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Russian intelligence report 30 March 2003.

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  • thekoba@aztecfreenet.org
    Eric Mueller sends us another recent Russian tactical bulletin. --Kevin ... _________________________________________________________________ The new MSN 8:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2003
      Eric Mueller sends us another recent Russian tactical bulletin.

      --Kevin

      ================= Begin forwarded message =================

      >The IRAQWAR.RU analytical center was created recently
      >by a group of journalists and military experts from
      >Russia to provide accurate and up-to-date news and
      >analysis of the war against Iraq. The following is the
      >English translation of the IRAQWAR.RU report based on
      >the Russian military intelligence (the Main
      >Intelligence Directorate, or GRU) reports.
      >[ << previous | next >> ]
      >March 30, 2003, 2042hrs MSK (GMT +4 DST), Moscow - No
      >significant changes have been reported during March
      >29-30 on the Iraqi-US front. Positional combat,
      >sporadic exchange of fire and active search and
      >reconnaissance operations by both sides continue along
      >the entire line of the front.
      >American troops continue massing near Karabela. As was
      >mentioned in the previous update, the US group of
      >forces in this area numbers up to 30,000 troops, up to
      >200 tanks and up to 230 helicopters. Latest photos of
      >this area suggest that the [US] troops are busy
      >servicing and repairing their equipment and setting up
      >the support infrastructure.
      >According to radio intercepts, the coalition commander
      >Gen. Tommy Franks has visited the US forces near
      >Karabela. He personally inspected the troops and had a
      >meeting with the unit commanders. Currently no
      >information is available about the topics discussed
      >during the meeting. However, it is believed that the
      >[coalition] commander listened to the reports prepared
      >by the field commanders and formulated the main
      >objectives for the next 2-3 days.
      >The current technical shape of the coalition forces
      >was discussed during the meeting at the coalition
      >central headquarters. During a personal phone
      >conversation with another serviceman in the US one
      >participant of this meeting called this technical
      >state "depressing". According to him "...a third of
      >our equipment can be dragged to a junk yard right now.
      >We are holding up only thanks to the round-the-clock
      >maintenance. The real heroes on the front lines are
      >not the Marines but the "ants" from the repair units.
      >If it wasn't for them we'd be riding camels by now..."
      >[Reverse-translated from Russian]
      >Based on the intercepted radio communications, reports
      >from both sides and other intelligence data, since the
      >beginning of the war the coalition lost 15-20 tanks,
      >around 40 armored personnel carriers and infantry
      >fighting vehicles, more than 50 military trucks and up
      >to 10 helicopters. In addition to that there have been
      >at least 40 more disabled tanks, about the same number
      >of disabled APCs and IFVs, about 100 disabled wheeled
      >vehicles of all types and around 40 disabled
      >helicopters. These numbers are based on the analysis
      >of non-classified technical reports received daily by
      >the Pentagon.
      >During the attack last night up to two US Marine
      >battalions attempted to push the Iraqis out of their
      >defensive positions near An-Najaf. Despite of the
      >preliminary 4-hour-long artillery and aerial
      >bombardment once they approached the Iraqi positions
      >the US troops were met with heavy machine-gun and RPG
      >fire and were forced to return to their original
      >positions. One US tanks was destroyed by a landmine
      >and two APCs were hit during this night attack. Radio
      >intercepts show that 2 Marines were killed and 5 were
      >wounded. The latest attempt by the US troops to
      >improve their positions on the left bank of the
      >Euphrates near An-Nasiriya was also a failure. Despite
      >of all the precautions taken to ensure the tactical
      >surprise the US forces were met with heavy fire and
      >returned to the original positions. According to the
      >reports by the [US] field commanders, three Marines
      >were missing in action and four were wounded in this
      >engagement.
      >These failed attacked have once again confirmed the
      >fears of the coalition command that the Iraqi forces
      >were much better technically equipped than was
      >believed before the war. In particular, the DIA [US
      >Defense Intelligence Agency] intelligence report from
      >February 2003 insisted that the Iraqi army practically
      >had no night vision equipment except for those systems
      >installed on some tanks and serviceability of even
      >that equipment was questioned. In reality, however,
      >the coalition troops have learned that the Iraqis have
      >an adequate number of night vision surveillance
      >systems and targeting sights even at the squadron
      >level and they know how to properly use this
      >equipment. A particular point of concern [for the
      >coalition] is the fact that most Iraqi night vision
      >systems captured by the coalition are the latest
      >models manufactured in the US and Japan. After
      >analyzing the origins of this equipment the US begun
      >talking about the "Syrian connection". In this regard,
      >the US military experts have analyzed Syria's weapons
      >imports for the past two years and have concluded that
      >in the future fighting [in Iraq] the coalition troops
      >may have to deal with the latest Russian-made
      >anti-tank systems, latest radars and radio
      >reconnaissance systems resistant to the effects
      >electronic counter measures.
      >In the same area [An-Najaf] a coalition checkpoint
      >manned by the US Marines was attacked by a suicide
      >bomber - an Iraqi soldier - who detonated a passenger
