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Baghdad siege is hours away 25mar03

Defence experts have warned up to 12,000 allied forces may be killed in the battle for Baghdad.

One expert said yesterday a force of up to 120,000 soldiers would be needed to capture the Iraqi capital and 10 per cent could die in the fight.

...

"If you're going to take 5000-10,000 casualties, it may be a better option to bomb certain parts of the city."
Baghdad siege is hours away
By NICK PAPPS
25mar03

ALLIED forces may be fighting on the streets of Baghdad today.

A British defence source said the ground attack on Iraq's capital was imminent.

"We're looking towards Monday night, Tuesday for the ground offensive on Baghdad," the source said.

Last night Iraqi 4WDs mounted with machineguns roamed the streets of Baghdad and mortar positions were set up in the south of the city.

Elite Republican Guard forces have dug in around the capital and sandbags have fortified fighting positions.

"(Baghdad) will be a tough fight," the British defence source said. "It will be interesting to see how they play it. The Republican Guard are going to put up a proper fight."

Defence experts have warned up to 12,000 allied forces may be killed in the battle for Baghdad.

One expert said yesterday a force of up to 120,000 soldiers would be needed to capture the Iraqi capital and 10 per cent could die in the fight.

Australian National University expert Alan Dupont said allied forces would face horrendous conditions in a street-by-street battle.

"It will be the first significant urban battle since World War II," he said.

"The allies will hope they don't have to go into Baghdad. If they do, it will be quite bloody and protracted."

He said allies would face Iraqi soldiers dressed as civilians and the allied technological advantage would be limited by urban warfare.

Allied armoured forces are expected to be on the outskirts of Baghdad today and the battle could start immediately.

But Mr Dupont said the allies may pause outside Baghdad for a week so 120,000 allied combat troops could assemble.

During that time, key Iraqi command centres and military leaders would be attacked by precision bombing and clandestine elite soldiers.

If, after about a week, there are no signs of Iraqi forces surrendering, allied forces may starve Baghdad into submission or secure it sector by sector.

Yesterday former US Marine Lieutenant-General Gregory Newbold said urban fighting was the last option.

"No prudent, experienced military commander looks at fighting in the built-up areas as anything but the worst of possible choices," he said.

"The advantages that accrue to a defender in a city are that he fights from terrain that is very favourable."

Mr Dupont said that faced with the prospect of so many soldiers being killed, US military leaders may push for a huge bombing of Baghdad to kill Iraqi resistance.

He said this would result in thousands of civilian deaths.

"If you're going to take 5000-10,000 casualties, it may be a better option to bomb certain parts of the city."

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I doubt it! 25.Mar.2003 04:09

Filthy Evil Commie travisdandy2000@yahoo.com

I guess its possible, but I seriously doubt we are going to be in Bhagdad any time soon, they can't even take Basara! Troop lines are overextended, resistiance is feirce. I think going into the capital right now would be a fatal mistake for the imperial legions, but hell, let 'em try. Get ready for Vietnam in the desert!

Even that might be optimistic 25.Mar.2003 16:46

yvan eht nioj

I've heard that casualty rates for urban fighting usually run in the 25-30% range not 10%. How many pro-war people would still be supporting this if they knew possibly 36,000 soldiers might die in Baghdad? The word needs to get out.