Republican Guardsmen heading south to scene of war's heaviest fighting
The Jerusalem Post

26 March 2003

A large contingent of Iraq's elite Republican Guard headed south Wednesday in a convoy of about 1,000 vehicles toward US Marines in central Iraq -- an area that already has seen the heaviest fighting of the war.

Intelligence officers with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force said about 3,000 Republican Guard troops were spotted in one town along Highway 7 and 2,000 more at another, heading south from Baghdad on a route that avoids advancing US Army forces and leads them directly to the Marines who have been fighting in recent days around An Nasiriyah.

The advance appeared to signal that the Republican Guard, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's best trained and most loyal force, was still prepared to go on the offensive despite several days of Allied air strikes and missile attacks on its positions.