      >car loaded with explosives next to the US troops. At
      >least 5 of them were killed.
      >In a closed radio address to the coalition troops the
      >coalition command asked the soldiers to show "patience
      >and restrain" and "not to let loose their emotions and
      >feelings of anger" [Reverse-translated from Russian]
      >The radio address was recorded following an incident
      >in the area of Umm Qasr when, in plain view of the
      >locals, British soldiers executed two Iraqis after
      >finding a submachine-gun in their house; and after a
      >US attack helicopter returning from a combat mission
      >opened cannon fire on a passenger car and its
      >occupants. It was announced [by the coalition] that
      >both of these incidents will be investigated. However,
      >military psychologists believe that these incidents
      >are the result of the troops being subjected to
      >enormous stress; psychologists say that these soldiers
      >require medical treatment.
      >Near Basra the British forces have completely
      >abandoned offensive operations and switched to
      >positional warfare. Isolated attacks continue in the
      >airport area - still not under full British control -
      >and on the Fao peninsula where the Iraqis continue to
      >hold a large staging area.
      >According to the British field commanders, the troops
      >are extremely exhausted and are in dare need of rest
      >and reinforcements. Three British soldiers went
      >missing and two more were wounded in this area during
      >the past 24 hours.
      >A supply convoy of the 3rd Motorized Infantry Division
      >was ambushed last night to the south of An-Nasiriya.
      >In the course of the attack 10 fuel trucks were
      >destroyed, one escorting APC was hit, 8 troops were
      >wounded and 1 is missing. So far it is not known who
      >was behind the attack: the Iraqi army combat
      >reconnaissance units or the partisans operating in
      >this area.
      >Analysis of the information coming from the combat
      >zone shows a rapid decline in the [coalition's]
      >contacts with the media and increasing restrictions on
      >all information except for the official reports. For
      >example, since yesterday morning all phone and
      >Internet lines used by the coalition troops to
      >maintain contact with relatives in the US and Europe
      >have been shut down at the division level and below.
      >Not only does this indicate that the coalition command
      >is trying to change the course of the information war,
      >but this also points to a possible upcoming massive
      >coalition attack against the Iraqi forces and an
      >attempt on the part of the [coalition] commanders to
      >prevent any information leaks.
      >[Russian] analysts believe that all the talk about a
      >"two-week timeout" in the war is nothing more than a
      >disinformation attempt by the coalition. Forces and
      >equipment currently available to the coalition will be
      >sufficient for at least 1-2 weeks of active combat;
      >this is comparable to the duration of a major combat
      >operation. It is likely that such an operation may
      >take place during the next day in the area of
      >Karabela. Goals of this operations have already been
      >discussed in previous reports.
      >At the same time the coalition is already planning a
      >new large-scale operation that will utilize the new
      >forces currently being deployed to the region. Based
      >on our [Russian] intelligence and that of our allies
      >[Russian] military experts believe that this
      >large-scale operation will be launched from the
      >general vicinity of Karabela and will develop into a
      >wide maneuver around Baghdad from the west ending in
      >the area of the Tartar lake east of Al-Hadid (or east
      >of the Tartar lake at Samarrah). From this point a
      >part of the force will continue advancing toward
      >Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit and from there it
      >will turn toward Baghdad from the north through
      >Samarrah and Baahkuba; meanwhile the rest of the
      >[coalition] force will strike the rears of the Iraqi
      >forces fighting in the north near Kirkuk and Mosul.
      >Such an operation would require up to 60,000 troops,
      >no less than 300 tanks and 200 helicopters. It is
      >believed that such forces can be put together by April
      >15 and by April 18 they should be ready to attack.
      >Certain available information points to a serious
      >conflict between the coalition command and the US
      >political and military leadership. The [US] Secretary
      >of Defense Donald Rumsfeld - the main planner and
      >lobbyist of the military operation against Iraq -
      >accuses the coalition command and Gen. Tommy Franks
      >personally of being passive and indecisive, which [in
      >Rumsfeld's opinion] led to the lengthening of the
      >conflict and the current dead end situation. In his
      >turn Franks in front of his subordinates calls the
      >Secretary of Defense the "old blabbermouth" and an
      >"adventurist" who dragged the army into the war on the
      >most unfavorable terms possible. However, most [US
      >military] officers believe that both military leaders
      >are responsible for the coalition's military failures.
      >Rumsfeld allowed gross errors during the planning of
      >forces and equipment required for the war, while
      >Franks did not show enough strength to get the right
      >forces and the right training for the troops in this
      >campaign and, in essence, surrendered to the whims of
      >the politicians...
      >It is entirely possible that the future of this war
      >will see the departure of one of these two commanders.
      >Some reports suggest that Rumsfeld has already
      >proposed to President Bush a change in the coalition
      >command. However, Bush declined this proposal calling
      >it untimely and damaging to the morale of the troops
      >and that of the American people.
      >(source: iraqwar.ru, 03-30-03, translated by Venik)
      >
      >
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