Baghdad.
"We remain committed to preserving the rich
culture and heritage and the resources of the Iraqi people,"
the general said. "The regime continues to put them at risk."
Brooks said he couldn’t confirm media reports that an errant American
bomb killed 14 Iraqi civilians in a Baghdad market. Once officials
can confirm what happened in Baghdad, they will release that information,
he said. Brooks added that coalition forces "do everything
physically and scientifically possible to minimize secondary effects"
on both people and civilian structures.
Operationally, coalition forces "remain on
plan" and are confident of their objectives. "We’re
unified in purpose and in our commitment to achieving our aims,"
Direct attacks against regime command and control assets, communications
sites and the integrated air-defense system continued during the
past 24 hours. Coalition forces also struck several targets of
U.S. forces from the Army’s V Corps, deployed
from Germany, "sustained a few damaged vehicles and in turn
inflicted significant damage on the Iraqi force" southeast
of An Najaf, Brooks said.
Near An Nasiriyah, the 1st Marine Expeditionary
Force secured a hospital that was being used as a paramilitary
headquarters. Brooks said Marines found 200 weapons, Iraqi military
uniforms, a tank, 3,000 chemical protective suits, and auto-injectors
filled with nerve agent antidote.
Maritime components cleared the Khor Abdullah
waterway "all the way up to the port of Umm Qasr." Brooks
noted this would allow coalition forces to begin delivering humanitarian
He spoke briefly about Iraqi missile attacks into
Kuwait. He said the Iraqis have fired 10 missiles, "all of
which have been oriented toward Kuwait." All missiles that
were threatening were knocked down by Patriot missiles.
The general said it was "interesting"
that several of the Iraqis’ Ababil-100 and Al Samoud missiles
have flown beyond the 150-kilometer limit imposed by the United
Nations. "One missile flew extremely long and went into the
north Arabian Gulf," Brooks said, noting that missile fell
into the water after flying about 190 kilometers.
He also mentioned that coalition forces have taken more than 4,000
Iraqi prisoners of war.
“And so I’ll wrap this up at this point
by re-emphasizing that we’re committed, we’re on track, and we
remain sure of the final outcome,” said Brooks.