IRAQ - March 30 - Coalition Jets Pound Medina Division.
Coalition aircraft step up raids on Republican Guard units dug in around Baghdad. The capital is also targeted, with attacks on a training school for the paramilitary Fedayeen, a presidential palace, an intelligence complex and surface-to-air missile sites. To the south of Baghdad, elements of the Republican Guard's Medina Division suffer intense bombardment by jets, helicopter gunships and heavy artillery from the US 3rd Infantry Division. One US Air Force F-15 weapons officer said that despite the Republican Guard forces being dug in they were having no trouble targeting them. He said on a typical mission, an F-15 patrol of two aircraft would expect to drop 18 bombs and missiles and record 18 hits. A US military spokesman said 30 Apache helicopters from the 101st Airborne also attacked the Republican Guard Medina Division, killing at least 50 troops and destroying about 25 vehicles, including tanks and armoured personnel carriers. Baghdad claimed it had shot down at least two Apache helicopters, killing the two crew from one of the aircraft. Near Basra, British commandos claimed another successful "probe and delve" sortie on a small town on the south-eastern fringes of Iraq's second city, killing a Republican Guard colonel and capturing five other senior Iraqi officers. Some reports suggested one of the officers was a general. Earlier four US soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber at a checkpoint near the central town of Najaf. On April 31, six US troops were injured at a base in Kuwait when a man in civilian clothes drove a pick-up truck into a group of soldiers. In the north of Iraq, US forces on March 30 claimed to have destroyed a massive base of the terrorist group Ansar Al Islam after a heavy missile bombardment was followed up by a ground assault by US Rangers and Seal special forces units. US military spokesmen said that up to 60 cruise missiles had been fired at the base over the past four days, with ground forces entering what remained of the base on March 30.
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|Publication:||APS Diplomat Recorder|
|Date:||Apr 5, 2003|
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