Suicide bombers camouflaged as 'desert nests’ to sabotage U.S. tanks


April 2, 2003

Iraqi military forces plan to use suicide bombers to stop U.S. tanks and armored vehicles.

According to intelligence sources, suicide bombers disguised as plants and vegetation will be armed with rocket propelled grenades and other bombs.

The Iraqi special operations forces are called Desert Nests. They are copied from similar special operations commandos in conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia.

Up to 400 or 500 of the commandos will be used in upcoming battles between coalition forces and Iraqi Republican Guards.

The anti-tanks commandos are part of the thousands of guerrillas dispatched to southern Iraq.

On March 29, an Iraqi suicide bomber detonated a car bomb, killing five U.S. soldiers near An Nasiriyah.

Similar tactics were used by the Egyptian military in the Sinai fighting against Israeli tanks. Pakistani commandos who fought Indian tanks in the disputed Kashmir region also used the technqiue.

In an Iraqi satellite television broadcast dated March 25, Saddam Hussein urged the Fedayeen guerrillas to conduct attacks on U.S. forces.

“Attack the enemy in various places, at various times and with various methods day and night,” the message stated. “Strike at the enemy's front and rear units, put it under fire day and night, and set ambushes for it in various places, at various times and with renewable methods it does not expect. Set ambushes for its helicopters and attack them with the appropriate weapon and in front of the targets you expect it will attack, particularly in front of our armored forces and defensive positions.”