Operation Iraqi Freedom - April 5
Two battalion task forces of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) mounted a raid into downtown Baghdad. The force entered the city from the south and its armored vehicles reached the Tigris river in the central zone of palaces and government buildings. The raiders then withdrew to the west to link up with elements of the 1st Brigade Combat Team at Baghdad International Airport (formerly Saddam International).
Other Coalition forces pressed an attack in around Suwayran, southeast of Baghdad. Confirmed Iraqi losses in the area were assessed at 11 T-72s, 12 ADA pieces, 20 artillery pieces, 1 BMP, and 4 trucks.
CENTCOM reports that the Republican Guard Medina Divison's headquarters was destroyed in that area. The Adnan Division was reported to be in the process of "breaking up".
The 24th MEU is now operating in southern Iraq conducting pacification and convoy security operations. It is estimated that 2500 vehicles are now moving along a 350-mile supply line connecting the fielded forces with their logistics bases in Kuwait.
Overnight, Coalition aircraft struck the residence of Ali Hassan al-Majid, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's cousin. Notorious for ordering Iraqi forces to use chemical weapons on Kurds in northern Iraq, he is infamously known as "Chemical Ali."
Two Coalition aircraft using laser-guided munitions struck the home at approximately 9:30 p.m. EST Friday. The structure is located in Al Basrah, approximately 250 miles southeast of Baghdad.
The strike was part of an ongoing effort to end Saddam Hussein's regime. Ali is a member of the Iraqi president's inner circle and holds the military title, "southern commander of forces."
CENTCOM reports that to date Coalition forces have taken 6500 POWs.
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