Venik Aviation intel update: War in Iraq, April 7 (morning)
07.04.2003 [19:14]

The situation on the US-Iraqi front during the morning-night on April
7th was characterized by extreme fierceness of combat. During the
night-morning the coalition units continued to encircle the city from
west and east. The 2nd brigade of the 3rd Mechanized Division, as was
revealed before, after a five-hour march reached the northern approaches
of Baghdad and occupied the region bordering to the strategic bridge
Salah-Khasan, but was unable to seize the bridge itself because of a
heavy missile and artillery barrage. Up to 10 men were killed, at least
20 wounded. In the morning the brigade lost its communication center
destroyed by a tactical Iraqi missile.

From south-east the American marine units that had repeatedly tried to
seize a strategic bridge across the Diyala, as we assumed before, during
the night advanced to the eastern suburbs of the New Baghdad and by the
morning tried to take over bridges near the Rashid airport. In this
violent conflict the bridges were destroyed by the Iraqi artillery and
the marines sustained losses. According to intercepted radio
communications up to 5 marines were killed, at least 12 wounded. 3 APC
and 1 tank were destroyed.

Last night on the right bank of the Tigris in the Al-Mansur region
American commandos numbering up to 200 men landed in a block of
government buildings. Apart from that, fighting squadrons landed on two
government residences in this region. The goal of the operation was to
capture top officials of Saddam Husseins administration. Almost
immediately the airdrop was detected and engaged. In order to unblock
the commandos at 7am an enforced tank battalion from the 1st brigade of
the 3rd Mechanized Division entered the city and after a two-hour fight
was able to break to the Haifa street along the Kadissiya roadway and
partly reached the bank of the Tigris. This movement turned out
unexpected by the Iraqis and met no resistance at first. But in the
region of the government quay the American forces confronted with
organized Iraqi defenses. After 3 hours of battle the commandos got to
the American positions and the whole column fell back from the city.
The American losses total up to 10 men killed, 20 wounded and 10
missing. Up to 3 tanks and 3 APC were destroyed.
The commandos only examined a few government buildings in a hurry. All
of them were found empty and no captives were taken.
The tolls of the Iraqi side during the day were up to 150 men killed and
about 200 wounded. They lost up to 5 tanks and 8 guns.

By the afternoon Iraqi actions became more confident.
There is information that one of yesterdays air strikes severely
damaged one of their communication and control centers and currently the
Iraqi command has to control their units using VHF-stations and envoys
which delays battle-orders and commands.
Today the American command had to admit that the fighting potential of
Baghdad defenders is fairly high and the rivals show no sign of

Full update will be published tonight.

[ translated by Necroma