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 Hussein’s 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 yesterday’s 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 demoralization.
Full update will be published tonight
(Translated by Necroman)