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The first text is BBC Monitoring.
With regard to the Second text, we were not able to check the source of the information. The text was posted in the Letters section of What Really Happened.com. We, nonetheless, decided to publish it because it provides useful information on the military campaign.
HEADLINE: ANGLO-US OFFENSIVE BROUGHT TO STANDSTILL BY IRAQI RESISTANCE, SAYS MOSCOW ENVOY
BODY: Presenter The Iraqi ambassador in Moscow, Abbas Khalaf, today denied reports that the forces of the anti-Iraqi coalition had advanced quite far into the country's territory and occupied a number of Iraqi towns.
Abbas Khalaf, speaking good Russian by telephone The operation has been brought to a halt as a result of tough, firm resistance by the Iraqi armed forces. The American and British forces have advanced about two or three kilometres into the desert. The American marines, who also entered Iraqi territory, were brought to a halt and forced to retreat after advancing only 200 metres. Iraqi forces have inflicted missile strikes on an American military base inside Kuwait. Serious damage was done to this military base, which is called Ali al-Salim.
Presenter Abbas Khalaf told us by telephone that the Iraqis had shot down three US helicopters, as a result of which 12 British and four US servicemen were killed.
Source: Ekho Moskvy radio, Moscow, in Russian 0800 gmt 21 Mar 03
/) BBC Monitoring
There is more going on in Iraq than the US media would like to say. The US isn't exactly winning the war. The Tomahawk missiles aren't very reliable, after 40 fired, only 2 hit confirmed targets. Here is some information from a report allegedly based on Russian Military Field Intelligence information:
"The sand storm raging over Iraq is seriously interfering with the US plans for the first air strike. So far the US Air Force was unable to launch any large-scale bombing raids against the positions of the Iraqi forces along the line of contact in southern Iraq. A sand cloud is covering the Iraqi positions and air strikes were carried out by the US only using cruise missile and only against well-known stationary targets.
Main air strikes are currently being carried out against the Iraqi positions in the vicinity of Basra. According to Russian radio intercepts of US military communications some 40 cruise missile launches and 200 combat flights were carried out by the US during the first 6 hours of the war against Iraq.
The US command is troubled by the news of the withdrawal of the Iraqi Republican Guard division from Basra region. Available information suggests that the defense of Basra will be carried out only by the regional defense units and by the Basra garrison, which numbers some 30,000 soldiers and officers, about 200 T-55 and T-62 tanks and up to 300 pieces of artillery. This points to a possibility that the Iraqi command is not concentrating on strong defense of the border regions but, instead, withdrawing its most combat-capable units deeper inside the country.
Military command of the anti-Iraq coalition demanded from its air forces an immediate increase in the intensity of air strikes. At the same time the Coalition is in a rush to process all the recon information obtained during the initial air strikes. Aerial and satellite reconnaissance forces of the Coalition are concentrating on detecting Iraqi air defenses as well as command and control facilities used by the Iraqis to deflect the first wave of air strikes.
Based on radio intercepts, several US combat units deployed in the demilitarized zone were bombarded by Iraqi artillery around 0730hrs Moscow time. American commanders requested emergency artillery and air support. Up to five USAF planes were forced to return back to their bases after suffering onboard equipment failures. At 0950hrs Moscow time one of the helicopters of the US 101st airborne division crashed due to low visibility conditions. So far there is no information about casualties in this crash.
In the next 24 hours Americans are anticipating news of 'sharp political changes' in Iraq. Analysts believe that an overthrow plot against Saddam Hussein prepared by the CIA during the past few months is the reason behind such expectations. However, Russian agents are reporting that this plot was either uncovered in time or was under control of the Iraqi security agencies from the very beginning. This information is confirmed by a certain air of unease within the CIA command center in Qatar, as the expected overthrow of Hussein was supposed to take place several days ago.
According to the information received from Baghdad, the US air strikes directed against the Iraqi leadership did not acheive their goals. Saddam Hussein and all key members of his cabinet are alive and distributed across several different locations. It is likely that Iraq's political and military leadership will be organized in accordance with the so-called 'network' principle, originally implemented in Iraq in 1991 and later adopted by Yugoslavia in 1999. Iraqi political and military leadership will be constantly moving across a network of bunkers and other secure locations, conducting all communications using only secure lines and refraining from concentrating in one place more than two key leaders.
Information obtained by the radio intercept units of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces (GRU VS RF) shows that the majority of the Iraqi air defenses did not take part in the deflection of the initial US air strike. Not a single surface-to-air missile was launched during this first wave of strikes. Moreover, immediately following the initial air raid alert all Iraqi radars with known positions ceased operation and over 300 decoy radar transmitters were engaged. This indicates that the Iraqi command is relying on preserving as many of its air defense assets as possible and that it is preparing for long-term conflict. At the same time at least four cruise missiles were shot down by anti-aircraft artillery fire.
In an emergency phone conversation with the President of the United States George Bush the British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed his strong disappointment with the fact that the British military and political leadership was informed about the planned start of the combat operations just 20 minutes before the first air strike. Blair called this decision by Bush 'unfriendly' and characterized the US actions as a breach of trust between the two allies. All of this gives a double meaning to the role of Britain in the military partnership with the US, especially against the background of a major internal split in the ruling political coalition in the UK. "
Copyright Spacek 2003. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .